○東方文花帖 ～ Shoot the Bullet.
Afterword Shanghai Alice Correspondence vol. 7
Shanghai Alice Team Leader ＺＵＮ
■０．Special Afterword Table of Contents
The mysterious notebook where the tengu wrote material for
Marisa "Oh, I found this creepy notebook a while ago, I don't know
whose it is, though."
Reimu "Oh, did you burn it?"
Marisa "Why do I have to burn it? Anyway, it's got photos pasted
everywhere in it, and there's explanations scribbled all
over, like someone talking to themselves. Creepy, huh?"
Reimu "That is creepy. So, did you burn it?"
Marisa "Yeah, I burned it. In my mind.
The photos of just youkai or bullet spreads have things
like "This picture is no good" or "This picture will be
useful" written on them, isn't that creepy?"
A crow calls. Soon the sun will set.
It's a good thing it's not a cuckoo calling.
Reimu "So, where is this notebook?"
Marisa "It was creepy, so I was all excited about taking it home,
but all of a sudden it was gone.
Dammit, I wonder if a crow stole it."
Reimu "That's the creepiest part of your story.
Maybe I'd better burn you instead of that notebook."
The tengu races across Gensokyo at high speed together with the
As the newspaper extras fly about, Gensokyo's newspaper girl Aya
Shameimaru looked for youkai to serve as story material.
○Recommendations for thinking up games
I'm just about to submit the master copy. There's lots of things
I wanted to say about this game, but since there isn't a lot of time
I'll just write until Shoot the Bullet is born.
This is a danmaku photography game, but it was a long and winding
road that lead to its creation.
First of all, part of making the package for EoSD was giving names
to some of the danmaku patterns to distinguish them. At that time,
I realized that taking snapshots of the spell cards was pretty fun.
If the names served to distinguish the spell cards in space and time,
the snapshots distinguished the instants of each spell card. The
defining characteristics of these spell cards were captured in
snapshots. I thought it was nice to do this sort of package work
If taking the snapshots was so much fun, it should make a good game.
Normally shooting games are made of the same bits, like shots and
bullet patterns, enemies and scores, that you can mess with to make
things interesting and not break the mechanics of the game. As I
reflected on that, I filed away the idea of danmaku photography in
It's been quite a while since then, though. After EoSD, about 3
years ago, I was experimenting with things like a Photo Sign spell
card, or a game system where Reimu could seal away bullets.
However, no matter how much I played with it, it was just another
weapon type in a normal shooting game, and since there was no reason
for any of the characters to actually take pictures, the idea was
sealed away to await its time. It turned out this way because I was
trying to create an unnatural system for the game. In other words,
I believe it was because I was trying to force a totally different
idea into the existing games.
Two years passed, and as I was taking a breather after making IN, I
thought I'd try pulling out the photograph idea again. The way I
approached the problem was a bit roundabout, but it started with the
idea that first, I needed to introduce a character who had a reason
to be taking photographs, who I could then make the main character of
And this was the birth of the tengu Aya Shameimaru. She was
introduced in PoFV, after which I set about reviving the old
"photograph" idea from my idea notebook.
Just as I was getting ready to do this, a happy coincidence occurred.
That was the Touhou fanbook "Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red" (published by
Well, to be more precise, it wasn't originally going to be a
fanbook, but more of an anthology; still, it sounds bad to put it
this way, but I thought it could be useful.
Ichijinsha had other designs on the project, but they let me turn
it into what it is now, and so clutching my little dream of danmaku
photography to my heart, Shoot the Bullet was completed.
Aya used an analog camera, a tool which had already become a thing
of fantasy in the outside world, and as a tengu that loved following
the gossip of the Touhou world, she was the best fit to act as a
And so with all these pieces in place, finally the tengu helped me
realize my dream of a danmaku photography game.
Actually, though, I'd originally intended for Shoot the Bullet to
be a minigame on the Bohemian Archive CD. In the end, I just didn't
have enough time to do that. But, in return, I decided to borrow the
Bunkachou name without permission (though Ichijinsha has agreed to
its use now) and finish it guerrilla-style underground. In the end
it only took about a month and a half. I think it's a game where you
can very naturally enjoy danmaku photography.
I started off with a particular idea that I wanted to express, and
quite a few things came about because of it. Without some root
concept to serve as the foundation of the game's aesthetic, it will
fall apart. If I'd gone with my original idea, it would have been
a simple one-off system, a special weapon, and StB as it is today
would not exist. The book Ichijinsha published would probably be
an anthology or something else, too.
Thinking up games is itself the greatest game. I like to think
carefully about them and try to see what's really at their core.
Finally, not just Aya, but all tengu are creatures of habit, yes?
They certainly seem to have a polite personality.
Oh, I'd better go submit this or I won't make it in time ...
Please, today, let my red-white car run as fast as Aya (Don't speed too much)