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Let's Play: Touhou Labyrinth (Warning, lots and lots of images!)


Milkyway64

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Yep, a Let's Play. As you may gather from the warning, this isn't going to be a standard video-with-voice Let's Play, but rather one done through text and screenshots. Got it? Good. Let's play Touhou Labyrinth!

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So right away we are greeted to a pink-blue title screen with the essentials. Naturally we have no game to load, and quitting would make this the shortest Let's Play ever, so it's time to start a new game.

Right away we have a man talking about how bad it is... wherever he is standing. He then proceeds to blame some youkai, a "monster" so to speak- you know what, it'd be much easier for all involved to let the screens talk while I serve as the glossary for you guys.

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Hold up!

Reimu is the main character of the touhou series and also kind of a douche. The "border" is her responsibility. What the border is isn't exactly clear, but it separates the world of Gensokyo from the rest of the world. Carry on, Mister.

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Ooooh, foreshadowing. I wonder what he could have found- wait, no I don't. I don't even know what the big problem IS. This guy's monologue couldn't be any vaguer, so to avoid ending up exactly like him I promise to stay informative and clear on all my ramblings here. First thing I'd like to clear up is this opening sequence is probably going to be the single longest chapter of this LP there is, so buckle down. Second is, due to it being so long, not each and every dialogue box is going to be posted. Third is that both of the previous two points may be totally ignored or wrong at any time during the course of this Let's Play.

Carrying on, we get a change of scenery. And yes, the character art in this game is going to be all over the place, because the character portraits are customizable and frankly, I didn't feel like getting each and every one to match with each other.

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Meet Reimu. She's a jerk and also happens to be God. Her hobbies include kicking everyone's ass and making them have tea with her.

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And apparently make slaves of them.

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The SDM, or "Scarlet Devil Mansion" is the residence of the local vampire, Remilia Scarlet. Sakuya is the chief maid of the mansion, and probably the only one at that.

Yes, this already makes her more awesome than the average Twilight vampire.

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Hey look, she actually did it. Seeing as this household probably doesn't LIKE Reimu much, I can only conclude that everyone is scared absolutely shitless of her. What a TYRANT.

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By the way, you can see what I mean by the differing art styles here.

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Settle some troubles? More like beat you up and made you her personal bitch, mirite?

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...because there's NO WAY you can have someone live at your house for a month and not notice. We all know what's going on, "Mistress of the Night."

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Even Sakuya calls her out.

Remilia's pride is under pressure, so she goes off for a little girl talk.

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I love how she's so casual about it. Like she owns the place.

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Uh oh! Watch your mouth, your life depends on it!

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Rage perhaps? Maybe shame at realizing it's true? Certainly it's not...

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Kinky? I either do, or do not like the direction this conversation is going.

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On second thought, now that the maid is involved it's totally all right. =P

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Wait for it... Wait for it...!

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AND MONEY SHOT! ...Wait, what?

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Remilia seems to be as disappointed as I am. Moving on, I guess.

Okay, I think I'm alright now. So an earthquake happens and we get a change of scenery, coming out to...

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No! Don't spoil the atmospheric and fitting BGM with your weird-

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I hate you, Sakuya.

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A black hole? That's kinda what this SOUNDS like.

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"Go mercilessly beat whoever is responsible, which is most likely Yukari!

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Because Reimu doesn't even do what she likes doing best if it benefits anyone else.

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Huh? Who's that calling from off screen? Show yourself!

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Oh. It's Mister Foreshadow.

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He has a NAME?

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He owns a SHOP?

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Mister Foreshadow here takes being around a vampire very well, actually. Although I suppose she's nothing compared to a black hole in the sky getting bigger and bigger the more these guys waste time.

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...And continues to do so without end.

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...To the point of having to make a retreat before anything relevant can be said.

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Back inside with us. Now can we please learn something?

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...Nope. Because this is totally going to distract everyone and-

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Ah I knew it.

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We KNEW this -whoawhoawhoa who are you?

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It's Patchouli Knowledge, the mansion librarian. More importantly, I totally called Yukari doin' it.

Let's talk a little about Yukari. She's an od character who sleeps all the time and is possibly even more hax than Reimu, seeing as she can manipulate reality itself. See, all the characters in this game have an X-Men effect going on where they all have their own ridiculous power. More on this when the game actually starts.

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Oh boy. You have to be kidding me. Is Gensokyo full of LEMMINGS or something? Is going inside a freakin' black hole the reasonable thing to do when it starts ripping your atmosphere apart?! This game, and all it's characters, are out of their freakin' minds.

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Speaking of things that's pissing me off about this plot, YOU have yet to explain anything.

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Good man.

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Or not. Stop saying things we already know, jackwad.

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Glad to see someone's as big of a geek as I am. Disappointed to see someone so totally disconnected with reality that they don't understand the seriousness of an all-consuming rift in space hovering just above her.

