For more detail on the story see: Touhou ~ Heavenly Clock Cave/Story
Touhou ~ Heavenly Clock Cave is a vertical Danmaku shooter where the player is tasked with taking on 6 consecutive stages (levels) in space with a partner communicating with them from home to investigate a void. 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 tons of damage, but like with Mountain of Faith using them costs 1.00/4.00 power, so they should be used sparingly. 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. While simple, the POC is very important in this game as using it is the only way to gain both lives and power, especially with the addition of Star items. Representing the essence of the cosmos, Star items are items that stay in place and aren't collected using the POC but rather by contacting them while ceasing fire, they are dropped by enemies with a rainbow cosmic essence. Upon collection of a Star item, the POC will go down slightly and will stay in that position, once the POC reaches nearly the bottom of the screen, the player will gain an extra life. Generally this gives the player a choice, will they keep the POC low so Power can be collected easier, or should the POC be reset for more lives.
Arrow Keys - Move
Shift - Focus (slows movement for dodging tense bullet patterns)Z - Fire
X - Bomb
Ctrl - Skip Dialogue
Esc - Pause
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. Even stages the player hasn't cleared yet can be played as long as they've made it to that stage.
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 Last Word 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 Earth
For more on the characters see: Touhou ~ Void in Starry Sea/Characters