Touhou 13 Ten Desires is the 13th game in ZUN's long running Touhou Project series. It stars Marisa, Reimu, Sanae and Youmu as the four playable characters this time around.
A recent influx of divine spirits sends warning signs across Gensokyo. The heroine (Reimu, Marisa, Sanae, or Youmu) decides to investigate to see what is the source of the spirits' strange behavior. After the heroine is led to a mystical mausoleum, she eventually encounters Toyosatomimi no Miko, the resurrected Prince Shoutoku and the source of the spirits' odd behavior. The spirits all gathered to witness the resurrection of the ancient prince. Spurred by the moment, Miko challenges the heroine to a battle as a test of her power but is bested.
In the extra stage, the heroine hears that a new youkai has entered Gensokyo. Nue Houjuu, frightened by the news of Miko's resurrection, brought over her friend Mamizou Futatsuiwa from the outside world as backup against Miko. However, since the heroine has already defeated Miko, the issue is largely dropped and Mamizou fights the heroine out of boredom. The heroine is once again triumphant.
Unlike previous games, each character in Ten Desires has only a single shot type that changes when focused and unfocused.
Shrine Maiden of Five Desires
- Normal: Homing Amulets
- Focused: Precision Needles
- Spellcard: Spirit Sign "Fantasy Seal"
- Normal: Illusionary Laser
- Focused: Magic Missile
- Spellcard: Love Sign "Master Spark"
Shrine Maiden of Selfish Desires
- Normal: Mighty Wind
- Focused: Mighty Blast
- Spellcard: Esoterica "Great Thaumaturgy"
Half-Spirit with Desire for Death
- Normal: Sword Slash
- Focused: Kekka Fu Zan
- Spellcard: Void Slash "Slash Clearing the Six Senses"
Ten Desires functions similarly to previous titles in the series and other games in the bullet hell genre.
Divine Spirits are a unique collectable that appears in Ten Desires and are released when enemies are defeated. They come in four varieties: blue, gray, purple and green. Blue spirits, when collected, will increase the amount of points gained when collecting items from the top of the screen and lightly fill the trance gauge. Gray spirits are always worth the maximum amount of points no matter where they are collected and fill the trance gauge more than blue spirits. Green spirits function as bomb pieces and collecting enough will give the player an additional bomb. Players must collect 8 green spirits to gain an extra bomb. Purple spirits function as life pieces and can grant the player additional lives, though at an increasing cost for each additional life.
The trance bar is located in the bottom left corner of the screen and is filled in levels. At Level 1, the player can manually enter a trance state where they become impervious to enemy attacks and are free to damage enemies for a set period of time. Additionally, divine spirits will be worth more points. Levels 2 and 3 function the same, but last longer.
If the player is hit while they have at least one level of trance, they will instantly enter the trance state. Trance will function the same, but once the timer is up, the player will instantly lose a life and the trance bar will be emptied. Players have to decide if they want to use a trance to increase their score, as a an additional bomb, or as a last-ditch effort to defeat enemies after taking a hit.
Title Screen Theme
Spirit of Avarice
The theme for the title screen.
The same melody as always. This time, I bring it with darker colors.
I tend to feel that STGs are liked more when they have a dark world view, rather than a pop one.
This game isn’t dark at all, though.
Stage 1 Theme
Night Sakura of Dead Spirits
The first stage theme.
It’s been a while since we last went to the netherworld. Since this time, the theme concerns both the PCB world and the UFO world, the netherworld had to be there.
It sounds melodious, but I made it rhythmical so that I won’t forget that it’s a first stage song.
Stage 1 Boss
Yuyuko Saigyouji's theme.
Not really an easy piece to classify.
Since I had to bring out the fact that she's only a first stage boss, I stopped myself from arranging a previous song of hers.
In this game she just acts as a "nameless npc villager" who helps the protagonists on their way.
Stage 2 Theme
Welcome to Youkai Temple
The second stage theme.
Normally a temple is nice and quiet in the morning.
But in a temple that Youkai live in, it’s noisier from night to daybreak.
Youkai that live in the temple... Doesn't that bring up all sorts of images?
