Lotus Land Story/Gameplay

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Title screen of the game

This article describes the overall gameplay and background information for Lotus Land Story.

Gameplay

Controls

The game may be played using either a keyboard or a gamepad. Keyboard controls are as follows:

  • The Arrow Keys move the character around
  • Z causes a short barrage of shots to be fired; it may be held down for rapidfire
  • X releases a bomb (equivalent to the spell card in the Windows era)
  • Shift slows the character's movement
  • Esc pauses the game and brings you to the in-game menu

Basic Gameplay

Lotus Land Story plays like a fairly typical vertically-scrolling danmaku shooting game, in which the player's character is always facing towards the top of the screen, shooting at anything that moves, avoiding and weaving between enemy bullets, and confronting difficult bosses at the end of each stage.

There are 4 levels of difficulty: Easy, Normal, Hard, and Lunatic. Each difficulty level features differences in the number of bullets fired by each stage enemy, rate of fire, variations in the bullets' pattern of movement, and the intensity of enemy phrases used.

The player will traverse 6 increasingly harrowing stages through the course of this game; this was the first Touhou Project game to include 6 stages, which was standardised throughout the series. The Easy difficulty ends prematurely at Stage 5, as will the game on any difficulty if the player has used a continue at any point in the game prior to completing Stage 5.

Once the game has been completed without continuing on any difficulty, an optional Extra Stage is unlocked, available for play with any character type that has accomplished that feat. The Extra Stage features significantly stronger and faster enemies, two extremely difficult boss battles, and no option to continue if all lives are lost.

Shot

A character's "shot" is the player's primary method of attacking stage enemies and bosses. While the shot's attack area and behavior varies depending on the character type the player has chosen, the shot can be powered up by filling up the Power Level via power items that the player can collect. Small items increase your power level by 1, large items by 10. The shot gradually becomes more powerful when the player reaches the Power Levels of 0, 15, 31, 47, 71, 95, and 127 (MAX), respectively. When the player reaches MAX power, all bullets on the screen cancel out.

Bomb

A character's "bomb" is the player's limited-use method of getting out of difficult situations, which is equivalent to the spell card from the Windows era. A bomb deals heavy damage to every enemy on screen, in addition to canceling out any bullets in the bomb's way, as well as automatically collecting every item on screen, for twice the value it would be normally. The player's character becomes invincible during and for a short time after the bomb's effect wears off. By default, at the beginning of the game, and any time your character respawns, you'll start off with 2 bombs. You can select between 0 and 2 number of bombs in the Option menu. Bomb items increase your current stock by one, and you receive a free bomb at the end of each stage except the last. There's no limit to the maximum number of bombs you can have at any time.

Lives

With default settings, you'll start off with 3 lives (that is, 2 extra lives). You can lose a life by getting "hit" by an enemy attack. You can choose between 1 to 6 number of lives in the Option menu.

The hit box for your character is quite small in comparison to the character's on-screen sprite, approximately only 5 pixels by 5 pixels in size. It's not clearly marked on the sprite, but it's possible to approximate its location well by looking at the red ribbon in Reimu's hair, which defines the top of the box, or the area where Marisa's long yellow hair ends, which defines the lower boundary of the box. If the hit box of the character's sprite comes into contact with the hit box of an enemy bullet, laser, or the enemy itself, then you have been hit.

The player is awarded extra lives upon reaching certain score totals (this'll also cancel all bullets on screen), as well as by collecting 1up items. In both the regular game and the Extra stage, extra lives are awarded at 3, 8, 15, 22, and 30 million points. There's no upper limit to the number of extra lives you can hold. So, through default settings, you can collect 8 extra lives in the main game, which results in a total of 10 extra lives.

Upon losing all their lives, the player is given the choice to continue right where they left off. If choosing not to continue, then it's game over, but if you do continue, your current score will be reset back to 0 and you won't be able to reach the "Good Ending"; instead, you'll "Bad Ending" if you finish the game, and you won't be able to play stage 6 (if you lose all your lives in stage 6 you will immediately proceed to the bad ending). You may continue up to 3 times.

Rank

There exists a rank system in this game. As the rank increases, enemy bullets will generally become faster and more plentiful. This effect that the rank has in this game is most prominent with boss attacks, where the bullet difference between minimum and maximum rank can differ by a factor of 4 or more.