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Moral of the story, mooching off other people will get your house destroyed.

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A single one? I have several, but what do I know?

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...But thankfully, her question here might answer a whole lot of the ones I had at once. Spill it, buddy!

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Eh... Kinda shaky, but it's an okay explanation. I got my eyes on you, though.

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How dare someone go on vacation!

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...But she can fly, screw with the laws of nature, do anything the hell she wants, and can summon a DAMNED TRAIN FROM MIDAIR.

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Ex-ACT-ly.

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You know, I'm starting to like Sakuya more and more. She always seems to push things along by asking questions that make SENSE.

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Sense that is in sharp contrast to Mr. Foreshadow, here.

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Yeah, forget what I said about you, Sakuya.

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News flash. It's a BLACK HOLE. They probably ALREADY- oh nevermind.

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No! But Reimu, this game is IMPOSSIBLE without you! Besides, your filling of the first slot at the bottom of the screen already tells us you're not really leaving.

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There was some bits before this, but it contributed nothing that just skipping to this wouldn't. This opening sequence goes out of it's way to stall.

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Too bad. You're coming or this Let's Play would end prematurely thanks to the frustration of the player.

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Mister Foreshadowing here gets off scott-free though.

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Whew. Finally, finally, FINALLY that's all done. Now we can actually get to the game, or rather, I would if this didn't exhaust me as is. Next update we'll explore our base in Gensokyo before heading off to the first (and last) dungeon of the game, and actually start PLAYING. This has been Let's Play Touhou Labyrinth, until next time!

Next Time, On Let's Play Touhou Labyrinth

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I ****ing hate this game.

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If you are going to do lets play, do it as a video.

I would, but my sound card doesn't like having stereomix and mic input on at the same time. Besides, text LP's have their place.

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I would, but my sound card doesn't like having stereomix and mic input on at the same time. Besides, text LP's have their place.

If you are doing the comentry after the fact, it shouldn't be a problem. If you want to talk over your game as you play, that's a more complex matter, esp on Vista/7.

Also, the only good let's play I've seen is the giant bomb persona 4 endurence run, which isnt even a real endurence run. The Linkara StarTrek one is ok, but that's about it. There was a Fallout 3 endurence run on youtube that is gone now. Lacking in the number of jokes, but what little there was was great.

I am told I have a knack for MSTing, and tried it myself, but in each case the game itself was unstable. Plus for a truely great let's play/endurence run you need at least 2 people to catch things the other missed, and to bounce off of without sounding smug.

On a related note, there's this whch arguably popularized endurence runs.

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If you are doing the comentry after the fact, it shouldn't be a problem. If you want to talk over your game as you play, that's a more complex matter, esp on Vista/7.

Also, the only good let's play I've seen is the giant bomb persona 4 endurence run, which isnt even a real endurence run. The Linkara StarTrek one is ok, but that's about it. There was a Fallout 3 endurence run on youtube that is gone now. Lacking in the number of jokes, but what little there was was great.

I am told I have a knack for MSTing, and tried it myself, but in each case the game itself was unstable. Plus for a truely great let's play/endurence run you need at least 2 people to catch things the other missed, and to bounce off of without sounding smug.

On a related note, there's this whch arguably popularized endurence runs.

You apparently don't know much about LPs. Text LPs (Text Plays as I call them) are far, FAR better suited for strategy and RPG styled games, especially dialogue heavy ones like Fire Emblem or Final Fantasy. People do -NOT- want to watch 10+ minutes of you MOVING ACROSS A MAP while you ramble. They want to actually see the game played if you make a video, ergo RPGs and strat games make shitty choices for video LPs, but shine in text ones.

Also, a large amount of spontaneous conversation is lost when doing post-video voice overs, which also hurts video LPs.

My 56k :'(

It says WARNING IMAGES in the title. Why would you click this if you knew it was coming??

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You apparently don't know much about LPs. Text LPs (Text Plays as I call them) are far, FAR better suited for strategy and RPG styled games, especially dialogue heavy ones like Fire Emblem or Final Fantasy. People do -NOT- want to watch 10+ minutes of you MOVING ACROSS A MAP while you ramble. They want to actually see the game played if you make a video, ergo RPGs and strat games make shitty choices for video LPs, but shine in text ones.

Also, a large amount of spontaneous conversation is lost when doing post-video voice overs, which also hurts video LPs.

It says WARNING IMAGES in the title. Why would you click this if you knew it was coming??

I know quite a bit about let's plays. I know that the trend started with a few videos, before a forum (something awful i believe) made them popular and gave them the let's play name. Endurence Runs have been a gaming staple for years, often called gaming marathons, but over time Endurence Run became the term for a narrated marrathon.

Text plays lack the spontanious tone as well as being bloody dull. Living in Oblivion managed it because of how the guy was playing. ie. Not normally. It was the thoughts and results of his adventures, not the commentry.

