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Hong Meiling is a youkai, though it isn't currently known which specific category she actually belongs to. She guards the entrance to the Scarlet Devil Mansion along with her henchmen. She is known for her mastery of the martial arts, part of which can be seen from her movement which is performed with Shin-Kyaku (a move in Chinese martial arts).
During the events of Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, she tries to stop the heroine from entering the mansion, but fails. On Immaterial and Missing Power, she actually has no proper backstory and is only playable at arcade. However on Touhou Hisoutensoku, she is a playable character and the only one that encounters the Unnamed Giant Catfish, even though she never properly defeated it.
During Unthinkable Natural Law, Meiling spotted a wandering giant and thought it was a Chinese god, "Taisui Xinjun". Meiling went to locate the giant and battle them, not realising the danger she was in.