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Overview

Perfect Cherry Blossom is the 7th game in the Touhou Project, released on the Windows OS in 2003.

Plot

It is the month of May in Gensokyo, and there's a problem afoot: Spring shows no sign of arriving, and snowstorms are beginning to get worse. Tired of being cold day in, day out, Reimu Hakurei, the resident Shrine Maiden of the Hakurei Shrine, decides that she must find the source of this unnatural weather, while Marisa Kirisame, a powerful magician, notices a cherry blossom petal float outside her house, leading her to believe that Spring is going on somewhere else. Over at the Scarlet Devil Mansion, Sakuya Izayoi, the chief maid, notices that their Winter supplies are running low, and decides that she wants to end this prolonged Winter before they run out completely.

Gameplay

Perfect Cherry Blossom plays out like many other vertically scrolling Danmaku shooting games, with your character always facing the top of the screen, shooting at anything that moves while avoiding and weaving through the many bullet patterns, and facing bosses at the end of each stage.

There are four difficulties: Easy, Normal, Hard and Lunatic. Each difficulty affects the number of bullets fired by each enemy, the rate of fire, the movement patterns of them, and the number and type of enemy Spell Cards used.

There are 6 stages in the game, each more difficult than the last, and after clearing the game without the use of a continue on any one difficulty, an Extra Stage will be unlocked. The Extra Stage features significantly stronger and fast enemies, an extremely hard mid-boss and boss battle, and no option to continue once all of your lives have been used up.

After defeating the Extra Stage and capturing a total of 60 Spel Cards, a Phantasm Stage will be unlocked, which has similar Spell Cards to the Extra Stage, however, they are increase significantly in difficulty.

Defeating Enemies

Perfect Cherry Blossom features many different enemies which you must defeat in order to progress through the stages. The player can do so through the use of the following abilities:

The Shot

The shot is the basic way of defeating an enemy. A shot's attack area and behaviour will vary depending on the character you have chosen, and you can also power up the shot by filling the Power Level through the collection of power items, where small power items increase your power level by 1, and large ones by 10. The shot will gradually become more powerful as the player reaches the Power levels of 8, 16, 32, 48, 64, 80, 96, and 128 (MAX). When the player reaches MAX power, all onscreen bullets will cancel out and turn into star items, which are automatically collected, and during the time the player has MAX power, the player can auto-collect all onscreen items by moving their character close to the top of the screen.

A bomb will save the player in times of need

Bomb

Bombs can be used to get out of desperate situations. A bomb's attack area, duration and power will vary depending on the Attack Type you have selected, but most of the time, it will deal heavy damage to every enemy onscreen, as well as cancel out any onscreen bullets and automatically collect every onscreen item, however, enemies defeated through the use of a bomb will not drop any items. While a bomb is activated, and a short period after it has finished, the player's character will be invincible. At the beginning of the game, and after every respawn, you will have 3 bombs. You can increase your bomb supply through the collection of bomb items. You can carry a maximum of 8 bombs at a time, and if you collect a bomb item while at the limit, that bomb will be lost.

Boss Battles

Many spell cards require quick thinking in order to avoid them

Each boss has multiple lives, which are represented by multiple health bars, and they will normally switch between Spell Cards and normal attacks once with each lifebar.

A boss' Spell Cards will often comprise of complicated patterns which will involve projectiles and magic made especially for each Spell Card. If the player manages to defeat an enemy Spell Card without getting harmed or using a bomb, a substantial score bonus is awarded.

Both a normal and Spell Card phase of a boss battle will be accompanied by a timer. When the timer runs out, the boss will switch their next attack pattern, even if their health bar isn't empty, although doing this without being hit or using a bomb will provide no score bonus.

Characters

There are three playable characters to chose from in Perfect Cherry Blossom, each with two attack types. The player decides which character to play and which attack type to use at the beginning of the game.