True, long grinding sections are bad, but it's the story scenes that are best. In Giant Bomb Persona 4 for example, the gameplay sections are boring whereas the story and sociallizing sections are great. In the fallout out one, the long wasteland walks were tedious, yes, but because there was always 2 or more, listening to them as their minds drifted towards random crap was great. "Ergo" RPGs are great LP and Endurence Run (I will call them ERs or just assume that are part of a LP) because they have alot of terrible story, the combat can have imput from all the hosts as they bounce ideas off each other, and there mind can wander allowing for hillarious tangents.

If people want to see the game without distraction, then watch the game without the git talking over the top. Or better yet, play the game themselves. If they want purchasing advice, they will watch a review. If they want entertainment, they -WILL- want to listen to your funny or interesting off topic rambles. Going back to persona 4 again, on some of the gameplay episodes are dull, even to the players, so they go on rambles about other games, talk about deliveries, or go on off topic rambles about why a ghost cop has a key in his belly. Halo might have more explosions, but that isn't entertaining if you're here to watch comedy.

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I know quite a bit about let's plays. I know that the trend started with a few videos, before a forum (something awful i believe) made them popular and gave them the let's play name. Endurence Runs have been a gaming staple for years, often called gaming marathons, but over time Endurence Run became the term for a narrated marrathon.

Text plays lack the spontanious tone as well as being bloody dull. Living in Oblivion managed it because of how the guy was playing. ie. Not normally. It was the thoughts and results of his adventures, not the commentry.

True, long grinding sections are bad, but it's the story scenes that are best. In Giant Bomb Persona 4 for example, the gameplay sections are boring whereas the story and sociallizing sections are great. In the fallout out one, the long wasteland walks were tedious, yes, but because there was always 2 or more, listening to them as their minds drifted towards random crap was great. "Ergo" RPGs are great LP and Endurence Run (I will call them ERs or just assume that are part of a LP) because they have alot of terrible story, the combat can have imput from all the hosts as they bounce ideas off each other, and there mind can wander allowing for hillarious tangents.

If people want to see the game without distraction, then watch the game without the git talking over the top. Or better yet, play the game themselves. If they want purchasing advice, they will watch a review. If they want entertainment, they -WILL- want to listen to your funny or interesting off topic rambles. Going back to persona 4 again, on some of the gameplay episodes are dull, even to the players, so they go on rambles about other games, talk about deliveries, or go on off topic rambles about why a ghost cop has a key in his belly. Halo might have more explosions, but that isn't entertaining if you're here to watch comedy.

LPs are about balance. Too much random bullshit for the sake of humor sacrifices the integrity of the game, at which point you wonder why the game is being played in the first place. Dullness is subjective, if you have some freetime and want to read some smartass insight to a completely balmy game, then this Text Play is for you. If you don't like Text Plays in general, that's fine, but demanding videos is lunacy, especially when 90% of the LP community prefer Text Plays for this type of game genre. Videos have to be visually stimulating, not just fun to listen to. It's called "Let's Play", not "Lets Ramble into a Microphone while video game footage runs in the background".

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It's come to my attention that some people think I should do this in a video. Too bad. It's not only difficult for me at the moment, but I do feel this way is better for this particular game over all.

Have we come to terms with this? Yes? Groovy. Before I start, I do notice a legitimate problem. The amount of screenshots posted in this topic is going to be way, waaaayyy too much if it just stays on this page. If anyone has some suggestion to break it up into easier-loaded pages, let me know. Back to the game.

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This is Gensokyo, our humble home and base. We'll be seeing this place a lot, and manuevering through it is a lot like a Phoenix Wright game. We don't need any of this junk so we're heading straight into the maze. Leeeeerooooy

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Jeeeenkins!

...So yeah, you all already know the outcome of this (Hint, it was at the end of last chapter)

Let's rewind and get comfortable with our resources. Let's skip around a little and go to the mansion. This is where we'll assemble our party. It's not that important right now since we only have 5 characters, but later our 12 slot party (front lines, 8 reserve) isn't going to be enough. The remainder will go in here.

However, a big reason why rushing to the dungeon didn't work out so well was because at the moment only Reimu and Marisa are in the active party. We have to pull the other three out if we want to stand a chance.

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Sorry Sakuya, you're in reserve while the other four have fun.

So let's talk about the characters and party formations. You may have noticed that I kicked Reimu out of slot one in favor of Remilia. This is because the left most slot has the highest chance of being attack as well as takes the most damage from row attacks. Likewise, the right most slot is rarely hit and takes very little damage from row attacks, with the middle two slots scaling up or down. Ideally, you want a tank in slot 1 (leftmost) and maybe two while more frail members will stay in slot 3 and 4. You'll NEED to do this, too, because most characters cannot take very much before biting the dust. Even our first random encounter could one-round me right now, that is, if I wasn't equally as dangerous to them.

