Left, Right, Up, Down "Move", and combinations of these movements. Moves your character around in the 2-dimensional playing field.
"Slow". This is functionally similar to "focused" mode in other Touhou games. When this key is pressed and held, the transforming "scope" of your character is activated and is shown by a darkened shape around your character. Each character has a unique scope, many of which can be manipulated in some way. In addition, the hit box in the center of your character becomes visible, and your character's movement becomes slower for better control when maneuvering through complex patterns.
"Spell". Casts the highest level charge spell your character is currently capable of. This may not be used to unleash a level 1 attack. These are similar to bombs -- they have a lot of impact on the opponent's field. Depending on what level of spell this unleashes, it may also have the effect of destroying some or all targets and obstacles currently on your field. However, this also empties your meter.
"Fire". The primary firing key. When held, this key will "charge up" your spell attack, allowing you to choose any level spell you want. For example, if your spell meter is at 3, holding the "Fire" key will charge it so you can use a level 1 spell, a level 2 spell, or a level 3 spell. It will stop at the highest level you are capable of using. To use a specific level, simply release the Fire button when the charge reaches the level you wish to use. Charging a level 2 or higher spell also unleashes a free level 1 "charge shot" to destroy targets. Depending on the level of the spell cast, it may also clear your field. Charging a spell will consume one less charge bar than the level of the spell used; this means that level 1 attacks are free, provided you are at least at spell level 1 to use them.
An alternate control scheme allows you to hold down the fire button to fire normal shots and enter focused/scope mode, while charging is done through the slow button.
Keyboard controls are as follows:
- The Arrow Keys or Number Pad: Move
- Z: Fire
- X: Spell
- Left Shift: Slow
The Left and Right setups are designed for and only permitted in human vs. human match mode. At any other time, Full keyboard will automatically take precedence.
- The Number Pad: Move
- Down Arrowkey: Fire
- Right Arrowkey: Spell
- Left Arrowkey: Slow
- F, H, T, and B: Move
- Z: Fire
- X: Spell
- Left Shift: Slow
Note on movement: Rather than using combinations of left, right, up, and down when using the letters (Left setup) or the numberpad (Right setup, permitted with Full setup) it is possible to use the keys in the desired diagonal direction (r, y, v, and n for the letters, or 7, 9, 1, and 3 for the Number Pad)
Additional Keyboard Controls
- Esc pauses the game and brings you to the in-game menu
- Ctrl fast-forwards through any dialogue
- Home produces a bitmap (.bmp) screenshot in the /snapshot directory.
- Enter may be used as an "okay" key on menus, if the Right or Left control setups are in use, then this will confirm both player's selections on the character selection screen.
Field Layout and Scoring
In Phantasmagoria of Flower View, you have the option to choose one of multiple characters to go through the story mode, which consists of 9 levels. Each character has their own specific set of movement speeds, "scopes", and offensive weapons such as spells and "specials". Depending on the skill level of the player, characters may also find that they are disadvantaged against certain other characters for various reasons.
The playing field is split into two halves vertically, with the human player usually taking the left hand side by default, whilst the AI takes the right hand side. The objective is to survive longer than the other player. Survivability is dependent on defensive, offensive and dodging skills.
When a match begins, obstacles and targets will begin to fill the screen.
In the upper left corner, there is a counter showing both the combo counter and a score counter (labelled Spell Points), with a constantly shrinking timer bar. The score counter goes up when you destroy things, which also refills the timer bar. It resets if you get hit or the timer bar expires. The score counter determines how many points each fairy is worth, which gets added to your total score, shown in the upper right corner. It also dictates how fast your spellbar recharges as you kill fairies, spirits and 'delete' bullets.
To distinguish between the Score Counter in the upper-left and Total Score (see below) in the upper-right, the former will be referred to as "Bpoints" (Bar points) and the latter as "Tpoints" (Total points) from here on.
At 100,000, 300,000, and 500,000 Bpoints a level 4 attack is automatically unleashed against your opponent. Furthermore, at 500,000 Bpoints you also get a free level 3 attack unleashed at the same time. If you reach 999,990, it stops increasing and every fairy you destroy from then on shows a yellow BONUS! marker - by this point you will be racking up Tpoints and spellbar like mad.
You get an extra life at 10, 30, 50, 70, and 90 million Tpoints. In Extra Mode, you get an extra life every 5 million Tpoints up through 40 million for a total of 8 lives. You get Tpoints for killing fairies/spirits/etc and also for destroying (any) bullets with spells.
Each killable object (fairy/spirit/etc) yields Bpoints and Tpoints. Fairies increase the score counter by (10*[number of fairies killed this match] + 100) and spirits increase it by 1200 [to check: does this 1200 number increase with kills too?]. Thus as the match progresses, your score counter will increase faster since each fairy increases it by much more and there will be many more spirits to kill (spell card kills count for Bpoint gathering).