Factors that increase rank:

  • Play Time
  • Getting extra lives
  • Point items collected in a single stage
  • Collecting items during a bomb (Bomb Bonus)
  • High Clear Bonus
  • Attaining full power and getting power items
  • Clearing a stage without getting hit
  • Clearing a stage without using bombs

Factors that decrease rank:

  • Getting hit
  • Letting items go off-screen (not including power items)
  • Low Clear Bonus
  • Timing out on boss attacks

Character Statistics

There are two characters to choose from, each of which have two styles of attack. The player decides which character to play and which attack type to use at the start of the game.

The shrine maiden who maintains dream and tradition (夢と伝統を保守する巫女): Reimu Hakurei

Reimu Type A
Shot: "Search Shot" (「サーチショット」)
Reimu Type B
Shot: "Wide Shot" (「ワイドショット」)

Existence which consists of magic and red dream (魔法と紅夢からなる存在): Marisa Kirisame

Marisa Type A
Shot: "Illusion Laser" (「イリュージョンレーザー」)
Marisa Type B
Shot: "Rapid Shot" (「ラピッドショット」)

Screen Layout

Th04ScreenLayout.png
  1. Your Character
  2. Player Score
    • HiScore: displays your highest score for the current character, type, and difficulty
    • Score: your current score
  3. Enemy Health Bar
  4. Player Stock
    • Bomb (靈撃) : the number of remaining bombs
    • Player (靈夢) : the number of remaining lives
  5. Player Status
    • Points (): displays how many Point Items you collected during this stage
    • Dream (): displays your current dream bonus point value
    • Graze (): displays how many times enemy shots have grazed your hit box during this stage
  6. Power (靈力): displays your shot power level
  7. Difficulty Setting
  8. Boss enemy (Orange)

NB: 靈撃, 靈夢 and 靈力 are replaced with "Bomb", "Player" and "Power" respectively if not playing as Reimu Hakurei.

Scoring

Scoring works similar to many other Touhou Project games in many aspects. Listed below are the details for how points are given in Lotus Land Story.

Enemies

Any damage you deal to any stage enemy, whether it be caused by your shots or your bombs, will cause your score to increase slightly. Shooting invincible objects such as Elly's scythe or a boss before she becomes vulnerable will also award several thousand points per second depending on how much damage your shot type deals. Actually destroying enemies will award you slightly more points, but the points earned from this are around the range of hundreds to thousands of points per enemy. This isn't a significant amount at all. However, enemies shoot bullets for you to "graze" and release items for you to collect, and those are very important for scoring as covered below.

Grazing

"Grazing a bullet" means to have a bullet come dangerously close to your hitbox, or touching the character's sprite; this was the first Touhou Project game to feature this, which was standardised throughout the series. Each graze will add a certain number of points to your score, specific to the difficulty setting, and will increase your "Graze number" by 1, which is used to calculate the Clear bonus. You can only graze 999 bullets per stage; any more won't increase your score or clear bonus.

Easy    : 1000
Normal  : 2500
Hard    : 4000
Lunatic : 5000
Extra   : 25600

You can only graze a bullet once, so you won't gain any additional points or graze by following a bullet. Unlike the Windows games, you cannot graze lasers.

Point Items

As the name implies, point items are the major source of points in the game. The higher up on the screen you collect them, the more points they're worth, up to a maximum of 51200 points. You can easily tell when you are collecting point items for their maximum value, since they show the value in yellow text. An important thing to keep in mind is that point items collected even a pixel below the maximum value threshold are only worth anywhere from 28000 points (near-top of screen) to 2000 points (very bottom of screen). This is a non-trivial difference, so do your best to collect items without prematurely retreating down to the lower parts of the screen. The number of point items collected per stage is used to calculate the Clear bonus, to be discussed later.

Power Items

While your shot is not fully powered up, power items are worth only 10 points. However, once maximum shot power has been reached, each additional power item collected will be worth more than the previous one collected, up to a maximum of 12,800 points per power item. Unlike point items, power items will award you the same number of points anywhere on the screen. However, if you lose a life and your power level to less than maximum, power items will be worth only 10 points just like the beginning, and you'll have to start this process over again. The progression is as follows: 10, 20, 30... 100, 200, 300... 1000, 1500, 2000... 10000, 10500, 11000, 12000, 12500, 12800. In other words, it takes 42 power items to get from a value of 10 to 12800.

