The Old Touhou Games are Actually Really Fun

If you don't know, Touhou is a popular video game series where you have to dodge waves of bullets coming at you from all directions. There are a kazillion official games, and a million more unofficial games, drawings, music, and lots of other works of art (you would be surprised). In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if most of the people who are fans of Touhou have never even played any of the games. Instead, they might like writing stories with the characters, or making drawings or music inspired by them.

Anyways, I randomly decided to try out the really old games from the 90s. I (less than) legally found a copy of Touhou 4 ~ Lotus Land Story and decided to give it a try. It was made for PC-98, a non IBM compatible PC lineup that they used to use in Japan, so it was a bit of a hassle to get it running on a modern machine. I eventually found an emulator called DOSBox-X that let it all work.

Image of Reimu in Touhou Kaikidan (Touhou 5 Mystic Square) dodging bullets from one of Louise's attacks with the straight lazers and triangle things. Image of Reimu taunting Elly after beating her in Touhou Gensoukyou (Touhou 4 Lotus Land Story). Elly has a tear coming out of her eye and she is saying 'I have been beat up, physically and Mentally...' And Reimu is pumping her fist and saying 'Alright, let's go' with a music note next to her text bubble. Image of Reimu when she first meets Orange in Touhou Gensoukyou (Touhou 4 Lotus Land Story). Orange is smiling, saying 'Of course, I'm not human. But...' And Reimu is saying, 'There isn't a single shrine maiden that doesn't exterminate youkai! with an angry face.' Touhou Gensoukyou (Touhou 4 Lotus Land Story) title screen. Marisa is holding a book and looking at her staff as she tries a spell that shoots out lightning along the bottom of the screen. Reimu is watching curiously. The title says in japanese characters Touhou Gensoukyou, followed by the words in english Lotus Land Story. Below that in small purple text is the words English Patch v1.00. There is a menu with 6 choices, Start, Extra start, HiScore, Music Room, Option, and Quit. Start is highlighted. Picture of a floppy disk of the game. There is a print out of a hand drawn picture of Marisa sleeping in Reimu's lap as Reimu watches her on the bottom half of the floppy disk. Beside them in white letters with a black background, it says Touhou Gensoukyou in five japanese kanji characters. The floppy disk is dark blue, turquoise. It's made by Sony, and formatted for IBM PS/2 and compatible computers. It's high density, and below the logo with the information, it says MFD-2HD. A better picture of the cover art for the game. Marisa sleeps on Reimu's lap while reimu watches her. Marisa has her foot on a large Yin Yang shaped ball, and a green vine with two pinkish white flowers sits behind both of them. Beside them vertically in hand written japanese are the words Touhou Gensoukyou.

Some of the screenshots are from from Touhou 5 ~ Mystic Square because I kept dying when trying to take a screenshot in the 4th game.

Yeah, like the title says, it's a fun game. The patterns are almost hypnotic, and the game is a little easier than the newer ones. As someone who is bad at Touhou, that's a good thing for me. I've also been playing the fifth game too, and it's also fun.

As I said, it's kind of hard to get them working on modern hardware, but most of the people who read this blog are techno nerds of some kind. I'm sure you can figure it out. If you are looking for a place to start, don't visit, because that's against copyright law, and breaking the law is bad. If you do want to get the games through proper means, know that only 200 to 300 copies exist. I can't help you there, but good luck. If you are using DOSBox-X, it's easier if you get a hard disk image (.hdi) rather than trying to install them from virtual floppy disks.

I don't know how to end this post, so pretend that there's a good conclusion here.

Note to I2P users: I seem to remember that there was a torrent of the games on tracker2.postman.i2p, but I don't know if it's still there.