At the end of the match/level, you get lots of Tpoints for:
- every half Health dot you have remaining (100k Tpoints each)
- longest combo (length times 10k Tpoints)
- how many Fairy- or Witch-level spells you cast (150k Tpoints each)
- how many Dragon-level Boss spells you call (300k Tpoints each)
- how many enemy Bosses you nullify by calling your own Dragon-level spell (300k Tpoints each time, in addition to previous one)
- remaining lives after beating Round 9 (10 million Tpoints each)
In Match Mode and in Story Mode, you may notice spinning flowers in the top right corner. These represent the number of wins that character has had, similar to arcade fighting games which tally players' wins using such icons. In Story Mode, only the enemy will have these after losing a life to them, as you only need one win to advance so you never accumulate these. Also in Story Mode, the computer player will become easier to defeat the more of these it has.
In Story Mode, your remaining lives are represented by small yin-yang icons under your score counter in the upper left. If you run out, you may use a continue, but your Tpoints will be reset.
At the bottom you have spell information: the bottom left number affects Level 2 and 3 spells, the bottom right number affects Level 4 spells (bosses) and the bar shows your current spell levels available, ranging between 0 and 4. See below for more on spell power numbers.
All characters initially come with 5 health dots in the top middle part of the field; these dots are broken into 1/2 increments, giving each player a total of 10 points of health. These go down by halves whenever your character's hit box (visible when in Focus/Slow mode) collides with another object. However, you may find that up to three dots may be reduced from your health at a time. This is affected by the type of object you collided with and the intensity of the impact, for instance whether it was a brush or a high-speed collision. It is also affected by how late into the match you are - early hits (e.g. within the first 15 seconds) won't do as much damage. No matter how much damage a collision would do otherwise, you are not in immediate danger of losing unless your character is down to one hit point (that is, half a health dot); once you reach your last hit point, a warning above your character, saying "Last Life!", will be given. Only after that warning can you actually lose the match.
If your character collides with an object and loses health, the objects within a small radius around your character will be deleted to allow you to recover. You'll also receive a small boost to your spellbar, offering a chance to retaliate against your opponent; however, if this spell hits them, they'll also receive a boost to their spellbar, so obviously it's more advantageous not to be hit in the first place. Lastly, if you are ever unfortunate enough to see the "Last Life" warning, your spellbar will instantly be raised to level 4. Unless the enemy is very close to using a 4th-level spell at this point (whether through a spell, the Bscore or a pickup), the best plan in general is to use it immediately. See "Spells" below for more.
You also start with a number of lives, 3 by default. Setting this higher will mean you won't get any point bonuses at the end of a Story Mode stage - meaning less extra lives and a lower Total Score.
The Combo Counter on the top left shows how long your current combo is. A 'combo' is defined as a cumulative destruction of fairies, spirits and bullets in a single chain reaction of explosions. Starting a second chain reaction elsewhere will re-start the combo counter. Thus, it is advantageous to strategically place and limit your shots in order to prevent your combo from breaking. The maximum combo that the counter will register is 999.
Targets are objects which may be eliminated by shooting them:
Fairies: There are two types of fairies -- large and small ones. They come in from the edges of the field. They are the primary targets and are extremely easy to destroy by shooting. These also have an explosive impact for objects around them (although this does not affect your character at all). Shooting one of the fairies in a row usually causes a chain reaction along the entire row.
Spirits: These glowing butterfly/wing-like objects are formed in the top third of the playing field triggered by the destruction of fairies by your opponent. They vary in speed and size, and generally drift towards the bottom of the screen. Like fairies they may be destroyed by shooting at them, although a bit more fire power is needed to eliminate them. When spirits come in contact with a character's scope, they become Activated with a bubbling sound effect.
Activated Spirits: Glowing balls created when Spirits come in contact with your Scope. Whereas unactivated spirits tend to drift downward, Activated ones will drift upward at a reduced speed. These are now easier to destroy by shooting, and for all intents and purposes they have the same explosive range as fairies. However, if left undestroyed, activated spirits eventually burst into 3 large circular bullets which drift toward the position of the character at the time of spawning.
Shooting certain fairies and spirits (activated or not) will have an impact on your opponent's field -- either they fly into their field and become level 1 obstacles, or they become "Ex attacks". Shooting and destroying targets also raises your spell levels. Furthermore, destroying level 1 bullets indirectly by a nearby fairy or spirit's destruction will send that bullet to the opponent's screen. Bullets cleared directly by a Spell's "blast wave" (as opposed to a fairy/spirit that got destroyed by the Spell) will only count towards Bpoints and your spell bar - they will not be sent to the opponent's screen.
