Earthen Miraculous Sword

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連縁蛇叢釼れんえん たそうけん
Earthen Miraculous Sword
Earthen Miraculous Sword
Title screen of the game
Developer Trick Nostalgie
Publisher Trick Nostalgie
Released 18 November 2013 (full, v1.00a)
2 March 2014 (v1.01a)
14 October 2017 (v1.10a)
19 October 2017 (v1.11a)
2 June 2018 (v1.20a)
Genre Vertical Danmaku Shooting Game
Gameplay Single-Player Story Mode
Platforms Windows XP/Vista/7/8
Official Site Trick Nostalgie
Download Download from "Freem!"
Download from Vector
Len'en Series chronology
Evanescent Existence Earthen Miraculous Sword Reactivate Majestical Imperial

Len'en Tasouken (Snake Thicket Sword) ~ Earthen Miraculous Sword (連縁蛇叢釼 ~ Earthen Miraculous Sword) is a vertical-scrolling danmaku shoot 'em up and the second game of the Len'en Project. It was made by Trick Nostalgie's sole member JynX and released for the Windows operating system. The trial version was released on 12 September, followed by the full version on 18 November 2013 as a free download. It was developed and released concurrently with the first game in the series, Evanescent Existence. The game was made with inspiration from the Touhou Project.

Name and Concept[edit | edit source]

Like the Touhou Project, game titles in the Len'en Project consist mainly of five Japanese kanji, plus an English sub-title that relates to the main title without necessarily being a translation. In the title, "Tasouken (蛇叢釼)" is the name of the sword that can sever relations. "Earthen Miraculous Sword" also refers to the sword. The Japanese title was originally "鏈縁蛇叢釼", but it was changed to "連縁蛇叢釼" in v1.10 in accordance with Brilliant Pagoda or Haze Castle.

Gameplay[edit | edit source]

The game has three playable characters, a story mode with 6 stages and an Extra Mode with selectable difficulty – Easy Extra Mode and Extra Mode which can be unlocked by clearing the main game on any difficulty, as well as Absurdly Extra Mode which is only unlocked once the main game is cleared on Unreal difficulty.

The main new gameplay mechanic involves grazing to fill a meter which will allow the player to use a special bomb known as a "flash bomb". Pressing the bomb button while unfocused will release a flash bomb if the meter is full, otherwise it won't do anything.

There is also another mechanic called the "cloud flower gauge", which is represented by a five-petaled flower on the bottom-right of the screen. It fills up by defeating enemies and capturing spell cards, but it depletes when the player dies or bombs. The higher it is, the greater point multiplier will be awarded, and if you finish the game with at least three petals, something special may happen.

Story[edit | edit source]

The weather in Mugenri became exceptionally cloudy. It's up to Yabusame, Tsubakura, or Kuroji to find the perpetrator and solve the incident.

Music[edit | edit source]

The game features original tracks composed by JynX that mimics ZUN's style. Similar to the Touhou Project games, the music room doesn't show the names of all the themes from the first time playing and thus requires to select one theme twice if the player wants to listen to the track. There may be a few melodies in most of the tracks that strongly resembles those from the Touhou Project.

Development[edit | edit source]

JynX originally spent their time creating mockups of remakes for the PC-98 Touhou games; to illustrate that these were simply mockups, they were released on or around April Fools. However, eventually JynX wanted to make a real "Touhou-like" project, which became the series that we now know as the Len'en Project. They tried to make entirely original resources and styling that still tried to mimic the Touhou Project.[1] The game is made for Microsoft Windows and DirectX, and it was JynX's first time programming in object-oriented C++, using the DX Library to easily link one into the other. JynX admits that development of Evanescent Existence and Earthen Miraculous Sword was complicated, drawing a lot of drafts for any detail.[2]

