|Ziegs' Fan Game|
Mysterious Space Age
|Developer(s)|| Team Shanghai Alice|
|Publisher(s)||Team Shanghai Alice|
|Single-Player Story Mode|
|Genre(s)||Vertical Danmaku Shooting Game|
|Predecessor||Rebellion in Purgatory|
To see the game's spell cards, check: Touhou: Mysterious Space Age/Spell Cards
As a main Touhou title, Mysterious Space Age has the traditional vertical bullet hell gameplay formula, in which players shoot enemies as they dodge bullets in 6 consecutive stages, as well as an extra stage after completing the main six. Similarly to Imperishable Night, each playable character is accompanied by a partner. However, the way they help is slightly different, and alters the gameplay in a way,which will be explained in a section below. As usual, playable characters start with 3 lives and 2 bombs, the latter being a special attack that not only gives temporal invincibility, but also helps attacking the enemy characters. However, bombs are not to be used consecutively and instead should be activated wisely when actually needed.
Enemy characters consist in a midboss and a boss for each stage, aside from the usual enemies. Each midboss and boss feature Spell Cards, which are special attacks that consist of beautiful danmaku patterns that players have to dodge. If players successfully dodge Spell Cards without being hit once, they get a Spell Card Bonus wich increases their score greatly. Additionally, getting Spell Card Bonuses now grant life pieces and bomb pieces alternatively.
The game features five playable pairs of characters, being: Reimu Hakurei with Yukari Yakumo, Marisa Kirisame with Patchouli Knowledge, Sanae Kochiya with Nitori Kawashiro, Reisen Udongein Inaba with Eirin Yagokoro, and finally, Tenshi Inanawi with Iku Nagae. Each pair of characters feature two different shot types, one for each character. As said previously, the team system has a new addition that is the major change in the game's gameplay. Legacy Mode and Pointdevice Mode return, Legacy Mode being the gameplay all Touhou games have, consisting in clearing stages and trying not to lose all of their lives. And Pointdevicd Mode having stages divided in chapters that work as checkpoints for the player to restart if they get hit. Lives are infinite in this mode.
Like in Double Dealing Character and Rebellion in Purgatory, when the player auto-collects items, either by entering the point of collection or by using a bomb, they will get a bonus item if they gather enough point or power items all at once, the bonus ítem differing between a life piece (in Legacy) or a bomb piece (in Pointdevice).
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 the player has chosen, as well as whether the player is focused or unfocused, with the latter switching to partners' shots.
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. As with Mountain of Faith onward, you don't need to have full power or focus to use the POC - it's always available.
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 are a major source of points in the game. The higher up on the screen you collect them, the more points they are worth, up to a defined maximum. 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.
For Spell Card bonuses, occasionally, 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. Additionally, capturing certain spell cards will reward the player with Last Word spell cards, which are very difficult to clear.
As mentioned previously, character teams now have a special bond between them that aside from letting the partner attack during unfocused mode, it also allows them to split and attack separately for short periods of time depending on how much items and Oxygen they have collected. Oxygen are special, shiny bubble items that increase players' Bond Energy, which can grant them the ability to split more frequently. When both characters split, the partner will be controlled by an AI accordingly to the difficulty chosen. However, a partner's accuracy and agility not only increases with the difficulty, but also with the amount of Oxygen items collected. The partner being hit doesn't substract a life from the player, but it immediately ends the partners' separation and resets the Bond Energy as if the its time limit had finished.
The game revolves around space and astrology themes, and as a such it highly focuses on galaxies and planets. It also takes inspiration from Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom, gameplay and lore-wise. The team system is inspired from Imperishable Night, although developing it even further and adding more elements into it.
As nighttime arrives and our heroine looks up at the night sky, waiting for the stars and the bright moon to appear, she will find out that not even a single star has shined, and even worse, the moon is starting to fade away. What would Gensokyo's, and the whole Earth's fate, be without the moon shining over it? Although our heroine doesn't really know for sure, at least they're aware it would bring terrible consequences. As a such, the heroines head off to find the culprit, which must be from the Lunarian Capital. However, as the Moon has already departed, the journey through space might be a bit longer than expected.
|Barrier Team||Reimu Hakurei||Shrine Maiden of Earth||TBA||Human||Capable of flying in the sky|
|Yukari Yakumo||Boundary of the Sky and the Sea||Youkai||Capable of manipulating boundaries|
|Starry Team||Marisa Kirisame||Magician of the Starry Sky||TBA||Human||Capable of using magic|
|Patchouli Knowledge||The Unmoving Great Library||Magician||Capable of manipulating elements|
|Visionary Team||Sanae Kochiya||Mountain-Dwelling Living God of Miracles||TBA||
|Capable of causing miracles to occur|
|Nitori Kawashiro||Super Youkai Warhead||Kappa||Capable of manipulating water|
|Lunatic Team||Reisen Udongein Inaba||Lunatic Moon Rabbit||TBA||Moon Rabbit||Capable of manipulating insanity|
|Eirin Yagokoro||Brain of the Moon||Lunarian (Goddess)||Capable of making any drug|
|Heavenly Team||Tenshi Hinanawi||Girl of the Sphere of Neither Perception nor Non-Perception||TBA||Celestial||Capable of manipulating earth|
|Iku Nagae||Beautiful Scarlet Cloth||Oarfish Youkai||Capable of reading the atmosphere|
|Tewi Inaba||White Rabbit of Good Fortune||Tewi is the stage 1 midboss.||Earth Rabbit||Capable of conferring good luck to humans|
|The Rabbit who Waits at the Dream Gate||Itsuko is the stage 1 boss. TBA||Moon Rabbit (posing as an Earth Rabbit)||Capable of guiding to different realms|
|The Orbital Lonesome Planet||Maiko is the stage 2 midboss and boss. TBA||Star Spirit||Capable of moving planets and asteroids|
|The Spirit that Dances Beyong the Starry Sea||Astra is the stage 3 midboss and boss. TBA||Star Spirit||Capable of gathering stars|
NOTE: I did NOT compose any of those songs and I do not claim them as mine. Credits to their respective composers.
|Requiem for the Goddess||Title Theme||Maki|
|Alice in Wonderland ~ Girls' Adventures in Universe||Stage 1 Theme||Ryuuou|
|Midnight Vigilante's Invitation||Itsuko's Theme||Frenticpony|
|Unknown Destination ~ The Planetarium of Magnolia||Stage 2 Theme||Ryuuou|
|TBA||Stage 3 Theme|
|Shooting Star from the Never-ending Tale||Astra's Theme||Frenticpony|