Reimu Hakurei

Basic Performance

- Normal Speed: Medium

- Focused Speed: Slow

- Initial Bombs: 3

- Cherry penalty for dying: 100,000 or 50%, whichever is smaller

Special Characteristics

- Small hitbox

- Extra time to use a bomb after being hit, but before dying

Attack Type A (Spirit Sign, Pursuit Type)

- At normal speed:

  • Shot: Homing Amulet
  • Bomb: Fantasy Seal - Spread-

- At focused speed:

  • Shot: Hakurei Amulet
  • Bomb: Fantasy Seal -Concentrate-

- Rate of cherry increase per shot: Low

- Cherry penatly for bombing: 19.95% when unfocused, 21.75% when focused

Attack Type B (Dream Sign, Rapid Fire Type)

- At normal speed:

  • Shot: Persuasion Needle
  • Bomb: Evil-Sealing Circle

- At focused speed:

  • Shot: Extermination
  • Bomb: Duplex Barrier

- Rate of cherry increase per shot: High

- Cherry penalty for bombing: 16.8% when unfocused, 16.625% when focused

Marisa Kirisame

Basic Performance

- Normal Speed: Fast

- Focused Speed: Medium

- Initial Bombs: 2

- Cherry penalty for dying: 100,000 or 50%, whichever is smaller

Special Characteristics

- The point-of-collection (POC) boundary is low

- The height where items have their maximum value is low (just a bit below the POC)

Attack Type A (Magic Sign, Power Oriented Type)

- At normal speed:

  • Shot: Magic Missile
  • Bomb: Stardust Reverie

- At focused speed:

  • Shot: Magic Napalm
  • Bomb: Milky Way

- Rate of cherry increase per shot: Very high

- Cherry penatly for bombing: 30% when unfocused, 32.5% when focused

Attack Type B (Dream Sign, Rapid Fire Type)

- At normal speed:

  • Shot: Stream Laser
  • Bomb: Non-Directional Laser

- At focused speed:

  • Shot: Illusion Laser
  • Bomb: Master Spark

- Rate of cherry increase per shot: Fairly high

- Cherry penalty for bombing: 34.5% when unfocused, 40.8% when focused

Sakuya Izayoi

Basic Performance

- Normal Speed: Medium

- Focused Speed: Fast

- Initial Bombs: 4

- Cherry penalty for dying: 60,000 or 33%, whichever is smaller

Special Characteristics

- Large graze-box

- The amount of cherry points lost when hit is less than other characters

Attack Type A (Illusion Sign, Attack-Range-Oriented Type)

- At normal speed:

  • Shot: Jack the Ludo Bile
  • Bomb: Indiscriminate

- At focused speed:

  • Shot: Jack the Ripper
  • Bomb: Killer Doll

- Rate of cherry increase per shot: Very low

- Cherry penatly for bombing: 28% when unfocused, 28.75% when focused

Attack Type B (Time Sign, Tricky Type)

- At normal speed:

  • Shot: Misdirection
  • Bomb: Perfect Square

- At focused speed:

  • Shot: Power Direction
  • Bomb: Private Square

- Rate of cherry increase per shot: Fairly high

- Cherry penalty for bombing: 25.6% when unfocused, 28.5% when focused

Scoring

Scoring works similarly to many other Touhou games.

Enemies

Any damage dealt to an enemy, whether it be dealt by a shot or a bomb, will increase the player's score, Cherry, and Cherry slightly. Defeating enemies will award the player with a slightly more points, although these tend to range in the hundreds, per enemy.

Grazing

To graze a bullet, the player must come dangerously close to an enemy's bullet. Each graze will add 2,000 points to the player's score and will add 1 point to the player's "Graze number", which is used to calculate the player's final clear bonus. It is possible to graze a bullet only once, meaning there will not be any additional points or grazes if a bullet is followed, although lasers can be continually grazed throughout their duration.

Grazing will also increase the player's Spell Card bonus, if they are facing one.

Point Items

Whenever an enemy is defeated, there is a chance that it will release a point item. The higher up the screen they are collected, the more points that will be awarded, up to a defined maximum. Whenever a point item is collected for maximum value, the number will be shown in yellow. The auto-item-collect line is in the same location as where point can be collected for their maximum value. The maximum value a point item can be collected for is based on the player's Cherry level, or 50,000, whichever is greater.

The number of point items collected in a stage is also used to calculate the Clear Bonus.

Power Items

Whenever an enemy is defeated, there is a chance that it will release a power item. These increase the player's shot power, as well as give 10 points per item. When the player's shot is fully powered up, all onscreen power items become cherry items, and instead of power items being dropped, cherry items will drop instead.

Star Items

A star item will appear anytime an enemy bullet has been cancelled out, which can happen when the player defeats the Spell Card/attack pattern of a boss, reaches maximum power, defeats a certain type of enemy, or when a bomb erases the enemy bullet. Each star item is worth 300 points 10 points for every 40 grazes the player has in that stage, although there is an exception, which is when a star item is created through the use of a bomb, in which case it will only award 100 points. Star items are also worth 20 Cherry and Cherry each when created normally, and 5 when created through the use of a bomb.