Obstacles are objects on the field which cannot be destroyed by shooting. Both levels of obstacles can be destroyed by casting a spell of sufficient level:
Level 1 obstacles are bullets which can be reflected (sent to the opponent's screen) by exploding fairies or spirits close to them. These are small circular dots, either light blue or light red. Light blue bullets are vaguely aimed at you (i.e. you cannot stream them as they're aimed in your general direction only) and light red bullets ignore your position. Randomly generated bullets tend to be light blue - light red bullets are more often seen in spellcards. They tend to be easy to avoid, although they can prove extremely hazardous if there are a lot of them.
Level 2 obstacles are objects which cannot be destroyed by normal means -- they have to be avoided and allowed to drift off the screen. These tend to come in the forms of larger circles, petals, stars, etc.
"Ex" Attack Obstacles are obstacles generated in your field by the opponent destroying fairies or spirits. Special attacks will fly into your area as large glowing snowflake-like sprites. The location that they travel to is typically where the Ex attack obstacle will spawn. The type, pattern and behavior of these special attacks are unique for each character, and some Ex attacks will also react to your character's initial position.
There are 4 spell levels which may be used by a character. For level 2, level 3, and level 4 spells there are also more subtle levels from 1 to 16 which affect the intensity and length of your spell's attack (Dragon, Witch and Fairy intensities).
The energy in your spellbar can be increased by destroying targets and bullets (including bullets from enemy Spells). Taking damage will also add some energy to your spellbar. When you are brought to "Last Life" state, your spellbar will instantly be charged to level 4. The "G" bonus item dropped from Lily White will also fully charge your spellbar. A level 4 spell cast by your opponent may be neutralized entirely by "countering" with a level 4 spell in turn. If both players have a level 4 spell charge, the first to cast their spell may be disadvantaged in that their spell can be neutralized by the other.
Level 1 spells unleash your special attack which may be capable of hitting multiple targets on your field. It has no direct impact on your opponent.
Level 2 spells (Fairy level) unleash a more powerful version of your special attack. Depending on your character, level 2 spells may surround your opponent with your spell's obstacles, similar to specials obstacles, but targeted at the position of your opponent. It can also destroy bullets in a moderate radius around your character.
Level 3 spells (Witch level) destroys all objects within a large radius of your character. It can have an extremely cluttering effect on your opponent's field, introducing a lot of obstacles and targets in fixed patterns. (These patterns are again specific to characters).
Level 4 spells (Dragon level) will clear your entire field of the obstacles currently on it. A mirror version of your character will fly into your opponent's field and unleash devastating effects which might include combinations of level 2 and level 3 spells, as well as some unique attacks. Again, the form of level 4 spells are dependent on the casting character. This is functionally similar to boss "spellcards" in other Touhou games.
The intensity of each spell is determined by the numbers in the lower corners. The lower left number affects the power of your level 2 and 3 spells. It increases whenever you do a level 2 spell or higher, capped at 16. The lower right number is shared with your opponent, and affects both the strength and the health of mirror bosses. It goes up whenever either player casts a level 4 spell.
Special bonuses may be obtained by shooting at the "boss" character sprites who come into your field to unleash attacks. Both the mirror image of your opponent (in a level 4 spell) and Lily White (who appears randomly and is signaled by a message above your character, "Lily White Approaching!", and unleashes an intense barrage of multiple types of bullets) may be shot at. If you are able to "shoot down" the enemy sprite, you may shorten the assault, ending the spell in the case of a level 4 spell. Destroying the sprite will spawn one of four possible bonus items.
- "Ex" will unleash a whole lot of specials (EX attacks) upon your opponent's field.
- "G" will fill up your spell gauge.
- "点" may be recognized as the blue "Point" item from the previous Touhou games. It adds 100,000 Bpoints and Tpoints, which depending on your current Bpoints can result in an instant free level 4 spell.
- "弾" is orange and has the character for "Shot". This one is similar to the Ex item, but instead of sending a horde of Ex attacks, it releases a large number of bullets that appear on the top of your opponent's screen.
Once unlocked, you can play as Komachi (and later, Shikieiki) in their 'Story Mode'. You start with 0 extra lives and all fights are Deathmatches - both you and your opponent begin the match in "Last Life" state. The AI has an Invincibility Period that is shown under the sprite of your character. You must survive this long before you can win. Mind you, Komachi and Shikieiki will be putting forth danmaku barrages so dense that the AI (which does not have Lunatic's super dodge algorithms) will likely die within 3 seconds or much less. Your opponent will be getting much greater bullet/EX attacks to toss at you.
Once you have beaten Shikieiki's Extra path, all characters can be played in Extra Mode and the two boss characters can be played in Story Mode.