Touhou Super Smash Battles
Touhou Super Smash Battles
From Soy Sauce
From Soy Sauce
Trial: January 17, 2015
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Amid the game's controversy, Demo 0.5 featuring Reimu Hakurei and Sakuya Izayoi was quickly released on January 17, 2015. Initial plans were to release the demo after Reimu, Sakuya, Tenshi Hinanawi and Yuuka Kazami's development was completed.
After From Soy Sauce received copyright notice through Indiegogo, tentative plans were made to release the game on the Wii U eShop and Steam as Nansei Doujin Spirit, unrelated to but strongly influenced by Touhou. A release on PC as the original Touhou Super Smash Battles as either a mod or as a separate game developed alongside Doujin Spirit was discussed, but does not seem likely.
Gameplay is similar to Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. series. As in Smash Bros., the goal is to deal enough damage to the opposition to cause a ring out. TSSB incorporates a "Dash" button, allowing users to freely and easily use Super Smash Bros. Melee's Wavedash technique. However, items are excluded. Elements from Tasogare Frontier's official Touhou fighting games are also included, as maneuvers and spells are familiar, such as in the case of Reimu. The heavy danmaku, flight, and grazing that Touhou is known for are also accounted for, while incorporating techniques new to Smash Bros. and Touhou, such as the Overwhelm grab mechanic.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl's Final Smash feature is also included. However, instead of chasing after a Smash Ball and breaking it, it is instead a powerful spellcard using a "full" Smash charge and combo button press that players can only use once. Like Smash Bros., different Final Smashes have different properties. For instance, while Reimu's "Fantasy Heaven" can kill, Sakuya's "The World" merely allows her freeze the battlefield, set up danmaku, and deal high damage when unfrozen, but does not include a kill hit.
Up to 8 player battle, like Super Smash Bros. 4 was planned.
Slated to appear in the game were Sakuya Izayoi, who was the first developed, Reimu Hakurei, Tenshi Hinanawi, and the last confirmed, Yuuka Kazami. Due to the Indiegogo campaign, Shiki Eiki Yamaxanadu, Shinki, Medicine Melancholy, Tewi Inaba, and Rika were confirmed. According to From Soy Sauce, for Doujin Spirit, these characters are due to be expy versions, who will look different enough to satisfy Team Shanghai Alice.
On January 7, 2015, with the launch of an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, From Soy Sauce posted the trailer to YouTube. Following that, on January 21, they announced the cancellation of Touhou Super Smash Battles and relaunch under the name of Nansei Doujin Spirit.
On January 7, 2015, an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign page was posted, detailing plans for the game should it achieve funding. This included up to 15-26 characters, 15-23 stages, Boss Battles, a Smash Bros. Melee-style Classic Mode and Brawl-style Metroidvania Adventure/Story Mode, and the possibility the game would make its way to Wii U's eShop. With each contribution, individual users could receive Perks, such as Character Votes, Stage Votes, Boss Battle Votes, Choice of Boss, Choice of Stage, and with high enough contribution, the selection of "Favorite Maiden", Touhou characters who would automatically be in the game.
In less than a week, the game reached full funding of US $10,000. Characters planned for release after the campaign was finished were the original roster of Reimu Hakurei, Sakuya Izayoi, Tenshi Hinanai, Yuuka Kazami, and as chosen in the campaign, Shiki Eiki Yamaxanadu, Shinki, Medicine Melancholy, and Tewi Inaba. Stages were to include Pandemonium, Garden of the Sun, Hakurei Shrine, Sakuya's Tower, Meiling's Gate, and Inverted Castle.
However, questions were raised in the English Touhou community as to the legitimacy of the campaign in regards to ZUN's copyright policies. Criticism against From Soy Sauce, skepticism, and mixed reception to the game itself emerged. After release of the Indiegogo trailer in Japanese, the story was picked up in the Japanese Touhou community and gaming media. The Japanese reacted similarly to the English community. Further discussion about the differences in the Japanese doujin culture and Western indie game culture also emerged as a result.
In the middle of this, Demo 0.5 featuring Reimu Hakurei and Yuuka Kazami was released. Eventually it was revealed that From Soy Sauce, despite assurances that they had been in talks with Team Shanghai Alice, had not actually succeeded in making contact before the crowdfunding campaign began. Team Shanghai Alice's representative, Fumio Oyamada, then contacted From Soy Sauce and made clear that the funding campaign was not legitimate in accordance with ZUN's policies, but they were otherwise free to produce the game and need not worry about violating copyrights.
After issuing apologies, retractions and explanations, the campaign was cancelled on and contributors reimbursed. Due to Indiegogo policies the campaign page could not be removed from the site except by a copyright claim, though it was rewritten to include an apology in Japanese. A few days later Team Shanghai Alice issued a copyright claim to Indiegogo ordering that the campaign be truly removed, which was forwarded to From Soy Sauce. From Soy Sauce then explained the situation and stated that ZUN had cancelled the game.
However, due to the language used in their explanation, as well as misleading claims on Facebook that a Chinese doujin group had already received ZUN's permission to fundraise for their own Touhou game as part of an official PlayStation 4 contest, the reaction among some was that ZUN was being xenophobic and unnecessarily hostile to western Touhou fans.
Meanwhile, on the ShrineMaiden.org forums, it was explained by From Soy Sauce that through the collection emails received, Team Shanghai Alice had contradicted their previous comments on copyright not being a concern, and thus implicitly forbidden their team from using any Touhou characters ever again. Due to repeated miscommunication and misunderstanding between From Soy Sauce, Team Shanghai Alice, Touhou fans and the gaming community at large during the entire affair, it was asked that the emails from Team Shanghai Alice and Indiegogo be published. However, From Soy Sauce refused, citing violation of privacy laws. Finally, the decision to produce Doujin Spirit was made, pending permission from Team Shanghai Alice or ZUN for Touhou Super Smash Battles to continue. As of now, however, it seems as if only Doujin Spirit will proceed, despite hesitation from commenters.