The three protagonists of Mystical Chain are the 3 Magicians, Marisa Kirisame, Alice Margatroid, and Patchouli Knowledge. Together, the three of them take on some of the most famous big-baddies of the Windows Touhou series.

Marisa Kirisame

Master Sparking her way through Mystical Chain is everyone's favorite klepto, Marisa. Her melee range is terrible and her special moves have rather limited use (aside from her beams, ze), but she hits hard and has the most broken air-dash in the game. And of course, her spellcard is worth playing her just by itself. She also improves the gain of Coupling Points at the end of every stage.

Paired with Alice

Have Alice initiate the combos, and follow up with Marisa. Marisa's "up,down,attack" special can be chained into right from her final blow in melee, so it's worth a nice combo to wail on something with two characters and then give a shryobroomken to the face. Marisa's beam special beats out all of Alice's ranged attacks, so abuse it freely. Alice's "down+attack" is far more reliable than Marisa's grenade special, so in this pairing, that move is a little unorthodox (although Marisa CAN use it in mid-air, so consider that). Alice's spellcard is best used against things as a follow-up, while Marisa's is a stage clear.

Paired with Patchouli

Two blasters don't always work well together, but these two do. Combo with Patchouli and switch to Marisa similarly to how you would with Alice (Patchouli's melee is far too slow to use as the secondary attacker without proper planning). Patchouli has nice ranged smash attacks to break guard, so have Marisa waiting in Ambush in order to put the extra hurt on. The two of them have unbelievably amazing spellcards, so use them however you see fit - and remember that Marisa's Master Spark aims downward when used in air.

Basic Attacks and Special Moves

Attack Marisa swings with her broom. Very short range.
Attack, repeatedly Marisa swings with her broom three times. The third swing smashes the enemy.
Forward + Attack Marisa smashes with her broom. Chargeable, and breaks guard.
Up + Attack Marisa smashes upward with her broom. Chargeable, and breaks guard. Useful for switching out for combos. Not usable in air.
Down+Attack Marisa slams downward with her broom. Chargeable, and breaks guard. Usable in air, unlike her upward smash.
Down, forward + Attack (236A) Forward-shooting laser, spanning the entire screen. When used in air, Marisa levitates as she uses it.
Up, forward + Attack (896A) Marisa tosses a blue jar-like grenade, which smashes any enemies it hits and extracts gems. Breaks most guard. Holding down the attack button lengthens the distance the object is thrown. Usable in air.
Down, up + Attack Marisa flies diagonally upward, landing multiple hits on the way up. Very useful for comboing at the end of a wall-slam. If the attack button is held down, Marisa will finish the shorybroomken with a slam downward.
Spellcard Who would Marisa be if she didn't use Master Spark? Aimed upward at a diagonal, Marisa's spellcard is an amazing way to get gems and combos during large-populated stages. If cast in mid-air, the beam is aimed downwards at a diagonal. Other uses of note are nearly one-hitting Kaguy/Mokou's final spell, OHKO Yuyuko's final spell, and decimating Patchouli's final spell.

If Marisa is in the air when the spellcard is activated, she aims it downward at an angle in the direction she is facing. This has about as many uses as her grounded version, but of note, this form of the spell could be used to take out Youmu while zipping around on the lower part of the screen, or taking Remi/Flan's final spellcard out.

Alice Margatroid

Alice is the balance of power in Mystical Chain, with quick, mid-range melee and a penchant for throwing enemies around the screen. She also grants you one additional SP, letting you use special attacks more often.

Paired with Patchouli

When paired with Patchouli, Alice makes a great secondary attacker, since Patchouli's attacks are so slow. When comboing in melee, switch to Alice after a full combo with Patchouli in order to keep the combos going - if the enemy is too far away, just use Alice's "Down, up, attack" special and hold down the attack button to bring that downed enemy right to your nose for a follow-up combo. Patchouli's forward smash is useful, but often very limited in use and has a long cool-down, so it is suggested to use Alice's "down+attack" whenever needed to guard break any enemies in front of you.

Paired with Marisa

Alice is the combo starter here, since Marisa's shroybroomken can add years of hurt onto an already-downed enemy. Since Marisa has her beam attack, you'll likely only use Alice as a ranged guard breaker and for her handy down,up,attack skill. However, except in certain situations, it's unlikely you'll be using Alice more often than Marisa (unless you just love using Alice). Use Alice's ranged physicals to Marisa's advantage and you'll do just fine.

