For more detail on the story see: Touhou ~ Heavenly Clock Cave/Story
Suddenly, a mysterious darkness plunged Gensokyo
Not only were the stars nowhere to be found, but the land itself also seemed to be slowly deteriorating
Even the great gap youkai couldn't find the problem, it seemed to be in a realm she had no power in; time itself
At this rate, the barrier would be completely purged by darkness if nothing was done about it
Fortunately our heroines were already on investigating the incident and delved into the void; Gensokyo's fate lies on them
All the while one star could be seen, looking down upon it all
Based on the naming alone, Touhou ~ Heavenly Clock Cave is clearly inspired by the tale of Amano-Iwato which translates to Heavenly Rock Cave. Because the game has a "magical steampunk" theme as well, Clock is incorporated into the title to represent this, it also hints towards one of the major characters in the game.
Touhou ~ Heavenly Clock Cave is a vertical Danmaku shooter where the player is tasked with taking on 6 consecutive stages (levels) to bring light back to the land of Gensokyo. Like with Imperishable Night a team system is once again implemented where the player selects a pair of characters as opposed to one, considerable changes are added to improve the system this time. One change is the fact that switching characters is done with the simple press of C, thus the player no longer has to press Shift and focus their movement to play as the secondary character. Each character has their own unique Shot Type which can be powerd-up with Power items, along with thier own Bomb which is capable of clearing bullets and dealing good damage, but like with Mountain of Faith using them costs 1.00/4.00 power, so they should be used sparingly.
This time each character on a team has their very own lives and power gauge, when a character runs out of lives you can no longer use them until either another life is obtained or C is pressed while their down to Life Share effectively giving them one of your lives. Both characters initially have only one life If the player plans on using both characters then it's best they manage to balance both characters' lives and power carefully.
Because the player is technically capable of easily having possibly 8 bombs on them, the power and duration of bombs in general are much shorter in this game just like Subterranean Animism. There is however a way to use stronger bombs; by pressing X' and C at the same time a Team Bomb will be activated, a potent bomb that costs 1.00 power from both characters. Another bombing technique dubbed Death Bombing also returns; if a player bombs right as a bullet contacts them then they will be spared as it activates, but at the cost of the bomb using up 2.00 power.
Should a character travel to the top of the screen and past a certain point called the Point of Collection, all items on the screen will be collected, this is important for obtaining lives. Like in Double Dealing Character if the POC is used while there are a bunch of Point and Power items on the screen then the player will be rewarded with a life piece, a grand total of 8 pieces are needed this time around to amount to a full life. Despite this overwhelming amount, both characters on the team gain a Life Piece for every item bunch collected, so the player basically gets two lives for every 8 pieces.
There is also a new type of item called Clock items, these appear in the forme of bright yellow gears and stay in place instead of falling like other items, they represent the power of time itself. Enemies with a celestial glow will release them upon defeat and collecting them decreases the speed at which items fall, making them easier to collect. One thing to note is that the effect of Clock items are not permanent, so in order to keep the spell active the player must constantly collect them in order to slow their fall speed. These are excellent to slowing time to build up an item bunch before topping the POC to get Life Pieces.
Arrow Keys - Move
Shift - Focus (slows movement for dodging tense bullet patterns)Z - Fire
X - Bomb
C - Swap Character
Ctrl - Skip Dialogue
Esc - Pause
Enter the Darkness
The main game mode, after selecting a difficulty and team the player will go through six stages involving the gameplay mentioned above. Between gameplay sections there is dialogue that takes place between characters as well, the dialogue depends on what team was selected before playing. There are four difficulties, each ramping up the amount of bullets considerately and even adding additional or more difficult spell cards into boss battles, these difficulties are...
- Easy Mode- No lantern required, easy to see and good for beginners
- Normal Mode - For people who play danmaku shooters, it might be a bit hard to see
- Hard Mode - Not recommended for those who are afraid of the dark
- Lunatic Mode - Soon you won't be able to see anything, not intended for anyone
When the game is over either by losing all continues or clearing it, the player will receive an ending, the former result being the bad ending and the latter result being the true good ending.
Enter the Light
- Extra Mode - For those who believe they can reach the stars
A mode where the player can practice any stage they've played before, starting off will all eight lives and with maximum power. This allows the player to prepare for stages they find hard on their next playthrough. Additionally two players can practice with eachother as well with the same rules in Double Start applying. Even stages the player hasn't cleared yet can be played as long as they've made it to that stage in Start or Double Start.
In this mode any Spell Cards attempted in any mode can be taken on and captured. The player may do a spell card with any team on any difficulty they desire, however spell cards exclusive to certain difficulties cannot be acsessed unless that card is reached on that difficulty. If a spell card is cleared on Spell Practice or on any other mode it will be considered "captured" and a comment on the spell card will be unlocked as well. Additionally each boss also has a Mystical Dream spell card, these cards can only be played in this mode and offer an extra difficult challenge worthy of surpassing even Lunatic mode cards, each one can only be unlocked after meeting certain conditions.
When completing a playthrough of any mode without continuing or a Spell Card in Spell Practice the player can record it as a video file and view it at anytime. This mode holds all of such replays and the player can manage and delete them as they please. There are even replays by the test players themselves already on the file by default, to give players tips and strategies on dodging Danmaku.
A room where all of the tracks in the game can be listened to at will, there are 7 stage tracks, 7 boss tracks and 4 others as well to slect from. At default all music in this mode is hidden until encountered in the gameplay to avoid spoilers, but if desired the player can listen to any song they want right from the start of the game. There are also comments of any thoughts and inspirations on the song as well.
Here various story-related things such as the synopsis, character profiles, and unlocked dialogue can be viewed. This information is normally secluded from the game itself and inside the game's files but this time around it's included as a mode so more about the game's characters and story can be discovered without having to rely on outside sources.
Return to reality
For more info see: Touhou ~ Heavenly Clock Cave/Characters
|Shining Team||Reimu Hakurei||Shrine Maiden of Paradise||Human||Capable of flying in the sky|
|Shinyoumaru Sukuna||Inchling of the Shining Needle||Inchling||Capable of using the miracle mallet|
|Magic Team||Marisa Kirisame||Ordinary Magician||Human||Capable of using magic|
|Byakuren Hijiri||The Great Sealed Magician||Youkai||Capable of using magic|
|Desire Team||Mononobe no Futo||Shikaisen from Ancient Japan||Human||Capable of manipulating feng shi|
|Toyosatomimi no Miko||Shoutoku Taoist||Divine Spirit||Capable of listening to ten desires|
|Scarlet Team||Sakuya Izayoi||Maid of the Scarlet Devil Mansion||Human||Capable of manipulating time|
|Remillia Scarlet||The Scarlet Devil||Vampire||Capable of manipulating fate|
|Rumia||Youkai of Darkness||Stage 1 Midboss||Youkai||Capable of manipulating darkness|
|Hanabiko Starcracker||One Starburst in the Dark||Stage 1 Boss||Fairy||Capable of awakening anything|
|Sora Risuko||Messanger of the Gods||Stage 2 Midboss and Boss||Nobusuma||Capable of crossing borders|
|Minor Satellite||One-eyed Doll of Desire||Stage 3 Midboss and Boss||Doll (housing a star spirit)||Capable of reading wishes|