An elemental workshop.

ZUN’s moe girl action game franchise, Touhou, has confirmed a 13.5th entry – unveiling screenshots boasting much improved character sprites, backgrounds, and some new gameplay elements to look forward to.

After what has felt like a second passing of vulgaris aerae since our last trip into Gensokyo, ZUN has finally began to share content from his new project in progress – Touhou’s “13.5th Project”, a work dubbed “Hopeless Masquerade“.

Much like Touhou Hisoutensoku, this side game focuses on fighting game mechanics in place of the series’ signature “bullet hell” shooter style of play. From what we can see in just the images, a lot of information has already been provided visually – such as Reimu showing off a sliding kick that one may recall from Hisoutensoku. Not to mention the ever-helpful damage calculators, notable for determining how much more damage an opponent can take in any given combo assault.

It should be noted this is yet another collaboration between Team Shanghai Alice and Tasogare Frontier – a team famous for their success on Hisoutensoku, now seemingly looking to blend elements of the super meter from “Immaterial and Missing Power”, while retaining the largely, and since developed, game mechanics from Hisoutensoku. And of course, this goes without saying, though the dev unit is amazingly still adding more atop this all.

As a side-note, keep in mind these side games are not always merely recreational spins of the franchise. For example, Immaterial and Missing Power, which introduced to us an extremely cute demonic loli character by the name “Suika Ibuki”, later employed her as a valuable shot-type in Subterranean Animism. Whether we will be introduced to a new character in this latest incident of Gensokyo is not yet a known fact – however, we might see an even bigger threat than Miko this time around…

Regardless, Hopeless Masquerade certainly will be worth all the hype – just as every other Touhou game prior. Tasogare have never disappointed fans in the past, and it would be complete madness for them to release a game that doesn’t live up to their reputation – something might end up distorted in the world’s natural order if such were the case.


  • Anonymous says:


    • Hawkward says:

      If I were to take an educated guess, I would assume we’ll have playable versions of some of the Ten Desires cast, since it has afterall only been one main game apart from the last fighting game.

      As for a brand-spanking new character to Touhou entirely – Touhou 7.5 is merely a reference point. Nothing has been announced, however the fact that 7.5 introduced a character into Touhou, like how Hatate got the spotlight in 12.5, it shouldn’t be of too much surprise if we do ever get a new character introduced.

  • Seven says:

    Even though a bunch are going to rage over the game, there’s only going to be like 10 people who know how to play properly since difficult is on insanity by default.

    • Hawkward says:

      While that is kinda true, it stands this at least contains two things.

      1) ZUN
      2) More Touhou in general

      Regardless of if one can play or not, I firmly believe that this will be a great game to support and look forward to. Looking at other doujin game developers, such as 07th Expansion or Platine Dispositif for example. They may be less popular, but their hard work shows off in their own ways, be it adding downloadable content, or getting localised by a company.

      Without that kind of support, the games of these developers wouldn’t have even lifted from the ground. Implement that thought with Hopeless Masquerade, and you can see that regardless of how the game turns out, the response will be quite large, and most certainly worthwhile.

  • Anonymous says:

    The fighting games aren’t all that hard. The bullet games aren’t hard either. Their easy.

    • Seven says:

      Oh man bro, we went through this last year – come on.

      If you’re legitimately saying they’re easy, why not show us? I’m seriously interested. Can you record a clip and Youtube link it for us?

    • jackrakan says:

      They might be ‘easy’ compared to a Cave shmup, but they’re still pretty challenging.

  • Anonymous says:

    The games are not impossible and nor are they insanely hard. I won’t lash out at you but the game is so easy on normal! And the fighting games are just normal fighting games. I hope you can try this wonderful series again before deeming it impossible. Come on… And the music is still great.

    • Seven says:

      Not calling it impossible, but it’s more difficult than the average game – you can’t deny that unless your average game is a Sudoku puzzle.

      • Anonymous says:

        Sudoku is easy though…
        I’m inclined to believe you are just overall bad at video games.

        • Seven says:

          I’m inclined to believe certain individuals speak highly of themselves by default when using the internet.

      • Anonymous says:

        Touhou games are not more difficult than the average shmup game. They’re generally not even close to the top of the pile on Lunatic. Almost anyone should be able to beat Touhou games on normal using continues, and almost anyone should be able to 1CC easy. With some actual practice and playing a decent amount of time, most people should be able to pull off 1CCing normal. It’s honestly not that difficult.

        Watching anything at the highest difficulty at the very end of the game and assuming the whole thing is that tough is kind of silly.

        • Seven says:

          It’s also kind of silly to assume the average game one plays is a “shump” game.

          • Anonymous says:

            Nobody ever said that, though. The statement was that they are not more difficult than the average shmup. You shouldn’t judge genres by how much experience a person has with them, it makes no sense. They are on the low end of the scale, and anyone who plays for more than 10 minutes without giving up will quickly learn and get better. It’s like picking up any other game and quitting in the first 10 minutes.

            • Seven says:

              In which case, your reply wasn’t a proper response to my comment.

              And now in respect to this reply, I’m not calling you wrong – but I honestly don’t understand what you’re trying to say this time around. Of course the more you practice, the better you will get – although overcoming certain mechanics requires more effort than others.

              My point is that Touhou, whether the bullet hell or the fighting variant, is harder than the average game. If you disagree, great.

  • Anonymous says:

    I’ve grown out of my lash at everyone who doesn’t like Touhou stage. It’s an amazing series really. Still one of my favorite.

  • supervamp78 says:

    Bullet games are not easy even when you figure out the pattern, it may seem easy after that but no.
    You still have to make sure you don’t make a mistake and sometimes it can be a bit much at once.

  • lucarion says:


  • frost says:

    Damn hyped for this game, love the rework of the graphics :3

    I hope the game plays smooth

  • Hawkward says:

    Translation for the prologue text on the official site….

    The terror of the repeating disasters and the irresistible catastrophes.
    They have delivered pessimism to the human village.

    A gloomy atmosphere is swirling the village.
    However that was not a feeling of despair.
    It was more like a feeling of being cooped up.

    “It’s okay!”

    Nobody knew who said it, but there is a feeling you could hear such voice.
    Yes, if nothing was going to change, maybe isn’t it okay to do anything we want to do?
    Yes, we should live more ephemerally.
    Little by little the minds of humans in the village have become released free, and at the same they began to disorder.

    There were ones viewing the scene from a different perspective: It was the religionists.
    They thought they should take over the control of the people who fell into disorder.
    Because while they can retrieve the order, it was also a great opportunity to collect their faith at the same time.

    The precise who have built a temple in Gensokyo, the Taoist who abandon the material world and dreams immorality.
    And the shrine maiden who seeks rehabilitation.
    They have all determined: this is just the right timing for “my role”.

    Now, take your belief as weapons, battle attractively and fight over your popularity!

  • mixedsnack says:

    The only Tohou game i can play is the fighting ones.
    I’ll just always mash the buttons.

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