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Is it bad to enjoy Touhou but not actually play the original games?


nitorii

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Hi.
So, I've been into touhou for roughly 3 years now, and I like and consume stuff around it quite frequently. Music, artworks, fumos, the works. But even though I've known touhou for so long... I've never actually got to play much of the original games. I have only played th06 and I didn't even manage to complete it on any diff.
"But why?" You may be wondering.
The answer for that is: 
I don't know. I honestly don't know.
I have played lots and lots of fangames (playing lotus labyrinth right now, for example) but I never felt compelled or motivated enough to pick up the series to play, not even because I don't enjoy it, much on the contrary, I have a lot of fun with it! Even though I'm bad, I never got demotivated because of its difficulty (because, let's be honest, if you pick up touhou, you pick it up knowing it's hard). I just don't feel "interested" enough, so to speak. And it hits me hard because I feel weird by playing all these touhou themed games but never having the courage to just play the damn originals once in a while.

I know it's a weird topic to bring up, but I've been thinking about it for a while now, and I had to put it out on words. What do you think?

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end of a life

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I'm just gonna go ahead and shoot down this line of thinking immediately, and loudly for everyone in the back:

Yes, you can be a Touhou fan and not play the games.

Touhou Project is more than just a few space shooters. You've got fangames that cover pretty much every genre imaginable, tons of printworks (both official and doujin), full-blown anime made by some seriously dedicated fans, on top of the years and years worth of fan art and fan music. That is Touhou Project.

Sorry if that's not exactly what your post was trying to ask about, but considering the fact that gatekeeping is a real thing, I don't want to leave any ambiguity on this. There is nothing wrong with deciding that the games aren't really your thing and just enjoying Touhou for the stuff you actually like.

 

I wouldn't blame you in the slightest for not being "interested" in the shoot-em-up games. I also had a time when I was getting into Touhou, so I tried the official games, and I did have a good time with them. I had fun. A lot of fun, even. It was during a time when I specifically wanted to play something simple and arcade-y and I didn't mind that I was going through the same motions over and over again to try and get a little further than before. But, my tastes changed over time. I wanted to try something new, and moving from Touhou 7 to Touhou 8 isn't gonna give me that new experience I was craving. Now I only go back to them every now and then when I find myself in that certain "Touhou" kind of mood, and there's nothing wrong with that. So no, don't feel like playing the official games is some kind of necessity for keeping your membership card. If you feel like picking them back up, do it. And if you don't, then don't. The important thing is making sure you're enjoying yourself in whatever area of the fandom you're spending your time with.

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Shanghai Doll knows what you've done.  162257545___alice_margatroid_and_shanghai_doll_touhou_drawn_by_nekoguruma__abeeeaa945645f8ecfdbbe81a2857a13(5).jpg.6da63ce849c93f73625172cb4a291f2a.jpg  I hope you're proud of yourself.

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Gotta agree with @SoundOfRayne on this one.

There will be a lot of people who are going to try and gatekeep Touhou to the original Shmup theme. Which leads to the general sentiment of ambiguity for people who aren't into Shmups. 

in contrast though, Touhou in itself has made various official games such as the fighting games and or Goukyou Ibun. This makes me believe ZUN wanted this game to be rather more diverse in terms of genre rather than the Shmup stuff that is usually in arcades. (TBH, I think he is getting kind of burnt out doing the same Shmup every game. Which was probably the reason why he ventured into doing something with roguelike elements as a test.)

Touhou today is what I think as a platform rather than a single genre. It doesn't matter if you play the official games or not. ZUN wants you to just enjoy the content rather than stick to the mindset of official things to prove your worth as a fan.

ZUN himself even celebrates other fangames and his own fans!

446631889_LunaNights.thumb.png.80df4718a1544af5a6d2898adcab7190.png

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So it isn't weird to not be interested in Shmups. We all have our own tastes in Touhou. Just because it isn't official, doesn't mean it should be something weird for not playing. :KoishiXD:

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 1683735564_GapEyeIcon.png.510261214f2118b1068fb86f8b100dcb.png Touhou Enjoyer & World Building Enthusiast  1683735564_GapEyeIcon.png.510261214f2118b1068fb86f8b100dcb.png

 

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1 hour ago, SoundOfRayne said:

I'm just gonna go ahead and shoot down this line of thinking immediately, and loudly for everyone in the back:

Yes, you can be a Touhou fan and not play the games.

Touhou Project is more than just a few space shooters. You've got fangames that cover pretty much every genre imaginable, tons of printworks (both official and doujin), full-blown anime made by some seriously dedicated fans, on top of the years and years worth of fan art and fan music. That is Touhou Project.

