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Mountain of Faith/Gameplay

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Title screen of the game



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 rapid fire;
  • X releases a bomb, also known as a Spell Card or spiritual attack (presuming you have sufficient power);
  •  Shift slows the character's movement, and changes the nature of the character's shot; it generally makes your attacks more focused;
  • Esc pauses the game and brings you to the in-game menu;
  • Q returns you to the title screen when the game is paused;
  • R returns you to the beginning of Stage 1 when the game is paused;
  • Ctrl fast-forwards through any dialogue and replays;
  • Home or P produces a .bmp screenshot in the /snapshot directory (only works in 32-bit color mode).

As of this game, holding Shift will also increase the size of the character's item collection box. This makes it possible to snag items that are just out of reach or more effectively collect raining items.

Basic Gameplay

Mountain of Faith 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 a 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 enemy, rate of fire, variations in the bullets' pattern of movement, and the number and type of enemy Spell Cards used.


A character's "shot" is the player's primary method of attacking enemies. The shot's attack area and behavior varies depending on the character type the player has chosen, as well as the player's power level and whether the player is focused or unfocused.

Point of Collection

Like previous Touhou games, there is a line most of the way up the screen called the Point of collection. If you move your character at or above this line, all items on the screen will be drawn to your character. Unlike previous games, you don't need to have full power or focus to use the PoC; it's always available.

In Mountain of Faith, there is another line just below the PoC line: the maximum value line. Above this line, items are still worth their maximum value, despite not being automatically collected like when using the PoC.


Unlike previous Touhou games, there is no separate bomb counter. Instead, there's a relationship between your power gauge, bombs, and options. Options are the small "satellites" that stick around your character and shoot shots. The more power items you collect, the higher your power gauge rises. The power gauge takes on values from 0 to 5, and decimal numbers in between. The number of options you have corresponds to the integer part of your power gauge - for example, if you have a power level of 2.75, you have two options. Although the maximum power level is 5, you can only have 4 options. When you go into focused fire mode, your options change position.

Your power level must be 1 or higher to use bombs. Whenever you use a bomb, your power gauge decreases by 1, thus you lose an option. However, if you're at 5 power, you can use a bomb once without losing an option. Your shot at 5 power has the same strength as 4 power.

As usual, deathbombing is possible. When hit, the player is given a very brief window of time (8 frames, approximately 0.133 seconds) to bomb and negate their death. The death sound effect will play and the bomb will activate. The deathbomb window has remained at 8 frames in every Touhou game since. In Mountain of Faith specifically, deathbombs grant the user much shorter invincibility compared to regular bombs.


You start off the game with 2 extra lives. You can lose a life by getting "hit" by an enemy attack or an enemy's own hitbox.

The hitbox for your character is quite small in comparison to your on-screen sprite. Reimu's is 4 by 4 pixels while Marisa's is 7 by 7 pixels, making them 16 pixels and 49 pixels in size respectively. If you hold Shift, a colored dot will appear, giving an indication of the hitbox. The dot does not precisely match the real hitbox and it is the same for Reimu and Marisa, despite Marisa's hitbox being about twice as large. If your character's hitbox comes into contact with the hitbox of an enemy bullet, laser, or the enemy itself, you will die.

The player is awarded extra lives upon reaching certain score totals or by collecting 1up items. In the main game, the player is awarded extra lives at 20, 40, 80 and 150 million points. A 1up item is dropped after defeating the midboss Nitori as well as the midboss Sanae, bringing the total number of extra lives earned to 6. In the Extra stage, the player is instead awarded extra lives at 30 and 100 million points, and a 1up item is dropped after the midboss Kanako.

You can carry up to a maximum of 9 extra lives at a time (however, there aren't enough extra lives to reach this maximum outside of stage practice). If you receive an extra life when you already have the maximum, that life will be lost. In stage practice, the 9th life is not shown on the screen, so it will appear as if you never lost a life if you die. From the second death onward, the life display will function normally again.

When you lose a life, you also lose 3.20 power. Power items totaling 3.20 power are scattered for you to collect, even if you had less than 3.20 power at the time you died. Also, all of the bullets on the screen are cancelled and you become invulnerable for a short period of time.

Difficulty Levels

Like most of the Windows games, Mountain of Faith has short descriptions for each difficulty level.

Easy - A difficulty level to get you used to the controls. Advancement is basic for humans.
Normal - A difficulty level to enjoy the game. Having faith in yourself will bring happiness.
Hard - A difficulty level for those with a good deal of self-confidence. No need to stop and linger to enjoy the performance.
Lunatic - The usual. If you don't know what that means, don't pick it.
Extra - Oh, you want to play? You're pretty curious, aren't you?