Cherry Items

Whenever an enemy is defeated, there is a chance that it will release a cherry item. These will increase the player's Cherry and Cherry values by 1,000 (100 x the number of Spell Cards successfully captured). If the player is not at Cherry Max, these are worth 10 points, and when at Cherry Max, they are worth 50,000 whenever they are collected above the POC. Whenever a cherry item is collected for maximum value, the number is shown in yellow.

During the boss fights of Stage 6, Extra Stage and Phantasm Stage, whenever a Spell Card or attack pattern is defeated/captured, the player will recieve cherry items instead of star items, and are worth 100 Cherry and Cherry , while they also provide the same number of points a star item would.

There are also mini cherry items, which look like small cherry blossoms. They are worth 30 Cherry and Cherry each.

Enemy Bullet Bonus

Whenever a boss or mid-boss' health bar is reduced by one, or their Spell Card is defeated, all onscreen bullets are nullified, and they are tallied up to calculate the enemy bullet bonus. The more enemy bullets onscreen at the time, the higher this bonus becomes.

Spell Card Bonus

Whenever a boss or mid-boss' Spell Card is defeated within the allocated time limit, without being hit or using a bomb, the player will recieve a Spell Card bonus, which is added to the total score. The intial value of the Spell Card bonus will vary depending on which Spell Card is being used, however, as the timer decreases, so will the value of the bonus recieved as well, which is usually rounded to the nearest five-thousand, however, it will increase by (Cherry / 1,500) x 20 2,500 for every graze the player has.

Cherry System

The Cherry system is based on 3 values: Cherry, Cherry and Cherry Max, which fluctuate depending on your performance.

Cherry

The Cherry value is the primary number. Everytime an item is collected above the POC, the player will recieve a number of points equal to the current Cherry value, which can be increased by shooting at enemies, although the amount you gain per shot is cut by around 90% when in focus mode. It will also increase when cherry and star items are collected, and it will decrease if the player dies, uses a bomb, or fails to defeat an enemy's attack pattern or Spell Card in the allocated time limit. The penalty for when a bomb is used is based on the difficulty the player selected, and it is reduced by 50% when playing on Hard Mode, and by 75% when in Lunatic Mode. The Cherry value can never increase beyond the CherryMax value.

Border Mode is useful for gaining a significant amount of points.

Cherry

The Cherry meter is the main method for increasing the CherryMax value. It increase at the same time as the Cherry value, and once it hits 50,000, the player will go into Border Mode. During Border Mode, all onscreen items will be automatically collected and give their full value no matter which part of the screen the player is on. Every graze will also increase the CherryMax value: 80 points for grazing when unfocused, and 30 while focused. Border Mode will run for 9 seconds, and you can view how much time is left through either looking at the Cherry meter, which counts down, or through looking at the size of the sigil that appears over the character, which will gradually shrink as time runs out. Border Mode can also be ended prematurely through either getting hit or using a bomb, however, neither a life nor a bomb will be lost when ending it this way. Once Border Mode ends:

- If time ran out, the player will have 10,000 points added to the CherryMax value, and a point bonus added to the total score based on the current Cherry value x 10

- If a bomb was used, or the player was hit, all onscreen bullets are turned into mini cherry items and are collected by the player. No further bonuses are granted.

The Cherry value is then reset to 0, and the player will be invincible for a short time after Border Mode ends.

All increases in the CherryMax value will bring a corresponding increase to the Cherry value.

Clear Bonus

At the end of each stage, you will be provided with bonus points based on how well you performed. The bonus is calculated like this:

- Stage number x 1,000,000

- Point x 50,000 (number of point items collected)

- Graze count x 500

- CherryMax x 10

In addition, if the stage happened to be the final stage, the following bonus is added:

- Player x 20,000,000 (Lives in stock, not including your current one)

- Bomb x 4,000,000 (Bomb stock)

Finally, depending on the conditions you played under, the result is multiplied by these modifies, rounded down to the nearest 10:

- 4 Initial Lives: x 0.5

- 5 Initial Lives: x 0.2

- Easy Difficulty: x 0.5

- Normal Difficulty: x 1.0

- Hard Difficulty: x 1.2

- Lunatic Difficulty: x 1.5

- Extra Difficulty: x 2.0

The end result is then added to your score.

