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The default keyboard controls for Player 1 are as follows:

Keyboard controls are as follows:

  • The Arrow Keys: move the character around
  • Z Performs Attack A/Confirms selections
  • X Performs Attack B/Cancels selection
  • C Performs special move/Selects a random character/stage in the menu/Fast-forwards through any dialogue
  • A Moves your character into Rekka mode. This speeds up the character's movement, and changes the nature of the character's shot and bomb; it generally makes your attacks stronger
  • S Declares spellcard A by itself and spellcard B if in Rekka mode
  • Esc exits the game and closes the game window
  • F1 exits to title screen
  • F5 pauses and unpauses the game

Basic Gameplay

Touhou Rekkaden is a top-down Gauntlet-style versus battle game for up to four players, with the choice of free-for-all or teamplay. The characters fight each other on screen with a variety of moves until one player/team is left, or when the timer runs out. In the latter case, the team with the healthiest character wins.

Besides a health bar, each player has a spirit bar, a spellcard stock, and a win counter.


When hit with certain attacks, your character will be knocked back; she is defenseless during this period. If she receives enough damage, she will be knocked down; her sprite flashes for a while, and she is invincible during this time. If the character is knocked into the wall or against a playing field object, point items will be generated. The more items you pick up, the better the value of later items.


Each character has two bars of health. The first health bar is yellow. As it decreases, it reveals the second, red health bar. When the red health bar dips below 50% percent, it starts flashing. This serves as merely a warning to all the characters except for Hong Meiling, the main character. She gets an upgrade in her offense and defense and her charge shots take less time to charge.


Spirit is required to perform almost all the attacks and special moves. Performing attacks and special moves will cost the player some spirit, depending on the move. If the player does not use any spirit for a second or two, the bar will start refilling by itself, slowly if the player is moving and faster if she’s still. Collecting score items will refill the bar quicker. Spirit is slowly depleted in Rekka mode.


Each character has three spellcards available to declare. At least one card needs to be in your stock to declare a spellcard. At the start, every character gets one spellcard. Occasionally, spellcard items are generated when an opponent is thrown against the wall or when objects on the playing field are destroyed. These can be picked up to replenish your stock.

Spellcards are declared either by pressing the S button in normal or Rekka mode, which correspond to spellcards A and B, or by simultaneously pressing buttons Z and X, which corresponds to spellcard C. Spellcards A and B have immediate effect, unleashing a powerful attack after declaration. Spellcard C has a more sustained effect, lasting for a while after declaration, during which you character gets upgrades in various abilities. Your spirit gauge stays full during the spellcard.

If you are hit during the declaration of spellcards A or B or are knocked down during the declaration of spellcard C, the declaration ends.

Stage Events

Depending on the stage, an event specific to the stage may occur under specific conditions. For instance, in the Hakurei Shrine stage, if the donation box in front of the shrine receives enough damage, Mima appears (surrounded by an electrical vortex) and starts throwing random lightning bolts around the playing field. However, in the second stage of Story mode, the donation box is gone, and the event can't be triggered.

Defeated characters

When a character runs out of health, her sprite becomes translucent but she remains in the game and can still perform her moves. However, her movement slows down, she has an extremely long lag between attacks, her moves become weaker and she cannot declare/pick up spellcards. When an opponent comes into contact with her, their spirit will be steadily drained.

Story Mode

(To be filled in by someone who has the full version)

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