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PatchCon: Gameplay

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The game is played using a mouse, though a keyboard may be used for shortcuts.

Mouse controls are as follows:

  • Left-click selects a unit.
  • Left-click and drag draws a rectangle which selects all units inside when released.
  • Right-click orders selected units to move or attack an enemy.

Keyboard controls are as follows:

  • The 1-5 keys activate spell cards.
  • Q, W, E, R, T selects a unit group in the toolbar.
  • A, S, D, F, G selects all units of one group.
  • Z selects all units.
  • V trains one unit of the group selected in the toolbar.
  • C upgrades the unit group selected in the toolbar
  • N sells all selected units for coins.
  • Esc pauses the game and brings you to the in-game menu
  • Space brings the next wave of enemies
  • Alt+Enter toggles between windowed and full-screen display
  • F9 lowers the sound effects volume.
  • F10 raises the sound effects volume.
  • F11 lowers the BGM volume.
  • F12 raises the BGM volume.

Basic Gameplay

PatchCon is a real-time strategy game set in Patchouli Knowledge's library where you must defeat waves of enemies attempting to steal books.

There are 4 levels of difficulty: Easy, Normal, Hard, and Lunatic. Harder difficulties are longer, have more paths to attack the books from and don't tell you what's coming up. However harder difficulties also give you more starting money.

Characters have 3 different types; Melee, Danmaku, and Flying. Melee trumps Danmaku, Danmaku trumps Flying, Flying trumps Melee. Stats and skills vary between all characters.

After choosing your characters, you will find yourself in Patchouli's library with 2000-5000 coins and nothing happening on-screen. Once you've trained a few units and pressed start, wave after wave of enemy characters will appear and try to attack the 4 small bookshelves near the center of the map. If you can't stop them in time, they will each steal one book and fly off. If you lose all 20 books, the game will end.

Upgrading your characters along the way will greatly improve them. When you upgrade a character, the upgrade cost for the next level will increase, and it will make buying more of that character more expensive. Upgrading your characters applies the benefits to all units of that type: current, future, and awaiting respawn.

The game has its own time system, which is illustrated by the clock in the top-right corner of the screen. Each round will start the at noon and end at midnight in game-time. Once the clock strikes midnight, a large wave of Marisas (known for "borrowing" books and coming back with them very late, if at all) attack the library. At this point, if you clear the screen of all enemies at without losing all of your books, then you win the game.

Screen Layout

  1. The clock shows how long you have until the next wave of enemies (varies by difficulty level), and how far you've progressed.
  2. Number of books remaining in the bookshelf, coin amount, and spell cards.
  3. A display that shows of how many of each of your characters are alive, how many are waiting to respawn, the time left for a unit to respawn, and the level of each character type.
  4. Buttons to buy (top) and upgrade (bottom) units of the selected type. If you have units selected a button to sell the units will show here.
  5. Character information panel showing the selected character's type, available skills, name, and their various status elements. The status elements are:
    • Level
    • HP
    • Attack
    • Defense
    • Danmaku Defense
    • Attack Range
    • Movement Speed - Movement Speed While Attacking
  6. Start or Next button: allows you to start the game or advance game-time, bringing the next wave of attackers.
  7. Bookshelf that contains the books you are protecting.
  8. Respawn point for slain units.
  9. Display showing information about the next wave of bakas enemies.
    • 近接型 = melee
    • 弾幕型 = danmaku
    • 飛行型 = flying
  10. All of your scoring information. The scoring rate multiplier will also show here.

Spell Cards

Spell cards (which are based on the 5 elements) assist your army in defending. They do the following in order of left to right:

  • Red card (Fire): Does damage to all enemies (also off-screen) equal to half their maximum HP.
  • Blue card (Water): Reduces the respawn time of all of your characters by 90%.
  • Green card (Wind): Greatly increases the attack and movement speeds of your characters.
  • Golden card (Metal): Prevents enemies from stealing books.
  • Brown card (Earth): Grants your units temporary invulnerability.

All spell cards are cast instantaneously, and all but the red card (fire spell) have a duration of 15 seconds. You can cast as many spell cards at once as you want, but each card can only be used once, so use them wisely. When you use a spell card, your time multiplier (gained if you hit next) is immediately reset to x1.

Difficulty Levels


  • Library is sealed off from the right.
  • Game lasts for 6 levels.
  • 2000 starting gold.
  • The game tells you where the next wave will come from.
  • 4 enemy waves per game hour (one every 15 minutes), 48 waves total.
  • Ratio of real time to game time is 1:60; game ends in 12 minutes if not advanced.
  • 1 spawn point for your units.
  • Fewer Marisas in the final wave.
  • Less chance of powerful units appearing?


  • Library is hard to access from the right.
  • Game lasts for 7 levels.
  • 2000 starting gold.
  • The game tells you where the next wave will come from.
  • 6 enemy waves per game hour (one every 10 minutes), 72 waves total.
  • Ratio of real time to game time is 1:40; game ends in 18 minutes if not advanced.
  • 2 spawn points for your units.


  • Library has few obstacles.
  • Game lasts for 8 levels.
  • 3000 starting gold.
  • The game tells you who is in the next wave, but not where it comes from.
  • 9 enemy waves per game hour (one every 6 min 40 sec), 108 waves total.
  • Ratio of real time to game time is 3:80 (1:26.666); game ends in 27 minutes if not advanced.
  • 4 spawn points for your units.


  • Bookshelves are right in the middle, the only obstacles are in the corners.
  • Game lasts for 9 levels.
  • 5000 starting gold.
  • The game gives no information about the next wave.
  • 12 enemy waves per game hour (one every 5 minutes), 144 waves total.
  • Ratio of real time to game time is 1:20; game ends in 36 minutes if not advanced.
  • 4 spawn points for your units.
  • More Marisas in the final wave.
  • More chance of powerful units appearing?


Using the Next button or Space key to advance waves gives you a score multiplier (up to x16) for a limited period of time, which multiplies the points you gain by its current value. Once pressed, the Bonus Time counter will jump to a number that depends on how early you chose to advance (max 150 per advancement), and begin counting down. As the Bonus Time counter drops, the score multiplier will also lower. The score multiplier will drop by 1 for each instance Bonus Time falls below a multiple of 100, unless it is higher than 1500, in which case it will remain at x16. Once Bonus Time reaches 0, the score multiplier will disappear and reset back to the x1 default. Using one of the spell cards sets the Bonus Time counter to 0, so the multiplier to the 1x default. If the spell card has an effect which lasts for a certain time (4 of your 5 spell cards do!), it is not possible to expand the Bonus Time counter and of course the multiplier during the whole duration, no matter how many additional waves are spawned. Always keep that in mind when you think of using a spell card, because sometimes the loss of a 16x multiplier, which was build over a long time, cuts your final score more, than the loss of one book.

The number of books you have remaining will heavily influence your final score. Each book acts as a multiplier for your score at the end of the game, giving you a maximum of 20 times your score upon successfully defending the library.

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