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Gensokyo Survival Guide OoC and Off-Topic


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A few months ago, I was starting to feel like my professional writing was growing a bit stale. I was writing a lot of the same things, and it felt very routine. To shake myself out of this rut, I started an ongoing fan fiction where the audience would choose what happened next. The Gensokyo Survival Guide. It seems to have made an impression on a handful of people, whom I am very happy to write for. But there wasn't really a place to receive feedback or ideas. The handsome and charismatic Gri has suggested I make an OoC, but my life was hectic at the time and I struggled with where to put it.


So, I am dropping it off here. :) If you have any comments or suggestions for the fan fiction, or any other projects I may undertake as Touhou fan fiction, feel free to leave me a message here! Whether its a review of the story so far, ideas for what might come later, or just complains that Team 9 has taken over the thread, I am overjoyed to hear you took the time to read my silly adventure.



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Posted (edited)

Thanks, charismatic Yumetou :KoishiXD: (If you would have seen my attempt at starting a story.... you would see how "uncharismatic" my writing can be).
Now for this week chapter (2024-05-12):

I don't usually comment on that, but I quiet like this chapter's intro about Ice Fairies, and fairies in general. It's nothing new or ground-breaking, but it looks like a fairly accurate description of the childish behavior of the fairies (and since it's for Ice/Winter fairies, the behavior match kids playing in the cold). The added part about Ice Fairy being more isolated is nice and could help distinguish the various species.

Now, for the actual chapter itself: 

Pretty simple. Aggapa is enforcing the Yamas judgment. Silly punishment for silly misbehavior. I will say, switching Salt and Sugar is the most EVIL. Annecdote: I already tasted a "Salt Cake". My grand-aunt swap the Salt and Sugar, and didn't tell anyone. When she died, her daughter cooked a cake using """Sugar""", then it look a bit weird, and tasted AWFULL.

I am wondering: should I throw in a bit of a "chaotic" choice in there :AyaSmug:?

Edited by Gri
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I'm glad to hear it! Each post's opening is meant to be an excerpt from the book's various sections. Some flavor, perhaps some reference to the story. Most of them are droll reflavorings of my old Scouting handbook. But the description of the various races have to be my favorite. I feel like it gives the setting a lot of character, and opens up the idea that there are paths the average person can use besides violence when dealing with nonhumans.

This one had a little extra love. Cirno's my favorite character from the series, both because of her tenacity and relatively low power level. But also because of her friends. Though that's largely fanon, I couldn't help but reference Cirno with that last line.


I had a rough week at work, thinking up torments from Agappa was the highlight of it. Hoping for the group to reach the Human Village in next post or two, when Team 9 will split up from their new friend. They'll probably reappear intermittently as allies or to encourage Oscar. If the readers play their cards right, he may even talk them into joining Otherworldly Inc as one of his teams of adventurers.

Ahh, that's always an option! Remember if there's a tie I have to play it out as if all those options were picked. I prefer one option be picked, since you guys lose interest the longer the posts get. But that's the rule I made for myself.

My father once actually used salt instead of sugar for Christmas cookies. Ended up using them as ornaments for years.

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Hi, I had no idea what this post was until I found the actual story. It was so great that I ended up reading the entire thing :D

I really really love how vivid and specific your imagery is. I was able picture almost every scene in my head :)

You even make me want to write my own story, not like that will ever happen...



By the way, I do have some criticisms:

Some of your sentences starting with the word "Before" seemed to be a continuation of the previous sentence, and (I think) that's gramatically incorrect.

For example, "The only warning Kimiko had was the low sound of ice forming, beneath her threats. Before a block of ice slammed into her..."


Another criticism: The overall story, in my opinion, is a little inconsistent.

Oscar would flee one situation out of total fear, but then approach a similar situation completely casually. (running from Rumia & talking to Agappa)

Some of the characters randomly "come and go." Why does Wriggle/Mystia have a conversation once, then disappear from the story?

Does Oscar still think this is a dream or has he accepted this as reality? Re-clarifying that might help explain his inconsistent actions.



Please don't get me wrong here, I may have written lots of complaints but I still think your work is super great!

In fact, I probably can't blame you for those problems mentioned-

I'm sure making this a "Choose Your Own Adventure" makes it VERY hard to stay consistent, especially when you already have your own plot ideas in mind.


