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Overview

Announced on the 24th of July, 2010, Fairy Wars is the 12.8th game in the Touhou Project. It was released on the August 14, 2010, during Comiket 78. It is a sequel to the Touhou Sangetsusei manga.

Plot

After a misunderstanding that resulted in the destruction of Cirno's house, Cirno is out to punish the perpetrators, the Three Fairies of Light. One the way, she decides to prove once and for all that she is the strongest (fairy) of all.

Characters

Cirno

The main protagonist and only playable character in the game. Cirno is a fairy who can manipulate the cold and produce ice. She wants revenge for her destroyed house but has a terrible memory and forgot about her vengeance for a few months.

Luna Child

A fairy who can mute nearby sounds to avoid detection from sharp ears. Luna is the first boss of the Route A path, where she is fought in the Forest of Magic.

Sunny Milk

A fairy who can manipulate sunlight and render herself and others completely invisible. Sunny is the first boss of the Route B path, where she is fought at the Misty Lake.

Star Sapphire

A fairy with radar-like abilities who can detect movement. Star is the first boss of the Route C path, where she is fought at the Spring Path.

Marisa Kirisame

Ordinary magician and boss of the Extra Stage, which is unlocked after completing all 6 story paths. After defeating the Three Fairies of Light, Cirno looks for stronger opponents to test her strength. Along the way, she encounters Marisa, who decides to humor the ice fairy despite their massive difference in power.

Gameplay

Fairy Wars is a bullet hell shooter with a twist. Players are given only one character choice, the ice fairy Cirno. Unlike other Touhou Project games, which focus on dodging bullets, Cirno has the ability to freeze surrounding bullets in complex chains for points. Cirno can freeze any projectile in the game with two exceptions. Fireballs will pass through ice blocks but can be frozen with Cirno's bomb, Perfect Freeze. Lasers, on the other hand, not only pass through ice but also create additional bullets by breaking ice barriers.

Once activated, Cirno's freezing ability will enter a recharge state, starting at 0%. The meter will naturally recharge on its own and Cirno can use her ice powers anywhere from 30% onward. Typically, higher percentage lead to longer lasting ice that can cover more bullets and lead to longer chains. Pressing and holding the Z key allows Cirno to hasten ice meter recovery at the cost of decreased movement speed. Defeating enemies and grazing bullets also help the ice meter recover faster.

After Cirno's ice power has been unleashed, any surrounding bullets will be transformed into blocks of ice. Likewise, any bullet that touch these ice blocks will become frozen, forming a chain that lasts in accordance to Cirno's ice meter. Once the chain has finished, players are rewarded with points based on the percentage of ice covering the screen.

Percentage of Screen FrozenPoint Bonus
0.00%0
10.00%10,000
20.00%40,000
30.00%100,000
40.00%160,000
60.00%360,000
100.00%1,000,000

Shot power is determined differently in Fairy Wars compared to other games in the series. Instead of picking up items, power is directly related to player performance. Players start at Level 1 and can increase their power by creating ice chains until they cap at Level 16. Also, power does not decrease when a player loses a life.

Cirno does not have an orthodox life system. Instead of traditional lives, Cirno's remaining lives are measured as a percentage of her "motivation." Motivation starts at 200% and any time a bullet touches her hitbox, she loses 100%. Defeating enemies and using ice powers helps increase her motivation over time. (Essentially, every 100% is an extra life, and dying at any point below 100% is a Game Over.)

Routes

Fairy Wars introduced the concept of non-linear stage selection, a first for the Touhou series. Instead of being completely on-rails, players are given the option of picking from the game's three stages in any order of their choosing, creating more variation in the game's difficulty and boss placement. Players first decide between Routes A, B, or C and can then pick from the two remaining stages, resulting in six different routes, each with their own unique ending

Spell Card Medals

Bosses in 12.8 have medals after each of their spell cards.

  • Gold Medals: You did not bombs, getting a death, or using any freeze attacks during the spell card.
  • Silver Medals: You used freeze attack but did not die or use any bombs.
  • Red Medal: You died, used a bomb and used your freezing ability.

Music

Title Theme - An Ice Fairy in Spring

春の氷精

ZUN Notes:

This is the title screen theme.

It turned out with a pretty care-free and airy feel.

There's no particular sense of tension, and it uses the same melody as always, with a feel that adds more fairy-ness, which differs from humans.

Stage 1 Theme - The Refrain of the Lovely Great War

可愛い大戦争のリフレーン

ZUN Notes:

This is the first stage theme.

This song was once recorded for the Three Fairies tankoubon.

I'd originally planned to use it as a stage one theme, so this song must be satisfied to finally have that wish granted.

Game music is perfected when listened to during game play.

Some people probably get impressions different from those they got by listening to it on CD.

Boss Theme - Staking Your Life on a Prank

いたずらに命をかけて

ZUN Notes:

This is the first and second stage boss theme.

This is the theme for battles with the Three Fairies.

It has a very boss-ish feel to it, but it's also very liiight.

Maybe it's a cute feel that accompanies the enemy's attacks in your little argument.

Stage 2 Theme - Year-Round Absorbed Curiosity

年中夢中の好奇心

ZUN Notes:

This is the stage 2 theme.

The atmosphere changed from that of stage 1, to that of an evening.

This song has the title screen theme's melody.

I think it has a much more mysterious and nostalgic feel.

After all, evening is very mysterious and nostalgic.

Stage 3 Theme - A Midnight Fairy Dance

真夜中のフェアリーダンス

ZUN Notes:

This is the stage 3 theme.

The melody is a little jazzy and adult-y.

Night is the time for adults. Or the time of youkai.

It's the time when good children are in bed and the youkai come out to whittle away the night.

Or when adults come out. Well, they come out undoubtedly.

Final Boss Theme - Great Fairy Wars ~ Fairy Wars

妖精大戦争 ~ Fairy Wars

ZUN Notes:

This is the third stage boss theme.

It is for the last boss battle, but players can reach it quickly, so it was hard to decide how heavy the song would be.

Starting with max power is too wearing, so I made it have a slow and happy feeling in the beginning, and a fast and hot feeling in the ending.

The tone is fairy-like, but the song itself is rather hot-blooded.

Extra Stage Theme - Loose Rain

ルーズレイン

ZUN Notes:

This is the extra stage theme.

It turned out feeling like being rushed uselessly in the introduction, but the whole song has a prank-like feel to it, fitting for the extra stage.

It gave an image of flight in the falling petals of cherry blossoms.

(Needless to say, I was rushed by the schedule during the composition.)

Extra Boss Theme - Magus Night

メイガスナイト

ZUN Notes:

This is the extra boss theme.

At first I planned to make it an arrangement of The Witches' Ball.

Since I composed it only with the impression left in my mind, it became a completely different song after all...

"A song arranged by the original composer can't be an arrangement" may mean this.

Anyway, isn't this a cool song? It's no problem if the song is good.

Ending Theme - An Ice Fairy in Spring -Still-

春の氷精 - 静 -

ZUN Notes:

This is the ending theme.

This is a different version of the opening theme.

It's a little more adult-y.

An adult man still talking of fairies is hopeless, right?

Trivia

  • Fairy Wars was the first danmaku game created by ZUN which will not feature his illustrations. Instead, Makoto Hirasaka, the artist of the Touhou Sangetsussei manga, provided them.
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