PlayStation 4

Touhou: Scarlet Curiosity Is Supposed To Be A Cure For Boredom


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The Touhou Project games have been delighting fans in Japan since 1996. Shoot’em ups, RPGs, action games, and others have been released starring the many denizens of Gensokyo, but they’re only just starting to be published outside of Japan. One of these is Touhou: Scarlet Curiosity, which XSEED is bringing to the PlayStation 4 in autumn 2016 and has at E3.


We’re actually getting Touhou: Scarlet Curiosity pretty quickly, all things considered. It was originally released on Windows PCs back in 2014 at Comiket 86 as Touhou Koukishin. It’s an action RPG game from Ankake Spa that’s a sequel to their previous game, Touhou: Youyou Kengeki. This means that the game is not only inspired by the main Touhou Project shoot’em ups, where enemies have bullet patterns that need to be analyzed so you can weave between attacks, but takes cues from some entries in the Ys series.


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Remilia Scarlet and her maid, Sakyua Izayoi, both explore environments around Remilia’s mansion in their routes. Their attacks, and those of major opponents, will involve energy bullets and beams. There are also more minor enemies to defeat, environmental objects to destroy, and treasures to discover. Rinnosuke Morichika, one of the few men in the series, appears as a shopkeeper. There are places both inside and outside the Scarlet Devil Mansion to explore, with the two heroines able to jump to reach different levels of areas. The two women will even level up as you play, making them stronger. It has a balance of both genre’s worlds.


While such games are designed to amuse the people playing them, Ankake Spa made this the motivation for a Touhou: Scarlet Curiosity heroine too. Remilia is a vampire who’s been in Gensokyo for over 500 years, though she only made her debut in the sixth Touhou Project game, Touhou Koumakyou: The Embodiment of Scarlet Devil. There, she was pulling off a Mr. Burns sort of plan to block out the sun so she could freely roam regardless of the time of day. Her age has given her the sort of wisdom that comes from existing so many years, while her vampiric nature gives her incredible strength, speed, and magical abilities, as well as the ability to change into a bat and summon minions. She also supposedly possess the ability to manipulate fate in some way, which seems suspect considering there have been many games where other residents of Gensokyo have been able to beat her in battles, so it’s not exactly clear how it works or if its a means of jinxing people or knowing what will happen in the future.


Regardless, she’s an incredibly powerful heroine who’s been part of the series since 2002, which is why she’s so desperate for some kind of challenge in Touhou: Scarlet Curiosity. This game gives her the first hint of an enemy worth her time. She finally has a monster with the ability to test even her, and it’s brought even more friends to overtake her mansion.


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Sakuya Izayoi is Remilia’s servant and head maid in the Scarlet Devil Mansion. In games and other Touhou media, she often shows up in her mistress’ company, acting as a partner or subordinate. So much so that she also debuted in Touhou Koumakyou: The Embodiment of Scarlet Devil as the boss just before Remilia. She isn’t a vampire like Remilia or fairy like the rest of the maids. She’s one of the few humans living in Gensokyo, but has abilities far beyond an ordinary human. To be specific, she’s known for manipulating both time and space in the games, being able to speed it up and slow it down, and can even create parallel universes. She uses these skills and her knives for her attacks.


While you’re spending your time restoring the Scarlet Devil Mansion in Touhou: Scarlet Curiosity, either by sending Remilia out to find a real challenge or having Sakuya clean up the mess, these aren’t the only thing to do in the game. The two routes there are one means of amusement, trophy goals appear as another, and the final way to keep busy is to head into a bonus dungeon. In fact, it’s encouraged. It’s a labyrinth below the manor that’s 20 floors deep and appears after you beat the game with one of the women. Beating this special boss on the final level of this extra dungeon will give you an extra ending if you go back and redo the end of the campaign.


Entertainment is the reason all games exist, and Touhou: Scarlet Curiosity is one of those that also makes it the reason for the situation Remilia and Sakuya face in this PlayStation 4 release. It’s quite a detailed adventure, with sometimes familiar bosses to beat and an extra dungeon waiting at the end. Later this year, it’ll give everyone something to do.


Touhou: Scarlet Curiosity will come to the PlayStation 4 via the PlayStation Store in fall 2016. It was released in Japan on February 10, 2016.

Jenni Lada
About The Author
Jenni is Editor-in-Chief at Siliconera and has been playing games since getting access to her parents' Intellivision as a toddler. She continues to play on every possible platform and loves all of the systems she owns. (These include a PS4, Switch, Xbox One, WonderSwan Color and even a Vectrex!) You may have also seen her work at GamerTell, Cheat Code Central, Michibiku and PlayStation LifeStyle.