Anyways, you made my day and I bet many others also enjoyed your story so far.

I'm no writer, but I can tell this took a ton of time and effort. Keep it up! :MeilingThumbsUp:

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I am ever so glad to hear it! :KoishiXD: I started this idea both to flex my writing muscles outside what I was too used to, and to hopefully give my pals on the Shrine something fun to read on a dreary Monday. Originally I wanted to make my own Incident Resolver, but I thought it would be more fun with a character who couldn't fight. Which would (hopefully) elevate the sense of danger, and give the setting a closer feeling to what you or I might experience. Reimu might move through Gensokyo like she's its goddess, but for you or I, even a normal and friendly Gensokyo could be deadly.


That's fair. I've picked up a few grammatical habits. Most work towards descriptiveness, but that one I struggle to shake. Its meant to build anticipation, but its one I'm a little too lazy with. :) As for his varying reactions, I'd argue in Kimiko's case, he was alone after being chased with Rumia when he encountered her. While with Agappa, she was passive, and he was surrounded by Team 9. Still, something emphasizing he feels more safe around them would help.

The passiveness of some characters on the other hand is down to post length. On average, people get bored if I write more than 500 words or so, with longer chapters getting less votes and views. I imagine most read my writing on lunch breaks or while waiting on a download. So I try to condense my writing, which sadly means Oscar himself, Agappa, Wriggle and especially Mystia get less screen time. I've been considering editing this and posting it to a fan fiction site. With my readers here personified as bored Kami watching from elsewhere in Gensokyo. If I do, I'm hoping to add more emphasis here and there, make some minor changes, and (hopefully) give more scenes to various characters. Especially Mystia; poor girl's been almost dead silent. Will definitely post a link here if/when I do.


I greatly appreciate the feedback! It'll make great notes when I edit this in the future. You're right, the CYOA part of the game makes this a little harder. I have a general idea of where I want each option to go, but sometimes writing it out I have to cut things for brevity, or had a bad day and try to streamline the writing.

Simultaneously, I think it makes the world feel more alive. Had I been writing this just for myself, Oscar would have picked over a couple of bodies and ran so we could see more of Muenzuka, before being found by Chen or Nazrin. But the audience wanted him to hide behind a bush, and because of that, he met Rumia. Because he met Rumia, he had a more dynamic introduction to one of our antagonists, and then to Team 9. We've all read bad fan fiction, where a superpowered character makes friends with everyone while being better than them. I wanted Oscar to be something very different, and thanks in part to your votes, he is. :MeilingThumbsUp:


The next chapter we'll probably split from Team 9 for now, while he meets familiar faces in the Human Village, and is stalked by a certain Forbidden Youkai. I can't wait to see where the story takes us all.

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Hi, I was reading the latest chapter the other day, and it's nice to see the story's still going strong! I'm excited to see what the team will encounter in the Magic Forest (if they go there at all). Keep it up! I'm especially loving all the intricate explanations on the non-touhou youkai.

Anyways, no mean criticisms this time :AyaSmug: ...just a few questions, if you have the time


How much of the (non-touhou) mythology is accurate? Is it perfectly matching historical sources, or did you infuse some of your own imagination? The descriptions for things like the Hitotsume Kozo and Yamas are very detailed and interesting.

Following up, how do you know so much about this stuff? I remember you mentioned youkai.com in that topic from way before, but I can't imagine you'd be browsing that everyday. I NEED to learn more myself :) I also wonder how you know so much about touhou locations like Muenzuka and the Magic Forest. Curiously, those things never come up when I'm learning about touhou.


UNRELATED: I was having trouble finding this topic again, expecting it in All You Can Ask Buffet. I don't want to demand it be moved... but....maybe...?

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No much happened this week, however, the choices are very interesting. I would go for one of the "short" options, since we already traveled inside a "dangerous forest" once (to avoid thing getting stale). If I am not mistaken, the Forest of Magic at night is very dangerous

For now, I have chosen "If we follow the Radio Tower Trail, we can get one over on the Fairies of Ligh--I mean get some fairies to help us! (Short, Unfriendly)" for a bit more chaos. Plus, Aggapa might have some interesting punishment for Team9 (& Oscar if he's get dragged into Team9's mean plan). Having Mystia sings for the others as she guide them or her make lunch would be cute, but I think we've seen enough of Team9 interaction (yeah, Mystia didn't get much spotlight, but it is what it is. Next time maybe?).

