Earthen Miraculous Sword/Gameplay

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This article describes the overall gameplay and background information for Earthen Miraculous Sword.

Gameplay[edit]

Controls[edit]

The game can be played using a keyboard. Gamepad support was also added as of version 1.01a.

  • The Arrow keys (+++) moves your character around.
  • Z shoots a short burst of bullets. It can be held down for rapid fire.
  • X unleashes a bomb, assuming you have any left. If your flash bomb gauge is full and you are unfocused, it unleashes a flash bomb instead.
  •  Shift slows down your character's movement speed and changes the nature of your shots, usually by reducing their range and directing them straight ahead.
  •  Shift+X can still be used to unleash a bomb, assuming you have any left, if your flash bomb gauge is full
  • Esc pauses the game and brings you to the in-game menu.

Basic Gameplay[edit]

Earthen Miraculous Sword plays much like a typical Touhou Project Thwiki.png game in that the player character always faces the top of the screen, shooting at stage enemies, dodging through intricate bullet patterns and confronting challenging bosses at the end of each stage.

There are 4 levels of difficulty in the main game (Easy, Normal, Hard and Unreal), as well as 3 levels of difficulty for the extra stage (Easy Extra, Extra and Absurdly Extra). Each difficulty level features differences in the rate of enemy fire, bullet pattern density, bullet pattern and enemy spell cards used.

Shot[edit]

A character's "shot" is their primary means of attack. The shot's attack range, behavior and power depend on the chosen player character as well as the current power level and whether or not the player is currently focused.

Point of Collection[edit]

At the start of the game, a line labeled "Item Get Border Line!" appears on the screen for a few seconds. If you move your character above this line, all items currently on-screen are drawn towards them. The point of collection is always available.

Bomb[edit]

Bombs (more specifically: spell cards) are a limited-use method for getting out of sticky situations. A bomb's appearance, power, range and duration depend on the chosen character, but it typically deals large amounts of damage to every enemy it touches in addition to cancelling out every bullet currently on-screen or fired during the bomb's duration. Characters are also invincible for the duration of the bomb.

You start the game with either 4, 2 or 3 bombs, depending on whether you pick Yabusame Houlen, Tsubakura Enraku or Kuroji Shitodo respectively. Extra bombs can be obtained by collecting green bomb items, which are dropped by certain enemies and midbosses. You can carry a maximum of 9 bombs. Dying will reset the amount of bombs to whatever you had when you started the game.

If you get hit by an enemy bullet or an enemy itself, you have a short window of opportunity to use a bomb in order to save yourself. This is called deathbombing. Doing so successfully will prevent you from losing a life.

If you lose all your lives and choose to continue, you will automatically use a bomb. This is not deducted from your bomb stack, though.

Lives[edit]

You start the game with 3 lives (2 extra lives). You lose a life either by getting hit by an enemy bullet or running into an enemy yourself.

Your hitbox is very small in comparison to your character, only about 6 pixels in diameter. If you hold down Shift, a white dot with a red outline will appear, showing the hitbox precisely. If it comes into contact with a bullet or an enemy, you have been hit.

In this game, lives are represented by red stars. Extra lives can be obtained by collecting purple 1-up items dropped from certain enemies and midbosses. They are also awarded at 10, 20 and 50 million points.[Are there any more point intervals?] You can have up to 10 lives.

When you lose a life, your power is reduced by 1.00 and 10 small power items are scattered for you to collect. A barrier around you shatters, destroying all bullets within its radius. You also become invulnerable for a short period of time.

If you lose all your lives, you are given the option to continue right where you left off. However, continuing will reset your score to 0, you can no longer save your replay, and you will obtain the bad ending if you finish the game. You may continue up to 3 times in the main game. You may not continue in the extra stage.

Flash Bomb[edit]

On the left side of the screen, a vertical bar fills up as you graze enemy bullets. Once it is full, it turns red and a flash bomb can be used by pressing X while unfocused.

Flash bombs are a lesser bomb with a duration of only about 1 second and an overall narrow range. Aside from that, flash bombs differ between characters in both range and behavior. They can also be used during a boss's spell card attack without forfeiting the bonus, making them situationally useful. You can only carry one flash bomb at a time.

Boss Battles[edit]

The main challenge of the game. A boss waits for you at the end of each stage. Each boss has multiple health bars, and whenever they use a spell card, a counter appears showing you how many spell cards you have to endure for the entirety of the stage. A boss's attack patterns usually alternate between a normal attack and a spell card, though bosses may use two or three spell cards in a row towards the end of the fight.

