Rumia in Embodiment of Scarlet Devil
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Apparently, she is quite simple-minded and doesn't like the sunlight nor the summer heat; in fact, she uses her powers of darkness to surround herself in a mass of dark, as to avoid the heat and the light. It is also said that she only uses this power as a supportive ability when attacking others, using pure strength as her main asset. She seems like to fly around aimlessly during the day and the night, sometimes bumping into trees since she is less capable of seeing obstacles through her veil of darkness. Despite her innocent appearance, she eats humans and thinks that a youkai's job is to hunt them down, but she also seems to be quite lazy and has commented that it is generally a pain for her doing it.
Rumia's skin and hair are photosensitive.
- Manipulating darkness
Rumia has the ability of manipulating darkness. By covering herself in pure darkness, she is able to prevent sunlight from passing through the darkness, as it is magical in nature and can render even traditional lights such as torches useless within it. Because of this, people who happen to go inside the darkness would not able to see anything, but it looks like Rumia herself is also less capable to see, as she might crash into trees while flying. However, she was still able to read Aya's newspaper even with almost no light, while Aya herself couldn't write notes nor reading her notebook. She has also shown that she can control how much light can pass through the darkness, as she let only a bit of it entering to be able to read the newspaper.
The appearance of the darkness outside its region looks like a spherical circle that is moving. Rumia says "I'm fine in moonlight" meaning she doesn't need such ability at night, and although she dislikes heat and sunlight, she was seen without darkness in broad daylight in various occasions, even in summer.
In-game, this ability is used as part of Rumia's Darkness Sign "Dark Side of the Moon" spellcard in Shoot the Bullet, during which she becomes impossible to photograph when she is covered in darkness.
The names of her spell cards are also related to night and darkness (Moon Sign, Night Sign, Darkness Sign).
ZUN has mentioned in an interview that because it was the first Windows game, he decided to go with the concept of Embodiment of Scarlet Devil as a deochi (出落ち, lit. "punch line on the entrance") as a main theme. Examples include having the game take place in a Western setting and bringing in Western youkai as bosses even though the series is named Touhou ("Eastern"). Her ability (manipulation of darkness) is one instance of deochi; it seems like it would be appropriate to a final boss, yet she is only a stage 1 boss.
"Rumia" (ルーミア), possibly meant to be romanized as "Lumia", seems to come from the Latin word lumen ("light") or its English descendants (luminous, luminescent). Supporting this possible origin is the subject matter of her first spell card, Moon Sign "Moonlight Ray". If "Lumia" is indeed the intended romanization of her name, then it may be that her ability to manipulate and create darkness works by absorbing light. ZUN, however, has used "Rumia" in a 2004 diary post (although he also used the rather erroneous "Frandre" in the same instance), and even supervised an official correction from "Lumia" to "Rumia". "Rumia" was also used on her Perfect Memento in Strict Sense portrait.
Rumia's design shows that she has red eyes and short blonde hair. She wears a black vest and skirt, and white blouse with a red tie bordered by two large red beads around her neck. She also has small red ofuda tied to the left side of her hair, making it look like a ribbon. However, she can neither touch nor remove the amulet. According to ZUN, her height is that of a human in her early teens (from 10 to 14 years old).
- Embodiment of Scarlet Devil
In the events of Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, Rumia bumps into either Reimu Hakurei or Marisa Kirisame near the Hakurei Shrine during her aimless wanderings and attacks them, as other youkai won't do. She is defeated quickly.
- Shoot the Bullet
Rumia appeared in Shoot the Bullet as a stage 1 target. Aya Shameimaru commented that she had some trouble dealing with her, since she attacked suddenly while in the darkness, and complained about how the photos she got were no good because it was too dark.
- Hopeless Masquerade
- Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red
When interviewed by Aya, Rumia complained that other youkai were coming into her darkness because the article Aya had written suggested they could also avoid the light and heat like her by doing so. She also complained when Aya requested there be enough light for her to take notes, as it seems that being often in the darkness makes Rumia's eyes very sensitive to light. Aya was a bit disappointed that Rumia has no goals in life.
- Oriental Sacred Place
Rumia appears in Oriental Sacred Place to participate in a test of guts being held at the Hakurei Shrine, along with Sakuya Izayoi, Youmu Konpaku, Yuyuko Saigyouji, Wriggle Nightbug, Mystia Lorelei, and Cirno. At that time, she is first seen talking with Mystia and Wriggle, and then within her sphere of darkness while chasing Youmu. She also reappears later in a similar crowd when the Three Fairies of Light were preparing a festival at the Hakurei Shrine. Rumia, however, did not seem like she was part of the preparation and wasn't visible during the festival itself.
- Silent Sinner in Blue
She appears in Silent Sinner in Blue, participating to the party given in the Scarlet Devil Mansion by Remilia Scarlet to celebrate the completion of the rocket that will send Remilia's group to the Moon. While at the party, Rumia is noticed to be talking to Wriggle Nightbug.
Rumia in her mass of darkness from Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red
Rumia and Reimu during the events of Embodiment of Scarlet Devil from Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red
Rumia wondering why Aya Shameimaru doesn't like the pitch-black darkness
Rumia and her magical mass of darkness from Oriental Sacred Place
Rumia's sigil in The Grimoire of Marisa.
- Rumia is known for the memorial "First to Use the Spell Card System™" in the history of shooting games.
- She is also the first official Windows boss of the Touhou Project.
- She is usually drawn with her arms spread out, claiming the pose appears to say, "The saint was crucified."
- Play, Doujin! localizes her name as "Lumia" in their translations, even though ZUN himself and the rest of the Touhou doujin community uses Rumia.
- Rumia's non-spell card attacks and her spell card Moon Sign "Moonlight Ray" are similar to the attacks of Mystic Square's first stage boss, Sara.
- When talking to Rumia during Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, Marisa references the phrase "人類は十進法を採用しました" (Mankind adopted the decimal system). It comes from MORI Hiroshi's novel "誰もいなくなった ～Thirty Little Indians" (Then There Were None ~ Thirty Little Indians) from "まどろみ消去 ～Missing under the Mistletoe" (Slumber Erasing ~ Missing under the Mistletoe).
Coming closer, Fukashi and Yōko waved their hands, then Moe Nishinosono
spread her hands next to her face.
This wasn't the gesture of Man adopting the decimal system.
- The author commented this phrase was put in to show that she didn't spread her arms to the full extent like the character 十, but that she spread her ten fingers as if she'd counted to 10.
- Also, her sigil, shown on The Grimoire of Marisa depicts mistletoe.
- Rumia was one of the characters ZUN wanted to include in Touhou Hisoutensoku. However, she was eventually scrapped.
- Winter Comic Thanks N° 2 (ZUN's Diary's post on 4th January 2004)
- Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red: Rumia Article and Interview
- Perfect Memento in Strict Sense: Rumia Article
- Oriental Sacred Place - Chapter 12
- Visionary Fairies in Shrine - Chapter 9.5
- Visionary Fairies in Shrine - Chapter 11.5
- "The Chief Priest ZUN talks about Mountain of Faith!" Chara☆Mel Vol.3, Ichijinsha, Dec 2007, pp.104-111.
- ZUN's E-Mails
- Strange Creators of Outer World - Interview with Iruka Unabara and ZUN
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