I'll talk about battles and individual character strengths and moves when we enter the dungeon. Let's press that handy B button and go back to Gensokyo, shall we? Next we're going to enter the magic library even though there's very little to do in there.

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The Magic Library belongs to Patchouli here. It's technically also inside the SDM despite the list treating them as two different places.

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No, I didn't actually. Well maybe I did, but you all didn't, so bear with me.

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Ah, fourth wall breaking. Your company is constant.

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Now THAT's a lazy way to handle a tutorial.

So I actually go to the game folder and read over the manual. I suppose this way is more thorough, but I'm still pissed at how much this broke the immersion in the game, as if the repeated battering of the fourth wall wasn't enough. Thirty minutes later and much more educated, I come back only to have my rage rekindled on discovery that there actually is a tutorial past that box. This means that my poor explanation I spent an hour typing out for you guys is utterly obsolete in the face of the much cleaner, in-game one.

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The TL;DR version of my explanation. Basically, skillpoints buy permanent stat boosts.

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But hey, who am I to hold a grudge against people who give me presents?

It's too early to worry about this for right now, so back to gensokyo with us, and into the Hakurei Shrine!

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Reimu doesn't hold back in repeatedly making an ass of herself.

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"Haah?" Sounds like a noise I'd make if I saw a burgular too. By the way, who didn't see this coming?

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Actually... I don't. This is the one character in this game I'm certain has never been in any official Touhou work.

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And for good reason. Even Touhou isn't retarded enough for a "level goddess."

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I mentioned that every character in this series had some sort of power, right? No cookies for guessing her's.

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You were right! Congratulations! Still no cookie though.

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She's useless to us right now, though. If she's a goddess, though, why can't she just do it anyway?

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Reimu's late to the party.

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So there's nothing to do here right now. We're almost ready, just gotta stop by Akyu's House and save our long, tiring work of reading informative cutscenes.

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And trigger another in doing so.

I'm sure we're all getting sick of these, so I'll cut to the chase. If you must know what they talked about before this, it was about how awesome push-pops are.

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Because it's going to happen. period.

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Right, because Touhou games are required by law to be difficult. This one is no exception.

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Now that the dialogue is out of the way, it's clear that we go here to save our game. Buuttt, there's actually more to it than that. Observe.

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From top to bottom, we have the obvious Save Game and Load Game, but then comes something interesting. BGM select gives you two options. Option 1 is the BGM from versions 1 and 2 of Touhou Labyrinth. For the most part, they are original compositions and do their job, although very little of it will be having you humming after you turn the game off. Option 2 is the new BGM set, which replaces all menu and battle themes with Touhou remix alternatives. For the most part these are better than the original set, but that's a given seeing how the main Touhou series has had some of the best videogame music of all time. Seriously.

Moving on, we also have a "sell equipment" option. You can exchange excess items for skillpoints, simply enough. This is as good a time as any to explain how equipment works. It can come in all shapes and sizes, from weapons and armor to odd artifacts, but they all fall under one category. Everything works like the "accesory" slot from most RPGs ergo, equiping a sword to Reimu will not actually change her standard attack but rather just alter her stats, like maybe upping her speed and attack stats but lowering defense. Every character has three slots for any equipment you deem worthy of them having and they are the next most important things after levels and skillpoint allocation.

So now that the game is saved, it's time to go into the dungeon itself. Behold!

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THE FEARSOME ROAD... hewn by nature?

Well this was certainly different than I had in mind. Pre exploration dialogue!

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Hey! A Final Fantasy V reference! This game just skyrocketed in coolness. =D

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Our heroines' motivation is reliably strong.

Time to get crackin'. This is the map screen. Most of the map itself is hidden and will fill in as we explore. Adjacent tiles from our position gets filled in on the map, which can be viewed in whole with the X button (going by SNES controller layout.) Encounters are random and the chance of finding one increases with every step, the exact chance of which can be seen in the lower left. I forgot to get a screenshot, but you guys are not babies and can deal. Anyhow, it's not long before or first battle occurs!

The battle system is a standard turned-based ATB system. Everyone has a bar that slowly fills and, and the first to get full gets first strike. Remilia happens to be lucky number one in this fight!

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Here we have her moveset. Aside from a standard attack (which is useless and ONLY a last resort, most of the time it'll do no damage unless you're SEVERELY overleveled, at which point it's only pitiful) she has Spear the Gungnir and Curse of Vlad Tepes. Pretty underwhelming, and it's going to stay that way forever. Nobody learns any new moves in the entirety of this game, what they come with is all they'll ever have. That said, no two characters share the same spell, so there's each and every character has their use no matter where you are in the game and, most of the time, a character's movelist determines their tier list placement.

