Touhou Koumakyou ~ the Embodiment of Scarlet Devil (partially found early builds of shoot 'em up game; 2002)
Touhou Koumakyou ~ the Embodiment of Scarlet Devil (東方紅魔郷 ~ the Embodiment of Scarlet Devil; 東方紅魔郷 lit. Eastern Scarlet Devil Land), also known as "the Embodiment of Scarlet Devil", abbreviated as "EoSD", or simply referred to as "Touhou 6" by its fans, is a popular vertical-scrolling danmaku shoot 'em up game developed by Team Shanghai Alice (上海アリス幻樂団) in 2002. It is the sixth official installment of the Touhou Project and the first game to be released specifically for the Windows operating system, meant to serve as a break-off point from its PC-98 era.
The gameplay is similar to that of the final game, where the player must avoid bullets being thrown from enemies in order to progress through the story and finish the game. Unlike the final build of the game, the Extra Stage and Practice Start are not unlockable. The game also prematurely cuts after the 3rd stage, similarly to every trial version of the main series games.
Development and Release
The game started development when Team Shanghai Alice's sole member ZUN waited for Comiket 62, after his failed attempt to register his group as a music circle for Comiket 61. Later on, the Embodiment of Scarlet Devil was first announced by ZUN on his website on April 15th, 2002, three and a half years after the release of ZUN's last official Touhou installation for the PC-98, Touhou Kaikidan ~ Mystic Square (東方怪綺談 ～ Mystic Square; 東方怪綺談 lit. Bizarre Romantic Story).
Being the first release for Windows, ZUN has written the engine for the game from scratch on his own using the DirectX API, along with some help from a few libraries from Amusement Makers. This engine will later be used for his following games, up until Touhou Kaeizuka ~ Phantasmagoria of Flower View (東方花映塚 ～ Phantasmagoria of Flower View; 東方花映塚 lit. Flower Reflecting Mound), the last time the engine was used.
The first trial build was released on June 10th, 2002, with revised builds being released after. Finally, on August 11th, 2002, the full build of the game was released and distributed at Comiket 62, alongside the music CD Hourai Ningyou ~ Dolls in Pseudo Paradise (蓬莱人形 ～ Dolls in Pseudo Paradise; 蓬莱人形 lit. Hourai Doll). Patches for the full version were also released to fix bugs up until late November 2002, with the final post-release build being ver1.02h.
Differences in the Early Builds
At the time of development, the working title for the game was "Touhou Kouchakan" (東方紅茶館 lit. Eastern Scarlet Teahouse), but was later changed into its current name as ZUN didn't think it suited the story of the game. Additionally, there was originally going to be a 3rd playable character going by the name of Satuki Rin (冴月 麟), which was found in the 東方紅魔郷.exe executable file close to Reimu and Marisa's lines of code. She was later cut from the game in its production due to time constraints.
The trial versions were released by ZUN on the official website for the game and were downloadable. The site also included screenshots from the earlier builds of the game, meant to serve as promotional images for the game. The screenshots of which show that the builds were very different from the final release of the game. Interestingly enough, the earliest known build of the game going by Taikenhan ver0.01(体験版 ver0.01 lit. Trial version ver0.01), was posted on a separate page. The page seems to have contained several pictures that were later used for the current page of the game, also serving the same purpose.
Both pages contain download links for early trial builds of the game, with the current page containing download links for Taikenhan ver0.10a to Taikenhan ver0.13, and the other page containing the download link for Taikenhan ver0.01. Back in June 10th to July 11th, 2002, Taikenhan ver0.02-ver0.09a was also downloadable from the official site, but no backups of the page from that span of time was made and uploaded online. The images from earlier versions of the current page and of the hidden page were archived, with the exception of the images named th6_10.jpg, th6_11.jpg, th06_16.jpg, th06_17.jpg, and an unknown image found on the top of the page, it might just be the cover art for the game.
Unfortunately, the download links to all trial versions are dead, with the exception of Taikenhan ver0.13 which can still be downloaded to this day. This makes all of the earlier builds of the game prior to Taikenhan ver0.13 entirely lost, outside from a handful of screenshots.
Additionally, Taikenhan ver0.08+ was included in the POWER CD-ROM set that was distributed alongside the September 2002 volume of DOS/V POWER REPORT (ドスブイ パワーレポート), a Japanese magazine published by Impress Japan (ンプレスジャパンが) focusing on home-built PCs, that had monthly issues until publication became quarterly, after its 300th issue in August.
However, this version of the demo can only be played on the disc it's included in. To this day, someone has yet to upload a playable version online without the use of said disc.
Some time in October of 2002, ZUN stated in a reply in the former Gensou Bulletin Board (幻想掲示板) that an exclusive Tora no Ana (虎の穴) demo featuring a different version of the game's Extra Stage was also created and sent to several shops in Japan. This version has yet to be uploaded online, along with the other aforementioned builds.
List of Game Builds
|Build Ver.||Release Date||Status||Notes|
|Ver0.01||Jun. 10 2002||Partially Found||Screenshots from the build were only found|
|Ver0.02||Jun. 10 2002||Lost||Page and download were not archived|
|Ver0.03||Jun. 12 2002||Lost||Page and download were not archived|
|Ver0.04||Jun. 13 2002||Lost||Page and download were not archived|
|Ver0.05||Jun. 14 2002||Lost||Page and download were not archived|
|Ver0.06||Jun. 16 2002||Lost||Page and download were not archived|
|Ver0.07||Jun. 18 2002||Lost||Page and download were not archived|
|Ver0.08||Jun. 22 2002||Lost||Page and download were not archived|
|Ver0.08+||Jul. 02 2002||Found||Also released in DOS/V POWER REPORT's 2002/9 issue|
|Ver0.09||Jul. 10 2002||Lost||Page and download were not archived|
|Ver0.10||Jul. 17 2002||Lost||Released to fix bugs; Download was not archived|
|Ver0.11||Aug. 02 2002||Lost||Included additions found in the final game|
|Ver0.12||Aug. 14 2002||Lost||Released to fix bugs; Download was not archived|
|Ver0.13||Aug. 25 2002||Found||Can still be downloaded from the official site|
|Extra Trial||Pre-Oct. 2002||Lost||Extra stage demo sent to some shops in Japan.|
- Touhou Wiki page of the game.
- The Cutting Room Floor's page on the game's prelease builds.
- Official website for the game.
- Wikipedia article on DOS/V POWER REPORT (Japanese).
- Kagipen's blog post about ver0.08+ (Japanese).
- 東方文花帖 ～ Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red: 22: "幻想の音覚" (Translation). Retrieved 08 Feb '21
- Satsuki Rin's page on the Touhou Wiki Retrieved 22 Feb '21
- The page hosting a dead download link for 体験版 ver0.01. Retrieved 08 Feb '21
- The official website for the game (Archived). Retrieved 07 Feb '21
- Announcements from ZUN on his site. Retrieved 10 Feb '21
- Blog post about the discs in question (Japanese). Retrieved 10 Feb '21
- ZUN Gensou Bulletin Board 1 Q&A, October 2002 (Translation). Retrieved 02 Apr '21