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but my eyes...


How did you make the ost for the game?

I bought a license for Mixcraft 9 RS a couple years ago and I composed all the music in that. (It's not the latest version of Mixcraft but it's good enough for me)

Composition-wise I mostly stuck to a single key per track (and a lot of the tracks are in C Major to be more upbeat) with a repeating, constant 4-bar bassline riff through the entire song, but with as much stuff going on as possible in those 4 bars to make it less monotonous. (Surgical Gardening or My City Is Sinking More Than Expected is probably the best example of this strat). I kinda feel like I fell into a trap of building every song the same way though, the first segment is always just the drums + bass and a lot of songs end with me removing everything except the drums so it'd be easier to make the song loop...

I'm reusing some instruments in a lot of tracks to add cohesion through the soundtrack (almost everything uses the same bass and drum kit VSTs for instance). I think I could've gone further here and actually settled on some sort of "musical identity"... everything is kinda just random stuff with the only thing in common being that they should make you wanna move fast, and I didn't put much more thought into it than that.

I generally composed the music before I made the stages and worked very fast due to the jam time limit (making like 3 songs per day), there's a bunch of discarded songs that were too bad to use as a result (and even with the stuff that made the cut, I'm a bit unhappy with the quality - the song that plays for like 10 seconds at the start of the cruise ship mission for instance). Maybe having a main theme and making every cutscene song a remix of that would've helped here...


Shit never thought you would respond but thanks man.


I randomly found this game and boy a game hasnt excited me and been such a blast in a while. Thank you for making this amazing game. Also, how can I rip images from this game, I want to make some of them wallpapers.

fine travel into touhou party

hi! so i have never beaten this game but just found it again. but i dont know how, or even if, you can restart the game so you can start from zero?

The save file is stored in %LOCALAPPDATA%/Hotline_Gensokyo, manually deleting it (hosan_save.yal) should let you start from scratch.


Thanks! :)



Hello! I finished the game just minutes ago as I write this, but I'm curious; is the True Ending/second final boss just gotten by beating the "DLC" levels?

Also, without spoiling too much, I'm a bit disappointed there's not much difference between the normal and True endings; although the Fire Emblem Awakening reference amuses me.


As for my actual opinion on the game; it's neat! Has some scoring issues that made me nearly tear my hair out but it works well enough as a free one-man project blending 2hu and HLM together.

Though the upgrades and certain weapons are...horribly unbalanced; a common tactic I used to get more money quicker was just to nuke the highest-paying boss stages with the RPG repeatedly, helped by the ammunition upgrades and the ghost attack-twinning.

Turns out when you have iframes, suicide-carpetbombing the enemy is a perfectly legitimate strategy.


Yeah, I've always been pretty bad at game balance and it turns out that testing every upgrade in a vacuum led me to overlook some stuff... there's another hilarious bug called "Silver Knives" where the Silver Bullet modifier from Tactical Philosopher's Stone applies to the Sakuya throwing knives (because unlike other melee weapons they count as bullets), which lets you just melt bosses in seconds and have infinite ammo oneshots for regular enemies. I found it so amusing (and good for speedruns) I never patched it out.

During development I tested all stages in what's now Score Attack Mode, which meant starting with just Gohei and Concussive Grenades. My idea was that I'd need to make sure everything was beatable with the default loadout, but it led me to STRONGLY overestimate the difficulty in later levels when you've got access to stronger implants/weapons. I didn't really adjust anything because I figured gradually getting more powerful and just tearing through stages after struggling in the beginning of the game worked with the story being all about breaking free of the dreadful existence you were trapped in, some sort of "ludonarrative harmony"... still not 100% sure I did the right choice though...


Ah yes, the Izayoi Sakuya experience.

A lot of the enjoyment I had with the game was just messing with loadouts to see what clicked for me and was good at the same time, and it turns out having the observation device and wall-piercing crossbow alongside said ammunition upgrades means I often don't even step inside buildings proper before a sizable chunk of the enemy is dead, so I suppose beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all.

Also that invisible miwa cosplay let me just nick Kokoro from the prison without even a shot fired and I am just fucking entertained by that fact.


Mima has been back in EVERY Windows Touhou game, we just never were able to see her...


You specifically unlock the True Ending by doing the mission where you break Kokoro out of jail (though you also need to do the archives and train missions to unlock that in the first place), the other 9 DLC missions are just for auxiliary unlocks (e.g. the arms dealer Wheelghost boss unlocks the improved Picozi Portable variants) and extra lore.

My philosophy is that "it's the journey, not the destination" when it comes to storytelling, so I count all the extra stuff that happens on the path to unlocking the True Ending (e.g. clarification on the Puppet Master's plan, Yuuka's motivations, new true final boss) as part of it. The extended cutscene is just a little extra cherry on top.

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1. Oh, I see. 'tis fair, I suppose.

2. On the topic of story, uh, is there plans to add a way to view cutscenes again?

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2): Not really, the cutscenes are done in a pretty stupid way that makes it hard to trigger them without causing various side-effects (I managed to erase my save file once while testing cutscenes using debug hacks...). It would probably be possible to fix that but at the moment I'm focused on wrapping up another project + surviving day job crunch.

...Oh. Well, that sucks.

The other project's that Streets of Rage/Touhou project you've been posting about on your Youtube channel, right? Good luck on that and the...crunch, especially.

That always sucks.

Correct, it's Streets of Frog. It really just needs a couple more assets and a bit of polish and it's done, it's just that a lot of that work is kinda boring and tedious so it goes slow.