Trying to go to Marisa's home would be a way of introducing her, but she's a fairly easy character to introduce at the human village if she becomes relevant to the story.

Forcing through the Forest could result in many things. One of which being meeting Narumi (the jizo) who could help them find their way (If I remeber right, jizo watch over travelers, and I think especially children, which fairies kinda are), or stumbling upon Alice's home/puppets. Or a unidentifiable beast roam the dark forest (Nue's form is hidden thanks to her powers).

You know what, I'll vote for this instead. More flexibility.

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I try to keep the lore pretty accurate to the original Youkai. Of course, I take a few liberties to account for Touhouisms. The Mikari Baba for instance is canonically a hideous old crone, with one eye and carrying a burning rope in their mouth, wearing straw rain coats. This on the other hand, is the image that inspired Agappa-Chan. She was made younger and given a yellow raincoat to make her more cute. But I try to make any original Youkai true to the spirit of Touhou, and its Animification Beam. Some choices I make are more for fun, but are rooted in Youkai lore. Its a fun way to characterize, and humanize them in a similar way to Kogasa's humanoid form. Their personalities on the other hand are fairly rooted in the original lore. Even if the Hitotsume Kozo are themed for the Three Stooges.

I've a long interest in folklore, whether American, European or Asian. Youkai were an interest, even if older books tend to only have really famous youkai. Wikipedia is an option, if you skip the article and go to the citations. But yokai.com is the best resource I ever found. (Side note, Touhou resources tend to use 'Youkai', though the more accepted Western transcription is 'Yokai'). As for my knowledge of the series, I'm definitely a casual fan as far as the games go. Gri would kick my ass any day of the week. My introduction to the series was actually through fan games, even if I had distant contact with the series since the 2000s. I found a Touhou mod for Mount and Blade, and that led me to the Wiki. I talk about the lore with people from the site and read/watch lore info dumps. My goal is to show a scene to a diehard fan and have them nod and go 'Yeah, my favorite part of Touhou's just like that'.

I'm not sure OoCs would be welcome in fan works, and I think Misty Lake is a better place for my rambling replies. But I can tag you if it helps @kymoh:KoishiXD:


I was hoping to surprise you guys with a reply already. But tomorrow I'll be a busy man. Hoping to have something for you all early though. Looks like the viewers have voted for the Youkai Trail. That'll be a fun and laid back trip. Possibly giving us a glimpse at other youkai, and let Mystia and Rumia talk a little before they reach the Human Village. They'll arrive late, and Oscar may be so tired a random event may happen...And some events will have a chance to happen later, like Cirno talking Oscar into helping her waste the Three Fai--I mean visiting the Radio Tower.

Ironically, from what I can tell despite the Magic Forest being described as a very dangerous place, its pretty harmless compared to elsewhere. Sure, it has toxic mushrooms, monsters, youkai etc. But is it really worse than Youkai Mountain? Muenzuka? The Netherworld has ghosts which can kill you just by touch. And there aren't multiple protagonists who live in screaming distance. So, we have options for things going wrong for Oscar, but they won't be so bad...probably.

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19 hours ago, Yumetou said:

The Mikari Baba for instance is canonically a hideous old crone, with one eye and carrying a burning rope in their mouth, wearing straw rain coats. This on the other hand, is the image that inspired Agappa-Chan. She was made younger and given a yellow raincoat to make her more cute.

I think that works out great! I'm sure nobody would rather envision a "hideous old crone" than a cute 2hu XD. It feels just like something Zun would do when making a new character. At the same time, keeping the personalities and abilities true to original lore is a good choice. It's always interesting to learn about a new yokai, and how they behave :) Speaking of which, I'm thinking of reading Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange things by Lafcadio Hearn. It seems to have many interesting tales of yokai, so I wonder if you know about it.

Also, do you think you'll ever come up with a completely original yokai? I mean adding a character that resembles existing yokai, but not directly based off of any. Might make things interesting. I think you have the imagination and knowledge to pull it off well, if you ever give that a try :) 

19 hours ago, Yumetou said:

They'll arrive late, and Oscar may be so tired a random event may happen

Everybody else please vote for Oscar to rest next! :3


Anyways, can't wait to see the next chapter:KoishiXD:

I get you're busy so I understand if you don't respond to this 

Edited by kymoh
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