Using that image, I made it my own sort of Japanese song.
Stage 2 Boss
Youkai Girl at the Gates
Kyouko Kasodani's theme.
Do people still shout “Yahoo” when they go to the mountains?
Or do you feel embarrassed all of a sudden and can’t find the courage to shout?
Well of course the Yamabiko get bored, it's understandable for them to go in to Buddhism from the boredom.
By the way, if you try to relieve stress by shouting "Idiot!" out toward the open sea, you'll startle the fishermen.
Stage 3 Theme
Let's Live in a Lovely Cemetery
The third stage theme.
Cemeteries that appear in games- unless it’s a horror game- tends to make you imagine of a comical one. So there’s no meaning in making the music too dark and heavy too.
So I brushed it up with a comical feel as much as I can.
I can’t resist this nostalgic feeling (Personally too)
Stage 3 Boss
Yoshika Miyako's theme.
Although she is a Jiang Shi, she was based on a zombie, so her theme's introduction is a little exotic. But then as I was writing it I noticed that the introduction has something of an Egyptian feel, sort of like a pyramid or something.
But that would be a mummy, not a zombie...
Stage 4 Theme
The fourth stage theme.
I made it a flowing song to completely switch away from the first half of the game.
It feels nice to rush through a narrow space at high speed.
This is okay in caves, but don't run in halls at school or in the work office.
Caves are nice. (You shouldn't run in a limestone cavern, either.)
Stage 4 Boss
Seiga Kaku's theme.
She's a wicked hermit. Kind of like a magician that does a large assortment of tricks.
So, I aimed for a suspicious song where you never know what's going to fly out at you next.
Being able to pass through walls would be useful for running away, but it's not too useful for fighting, is it? It would be a critical hit to a nurikabe, though.
Stage 5 Theme
The Hall of Dreams' Great Mausoleum
The fifth stage theme.
Since we just came barreling through a narrow cave, I decided to write a nice, expansive song to contrast it.
It's so stimulating to find such enormous spaces underground, isn't it?
I wanted to compose something that would make you feel that kind of excitement.
Stage 5 Boss
Mononobe no Futo's theme.
Since it's Mononobe-san, the title is pronounced "Oomiwa Shinwaden".
I get the feeling there aren't many games that are themed around the time between the Tumulus periods and Asuka periods. Maybe people just can't picture an image of them?
This song was written with only the sound of Asuka in mind. Asukaaaaa!
Stage 6 Theme
Starry Sky of Small Desires
The sixth stage theme.
You're usually pretty exhausted by the time you reach stage 6, so this song is just a connector.
It's not really clear where this is, but it's probably inside the Hall of Dreams' Great Mausoleum. That mystery space.
Stage 6 Boss
聖徳伝説 ～ True Administrator
Shoutoku Legend ~ True Administrator
Toyosatomimi no Miko's theme.
The motif is based on a historical figure everyone knows.
I figured it would be rude if it wasn't a powerful, cool song, so it turned out like this.
He's suddenly been made into a fictional character recently, so I used the opportunity to move him to Gensokyo. Many thanks~
Extra Stage Theme
Youkai Back Road Shrine
The extra stage theme.
You never know what kind of retro youkai might pop onto the road with this song.
Youkai always seem to have such fun no matter the circumstances.
That's probably because they're enlightened by knowing exactly what their purpose in life is.
In that case, there's one way to be sure to enjoy life. Accept whatever you've got now.
Extra Stage Boss
Futatsuiwa from Sado
Mamizou Futatsuiwa's theme.
It's full of that old tanuki feeling.
Both foxes and tanuki are seen as tricksters, but of the two, tanuki seem more laid-back, right? So, they're probably not well suited towards danmaku battles, but as expected, the danmaku morphed into something else and...
A New Wind at the Shrine
The ending theme.
It's a liiiiiiight ending.
You know, Reimu and company haven't been doing much incident solving lately.
Staff Roll Theme
The staff roll theme.
This is a different version of Desire Drive.
The sense of speed has mostly been lost, but maybe it has a floating feeling now instead.
Lately I've been wondering if there's a real point to the staff roll.