The game may be played using either a keyboard or a gamepad.
Keyboard controls are as follows:
- The Arrow Keys move the character around
- Z causes a short barrage of shots to be fired; it may be held down for rapidfire
- X releases a bomb, also known as a Spell Card (presuming that any are left)
- Shift slows the character's movement
- Esc pauses the game and brings you to the in-game menu
Lotus Land Story plays like a fairly typical vertically-scrolling danmaku shooting game, in which the player's character is always facing towards the top of the screen, shooting at anything that moves, avoiding and weaving between enemy bullets, and confronting difficult bosses at the end of each stage.
There are 4 levels of difficulty: Easy, Normal, Hard, and Lunatic. Each difficulty level features differences in the number of bullets fired by each enemy, rate of fire, variations in the bullets' pattern of movement, and the intensity of enemy Spell Cards used.
The player will traverse 6 increasingly harrowing stages through the course of a regular game. The Easy difficulty ends prematurely at Stage 5, as will the game on any difficulty if the player has used a continue at any point in the game prior to completing Stage 5.
Once the game has been completed without continuing on any difficulty, an Extra Stage is unlocked, available for play with any character type that has accomplished that feat. The Extra Stage features significantly stronger and faster enemies, two extremely difficult boss battles, and no option to continue if all lives are lost.
A character's "shot" is the player's primary method of attacking enemies. While the shot's attack area and behavior varies depending on the character type the player has chosen, the shot can be powered up by filling up the Power Level by collecting power items. Small items increase your power level by 1, large items by 10. The shot gradually becomes more powerful when the player reaches the Power Levels of 15, 31, 47, 71, 95, and 127 (MAX), respectively. When the player reaches MAX power, all bullets on the screen cancel out.
A character's "bomb" is the player's limited-use method of getting out of difficult situations. A bomb's attack area, duration, and power varies depending on the character type the player has chosen, but it typically deals heavy damage to every enemy it touches, in addition to canceling out any bullets in the bomb's way, as well as automatically collecting every item on screen. The player's character becomes invincible during and for a short time after the bomb's effect wears off. By default, at the beginning of the game, and any time your character respawns, you will start off with 2 bombs. Bomb items will increase your current stock by one. You can carry up to a maximum of 8 bombs at a time. If you receive a bomb when you already have the maximum, that bomb will be lost.
With default settings, you will start off with 3 lives. You can lose a life by getting "hit" by an enemy attack.
The hit box for your character is quite small in comparison to your on-screen sprite, approximately only 5 pixels by 5 pixels in size. It is not clearly marked on the sprite, but it is possible to approximate it's location well by looking at the red ribbon in Reimu's hair, which defines the top of the box, or the area where Marisa's long yellow hair ends, which defines the lower boundary of the box. If the hit box of your character's sprite comes into contact with the hit box of an enemy bullet, laser, or the enemy itself, then you have been hit.
The player is awarded extra lives upon reaching certain score totals or by collecting 1up items. For the regular game, extra lives are awarded at 3, 8, 15, 22, and 30 million points. There is no upper limit to the number of extra lives you can hold. So, through default settings, you can collect 8 extra lives, which results in a total of 10 extra lives.
Upon losing all their lives, the player is given the choice to continue right where they left off. However, if you do continue, your current score will be reset back to 0 + the number of times you have continued and you will reach a "Bad Ending" if you finish the game. You may continue up to 3 times.
There exists a rank system in this game. As rank increases, enemy bullets will generally become faster and more plentiful. This effect that rank has in this game is most prominent with boss attacks, where the bullet difference between minimum and maximum rank can differ by a factor of 4 or more.
Factors that increase rank:
・Play Time ・Getting extra lives ・Point items collected in a single stage ・Collecting items during a bomb (Bomb Bonus) ・High Clear Bonus ・Attaining full power and getting power items ・Clearing a stage without getting hit ・Clearing a stage without using bombs
Factors that decrease rank:
・Getting hit ・Letting items go off-screen (not including power items) ・Low Clear Bonus ・Timing out on boss attacks
There are two characters to choose from, each of which have two styles of attack. The player decides which character to play and which attack type to use at the start of the game.
夢と伝統を保守する巫女 (The shrine maiden who maintains dream and tradition)
- Basic Performance
- Moving Speed:
- Attack Range:
- Attack Power:
- Reimu Type A
- Shot: 「サーチショット」 "Search Shot"
- Reimu Type B
- Shot: 「ワイドショット」 "Wide Shot"
魔法と紅夢からなる存在 (Existence which consists of magic and red dream)
- Basic Performance
- Moving Speed:
- Attack Range:
- Attack Power:
- Marisa Type A
- Shot: 「イリュージョンレーザー」 "Illusion Laser"
- Marisa Type B
- Shot: 「ラピッドショット」 "Rapid Shot"
- Your Character
- Player Score
- HiScore: displays your highest score for the current character, type, and difficulty
- Score: your current score
- Enemy Health Bar
- Player Stock
- 霊撃 : the number of remaining bombs
- 靈夢 : the number of remaining lives
- Player Status
- 点 (Point): displays how many Point Items you collected during this stage
- 夢 (Dream Bonus): displays your current dream bonus point value
- 弾 (Graze): displays how many times enemy shots have grazed your hitbox during this stage
- 霊力 (Power): displays your shot power level
- Difficulty Setting
Scoring works similar to many other Touhou games in many aspects. Listed below are the details for how points are given in Lotus Land Story.