Music

In Perfect Cherry Blossom, every stage has different music, while every boss has their own theme. The translated name of each theme is provided below the original version:

- Title Screen Theme

妖々夢 ~ Snow or Cherry Petal

Mystic Dream ~ Snow or Cherry Petal

ZUN note:

The title theme from previous games, done in a Japanese style while keeping its essence. This song is meant to belie the tense atmosphere of "Now, let the Danmaku begin!". Frankly, I think this song isn't necessary, but it's also meant to restrain the player's excitement while awaiting Danmaku.

- Stage 1 Theme

無何有の郷 ~ Deep Mountain

Paradise ~ Deep Mountain

ZUN note:

This theme was composed with an image of a natural paradise that has yet to be discovered by humans. However, I personally didn't want it to be healing music, so I made it somewhat rhythmical. Therefore it doesn't have even the slightest hint of relaxed feelings (^^;

- Stage 1 Boss: Letty Whiterock's Theme

クリスタライズシルバー

Crystallized Silver

ZUN note:

A goal of my music is to blend Japanese and Western elements in a non-obvious manner (applies to the other songs too). This one is short because it's the theme for the stage 1 boss, but I managed to express my image of the realm in this theme. While the song is direct, it doesn't fit into any music genre.

- Stage 2 Theme

遠野幻想物語

The Fantastic Legend of Tohno

ZUN note:

This song is a weird one. My original intent with this was to make it highly folkish, but since it's too calm it ended up half-folkish. I composed this with the image of Tohno village in mind. It's a bit nostalgic and makes you imagine that there used to be old villages like this in Japan too.

- Stage 2 Boss: Chen's Theme

ティアオイエツォン(withered leaf)

Diao ye zong (Withered Leaf)

ZUN note:

I composed this title with the image of an energetic youkai girl in mind. This song is based purely on improvisation, because I found that if I think too much while composing the music tends to end up strange. Well, with the help of booze...

All in all, this is an honest song (^^;

- Stage 3 Theme

ブクレシュティの人形師

The Doll Maker of Bucuresti

ZUN note:

This makes you wonder if you're near the end of the game. This is because the demo was released very early and I had to make it a complete game. Due to that, I put the first pivotal moment in stage 3. The mood is more serious than usual too. However, the song's similar to what I used to be.

It might be just me, but this song gives a nostalgic feeling.

- Stage 3 Boss: Alive Margatroid's Theme

人形裁判 ~ 人の形弄びし少女

Doll Judgment ~ The girl who played with people's shapes

ZUN note:

Alice is a special character in this series, so I composed the theme with renewed vigor (not that I was lazy with the other songs). This theme's goal is to show that the characters are relaxed despite the intensity of the fight. This exemplifies them in my opinion... not the gothic-lolita costumes, I swear.

- Stage 4 Theme

天空の花の都

The capital city of flowers in the sky

ZUN note:

The style is more Chinese than Japanese.

A wonderful place above the clouds. As the true beginning of this game, stage 4 is far longer than the others. There's never been such a stratospheric (it's not that high) intrusion with violent yet sorrowful music, has there? While composed with "Journey to the West" in mind, it doesn't resemble that.

- Stage 4 Boss: Prismriver Sisters' Theme

幽霊楽団 ~ Phantom Ensemble

Phantom Ensemble

ZUN note:

I tried to make this theme sound like it was being performed happily and joyfully. A performance by happy-go-lucky sisters who love festivals and anything noisy. At the climax, each of them play their Violin, Trumpet and Keyboard as they please.

What a jumble.

- Stage 5 Theme

東方妖々夢 ~ Ancient Temple

Mystic Oriental Dream ~ Ancient Temple

ZUN note:

This theme expresses the nostalgia that is deep within every Japanese and the frantic feeling that arises when someone is approaching. The sounds of Shinto flutes and bells coming from a distance conjure up images of the netherworld.

Or maybe it's just me?

- Stage 5 Boss: Youmu Konpaku's Theme

広有射怪鳥事 ~ Till When?

Hiroari Shoots a Strange Bird ~ Till When?

ZUN note:

I tried to give the impression of both "A Tough Opponent" and "Childishness" with this theme. Perhaps this is the most boss-like theme in this game. While it's using guitar, I gave up trying to make it sound like rock music almost immediately.

The climax of this theme is in the spirit of youkai.

- Final Stage Theme

アルティメットトゥルース

Ultimate Truth

ZUN note:

The final stage is all about the final boss, so the mid-stage is only a token effort. Because of that, this song is rather short, but it's also refreshing and pleasant (in my opinion).

