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          Killer Minecraft 2: Scarlet Weather Rhapsody, known in Japan as Touhou Hisouten (東方緋想天 Tōhō Hisōten?, lit. Eastern Skies of Scarlet Perceptions) is a 1998 3D versus fighting game developed by the Twilight Frontier branch at Drillimation Studios and published by Namco. It is the second installment in the Killer Minecraft series, and was released in Japan on the same day the international console version of Touhou 10: Mountain of Faith on August 17, 1997. The game remained Japan-exclusive until the full version was released on April 29, 1998 worldwide. A port for the PlayStation, Nintendo 64, Sega Saturn, as well as home computers was released worldwide on May 25, 1998.

Blurb

"Killer new game, moves, and characters. It's back to make a killing!"
- Official attention grabber

Killer Minecraft 2 has turned up the intensity, making it the most dangerous tournament fighter ever. Packed with deadly new characters, advanced 3D graphics, and millions of new combos, Killer Minecraft 2 will propel cashbox earnings/experiences to new heights.

  • Enhanced game intelligence multiplies time required to learn combo moves and creates challenging single-player gameplay.
  • Interact with the background and stage objects to twist up the fights!
  • Killer Minecraft 2 takes fights to new levels with new finishing moves and projectiles.
  • The new weather system rewards the most aggressive with vicious special effects and moves.

Gameplay

Killer Minecraft 2: Scarlet Weather Rhapsody stays true to its predecessor Killer Minecraft: Immaterial and Missing Power in that it retains most of its basic system and moves. Melee attacks and projectiles are still the main attack feature, and grazing is still an effective way of evasion. In addition, Killer Minecraft 2: Scarlet Weather Rhapsody added the ability to fly, a different card deck system that pulls off the series' main gimmick, and a weather system that deals out various handicaps.

Killer Minecraft 2: Scarlet Weather Rhapsody also provides built-in support for multiplayer games over the internet in the PC version via Drillimation Online, something that its predecessor lacks.

Expanded from the Spell Card system of its predecessor and other games, Scarlet Weather Rhapsody allows the player to assemble a "deck" of 20 cards. Cards become available for in-play use as the player deals or receive damage. New cards can be obtained through various actions in gameplay (such as defeating an opponent).

Cards fall into three categories: System Cards, Skill Cards, and Spell Cards. System Cards include bombs (like in Immaterial, knocks the enemy back), weather change, and other miscellaneous options. Skill Cards upgrade special attacks to do more damage, allow the player to gain alternate special attacks or both. Spell Cards are powerful attacks that automatically work once activated through certain button combinations. Proper assembly of card decks according to the player's style is key to mastering the game, since the decks limit what the characters can do during a match.

The weather changes during a match, which subjects the two combatants to some handicap according to the weather, as listed below. Note that although there are weather changes in the main Arcade Mode, they are for visual effects only and do not carry any handicap like in other modes.

Weather Effect
Temperament
気質
No effect and is usually in effect at the beginning of a match.
Sunny
快晴
Border Escapes are free, but flight cost is halved.
Drizzle
霧雨
Spell card damages increase.
Cloudy
曇天
Decreases spell card cost by 1.
Azure Sky
蒼天
Special attacks can be canceled into other special attacks.
Hail
Spirit Orb Recovery speed is doubled, increases the damage of bullet-type specials.
Spring Haze
花曇
Players cannot use any melee attacks, though Special melee moves still can be used. The delay in spirit recharging after an attack is removed as well.
Dense Fog
濃霧
Inflicting damage on an opponent restores a small bit of health to the player.
Snow
Hitting an opponent will cause part of a character's card gauge to deplete. Cards lost this way are returned to the player's deck.
Sunshowers
天気雨
Incorrectly blocked melee attacks result in an instant guard crush.
Sprinkle
疎雨
All special moves and Skillcard moves are upgraded to Level 4.
Tempest
風雨
Maximum Airdashes/Flys allowed increased by one, characters can high jump cancel their melee attacks.
Mountain Vapor
晴嵐
Spellcards in reserve are hidden with a "?"
River Mist
川霧
Normalizes the distance between opponents.
Typhoon
台風
Characters gain super armor and will not enter hitstun, and also lose the ability to block.
Aurora
極光
Cause a random weather effect.
Scarlet Weather Rhapsody
緋想天
CPU only. No effect.