Back on track, I'll walk through the characters in battle. Remilia is probably my favorite party member in the game. She's ALWAYS useful, being the rare type to soak up damage and dish it back equally as hard. Spear the Gungnir is above-average in power, but Remilia's real strength is in her curse. It's a self buff that almost doubles all her stats except speed at the cost of poisoning and paralyzing herself. That may sound crippling, but this is a game of strategy and team synergy, so as soon as we have someone who can cure status ailments it'll see a lot of use. For now it's best to just use the spear.

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The animations in this game are certainly flashy.

Reimu's next. Let's look at her list.

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Certainly a step up from Remilia, no? Let me go ahead and say that Reimu is, objectively, one of the best party members in the game. Out of anyone, Reimu is the one person who should NEVER leave your party, ever. She's too useful, boasting not only good stats and growths but a very versatile set of spells. Yin yang orb, evil sealing circle, and fantasy seal are going to be the only (and best) SPIrit elemental attacks in your arsenal for a long, long while, and on top of that ESC paralyzes at a good frequency. Excorsizing Border is the only decent group-heal spell in the entire game, and Great Hakurei Barrier is for what it's worth a great party-wide buff, raising Defense and Mind by 50%.

By the way, all buffs (capping at 100%) and debuffs (Capping at 50%) have a decay on them. Every action a character makes, her/it's stat tweaks will gradually return to normal at a rate of 1/5th per round. This means the highest buff anyone can have on their action is 80%. You may also be thinking, through all this talk of stats, that I've yet to explain them. That's because I wanted to wait until my first level ups.

Moving on, Reimu wiped the floor with the encounter, so the other three characters will have to wait until later. Meh. Taking my EXP (all front liners get 100% of the total, reserve members get 90. Those at the SDM get 80% so nobody really falls far behind, thankfully) and skillpoints, it's time to move on.

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Ack! I ran into this... symbol all of a sudden!

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I can't help but feel like this is directed at me as a person now.

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No kidding.

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Ironically, Patchy does even that better than Marisa as well.

With that out of the way, it's time to go exploring. The place is full over branching paths and I can't see more than an inch in front of my face. Lovely. Nothing very interesting is happening, just the occasional encounter when THIS happens.

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Enter the TP system. Finishing battles is tiring, especially if you get injured while doing so. At the end of a fight, every character on the front line has between 1 and 4 TP removed from her total, depending on her remaining HP. HP regenerates to max between fights, so it's a fair penalty, but poor Patchy here only has 8. Since she's run out, she's out of the party, achieving a similar effect to her dying.

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No revival spells in this game. Much like Fire Emblem, it serves you well to make sure nobody is ever in any danger of dying. However, unlike fire emblem, deaths are not permanent. Your characters will be back next time you leave the dungeon.

Since we've already lost Patchy, may as well leave and wrap this up.  Picking the bottom option on that list is all it takes to return to safety, and thankfully so. Having to walk out would be hellish.

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Ta daa~

I could get to leveling my characters and stuff now, but I'm pooped. That's a task for another day, I'm saving and quitting now. This has been Let's Play: Touhou Labyrinth, good night.

Next Time, on Let's Play Touhou Labyrinth

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We actually get somewhere!

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LPs are about balance. Too much random bullshit for the sake of humor sacrifices the integrity of the game, at which point you wonder why the game is being played in the first place. Dullness is subjective, if you have some freetime and want to read some smartass insight to a completely balmy game, then this Text Play is for you. If you don't like Text Plays in general, that's fine, but demanding videos is lunacy, especially when 90% of the LP community prefer Text Plays for this type of game genre. Videos have to be visually stimulating, not just fun to listen to. It's called "Let's Play", not "Lets Ramble into a Microphone while video game footage runs in the background".

See, what you are doing there is strawmanning my argument and claiming your preference is the the best/most popular one when in my experence it isnt. Games move and are typicaly hours long. RPGs have alot of story, but any game has some downtime. Even if we pick an action game like halo, still of combat are not engauging and also easy to fake. To use your tone, it's called "Let's Play" not "Let's post lots of obviously posed screenshots with horribly written text we are sopposed to believe was writen on the fly and so badly put together that any worthwile entertainment is buried beneath an investment so massive no one is going to bother"

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See, what you are doing there is strawmanning my argument and claiming your preference is the the best/most popular one when in my experence it isnt. Games move and are typicaly hours long. RPGs have alot of story, but any game has some downtime. Even if we pick an action game like halo, still of combat are not engauging and also easy to fake. To use your tone, it's called "Let's Play" not "Let's post lots of obviously posed screenshots with horribly written text we are sopposed to believe was writen on the fly and so badly put together that any worthwile entertainment is buried beneath an investment so massive no one is going to bother"

I'm strawmanning? You say Text LPs are dull and need to be videos; I am saying that text LPs are very much accepted and welcomed form of Let's Plays. I -have no- preference for LPs. YOU are the one saying YOUR preference is better, because you say that this should be a video. And I don't even know what you mean by "faking", all you do is take screenshots and write ammusing commentary about them. Its little more than an article with an overdose of images.