The stage has visual imagery of flying over a sea of cherry blossoms; I hope this song will give you the same impression.

- Final Stage Boss: Yuyuko Saigyouji's Theme

幽雅に咲かせ、墨染の桜 ~ Border of Life

Bloom nobly, cherry blossoms of Sumizome ~ Border of Life

ZUN note:

I gave this theme an oriental and melodious feeling as well as a strong determination. Having said that, the style of music is my usual fare. Extreme and elegant, powerful but ephemeral; I thought I'd make this theme quite emotional.

- Final Stage Boss: Yuyuko Saigyouji's 2nd Theme

ボーダーオブライフ

Border of Life

ZUN note:

Arranged version of Yuyuko's theme. I put more emphasis on the mysterious atmosphere in this one. However, the melody itself is so harsh that it's almost tiresome.

- Extra Stage Theme

妖々跋扈

Charming Domination

ZUN note:

A high-paced theme (?) which is unusual in the Touhou series. It's obvious from the stage that the tempo and enthusiasm are the keys to this song. The tone turns around about 112 degrees in the middle of the song which is where Extra really starts (heh).

- Extra Stage Boss: Ran Yakumo's Theme

少女幻葬 ~ Necro-Fantasy

A Maiden's Illusionary Funeral ~ Necro-Fantasy

ZUN note:

I composed it to be more dazzling than fantastic.

Hopefully you'll get the sense of the energetic youkai from the melody. In my opinion, when there's a long fight in a shooting game, the music should repeat and sustain its tempo. That is, it should be like this theme.

- Phantasm Stage Theme

妖々跋扈 ~ Who done it?

Charming Domination ~ Who done it?

ZUN note:

Another version of Charming Domination. It's not that different from the original though...

- Phantasm Stage Boss: Yukari Yakumo's Theme

ネクロファンタジア

Necrofantasia

ZUN note:

Meant to be an arranged version of Ran's theme, it ended up quite different. This one has an ominous feeling. Or rather, she's the very embodiment of ominous. Even compared with the past characters, she has a devious appearance, a dubious character and thoughtless barrages. The theme's just like her.

- Ending Theme

春風の夢

Dream of a Spring Breeze

ZUN note:

The ending theme.

...hmm, the impression it leaves is so negative.

It's supposed to be peaceful daily-life, I swear.

- Staff Roll Theme

さくらさくら ~ Japanize Dream...

Sakura, Sakura ~ Japanize Dream

ZUN note:

The imagery is based on the familiar old rhyme "Sakura, Sakura". I think this song is kinda refreshing.

Secrets and Unlockables

Perfect Cherry Blossom features a number of secrets and unlockables, ranging from taking screenshots to replay exploits:

Practice Start: Unlocking Stages

Stages can be unlocked in Practice Start at a specific level and for a specific character and type when they are completed in the standard "Start" mode on the same difficulty and using the same character and type. The stage will unlocked even if continues are used.

View More Than 15 Replays

If replay files are renamed to "th7_ud*.rpy", where * is any string of characters, they will be accessible in the "Replay" menu, and they won't take up any of the 15 slots for saving replays. However, the first 4 characters of the * in "th7_ud*.rpy" must be unique from any other * in the replay folder, or else that replay won't be recognized by the game.

Snapshots

While playing, if the "home" button is pressed, a screenshot of the current screen will be saved to the "Snapshots" folder. These screenshots are saved as uncompressed .bmps, taking up 900kb per screen.

Endings

Perfect Cherry Blossom has 9 different endings, each one being triggered through meeting a certain criteria.

Normal Endings

The good endings are achieved when the player beats the game without using any continues:

- Normal Ending 1

Beat the game without using any continues, using Reimu Type A.

- Normal Ending 2

Beat the game without using any continues, using Reimu Type B.

- Normal Ending 3

Beat the game without using any continues, using Marisa Type A.

- Normal Ending 4

Beat the game without using any continues, using Marisa Type B.

- Normal Ending 5

Beat the game without using any continues, using Sakuya Type A.

- Normal Ending 6

Beat the game without using any continues, using Sakuya Type B.

Bad Endings

The bad endings are achieved when the player beats the game, but has used one or more continues:

- Bad Ending 1

Beat the game using one or more continues, using Reimu (any type).

- Bad Ending 2

Beat the game using one or more continues, using Marisa (any type).

- Bad Ending 3

Beat the game using one or more continues, using Sakuya (any type).

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