The rank calculation system from Perfect Cherry Blossom and Imperishable Night, used to adjust game difficulty based on the player's performance, was re-implemented in Mountain of Faith. However, the only enemy attack in the entire game that is adjusted by the rank value is Shizuha Aki's second non-spell attack in Easy and Normal difficulty, which occurs so early in the game that any meaningful differences in rank are impossible to accrue, and is so simple a pattern that such differences wouldn't be noticeable anyway. Therefore, rank practically does not exist in this game.


There are 6 stages in the full version of the game:

  1. Stage 1:「八百万の秋の神」 The Multitudinous Autumn Gods
  2. Stage 2:「神々の傷跡」 The Scars of the Gods
  3. Stage 3:「瑕疵無き要塞」 The Flawless Fortress
  4. Stage 4:「要塞の山」 The Mountain Fortress
  5. Stage 5:「霊山に風が吹く」 A Wind Blows on the Sacred Mountain
  6. Stage 6:「あゝ風の神よ神湖の地に」 Ah, the God of Wind on the Grounds of the Divine Lake

To unlock the Extra stage, beat the game with either of the two girls on normal or harder without continuing(otherwise you'll see a 'clear' sign over that type, but the Extra Stage won't be unlocked). The attack pattern you used (A, B, or C) will then be unlocked for Extra.

Boss Battles

The main challenge and the main attraction. Each boss has multiple lives, which are represented by stars shown at the upper left of the screen. Bosses usually alternate between attacking normally and attacking with Spell Cards, switching once with each health bar. Colored sections on the health bar indicate the start of a Spell Card attack when the boss' health is depleted that far.

Normal attacks are incrementally stronger versions of the boss character's basic attack. Spell Card attacks bedazzle the player with combinations of complex patterns that often involve the use of projectiles and obstacles crafted especially for use with that Spell Card. If the player manages to defeat a Spell Card attack without getting hit or using any bombs, called a "capture", a substantial Spell Card Bonus is rewarded for the feat. This bonus increases with Faith; see the Spell Card Bonus section below.

Each attack is accompanied by a timer. When time runs out, the boss will switch to their next attack pattern even if their health bar isn't empty. Waiting for a boss character's attack pattern to self-destruct may be enough to beat them, but mere survival does not count as a capture, and thus does not award the Spell Card Bonus. The exception to this is survival Spell Cards, in which the only way to capture them is to time them out. In those cases, it does count and you do get the Spell Card Bonus.

When fighting a boss, a position marker shows up on the bottom margin of the screen, indicating where the boss is on the horizontal axis. Since your target can be completely obscured by bullets or darkness at times, use this marker to help you aim your shots. The marker will dim when the boss is being hit, and will flash red when her health bar gets sufficiently depleted.


Homing Type

Reimu's first shottype is a homing shot, shooting homing amulets. While focused, the shot is more narrow, but still homing.

Shot: Homing Amulet
Option: Rear Position
Forward Focus Type

Reimu's second shottype features forward-focused needles. While focused, the shot is more narrow.

Shot: Sealing Needle
Option: Forward Position
Sealing Type

Reimu's third shottype is a spreadshot. This shot is wider while focused, not while unfocused.

Shot: Youkai Buster
Option: Left/Right & Focus
High-Power Type

Marisa's first shottype features options that follow Marisa around while unfocused. While focused, the options will freeze. Despite being called the High-Power Type, this shot actually deals relatively low damage.

Shot: Spread Star
Option: Trace & Hold Formation
Piercing Type

Marisa's second shottype is a piercing shot. The laser penetrates trough every enemy, so enemies behind an other will be also hit by the laser. While focused, the shot is more narrow.

Shot: Illusion Laser
Option: Close Contact Formation
Magic-User Type

Marisa's third shottype has a unique option mechanic. By focusing, the options will remain in place while Marisa can still move around. Unfocusing will bring the options back to Marisa (except if the player unfocuses only very briefly).

Shot: Cold Inferno
Option: Front & Lock Formation

Screen Layout

Screen Layout
  1. Your character
  2. Player Score
    • High Score: your highest score for the current character, type, and difficulty
    • Score: your current score
  3. Player Status
    • The number of remaining lives and bombs / The approximate location of the point of collection
    • Power: your shot power, maxing out at 5.00
  4. Enemy Status
    • Left bar(s): the number of health bars the enemy has left. White bars indicate the boss will use regular attacks, red bars indicate the boss will use a spell card.
    • Right number: the amount of time left before the enemy's attack spell fails (self-destructs)
  5. Faith counter
  6. Spell Card Status
    • Title: the name of the Spell Card being used
    • Bonus: the constantly-updating value of the Spell Card Bonus
    • History: your number of captures of current Spell Card, and the number of times you have faced it.

Hint Files

Attention: This section is a stub and it needs expanding with more information related to the section's topic. If you can add to it in any way, please do so.