Normal attacks are typically incrementally stronger versions of a character's basic attack. Spell cards employ much more complex bullet patterns to both bedazzle and challenge the player. If the player manages to deplete a boss's health bar during a spell card attack without getting hit or using bombs, a bonus is awarded.

Each attack is accompanied by a timer. When it runs out, the boss proceeds to their next phase, regardless if their health bar had been depleted. Simply waiting out a boss's attacks may be enough to beat them, but it won't award the player any significant score bonuses. The exception to that are spell cards during which the boss is invulnerable. Surviving these without getting hit or bombing will award a bonus just the same.

When fighting a boss, a marker will appear below the playing field, showing the boss's position on a horizontal axis. Since the boss may be obscured by their own bullet patterns, this indicator can help the player locate their target.

Characters[edit]

Earthen Miraculous Sword has 3 characters to choose from: Yabusame Houlen, Tsubakura Enraku and Kuroji Shitodo. Each has their own shot type and bombs, as well as different movement speeds.

Yabusame Houlen
Tsubakura Enraku
Kuroji Shitodo
Shot Type Widespread, weak. Gains a homing shot at 1.00 power. Narrow, strong. Gains a penetrating laser at 3.00 power, but loses options and has to regain them. Shoots in random directions when unfocused, shoots forward when focused. Weak at first, but becomes highly powerful at 5.00 power. Options shoot lasers instead of bullets from 3.00 power upwards.
Bomb Dimensional Detachment: Long duration, harms everything on-screen, intermediately powerful. Monochrome Ray: Short, only hits what's in front of you, massive power. RNA "Retrovirus": Long duration, low range around the bomb's origin, brutalizes everything it touches.
Flash Bomb Maiden Pit: Small circle around Yabusame. Vertex Emit: Cross-shape with Tsubakura in its center. Negative and Positive: Rectangle in the middle of the screen that flips bullet trajectories.

Screen Layout[edit]

Screen layout
  1. Player character (this is Kuroji)
  2. Score data:
    • HiScore: Shows your current best score with this character on this difficulty
    • Score: Shows your current score in this playthrough
  3. 残機 (Lives): Remaining lives
  4. ボム (Bombs): Remaining bombs
  5. Point item data:
    • 総点 (Total points): Amount of point items collected over the course of this playthrough
    • 得点 (Points): Amount of point items collected in this stage
  6. Thrill: Amount of times an enemy bullet has grazed your hitbox
  7. Power: Your current shot power (maxes out at 5.00)
  8. Cloud flower gauge
  9. Flash bomb gauge
  10. Boss character (this is Jun)
  11. Boss data:
    • Health bar
    • Spell card progress
  12. More boss data:
    • Timer
    • Spell card name
  13. Difficulty level

Scoring[edit]

Basics[edit]

  • Hitting an enemy or a boss: 10 points per bullet
  • Killing an enemy: 100 points
  • Point item (any size): 500 points
  • Small power items at max power: 100 points
  • Large power items at max power: 500 points
  • Full power item: 10,000 points
  • Bomb item: 100,000 points
  • Extra life: 1,000,000 points

When bullets are destroyed, they generate grey yin-yang items. These have an initial value of 5 points, but after about a second, each consecutive item collected will increase that value by 5 points, up to a maximum of 1000 points.

Blue point items are dropped by enemies and bosses and come in two sizes. However, both have the same value which, unlike the point items in Touhou, is not affected by where on the screen they are collected. The only difference lies in the increase of the point item counter: Small items increase it by 1 while large items increase it by 5.

End-Of-Stage Bonuses[edit]

This bonus is calculated as follows:

((Stage number * 10,000) + ((Shot power / 5) * 10,000) + (Thrill count * 100)) * (Points / 100) * (Difficulty multiplier)

(The stage number for the Extra stage is 7.)

The difficulty multiplier is as follows:

Easy: Normal: Hard: Unreal: Easy Extra: Extra: Absurdly Extra:
0.8 1.0 1.2 1.4 0.8 1.0 1.2

Furthermore, at the end of the game, you get 10,000,000 points per life remaining, independent from the end-of-stage bonus.

Cloud Flower Gauge[edit]

The gauge has 5 petals. Each petal fills up gradually as you defeat enemies, collect items and generally play well. You lose an entire petal if you lose a life while bombing bears a less severe penalty. You are not penalized for flash bombing.

The amount of red petals is equal to the score multiplier. If the gauge is filled to at least 3 petals upon defeating Adagumo no Yaorochi at the end of the game, you will face Tasouken. The amount of petals you have are equivalent to the amount of lives you get for its survival spell card.