Evanescent Existence

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Evanescent Existence
Evanescent Existence
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

Len'en Mugenri (Unreal Land) ~ Evanescent Existence (連縁无現里 ~ Evanescent Existence) is a vertical-scrolling danmaku shoot 'em up and the first 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 2013, followed by the full version on 18 November 2013 as a free download. It was developed and released concurrently with the second game in the series, Earthen Miraculous Sword. 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, "Mugenri (无現里)" is the name of the world that is the main location of the Len'en Project. "Evanescent Existence" refers to the game's scenario, an origin story for the Len'en Project that tells the main characters Yabusame Houlen and Tsubakura Enraku being spirited away to the apparent dream world of Mugenri and how they became protectors of Mugenri. The Japanese title was originally "鏈縁无現里", but it was changed to "連縁无現里" in v1.10 in accordance with Brilliant Pagoda or Haze Castle.

Gameplay[edit | edit source]

Gameplay is very similar to the Touhou Project. There are two playable characters, though the second character must be unlocked by clearing the Extra Stage. There is a main game mode of six stages with four difficulty levels, plus an Extra Stage with three difficulties; clearing the main game on any difficulty unlocks Easy Extra and the normal difficulty Extra, while clearing the main game on Unreal difficulty also unlocks the harder Absurdly Extra.

Story[edit | edit source]

The airheaded Yabusame Houlen and their friends find themselves in a strange dimension. With no clear way out, they all get lost. But then they (except for Yabusame) hear a voice telling them all to seek out the deepest part of this world, where the winner will be granted... something.

Music[edit | edit source]

The game contains a total of 19 tracks composed by JynX, which somewhat mimic ZUN's style. Similar to the Touhou Project games, the music room hides song names unless you hear them during gameplay, or unless you attempt to select a theme twice in a row in the music room itself.

One of the themes wasn't an original song by JynX, but instead by one of their friends, who JynX got permission from to create an arrangement of with the condition that the identity of the specific song is kept a secret. However, JynX states that the identity of this theme is pretty obvious.[1] Theories include the stage 3 theme "Extra Mind" because of its unusual sound, the staff roll theme "Dissipating Fantasies ~ bard_VISION" due to a statement by JynX that the song is an extensive arrangement of an older song, or Tsurubami's theme "Eternal Dance Engine ~ Shall We Dance!!" due to it sounding similar to Daijin's theme "SAVE the GAME" from Emergency Everyday.

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.[2] 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.[1]

More to the story is that Evanescent Existence is a substantial overhaul of a much earlier project, Emergency Everyday. The two games share many similarities in things such as character, game title, and stage design; the mysterious arranged song mentioned above may be from this original project. Additionally, the developer of the older project (Daijin) is always credited as special thanks in Len'en titles.

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 Earthen Miraculous Sword, as both games were in the same file directory and sharing the same data files.[2] A few months later, the full version v1.00a was released on 18 November 2013 separate from EMS, 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.[1] 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 implemented the flash bomb mechanic, 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 third 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]

  • The cast of Evanescent Existence are all humans, contrary to the cast of new characters introduced in Earthen Miraculous Sword, who are all youkai.
  • The title screen of the game features Yabusame, Tsubakura's silhouette and a silhouette of a crane, Tsurubami Senri's Bird's Name.
  • The crane being wrapped primarily around Tsubakura likely represents Tsurubami's aim of spiriting Tsubakura away specifically.
  • The game's main display screen features swallows and Asian stubtails, Tsubakura and Yabusame bird's names respectively.
  • The various menu screens of the game features silhouettes of various characters, Yabusame and Tsubakura on the stage and final result screen, Aoji on the Replay menu, Kuroji on the Music Room and Hooaka on the Options menu.
  • The Staff Roll background features the silhouettes of an Asian stubtail and several cranes, Yabusame and Tsurubami's bird's names respectively.

References[edit | edit source]