Basic Attacks and Special Moves

Attack Fires a doll directly forward
Attack, repeatedly After the initial attack hits, Alice repeatedly attacks the target with dolls, then smashes the target away.
Up or Down, Attack Fires a doll diagonally up or down
Forward + Attack Fires a doll in a chargeable smash attack that sends the enemy flying. Breaks most guards.
Up + Attack Uses a barrel to trap an enemy and fire it into the air. Useful to initiate chains.
Down + Attack Alice sends out a doll along the ground that continues to run until it is off-screen. Any enemy it touches is hit hard, breaking their guard.
In the air, down + Attack A flip-kick that is chargeable to all enemies just below Alice. Breaks most guards.
Down, forward + Attack (236A) Alice throws out a doll that will begin spinning when an enemy enters its threatened area. If the attack button is held, Alice throws it further. When an enemy is struck by this attack, it is thrown towards the BACKSIDE of the doll. Lining these up and standing behind them can deal some serious damage, as the enemy is thrown from one doll to the next, until you have a chance to melee it at long last. This attack does not break guard, but it can send enemies flying clear across the screen. It requires one magic charge to use.
Up, forward + Attack (896A) Alice reaches out with a straw doll, which initiates a savage beating if it contacts a non-guarding enemy. The number of hits dealt during the attack is dependent upon the player rapidly pressing the attack button. This attack dispenses gems, and requires one magic charge to use.
Down, up + Attack One of Alice's most abusable attacks, Alice sends a doll to retrieve an enemy that has recently been knocked down. How is this useful? If you do not hold the attack button down when initiating this skill, the doll will forcefully fling the acquired enem(ies) into another surface of the screen, usually the far wall. If the player holds down the attack button when initiating this skill, however, the doll actually retrieves the enem(ies) and deposits them directly in front of Alice, without touching the ground. Alice can then initiate a whole new string of attacks that count towards the previous combo's hit count. This skill uses one magic charge, and can be reapplied every time Alice smacks an enemy away (it has been confirmed to be used 8 times, for a combo of over 40 with Alice's melee combo alone). Note that this DOES work against bosses who have been interrupted.
Spellcard Alice's spellcard is a short-ranged grab via one of her dolls. The doll flies into the air, discharges electricity into the enemy, and slams them into the ground. Very useful at the end of a combo, as it is easily comboed into through regular melee. Note that the doll can and will attach to multiple enemies, including bosses (can you say Remi and Flandre's final spell?).

Patchouli Knowledge

She's slow, has ridiculous cool-down time for her smash attacks, and isn't a good secondary attacker. Why take Patchouli? Her spellcard is amazing, her attacks almost all have some sort of area of effect, and she has greater range than Marisa and Alice combined. Why take Patchouli? Because she's the 7-Day Magician. She automatically charges your magic bar.

Paired with Marisa

Use Patchouli as the initial attacker, then follow up with Marisa. Each stage of Patchouli's basic combo can be charged to lengthen distance, so use this to your advantage. While her smash moves have ridiculous cool-downs, they do come out quick, so having Patchouli set up to Ambush something flying through the air can be a very plausible strategy. Marisa's short range can really benefit from Patchouli's bubble trap special, if you're into that sort of thing.

Paired with Alice

Like with Marisa, have Patchouli attack first, and switch to Alice to keep it going. After you've wailed on them a bunch, say, 40+ hits due to Alice's "down,up,attack" special, Silent Selene the crap out of them. Patchouli is definitely the supporter in this duo, unless you're attempting to clear everything on the screen from a longer distance. I recommend using Patchouli on all the Scarlet Mansion levels - her range can make or break a beatdown against those maids.

Basic Attacks and Special Moves

Attack Shoots some stars forward. Charging this attack causes them to go further.
Attack, repeatedly Shoots multiple stars forward, followed by a gear, followed by a smashing rocket. Any one of these three attacks can be charged, causing it to travel further (it's quite fun but kind of tricky to charge the gear).
Forward + Attack Shoots a smashing rocket forward with very long range. Breaks most guard.
Forward + Attack, up or down Shoots the same rocket, diagonally upward or downward
Down + Attack Patchouli summons some wind around her, pushing her upward and smashing nearby enemies. Slams enemies into the ground. Unconfirmed guard break. Usable in air.
Up+Attack Patchouli summons jagged rocks from underneath the ground at her feet. Pops enemies into the air, breaking guard. Charging this attack causes an extra set of rocks to appear, further out from Patchouli.
Down, forward + Attack (236A) Patchouli calls forth a heavenly light that lands 25 hits against all enemies in a vertical column on the screen. The spacing can be a bit tricky.
Up, forward + Attack (896A) Patchouli shoots a bubble in front of her which incapacitates an enemy temporarily. Does not work on enemies who guard from the front.
Down, up + Attack Eight stars fly away from Patchouli in a circle. If there is an enemy in a radius near Patchouli the size of her Master's circle, the attack has a chance to home in on the enemy. Holding down the attack button when initiating this attack allows slightly safer distances when homing in. If no target is available, the stars shoot out in straight lines in all directions from Patchouli.
Spellcard Silent Selene is Patchouli's spellcard of choice in Mystical Chain. This spell affects all enemies in a rather large area of effect directly over Patchouli's head. The especially nice thing about this spell is that if any enemy that has been hit by this spellcard at least once is still in the air after Patchouli's first onslaught, she causes a second wave of the spell with an even greater area of effect. This spell has innumerable uses, mainly to buff one's Gem and Chain bonuses during regular stages, but also has amazing use during spellcard battles. Namely: the Yama's final spell, Mokou/Kaguya's final spell, all but one of Youmu/Yuyuko's spells, and Remi/Flan's third and fourth spells.

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