Mountain of Faith has a feature called hints, which can be used to show textual hints on the screen during gameplay. Hints can be specified in two files in the hint directory in the game folder, namely hint_user.txt and hint_auto.txt. The hint feature can be turned on or off, or set to Auto, in the Option menu. Setting it to On or Auto will enable both hint files, where Auto will add "Caution!" markers where you die during a run as well, which will then show in subsequent runs. These markers are written to hint_auto.txt. Setting it to Off will disable the hint feature.

Hint files are commonly used for scoring, to show the PoC line and the max value line during runs.

See below for a short example hint file, which shows the PoC line during Stage 1. Every hint has text, an X and Y position, a count, a base, an alignment, a time, an alpha value and a color. Any number of hints and any number of stages can be written into the file. Note that Extra is considered Stage 7 in this syntax.

# ========================================================= 
# 東方風神録─攻略ヒントファイル 
# 書き方は秘密
#                       Time-stamp: <2007/05/08 12:52:24 zun>

Version = 0.0

# ================================== 
Stage : 1

   Text    : "→────────────────────────←"
   Pos        : -207, 121
   Count    : 300
   Base    : start
   Align    : left
   Time    : 5500
   Alpha    : 255
   Color    : 128, 255, 128
   Scale    : 1.0



The endings depend upon the difficulty level and the use of continues.

  • Bad Endings: endings 7-12 are reached if one or more continues are used or if the difficulty level is Easy.
  • Normal Endings: endings 1-6 are achieved if continues are not used and the difficulty level is Normal, Hard, or Lunatic.

Unlockable Features

  • Stage Practice: Unlocked by beating a stage with a particular shottype, this feature allows that shottype to practice that stage. You start out with 9 lives at 4.00 power. If you lose all of your lives, you can't continue.
  • Extra Stage: To unlock the Extra stage for a specific character and type, you must reach the "Normal Ending" (finish the game on Normal difficulty or higher without continuing) with that same character and type.

Full Unlock Code

To unlock all unlockable content at once, navigate to the Extra ReimuC records in Player Data and type out idontdrinkbeertoending. If done correctly, the 1up sound effect will play and the practice mode stages as well as the Extra Stage will be unlocked for all shottypes.



Any damage you deal to any enemy, whether it be caused by your shots or your bombs, will cause your score to increase very slightly. 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 is not a significant amount at all. However, destroyed enemies release items for you to collect, and those are very important for scoring as covered below.

Point Items

As its name implies, point items are the major source of points in the game. The value of the point items depends on the height at which they are collected. You can easily tell when you are collecting point items for their maximum value, since they show the value in yellow text. The auto-item-collect line is the same height as the height where point items reach their maximum value, so take advantage of this fact wherever you can for massive points. Regular point items collected below the maximum value are worth about 50% of the maximum just below the PoC, changing linearly based on the height of the item until at the bottom of the screen they are worth between 45% and 55% of the maximum (depending on the current faith value). Point items that have yellow borders (only dropped by boss characters) give full points regardless of where they are collected.

Power Items

Power items increase your power gauge. Small items give you a 0.05 power boost, while large items give you a 1.0 power boost. The maximum value is 5.0. If you're already at full power, you will instead get small faith items.

Faith Items

The faith system is new to Mountain of Faith. The number in the lower left corner of the screen is your faith counter, which starts at 50,000. It cannot drop below 50,000, nor can it go above 999,990. The green stars and orbs are faith items. There is a bar underneath the faith counter that drains over time, except when facing bosses, when it does not drain. Defeating (and to a much lesser extent, shooting) enemies, as well as collecting items, will refill the bar. When the bar is completely empty, you lose faith at a rate of 600 per second, or 10,800 per second if there are no enemies on the screen. The higher your faith is, the higher the value of each individual point item and Spell Card Bonus.

The amount the large faith item adds to the faith counter varies depending on difficulty.

Easy 5,000
Normal 5,000
Hard 8,000
Lunatic 10,000
Extra 10,000

Small faith items add 100 points to the faith counter. Finally, faith items from bombing or cancelling a boss pattern will add 10 points to the faith counter. Bullets cancelled by a bomb during a Spell Card will not generate these items.

When you lose a life, your faith counter will go down by the following amount:

(Faith - 50,000) / 3

This formula is always the same, regardless of difficulty level or character used.

When you use a bomb, regardless of character or difficulty, your faith decreases by 3,000; however, if you deathbomb, your faith will not decrease.

When you time out a Spell Card or a nonspell, regardless of any other factors, your faith decreases by 30,000. As of version 1.00a of the game, this occurs even on Aya and Suwako's survival Spell Cards.