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Wow.....a LOT of images!

Yes. User has suggested that I break the posts up in order to force the next page earlier, that way it doesn't clutter a single page with four updates worth of images.

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Wow.....a LOT of images!

I have a very fast home Internet connection and it took this page a full 10+ seconds to load.  >_>

Since there is 15 posts per page (set in SMF by default) someone keep posting until we hit page two (kidding), and THEN Milky can...you know...break up his single posts into sections maybe?

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Right. I'm going to start limiting 10 pictures per post. Let's go.

So before we head back, I have some things to take care of and more explaining to do.

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So here's all the stats, particularly those belonging to Remilia. HP, Attack, and Defense are all obvious, as are Magic and Mind (Magic defense). SP are "spell points" or your mana, TP is battle endurence, speed is another obvious one as well. Pretty basic stuff.

Then we get to Evasion. This is the most simple stat in the game, because it doesn't work. No attack will ever, ever miss. There is nothing anything can evade, even your own characters. Below that, we have the six elemental affinities. These are like specialized Mind. FIR affinity reduces damage from fire attacks (signified by red text in the attack's name), as does CLD for Ice and Water attacks (shown as blue.) Likewise, we have WND for air and lightning attacks (yellow) NTR for grass and rock (green) SPI for light magic and spirit (light blue) and MYS for dark magic and... dark magic. (purple.) Affinities are very important, especially how easily they can be madeeffective. How it works is 100 in any score is flat out neutral,anything below is a weakness and anything higher is resistance. I'm not too savvy on the formulas, but 50 causees you to take double damage from that element, while 200 halves it. The max is 500, which I believ is 1/5th the total damage from that element. This means that generally, after 200 you don't have to worry about an affinity anymore, as it's too much work for a not-that-great difference.

Lastly we have ailment resistances. The four main ones are Paralysis, Poison, Silence, and Death. All four are very, very dangerous and should be avoided. They all do exactly like they sound like they would do, but somehow even worse. Poison, for instance, will drain 1-3 HP every MILLISECOND. You can see how that'd add up very, very quickly, even though it does not feel that effective on bosses. Paralysis is the most tame, simply stopping a character for some amount of time. Generally, you'll be the one paralyzing the enemy rather than the other way around. Silence is the one ailment you can not afflict on enemies, and it's IMO the worst one you can get. Not many enemies have it, so when it hits you are almost always unprepared. It also has this evil tendency to always work on characters who need it least, like Patchy. Not fun. Finally, Death. Quite simply, it kills whatever is hit by it. Fortunately, not a lot of enemies have this either and unlike silence, lots of characters have a natural resistance to it. Unfortunately, this also means most mosters and all bosses as well. The fifth ailment is "statdrop" or debuffs. I explained this one earlier. Now for how they work. Every point in your resistance score is 3% chance to resist, or something like that. 35 is close enough to total immunity, anything higher is overkill. Ailment resistances, as well as SP recovery, can only be increased with equipment.

By the way, SP recovery determines how much SP you recover when focusing. This is completely obvious, but it lies. Remilia here has a written 28% rate, when she actually has much, much less than that. I don't know exactly how it works, but I once pumped that number to over 160%, and I was only actually getting 40-ish percent back. What I'm trying to say is, this stat is best ignored. If you can increase it, great, but only do it if it's a side effect of some equipment that raises something more important.

Anyhow, with more beefy characters it's time for round 2. I go through some nonchalant exploring, when I find my next event.

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Hey, it's... uh... that one boss from that other touhou game!

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Oh, right. This is Chen, a cat-human thing that's really a summon for someone else. This means she's as much as a person as Shiva is in any given Final Fantasy.

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And this is who. "That Fox," Ran Yakumo, is Chen's owner. However, Ran herself is ANOTHER summon for Yukari. Kinda messed up.

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So naturally, the heroines pick a fight anyway. This drives poor Chen into running away.

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Well, at the end of the day this was a big waste of time. Time to return to gensokyo to restock, and when I go back in there's another event near the spawn.

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You know, I've been running out of things to say during these. I don't know if I'm bored with them or what.

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Maybe it's because it's just... weird.

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Just... no comment.

While the heroines were talking about nonsense, Chen got away AGAIN. Oh well, time to move on, I guess. This game doesn't take itself seriously at all, at this point it's just stopped trying- oh hey, another event!

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...Another pointless conversation. Well, I suppose it's shown that Remilia is afraid of things that cry. Maybe something else, but I dunno.

Actually, I found another related event.

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"Her?"

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Whoever "she" is, she's apparently a slacker. Sounds a lot like the SDM's gatekeeper, Hong Meiling.

So just a little further ahead is another event icon. Kinda. This one has a purple demon head, signifying... a boss fight?

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...With crybaby Meiling. Why?

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Oh. Because she only went psycho and has gone on a murder spree.

