Touhou Koumakyou ~ the Embodiment of Scarlet Devil (partially found early builds of shoot 'em up game; 2002)

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Th6 22.jpg

Title screen of Ver0.01, the earliest released trial build of the game.

Status: Partially Found

Date found: 21 June 2021 (Ver. 0.08+)

Found by: Revenant (Ver. 0.08+)

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.

Gameplay[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

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.[citation needed] 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[edit | edit source]

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.[1] 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.[2] 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.[3] 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[4] 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,[5] 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 almost 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 (インプレスジャパン) 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.[6] The disc was obtained by The Cutting Room Floor admin Revenant on June 21, 2021, and the files, including an lzh archive of the EoSD demo, were uploaded to the Internet Archive the next day.[7][8]

Additionally, 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.[9] This version has yet to be uploaded online, along with the other aforementioned builds.

List of Game Builds[edit | edit source]

Build Ver. Release Date Status Notes
Ver0.01 Jun. 10 2002 Lost Only screenshots from this build have been 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.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]