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Embodiment of Scarlet Devil

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東方紅魔郷 (とうほうこうまきょう)
the Embodiment of Scarlet Devil
the Embodiment of Scarlet Devil

Team Shanghai Alice


Team Shanghai Alice


Trial: 2002-06-10
Full: 2002-08-11 (Comiket 62)


Vertical Danmaku Shooting Game


Single-Player Story Mode


Windows 98/SE/ME/2000/XP

  • Pentium 500MHz
  • 320MB hard disk
  • Direct3D
  • DirectX 8
  • 4MB VRAM
  • DirectSound
  • SC-88Pro (if MIDI is selected)
  • 32MB RAM
Touhou Series chronology
Mystic Square Embodiment of Scarlet Devil
Perfect Cherry Blossom

Touhou Koumakyou(Scarlet Devil Land) ~ the Embodiment of Scarlet Devil (東方紅魔郷 ~ the Embodiment of Scarlet Devil) is a vertical-scrolling danmaku shoot 'em up, and is the sixth official game in the Touhou Project by Team Shanghai Alice. It is the first to be released specifically for the Windows operating system.


the Embodiment of Scarlet Devil's gameplay holds various fundamental similarities to that of the PC-98 titles and "Seihou", but differs in the introduction of Spell Cards. The pacing has also been changed significantly, but retains some of the PC-98 titles' fast pacing, giving the Embodiment of Scarlet Devil a reputation for having a heightened difficulty compared to other Windows titles. These aspects were, for the post part, removed in "Perfect Cherry Blossom" and "Imperishable Night". A change retained from the PC-98 titles is the "Item Get" feature, which allows the player to collect all items on the screen by moving to the top of the screen, if at full power. This mechanic was retained in all later games.

the Embodiment of Scarlet Devil features two playable characters to choose from with two equipment types each; Reimu Hakurei can cover a wide area of the screen with weaker attacks, while Marisa Kirisame relies on speed and power to make up for a thinner attack spread. Each character and type has its own spell card as well.

Among the Embodiment of Scarlet Devil's similarities to the PC-98 titles is the game containing six stages in total; however, the player is prevented from continuing to Stage 6 from Stage 5 if playing on Easy difficulty.


ZUN's general goal when creating the Embodiment of Scarlet Devil was to stay away from systems appearing in newer shoot 'em ups, which he thought overly complicated the games, and to let the player have fun simply dodging bullets.[1]

When ZUN first started work on the game, it was first titled Touhou Kouchakan (東方紅茶館 lit. "Eastern Scarlet Teahouse"), with the stage 3 theme being in reference to the name. However, ZUN felt the name didn't match the game's story, so eventually it was changed to the Embodiment of Scarlet Devil.[2]

As the first Windows game, the engine was written from scratch using the DirectX API - also making use of some libraries from Amusement Makers. ZUN also apologized for the seeming lack of creativity with things like grunt enemies, citing a lack of manpower while concentrating on building up libraries and tools himself.[3] This particular engine would later be used for the games Perfect Cherry Blossom, Imperishable Night, and Phantasmagoria of Flower View.

ZUN has mentioned in an interview[4] 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").


During a peaceful summer in Gensokyo, an unnatural scarlet mist appears without warning and covers much of the land. It is strong enough to block out the sun, causing the affected areas to become dark and cold. Reimu Hakurei, a shrine maiden working at the Hakurei Shrine, and Marisa Kirisame, a magician, set out to find the source of the mist. Their search will lead them to the Scarlet Devil Mansion and to its eccentric owners...


Similar to Kioh Gyoku, which was released a few months earlier, the soundtrack for this game was originally composed with the Roland SC-88Pro MIDI module. However, before the game's release, ZUN arranged and re-recorded the tracks using the Roland Edirol SD-90, which ZUN purchased in late 2001.[5]

Two separate versions of the soundtrack with seventeen tracks each were included in the game. The WAV version is based on ZUN's later arrangement of the soundtrack, and mark a significant step up from the FM synthesis ZUN used for the PC-98 games. The MIDI version is based on the original compositions, and will only play correctly on an SC-88Pro. Recordings of the MIDI versions made using this module can be found here.

ZUN's aims regarding the game's soundtrack were to give the music a "brighter" feel over the PC-98 games by adding elements characteristic of jazz fusion to the tracks. He goes on to say that Septette for a Dead Princess and U.N. Owen was her? were the songs he most thought of as representative of the Embodiment of Scarlet Devil.[3] Incidentally, these two songs are among the tunes most popular in the fandom.

Shanghai Alice of Meiji 17 and U.N. Owen was her? would later appear in the music album Dolls in Pseudo Paradise, with the former being the original version of the track.[5] Shanghai Scarlet Teahouse ~ Chinese Tea would also be arranged for Changeability of Strange Dream, and Locked Girl ~ The Girl's Sealed Room for Retrospective 53 minutes. U.N. Owen was her? was also arranged for a CD extra that came with the first volume of Strange and Bright Nature Deity, where it was redone to carry a more suitable tone for the manga.

In addition, Tomboyish Girl In Love would later be arranged in Phantasmagoria of Flower View retitled Adventure of the Lovestruck Tomboy.


the Embodiment of Scarlet Devil was first announced on ZUN's website on April 15, 2002, approximately three and a half years after the release of Mystic Square (at this time, it was still being developed under the name "Eastern Scarlet Teahouse" (東方紅茶館 Touhou Kouchakan)[6]). Beginning with an early trial version on June 10, 2002, the trial versions went through a number of revisions until the game's final release at Comiket 62 on August 11, 2002. Patches would be released up until late that November, ending on version 1.02h.

In addition to its normal release, ZUN also released an exclusive Extra stage demo to various Japanese doujin shops. In this version, the last part of the boss is significantly more difficult.[5]


ZUN — Programer, Graphic Designer, Music Composer

Ponchi (pbg) — Program Support

Special Thanks:
and All Test Players
and you...


The characters of the Embodiment of Scarlet Devil continue to rank among the highest in Touhou Project character popularity polls. In particular, Sakuya Izayoi has consistently been among top 4 in the Touhou Popularity Contests held by the Japanese Touhou Wiki since its inception after Comiket 63. Remilia Scarlet and Flandre Scarlet continue to hold significant popularity amongst the Touhou Project fanbase as well. In addition to Septette for the Dead Princess and U.N. Owen was Her?, songs such as Shanghai Alice in Meiji 17 and Shanghai Scarlet Teahouse ~ Chinese Tea gained significant recognition.


English patches

Touhou Community Reliant Automatic Patcher / THCRAP

These patches are a community translation based on Touhou Wiki and the English Touhou Patch Center Portal.
Visit the thpatch game page to find the specific patch contents for Embodiment of Scarlet Devil.

External links




  1. the Embodiment of Scarlet Devil: Afterword — "Touhou Koumakyou brings things back to the starting point, by curbing the game systems that change the difficulty in obscure ways, while focusing on the natural fun of dodging bullets at the same time."
  2. ZUN (11 August 2005). "幻想の音覚" (in Japanese). 東方文花帖 ~ Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red: 22. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 the Embodiment of Scarlet Devil: Afterword
  4. "The Chief Priest ZUN talks about Mountain of Faith!" Chara☆Mel Vol.3, Ichijinsha, Dec 2007, pp.104-111.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 ZUN's reply to messages on the former Gensou Bulletin Board 1
  6. Shanghai Scarlet Teahouse comment in Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red p.22