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Okay, so maybe she's only stupid. Surely she can be reasoned with?

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Nope...

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Boss time!

Meiling opens the battle by punching her mistress in the FACE.

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...for 63 damage. Underwhelming, really.

Meiling is weak, nothing more to it. As the first boss, she's nothing particularly threatening. She just has a lot of HP, so she'll actually live long enough for the other three characters to actually get a turn.

That's right, Meiling's big scary boss fight is only going to be more informative character discussion.

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Marisa. She has damage spells and a self-magic buff. Earthlight ray is for the most part worthless, as Asteroid Belt is all she needs for exploration. Magic Missile is good for very early game, but Master Spark is what Marisa's all about. Basically, it's a big-ass nuke that drains all of Marisa's SP for obscene amounts of damage. Later on, this will be all Marisa is good for. She'll buff herself, run to the back lines to slowly recover her SP, then come back again to unleash the spark, going back again to recover her SP for the next bomb.

Marisa's stats support this strategy. She is a glass cannon through and through, Marisa does not, and will never, be able to take many hits. Despite that, Marisa is a valuable asset to have around and certain bosses revolve around surviving until Marisa is ready again. Good character.

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Patchy is like Marisa, but not. She's a straight black mage, focusing entirely on nuking people down with elemental spells and taking magic hits like nobody's business. Patchy is a great magic tank despite her HP, for the majority of the game she'll be taking 0 damage from everything excpet physical attacks. This means, since physical moves rarely hit slot four, she's a reliable constant frontliner.

Patchy's spells are basic element party-wide magic, including a weaker WND, NTR, and CLD, and one strong FIR nuke. Royal Flare is one of the best fire spells in the entire game, and probably the best multi-target without question. Her last spell, Silent Selene, is a single-target non elemental. It's useful because it ignores a lot of enemy defense and mind, so it almost always does good damage.

Meiling is close to dying at this point, Sakuya might have to-

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Nevermind. Thank you, Meiling.

Anyway, Sakuya.

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Unlike the others, she's... not so great. She's sub par offensively, so she's only really good for her speed buffs. Misdirection and Killer Doll aren't worth it, while Soul Sculpture is only good for exploring. Lunar Clock is the afforementioned buff, laying a full 50% speed buff on the party. Kinda nice.

ZA WARUDO is another speed buff, but only for herself and it's a full 100%. This, coupled by switching people in and out to in turn buff them is Sakuya's biggest use. It's nice, but most of the time, it just feels like someone better could be filling her spot.

Meiling died, and not a moment too soon. More dialogue, but I'll spare you all the headache and cut to the chase.

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He he. Yep, it's happening.

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Meiling joins the party!

I'm tired, so I'm going to run through her and wrap this up. Meiling is the first tank character we get. She's a wall with very little offensive potential, at least, indirectly.

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Meiling boasts high HP and defense, with enough mind to make it by. She has meh attack and even more meh attack spells. Mountain Breaker is a weak defense-piercing attack, light gem is basically that without defense piercing. Yawn. However, Colourful rain is a self-sustaining heal move, so Meiling does not have to rely on anyone to stay alive. Healer is a very weak healing spell that can be used on anyone, it's never really enough to be good, but it has a side effect. It cures PAR, PSN, and SIL.

Remember what Remilia's Curse of Vlad Tepes did? That's right, Meilings inclusion just made Remilia a beast.

It's time to wrap this up. I would get another fancy preview for next time, but I'm too lazy. This has been Let's Play Touhou Labyrinth. See you next time!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Alrighty, coming back to this after a week or so. We last left off at acquiring Meiling, but there's more to be found. Back into the dungeon with us!

So I run around some more, take out some monsters, get experience, the usual stuff. Then I run into another event.

You know, the dialogue in this game is very tiring. It goes out of it's way to make filler. This is especially apparent in the conversation about the blood stained seal. It's about 45 messages of what I can sum up in one sentence; "Lol this is dangerous, don't touch because it'll trigger a boss fight!"

...Actually... a curveball was thrown at me. It does indeed say that, but it's a SEAL. We can't get into it. How do we do that? Let's ask the playable Instruction Manual.

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Understood! brb

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The result I got was interesting and not exactly helpful, like most things on Urban Dictionary. Take a look;

break the seal

January 29, 2006 Urban Word of the Day

The point at which you first piss after you have been drinking your favorite alcoholic beverage and at this point you will be pissing every ten minutes

Well that was a bust. Turns out, you just touch it, which Marisa does without the player's permission. Thankfully, nothing happens except Reimu feels the power coming from the seal dissipate.

Moving on from that waste of time, I found Chen again. It's more of the same. she goes "Gah!" party goes "Grab her" but this time Chen's like "NO! I happen to be standing in a room that makes me strong!" and then the game is like "Boss fight!"