Large power items act the same as normal power items, except that when you're at maximum shot power, they increase the current value of power items as if you had collected 5 normal power items. However, if a large power item is collected when the power item worth is at maximum (12800), the player receives 25600 points (12800 × 2) instead.

Full power items (F), as well as bomb items and 1up items, are worth 1000 points.

Dream Bonus

The dream bonus system is unique to Lotus Land Story. The dream bonus starts at 0 at the start of each stage, and when special dream items are collected, your dream bonus, displayed at the bottom-right corner of the screen, increases by a preset interval. The progression is as follows: 1000, 2000, 4000, 6000, 8000, 10000, and 12800. When you collect a dream item, the value of your dream bonus (after the increment) is added to your score.

Additionally, when point items are collected, the value of your current dream bonus is appended to the point worth of the item collected. Therefore, the highest potential value for a point item is 64000 (51200 + 12800). If you're hit, your dream bonus amount drops by one level (i.e. from 10000 to 8000). The dream bonus that you finish the stage with is used to calculate the Clear bonus, to be discussed later.

Bomb Usage

When a Bomb is activated, all items on the screen automatically home towards the character and collected, for double their usual worth. For this reason, well-placed Bombs can provide large boosts to your score.

Boss Phase Bonus

All bullets on screen are nullified when you defeat an attack pattern of a boss or midboss (by depleting part of their current health bar or defeating them). After most (but not all) boss phases, you also receive a fixed number of points, which are awarded immediately, and displayed as several yellow 12,800s. This bonus is not connected to the enemy bullet bonus below.

Enemy Bullet Bonus

When you defeat a midboss or boss, all enemy bullets on screen are tallied up and contributed to a bullet cancel bonus. The more enemy bullets there are on screen, the higher this bonus becomes, with each successive bullet increasing in value up to a maximum of 16,000 points per bullet (20,000 in Extra). This bonus is not awarded if you time out the boss's final pattern.

There's also a very small amount of points gained every time bullets are cleared in any way (including by finishing a boss phase, dying, bombing, reaching full power, or gaining an extend from score), that's not connected to either of the previous bonuses.

Clear Bonus

At the end of each stage (with the exception of stage 5 on Easy), the player is awarded a point bonus based on their performance throughout the stage. The bonus is calculated as follows:

Stage number × 1000
Power level  ×  100
Graze count  ×   50
Dream bonus (at time of stage completion)

If the stage happened to be stage 6 or Extra, a stage bonus of 10000 is used instead, and the following is added:

Lives remaining in stock  × 10000 (× 30000 in Extra)

This combined total is then multiplied by the number of point items collected in that stage.

Finally, depending on the conditions you played under, the result is multiplied by these modifiers, rounded down to the nearest 10:

4 Initial Lives    : × 0.7
5 Initial Lives    : × 0.5
6 Initial Lives    : × 0.3
Easy Difficulty    : × 0.5
Normal Difficulty  : × 1.0
Hard Difficulty    : × 1.2
Lunatic Difficulty : × 1.4
** There is no multiplier bonus for Extra difficulty **
1 Continue Used    : × 0.8
2 Continues Used   : × 0.6
3 Continues Used   : × 0.4
Boss's final phase was timed out: × 0.0

The end result is then added on to your score.

However, due to a glitch, the clear bonus will never add more than 28,713,110 to your score, even if the displayed clear bonus is higher. The bonus from your last bullet clear is included in this value.

Achivements

Bad Endings

To view the bad endings, either finish the game on Easy, finish the game having used one or more continues, or losing your last life on the final stage on Normal or higher (and not continuing).

Good Endings & Extra

To view the good endings and unlock the Extra Stage, finish the game on Normal, Hard, or Lunatic difficulty without continuing once.

Additional Information

  • The loading screen that displays the Lotus Land Story logo that appears between every level changes colors depending upon which difficulty setting the game is being played on.
  • After a full completion of the game, an illustration featuring the character used is displayed. The image varies depending on the difficulty the game was completed on.