Spell Card Bonus

Sometimes, a boss will attack using a Spell Card. You will know this is happening when the background changes and the Spell Card's name appears in the upper right corner of the screen. If the boss's health bar is depleted within the time limit and without getting hit or using a bomb, the Spell Card bonus will be added to your score.

The bonus starts at out at a value equal to:

Faith counter * (10 + (stage number * 3))

Therefore, Spell Cards are initially worth 13x your faith on Stage 1, and increase to x28 your faith on Stage 6. Extra is counted as Stage 7 and therefore has a multiplier of x31.

Except for survival cards, the bonus starts to decrease 5 seconds after the start of the Spell Card. Every second, the bonus decreases at the following rate:

0.9 * (starting value) / (time limit in seconds - 5)

Clear Bonus

Unlike previous games in the series, there are no clear bonuses for Stages 1-5. At the end of Stage 6 or Extra, the player is awarded a sizable score bonus, which is calculated as follows according to the manual:

Easy:    (Extra Lives * 20 million) + (Power * 2,000,000) + (Faith * 100) points.
Normal:  (Extra Lives * 25 million) + (Power * 2,000,000) + (Faith * 100) points.
Hard:    (Extra Lives * 35 million) + (Power * 4,000,000) + (Faith * 100) points.
Lunatic: (Extra Lives * 40 million) + (Power * 6,000,000) + (Faith * 100) points.
Extra:   (Extra Lives * 40 million) + (Power * 8,000,000) + (Faith * 100) points.

Power uses the first two digits of your power. So if you have 4.25 power, use 42 for the value.


This is a list of known glitches, bugs or other unusual capabilities that aren't supposed to be part of the original gameplay.

Glitches reported in the full version:

  • User replay bug: User replays, that is th10_udXXXX.rpy, do not work whatsoever. Unfortunately, this means you can only have up to 25 replays viewable in-game at a time; user replays must be renamed to e.g. th10_01.rpy or th10_25.rpy.
  • MarisaB power glitch: When MarisaB's power is between 3.00 and 3.95, the middle laser of her unfocused shots does 10x as much damage as intended, beating bosses in literally a matter of seconds after they appear. Note that because you can reduce your power by bombing, it is very easy to make use of this glitch, even if you collect too many power items. This glitch results from ZUN accidentally putting another 1 in front of the number that represents the laser's damage output. Video of this glitch.
  • Multiple of the same replay desync: If you save multiple replays of the same run, all of them except the first one will be bugged. They will display 0 FPS in the bottom right and possibly desync. They can even crash the game.
  • Stage 4 desync: Replays of full runs will always desync when started from Stage 4, typically making it appear as if you failed to clear the stage. This can be prevented by starting the replay from Stage 3 or earlier.
  • Replay unlocking stage practice: Watching a replay of a full run will unlock the stages in stage practice with that character, as if you'd played them yourself.
  • Kanako bullet hitbox bug: During Kanako's 2nd and 4th Spell Cards, "Divining Crop" and "Source of Rains", bullets that transform into another bullet type retain their original hitbox. This makes them significantly larger than intended.
  • Replay score display bug: If you start a replay with the current score over 1 billion, for example by starting from Stage 6, the billions' digit is not displayed. This does not affect the high score and it will not occur if 1 billion is reached during playback.
  • Suwako misdirection glitch: If you start the Suwako fight by being above her, the lasers on her 1st Spell Card will be directed upwards, making it much easier to dodge.
  • Invincible Suwako glitch: In the Extra Stage, if you bomb right before one of Suwako's Spell Cards times out, she will remain invincible. If you bomb again on the next Spell Card, she will become vulnerable again after that bomb, but her sprite will still be blurry, as if she is still invincible. After her timeout spells, however, the sprite goes back to normal and Suwako is vulnerable again.
  • Kanako portrait bug: If you bomb right before the timer runs out on Kanako's final Spell Card, "Divine Virtue of Wind God", her portrait might be shown one more time, but shifted somewhat.
  • Aya health bar bug: On Easy Mode, Aya's final health bar gets back to full when her last spell card starts, instead of staying how it was when the non-spell before it ended.

The following apply to multiple games, including Mountain of Faith:

  • Extra gameover glitch: If you clear the Extra Stage with a lower score than your leaderboard, your leaderboard being full, the gameover options are mistakenly shown. This includes the "Continue" option; selecting it crashes the game. Footage of this glitch.
  • Slowdown glitch: If you die while the game is slowed down, you lose more power than you should. This is due to the slowdown being implemented as frames running multiple times, including the frame on which power is lost.
  • Spritesheet glitch: On very rare occasions, the game will load incorrectly, resulting in erratic behaviour during gameplay. The game will randomly and rapidly flash chunks of the entire spritesheet during play. If it occurs, the game stays this way until it's closed.