And said boss fight is the reason I neglected this thread. It killed me a while back in the middle of an update and sent me a long while back. Killed my mojo, it did. Chen is kinda hard unless you level up to like 7 or 8. Chen is fast and goes three times for your 1, can buff her own attack, and generally be ANNOYING. Thankfully she only has like 3000 HP and goes down very fast, although I lost everyone but Remilia trying to take it down.

After the fight, we get what appears to be dialogue that actually pushes the plot somewhere.

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So that's one more party member. I forgot to get her spell list up, but I can sum it up. Top to bottom;

"Use this to rape bosses once in Rape Mode"

"Use this to clear out floor trash in Rape Mode"

"This raises a stat that does absolutely nothing, ignore me pl0x"

"Rape Mode, I'm worthless without this, so use it before anything else!"

Chen's basically a speed demon who dies in one hit, gets a lot of turns, and proves useful otherwise by staying on the front lines and fleeing encounters from enemies that outspeed the rest of the party.

Onward and forward, I guess. Or... onward and upward?

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PROGRESS.

But wait, wait, wait, like any good Let's Play we have to do EVERYTHING. Let's look at the map:

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A bit empty, especially over on the left. Hm... To hell with it, upstairs we go.

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A BGM change and background change is immediately noticeable. The serene tune has been replaced with what can only be described as a tuba and piano arguing back and forth. We get a bit of dialogue, and while I want to say it's not important it introduces a new character.

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Cirno is an Ice fairy and is the single most annoying thing in the touhou series, because of the memes and stuff around her. See Cirno, in touhou 6, has this attack where if you stay near her she misses- okay no one cares. Everyone likes screaming "BAKA" and "(9)" at her image because of, well, Japan, so Cirno is much more popular than she should be. She even has her own game now centered around freezing bullets that features Marisa as the Extra boss. So Cirno's obnoxious. What does Reimu have to say about all this?

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Yep. Another boss fight -> recruitment. Remilia complains about possibly getting lost, and then this happens.

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Nice observation! In the same way that "Touhou Labyrinth" screams "This GAME is a maze!"

Moving on. Exactly one step to the left is a magic circle. I take back what I said about the bloodstained seal, THIS is the grand champion of long explanations for simple things. It's a warp point. Stepping on one makes it so you can enter the dungeon from that spot. The game doesn't explain this until everybody wonders about it, Patchy explain that it's all mysterious, and then vocalizing inscribing a rune into it. THEN she says we can use it.

Exactly one step to the left of that and two down is another damned event. This one introducing Aya, Gensokyo's most intrusive person.

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Lol, the dialogue box covers her face.

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Bullshit detector going way into the red zone. Although to be fair she hasn't had a boss fight yet.

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You know, Aya reminds me a lot of myself. She likes finding stuff out about people and selling those secrets for the sake of- wait, I probably shouldn't be saying all this. I'm bored now and I don't really feel like dealing with a fetch quest, so I'm stopping here. This has been Let's Play Touhou Labyrinth and, uh, I promise it'll pick up soon?

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So I got bored tonight and decided to play a little more. You know, this game is really lacking in actual interesting material. It needs a... boost, otherwise we're all just wasting time. I think I got it. Past floor 2, it's just going to be more and more of the same up until floor 12, so I have something in mind to make it more fun. For now we got sidequests to do, like picking up an incompetent reporter's page pieces. Onward!

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God DAMN- look at the bit to the lower left. See that landing? That's where the relay point is! This place is PACKED.

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Say Hi to yet another character. This is Wriggle Nightbug, infamous for being a forgettable stage 1 boss in Touhou 8. She's like some fire fly or something and commands many smaller, actual bugs.

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Another sidequest? Why thanks.

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And the repeated fourth wall breaking is back!

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You know, to any regular RPG player, this conversation is pretty much gold.

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And wouldn't you know. It's another fetch quest.

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...Welp. Off we go. It might be a good idea to go back to floor 1 and look for this stuff. I did forget to explore a lot of it. Back downstairs!

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So I missed a few things down there. An event foreshadowing another character (no, not showing it.) some treasure chests, a beam of light that causes the party to muse about murdering Cirno, and another event. Turns out this one is a boss fight, but with what?

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Hey look, a butterfly! This must be one of the Wriggle b-

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...Nope.avi

Alright, so THAT's not supposed to be fought until much later, obviously. There's no way I could hope to handle an enemy that can do <100 times my HP before anyone can even move. This is one of the bosses that the Bloodstained Seal releases, and the weakest one of such. The real Wriggle bug looks like this and is sitting in a place I had already covered:

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Here's the thing, a similar result happened. I'm underleveled for this, so it 1-2 shots anyone I have and takes pretty pitiful damage from anything I do. It's ideal to hunt these thing at level 12-ish, and I'm not. Only level 9.

Next time we'll breeze through floor two because, honestly, showing everything is tiresome. This is Let's Play Touhou Labyrinth, and unfortunately, it's not over.

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