And yeah, you'd think society had advanced so far, 60-hour weeks wouldn't be necessary anymore. But there's no technology that can fix bad planning and bad documentation...


Loved it, but the flow of the gameplay could use some work. It's not as fast like in Hotline Miami.


I'm legitimately so bad at games I need to make my games easier to be able to beat them myself...

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Hello! I've been really enjoying playing this game, it's very good, but I have a kind of silly question. Is there a way to advance the page when reading your mail? I've pressed every key and it seems like nothing does, but some are written where it feels like there's a second page to them.

EDIT: Oops I didn't think to scroll with the mouse lmao

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Scrolling with the mouse wheel is so ubiquituous I basically added that input in subconsciously, I never realized it could be an issue... derp.

(UX design isn't exactly my strongest suit)


Pretty fun. I gotta play cruelty squad even more now though.

You totally should! You'd be surprised how much solid gameplay is hidden under the repulsive facade, especially if you're into speedrunning.

Quick question.

Can I use your lunar trumpet shot sound effect for another game? It'd be for a joke suppressor that makes a gun sound like a Zunpet. I don't have the best grasp of audio work and yours is really good.

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Feel free to steal it, I'm not gonna sue you (unless you make a lot of money off my sound effect :P)

now to actually figure out how to steal it! :P

(actually, uh, how do I get to the sound effect?)

*giggles in expertly crafted DRM* My plan worked! =w=



ive been playin alot of them again on my steam deck and im truly suprised just how amazing your games like this one and hollow hearts are, like they have such charm that i dont see in so many games nowadays anyways happy holidays Yal thanks so much for the update!

Thank you! ^__^ (and happy holidays!)

I think it could be because I've mostly given up on making games for profit, when my priorities are "make a cool experience" and not "make a marketable product, preferably as fast as possible" there's a lot more room to let cool ideas grow that you don't really get in the industry...

(Also the other secret ingredient is "iteration", for every project I finish there's 5-10 I start up and then abandon when they don't turn out good enough... sometimes you don't know if an idea works unless you try it)



Thank you! ^_^


Hey Yal, had a good time with it. Obviously a little slower than its inspirations but solid nonetheless.

Being able to melee enemies through walls seems like a real obvious exploit, was that intentional to help players get through it all?

Meleeing through walls wasn't intentional, I guess I just kinda assumed all walls were too thick for your attacks to reach through but never actually checked? (I did fix a bug where longer guns could shoot through walls since the bullets are created at the end of the barrel and that would poke through the walls if you were right next to them, that one was way too powerful; but since you wanna go fast for the bigger combos and slowly picking off enemies is... slow, I never found the melee wallhacks to be that gamebreaking)

Wow, you just blazed through the entire thing in one sitting! The amount of struggle you had with Game Over and The Big Picture is what I expect a blind player to go through with EVERY stage, but you first-tried more than half the game! (This is the reason the score screen can't be skipped the first time you beat a stage, I figured players would appreciate a break - I guess I should change that to make them skippable from the get-go...)

GG at skipping the entire last phase of the final boss too, you had so much DPS the attack pattern didn't even have time to spawn in properly!

(Having to read mail to unlock stages is a similar intentional choice - it's used to drop the plot on you, gives hints about what's ahead so you can make a more informed equipment choice, and it's supposed to give you a break in the action... I guess I should add in an option for that too...)

And sorry for making an even more incomprehensible plot this time, a lot of stuff are references that makes no sense without knowing Touhou lore (when moving from the japanese-only PC-98 to Windows the entire universe was reset, this was later in turn made canon, and this is what the ending revolves around)

I also never realized how busted melee damage is, enemies can hear you do finishers but I guess I forgot to make them hear you oneshotting their friends right next to them... (I tested every stage with the default equipment to make sure they're beatable without upgrades, which also means I barely tested how upgrades affect the balancing)

And yes, it's the "The Shining" carpet. I stole the idea from Anger Foot.


Been waiting for this lol. You're on this CRT Filter kick for your games right now We are LOVING IT

One of the good things with code is that once you've made it, you can reuse it everywhere! I'd definitely be down with making this CRT filter my "style" (I mean, I've already used it in like 5 games at this point...), it goes a long way for making retro pixelart with big chunks of the same color more visually interesting.


This was so much fun. I can't wait to see more of it. Great work! 

Glad you liked it! ^__^ It was fantastic seeing your reaction to the shotgun and then gradually improving every level until you ended on an S-rank! You're also the first person I've seen figuring out the vents exist without tips, so good job!

(The reason you never had anything new to equip is because you never visited the shops in the headquarters, maybe I should add some more signposting those exist so it's harder to miss...)


cool :D


Cool! Seeing someone play the game blind is always awesome for UX / tutorial testing~


Glad to see YAL still making games...Been playing them since the GameMaker sandbox days...Just tried this one...It has a unique style, smooth controls and good music. Oh...just looked at your BIO...All these years I didn't realize you were female.

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Game was quite fun to play and its also pretty fun to speedrun some of the levels. I got 12 seconds in rise and shrine. Can't wait for the overall story and full game to come out.


Oh wow, I've never gotten sub-20 and I made the game...! (And I made the other two levels yesterday so I've spent like 20 days playtesting Rise And Shrine exclusively...)

I'll try to finish the game up soon, it was meant as a quick side distraction from my real project and then I ended up overscoping things way too much as usual.

Hopefully having this demo out means people find all the massive problems I overlooked so I can iron out the worst flaws before the full release...



Hotline Miami but Touhou?

Nice, Yal!

Keep up your work!


Excuse me, Hotline Miami and Cruelty Squad but Touhou :P

Glad you like it, though! ^_^