An initial trial version of the game, v0.01a, was first released on 12 September 2013. This was literally released along with the trial version of Evanescent Existence, as both games were in the same file directory and sharing the same data files.[1] This was also the first game to introduced the flash bomb system to the series. A few months later, the full version v1.00a was released on 18 November 2013 separate from EE, which had a focus on lowering the difficulty.[3] Both games were still released simultaneously, however, because JynX believed that the story for Evanescent Existence didn't have much meaning if played on its own.[2] On 2 March 2014, v1.01a was released as an update patch, containing unspecified bugfixes.[4] These versions are still publicly available on Vector, as they have importance to the series.[5]

Sometime around the development of Brilliant Pagoda or Haze Castle, JynX decided to update past games. Thus on 14 October 2017 (after v1.20f release of BPoHC), 1.10a of the game was released.[6] This update rebalanced various attacks in the game, and opened the game's text and image resources to allow for easier translation. It also introduced Suzumi Kuzu as an unlockable fourth player character, who actually was intended to be the playable since the very beginning.[7] On 2 June 2018, the game was one again updated, to v1.20a which implemented new "Light Level" mode.[8] The reasoning was that JynX claimed to receive feedback about the game being too difficult still, and made it easier for anyone to experience the harder difficulties.[9]

Sometime before 2015, the trial version was no longer publicly available, and JynX admiting to taking them down.[5] Because of this, the general fan community did not have a copy of the trial version over the years. When asked if JynX would make them available again in early 2022, they refused to co-operate because of bugs and glitches, and feared that releasing these officially would undermine the latest versions. After a reconsidering, however, JynX linked to "someone" who uploaded the trial version to a file hosting website, having them re-released off-the-record for 1 week due to popular demand.[10]

External Links[edit | edit source]

Official[edit | edit source]

Unofficial[edit | edit source]

Additional Information[edit | edit source]

  • Contrary to the cast of Evanescent Existence, the cast of new characters introduced in Earthen Miraculous Sword are all youkai.
  • Clause was planned to be a playable character, with dialogue written up to at least Adagumo no Yaorochi[11][12], but their inclusion was ultimately scrapped in favour of Kuroji Shitodo, due to them being a more important character.[13]
  • The title screen of the game features Tsubakura holding their own sword.[14], Yabusame's silhouette and the silhouette of an orochi's tails.
  • The various menu screens of the game features silhouettes of various characters, Yabusame, Tsubakura and Kuroji on the stage result screen, Yabusame and Tsubakura on the final result screen, Shou on the Replay menu, Hibaru on the Music Room and Sukune on the Options menu.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Unreal Indolence Record: Evanescent Existence & Earthen Miraculous Sword: Trial versions (12 September 2013)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Earthen Miraculous Sword: omake.txt
  3. Unreal Indolence Record: EE & EMS: Full Versions (18 November 2013)
  4. Unreal Indolence Record: EE & EMS ver. 1.01a (2 March 2014)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Interview with JynX (2021): Technical Gameplay Design, Question Q21
  6. Unreal Indolence Record: Update to the past three games of the Len'en Series! (16 October 2017)
  7. Interview with JynX (2021): Suzumi, Question 265
  8. Unreal Indolence Record: Update to the past 3 Len'en games! (3 June 2018)
  9. Interview with JynX (2021): Technical Gameplay Design, Question 19
  10. JynX's Twitter: "I apologise but it doesn't seem like I can help with this. However! It would seem that someone with absolutely no relation to me has uploaded the trial versions! This of course is completely unrelated to me, but the password seems to be 'jynx'. Again, completely unrelated to me, but this is all I can do.
  11. JynX's Twitter: "Clause and Yaorochi's dialogue was, well, painful beyond description. Although it was interesting in its own right~."
  12. JynX's Twitter: "I found stuff like dialogue data of Clause being a playable character in EMS... How dreadful."
  13. JynX's Twitter: "Now that I think about it I once planned for Clause to be the third playable character of EMS at first~. But Kuroji was more important so I scrapped those plans. (It was also annoying.)"
  14. Interview with JynX (2021): Characters, Tsubakura - Question 154