Sorry if that's not exactly what your post was trying to ask about, but considering the fact that gatekeeping is a real thing, I don't want to leave any ambiguity on this. There is nothing wrong with deciding that the games aren't really your thing and just enjoying Touhou for the stuff you actually like.

 

I wouldn't blame you in the slightest for not being "interested" in the shoot-em-up games. I also had a time when I was getting into Touhou, so I tried the official games, and I did have a good time with them. I had fun. A lot of fun, even. It was during a time when I specifically wanted to play something simple and arcade-y and I didn't mind that I was going through the same motions over and over again to try and get a little further than before. But, my tastes changed over time. I wanted to try something new, and moving from Touhou 7 to Touhou 8 isn't gonna give me that new experience I was craving. Now I only go back to them every now and then when I find myself in that certain "Touhou" kind of mood, and there's nothing wrong with that. So no, don't feel like playing the official games is some kind of necessity for keeping your membership card. If you feel like picking them back up, do it. And if you don't, then don't. The important thing is making sure you're enjoying yourself in whatever area of the fandom you're spending your time with.

Basically this ^^

As someone who's beaten the games on lunatic, I really want the perspective of every new fan (including you) on the original games to be one of recognition but not compulsion to play. That is, it's important to know about the original games to see where the phenomenon of Touhou blossomed from, but ultimately the fanbase is what makes Touhou so special!

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thanks for the replies everyone :>
it was just a silly thought I had and decided to post about, but it's interesting to see everyone's thoughts on the subject

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end of a life

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If I was to be honest, the games themselves, as in the genre and gameplay, probably are the least impactful on the community. Sure, there are a plethora of shmup fangames, but I'd argue that the characters, story, design, and the overall setting of Touhou are more important. I have never played one of the shmups, but I have played AoCF, and honestly, I was mostly there for the story, experience, and music.

I'd say that being a fan in itself is arguably one of the best parts of Touhou. Without its thriving community and ZUN's tolerance of what is technically his own property, Touhou wouldn't be nearly as popular. Just imagine if ZUN was as copyright-friendly as Nintendo. Touhou wouldn't even be 1% of what it is today.

Touhou came to me when I was practically at my lowest point in life, when a lot was going on and my previous interests no longer appealed to me. That was almost 2 years ago, and I'm in a much better place than then. Every now and then, I will say "Touhou basically saved my life". It doesn't matter to me if anyone thinks I'm lying or exaggerating, but I will always say that, no matter what happens in my life.

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Well, I think the main game are a very important part of Touhou, I mean, this is where all these characters and music comes from. I think a so-called "Touhou fan" should at least take a look at the original games and soundtracks to see what is (otherwise, how can you tell if a fan-work is an interesting extension of the Touhou project, or just some uninspired BS (both for story and music remixes) ), and at least try one game (to define whether the gameplay is for them or not). And no, these game are not hard when you choose Easy (excluding 10-12 which have the bad continue system and don't allow to increase the number of lives)  I personally have a really hard time to believe those people that claim they can't clear PCB on Easy with all continues, you can practically clear it without moving. 1CC is another thing, but with a 1C you at least get to experience the soundtrack in-game (in some stage, the music follows the stage progression) and most of the dialogs (endings being lock behind 1CC, and some games that lock content from Easy).

Yes there's a lot of fan content, and Touhou wouldn't be Touhou without it, but the same goes for the main content, so I think you all shouldn't underestimate it's importance.

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The games and music are the seeds that sprouted this behemoth of a fandom we know today.
However, the games themselves? Mostly kinda mid if you ask me.
So nah, you don't need to play them unless you care about story points.

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Tbh, i haven't played a lot of Touhou games but i really do love the whole universe about it

For me, Touhou is more like a universe with several stuff you can like about it, since there's animes, mangas, fangames, stories, arts, animations, songs and a lot of things about it that make the original games be only 1 more feature into the whole thing Touhou turned out to be

Touhou has great games of course, but there's more than 20+ games and well, you don't really need to play them to understand the stories and know the characters on it, so it's normal to end up becoming a fan without playing or liking the original games

And btw, i'm someone who has only beaten 2 out of the original games and at least 5 fangames, so i can tell that it's really interesting to see the universe the fanbase can create around Touhou outside of only what ZUN has made :SatoriStare:

It reminds me of a thread that @CountVonNumenorhas made about being or not a true Touhou fan 

So, yeah, it isn't really bad to enjoy Touhou without playing the games, Touhou is way more than just a game at all :KoishiXD:

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