~Hakurei Shrine~ > Help Me, Eirin!
Labyrinth of Touhou 2 - 18F
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That's really incredible. About how long would it take to go through all of the content? I'm currently about 20 hours in on floor 10.
20~30 more hours should finish basegame for you (depending, especially on whether or not you include the non-plus-disk postgame in that time) and then you can plausibly reach the current end of Plus Disk in under 100 total hours of game time on your save file. It does depend on how efficiently your team can clear random battles, which can save/cost a lot of time, and if you do stuff like grind foes/materials/infinite corridor.
Fuck me this game has a lot of shit in it. Things have definitely slowed down for me recently in terms of floor progress per hour, especially as I get more characters and want to try different party setups and maximize my power. The first few floors took a pretty short and breezy amount of time, but now that I have something like 30 completely mechanically unique characters, that all synergize both with each other and the all of the different subclasses, I've ended up spending a lot more time in Gensokyo fiddling with equipment, skill points, and level up bonuses. And so many of the bosses actually require this level of fiddling too, I went through something like 5 different party compositions fighting Ran. I especially love how all of the bosses have their own unique feel, like Tenshi being this impossible to damage stone wall, with most of the challenge coming from figuring out how to actually damage her without hitting the insta kill buff cap. Then you have Ran, which is this insane damage race where you have to create a party and strategy that can both withstand her high damage attacks and mana wipes, while also making sure to have a way to lock down or kill her shikigamis before they have a chance to buff her power level into oblivion.

The level of creativity in this game in general just amazes me, and the love the developers obviously had for the source material and every single little thing they reference really shines through and just makes the game a joy to play. It manages to place a unique twist on long term dungeon crawling resource management with TP and balancing your MP usage with concentrating, and it's board gamey isometric viewpoint gives the game its own flavor, distinct from the Wizardry and Etrian Odyssey games that it was inspired by.

The 12 person party makes it so you always feel like you have something to tweak or alter or improve on in your party, and all of the characters manage to be so distinct and flavorful. They all have their own special niche to fill, even within groupings like Tank or Support or DPS. Sanae and Reimu are both bulky jack of all trades with a focus on support, but they manage to play completely differently within that space, which matches their parallel roles as shrine maidens. I fucking love that! Reimu has her focus on composite damage and weak but party wide buffs and heals, while Sanae has elemental diversity and much more powerful but single target buffs and heals. Reimu can deal Mondo damage with Grand Incantation, while Sanae has the more flexible but weaker damage dealing option of raising her skills to level 9. All of these small differences add up to create two characters that function completely differently within their given niche. And these are the two characters that are probably the most similar throughout the entire cast that I've recruited yet! Chen, Parsee, and Youmu are all physical damage dealers that approach the task from wildly different angles. Chen pops in for a round to deal small amounts of damage and then immediately leaves in order to stay safe. Or she could be played very riskily, giving herself a huge self buff to attack at the expense of her defenses, relying solely on her ability do dodge to stay alive. Parsee is a bulky but deals less damage than other characters, unless she or someone else can inflict terror, in which case she skyrockets to possibly dealing the highest damage on the team. Youmu is this awesome high risk, high reward character that requires careful attention to be paid to her, with her high Mana costs and stat buff from being low on health. All of these characters are creative enough to be the Quina, Gogo, or Mog style gimmick party member in any other game, whereas in Labyrinth of Touhou they are simply par for the course. There are so many interesting and exciting ideas in this game, it's impossible to cover them all. I haven't mentioned Marissa, who is fragile, difficult to keep on the front lines, and relies on being able to switch with another character after she blows her Master Spark, but also gains a huge self buff every turn if enough party members are dead, encouraging you to play risky with her, and keep her in the front lines for extended periods of time. Or how Reimu, who's main asset is her versatility, gains a huge increase in damage or healing from spending her turns concentrating, forcing you to make difficult choices on what to spend her already limited turns on. Every character obviously had so much thought and care put into their design.

Although I haven't played far enough to determine if the game is balanced at all at endgame, so far every character has managed to fulfill their niche successfully. (Although some niches are more specific than others. Sorry I never use you, Cirno!) The games overall balance has really impressed me so far, especially when I compare it to other games that attempt to differentiate their characters to an extent that even approaches how far this game goes. Disgaea runs into the problem of its characters feeling too samey, and while balanced, the main thing that differentiates them is how much damage they can do, and from how far away. Final Fantasy 5 and Final Fantasy Tactics run into a similar issue, while also having much greater imbalances between classes. A Geomancer in FF5 will always be inferior to a Knight with Black Magic in terms of combat capability, and while their use of avoiding damage tiles and other environmental hazards might have been useful in a different game, is irrelevant given the simplicity of FF5s dungeons.

I could go on and on about how fucking good this game is. After playing so many RPGs that play it so safe with encounter and character design this game is a breath of fresh air. It's cute, it's creative, it takes risks, it respects the player and their time. It has brilliant boss and class design, every boss trying something new, and every character having their own idiosyncrasies and quirks, contradictions within their core design that challenge you to think hard and determine the most optimal way they can be played. It has intelligent and thoughtful dungeon design, encouraging the player to explore every floor fully and remember important landmarks and characters. This post has really gotten away from me, but I am just so consistently amazed by this game. This is the first Touhou fangame I've ever played, and it has set an incredibly high bar for any I play in the future. If you actually made it to the end of this random ass post from somebody who has literally never posted in this forum before today, I'm super thankful to you for actually reading this horrible pile of bullshit that has spewed out from my mouth.

Also, if any of the people who worked on the fan translation are in this thread, mad props to them. Managing to coherently translate such a text heavy game that is so reliant on item and skill descriptions, both for its charm and for mechanical purposes is very impressive. The dialogue is natural sounding, and every character has a pretty distinct voice too. I'm really impressed, and super thankful for giving me the chance to play this game.
I wonder if Tasofro would make any character changes aside from bug fixes in the last patch. I still fell like Youmu could be a lot better. In the official games, she have the ability to destroy danmaku with her sword or even reflect it. This ability couuld be somehow present in Labyrinth too. Maybe she could reflect a certain amount of magic damage scaling with her own atack damage. This hability would proc every time she concentrates, keeping her actual play style but giving her a bit more of survivability and damage, especialy against magic atacker foes. That would make her very good in my opinion.
Tasofro :VV They do make a lot of neat fangames but this is 3peso.

Youmu is extremely underwhelming until endgame, it's true. At least she's very good in endgame due to her stellar awakening and lv9 moves, but... that's a very small portion of the game, especially considering she's recruited on FLOOR ONE. Slash of Eternity could really use a buff (why doesn't it have a formula like other slow expensive single target nukes??) and in general she could probably use a little more base ATK, which would balance out in endgame where everyone's getting +7 to their base attack/mag (so her awakening wouldn't be obscene). If SoE was a more worthy nuke and she had 1~2 more base attack then she'd... at least be able to hold her own, and using her gimmick passives would actually have a payoff before her awakening is obtained.

Swordmaster's Spirit added in Plus doesn't necessarily help much, because she needs maxed HP for it to activate and it only makes concentrating between every other attack viable, not actually -good-. Yet it would also be difficult to tweak it without destroying her awesome awakening build. Meanwhile I don't think more extreme suggestions like damage reduced by Attack stat could make it in at this point.
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