Any damage you deal to any enemy, whether it be caused by your shots or your bombs, will cause your score to increase very slightly. Actually destroying enemies will award you slightly more points, but the points earned from this are around the range of hundreds to thousands of points per enemy. This is not a significant amount at all. However, enemies shoot bullets for you to "graze" and release items for you to collect, and those are very important for scoring as covered below.
"Grazing a bullet" means to have a bullet or laser come dangerously close to your hitbox. Each graze will add a certain number of points to your score, specific to the difficulty setting, and will increase your "Graze number" by 1, which is used to calculate the Clear bonus.
Easy - 1000 Normal - 2500 Hard - 4000 Lunatic - 5000 Extra - 25600
You can only graze a bullet once, so you won't gain any additional points or graze by following a bullet. Unlike the Windows games, you cannot graze lasers. There is a maxiumum of 999 grazes in any stage.
As the name implies, point items are the major source of points in the game. The higher up on the screen you collect them, the more points they are worth, up to a maximum of 51200 points. You can easily tell when you are collecting point items for their maximum value, since they show the value in yellow text. An important thing to keep in mind is that point items collected even a pixel below the maximum value threshold are only worth anywhere from 28000 points (near-top of screen) to 2000 points (very bottom of screen). This is a non-trivial difference, so do your best to collect items without prematurely retreating down to the lower parts of the screen. The number of point items collected per stage is used to calculate the Clear bonus, to be discussed later.
While your shot is not fully powered up, power items are worth only 10 points. However, once maximum shot power has been reached, each additional power item collected will be worth more than the previous one collected, up to a maximum of 12,800 points per power item. Unlike point items, power items will award you the same number of points anywhere on the screen. However, if you lose a life and your power level to less than maximum, power items will be worth only 10 points just like the beginning, and you will have to start this process over again. The progression is as follows: 10, 20, 30... 100, 200, 300... 1000, 1500, 2000... 10000, 10500, 11000, 12000, 12500, 12800. In other words, it takes 42 power items to get from a value of 10 to 12800.
Large power items act the same as normal power items, except that when you are at maximum shot power, they increase the current value of power items as if you had collected 10 normal power items. However, if a large power item is collected when the power item worth is at maximum (12800), the player receives 25600 points (12800 x 2) instead.
Full power items (F) are worth 1000 points.
The dream bonus system is unique to Lotus Land Story. When special dream items are collected, your dream bonus, displayed at the bottom-right corner of the screen, increases by a preset interval. The progression is as follows: 1000, 2000, 4000, 6000, 8000, 10000, and 12800. When you collect a dream item, the value of your dream bonus (after the increment) is added to your score.
Additionally, when point items are collected, the value of your current dream bonus is appended to the point worth of the item collected. Therefore, the highest potential value for a point item is 64000 (51200 + 12800). If you are hit, your dream bonus amount drops by one level (i.e. from 10000 to 8000). The dream bonus that you finish the stage with is used to calculate the Clear bonus, to be discussed later. Furthermore, your dream bonus is reset to zero after completing every stage.
When a Bomb is activated, all items on screen are automatically pulled toward your character and collected, for double their usual worth. For this reason, well-placed Bombs can provide large boosts to your score.
Enemy Bullet Bonus
All bullets on screen are nullified when you defeat an attack pattern of a boss or midboss (by depleting part of their current health bar or defeating them). Each eliminated bullet is worth a bonus number of points, up to a maximum of 12800 points per bullet. This bonus is not connected to the Boss Clear Bonus below.
Boss Clear Bonus
When you defeat a stage midboss or clear an attack pattern of a boss (by depleting a portion of their health bar), all enemy bullets on screen are tallied up and contributed to a Boss Clear Bonus. The more enemy bullets there are on screen, the higher this bonus becomes. The worth of bullets is determined by their size and type, up to a maximum of 12800 points per bullet (displayed in yellow). Some bullets' values are not displayed, but are added to the Boss Clear Bonus, regardless. The total bonus is displayed after the midboss or boss is defeated.
At the end of each stage, the player is awarded a point bonus based on their performance throughout the stage. The bonus is calculated as follows:
Stage number x 1000 Power level x 100 Graze count x 50 Dream bonus (at time of stage completion)
This combined total is then multiplied by the number of point items collected in that stage.
If the stage happened to be the last stage, a stage bonus of 10000 is used instead, and the following is added:
Lives remaining in stock x 10000
Finally, depending on the conditions you played under, the result is multiplied by these modifiers, rounded down to the nearest 10:
4 Initial Lives: x 0.7 5 Initial Lives: x 0.5 6 Initial Lives: x 0.3 Easy Difficulty: x 0.5 Normal Difficulty: x 1.0 Hard Difficulty: x 1.2 Lunatic Difficulty: x 1.4 ** There is no multiplier bonus for Extra difficulty ** 1 Continue Used: x 0.8 2 Continues Used: x 0.6 3 Continues Used: x 0.4
The end result is then added on to your score.
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