Plot

Set four seasons after the defeat of LJN in the first Killer Minecraft tournament, Fred Fuchs is angered over his loss and tries again but this time entering Hearthcliffe into the tournament. In Gensokyo, a bizarre phenomenon is occurring. In the middle of summer, untimely rain and hail fall in the Forest of Magic, snow blankets Hakugyokurou, the Scarlet Devil Mansion are enveloped in a cloudy, dense haze, and the Hakurei Shrine is leveled by a sudden earthquake. Throughout the game, Reimu and the other protagonists set out to investigate the source of the strange occurrences.

The culprit behind all these is the celestial Tenshi Hinanawi. Finding her newfound life in Heaven boring and monotonous, she enviously saw the youkai of Gensokyo stirring many incidents from above. Wielding the power to control the earth and the divine Sword of Scarlet Thought (緋想の剣 Hisō no Tsurugi?), the jaded celestial decides to instigate a catastrophe of her own.

Characters

Killer Minecraft 2 features a total of 30 playable characters, with again half of them appearing from The Drillimation Series and the other half being from the Touhou Project. Despite this amount, they will only face 22 in-game.

The Drillimation Series

Returning characters

  • Wataru Hoshi - After a decisive victory against Hiyori Tamura in the first tournament, Wataru attempted to take down Fred Fuchs. Caught after defeating him, Wataru must escape home before it's too late.
  • James Rolfe - Unwilling to succumb LJN, he was unfortunately defeated in the first tournament. Captured by LJN, he has gone berserk by their games and revenge is the only thing he can live for.
  • Akira Kogami - The defeat of Fred Fuchs freed a lot of energy being held by LJN, causing them to tumble down. Now with tougher enemies, she must face bigger challenges and conquer Tenshi.
  • Holinger-Z - The advanced and deadlier successor than its original that was unfortunately destroyed by the Gensoukyans. When learning of the phenomenon occurring in Gensokyo, he has one final goal executed by the Driller Institute: find and erase Suika.
  • Miyuki Takara - Konata Izumi had gained freedom after Miyuki defeated Kagami Hiiragi in the tournament. But now, she had received a distress call and must free Kagami Hiiragi and Konata Izumi in the tournament.
  • Tsukasa Hiiragi - Although defeated by Konata Izumi in the first tournament, she managed to revive herself using power from Remilia Scarlet. Scarlet now forces Tsukasa to go up and defeat the tyrant to win back her freedom.
  • Ataru Hori - After defeating Suika Ibuki, Ataru had been betrayed by Holinger-Z, where he disguised himself to escape the void and swear revenge.
  • Susumu Hori
  • Leopold Slikk1
  • Konata Izumi1
  • Kagami Hiiragi1

New characters

  • Yutaka Kobayakawa - Descendant of Hong Meiling, she is appointed as a guardian by Konata Izumi. With the return of Hearthcliffe, Yutaka must fulfill her duty by finding and defeating Hearthcliffe.
  • Anna Hottenmeyer - Was made a champion driller for banishing Hearthcliffe. With the return of Hearthcliffe however, she must vanquish him in order to keep her position.
  • Chuta Bigbang - With the return of Takumi Hearthcliffe, Chuta leaves the arena to take on this challenge. Only by defeating all of his opponents, he will gain the right to fight and defeat him.
  • Takumi Hearthcliffe2

Touhou Project

Returning Characters

  • Reimu Hakurei - The miko of the Hakurei Shrine, which was newly reduced to rubble. She sets out to find the one responsible for this and make her compensate for the shrine.
  • Marisa Kirisame - A magician living in the Forest of Magic. Troubled by the rain around her, Marisa tries to go to a place where the rain won't reach her.
  • Sakuya Izayoi - The head maid of the Scarlet Devil Mansion, noticing the energy flowing out of her body, she decides to find the cause.
  • Youmu Konpaku - The gardener of Hakugyokurou. Noticing that ghosts were decreasing in number, she goes to investigate without telling her mistress Yuyuko.
  • Alice Margatroid - A puppeteer magician who also lives in the Forest of Magic. Convinced that the strange occurrences are signs of an impending earthquake, she delves further into the matter.
  • Patchouli Knowledge - The resident bookworm of the Scarlet Devil Mansion, she feels the change in the temperaments and puts the investigation upon herself since no one else seemed to realize what was happening.
  • Remilia Scarlet - The vampire lady of the Scarlet Devil Mansion. Remilia has to stay indoors because of rain, one of the vampires' weaknesses, kept falling outside the mansion. Being bored, she had her servant maid Sakuya bring in suspects of the incident one by one.
  • Yuyuko Saigyouji - The mistress of Hakugyokurou. Although she was one of the earliest to realize the change in temperaments, she did not seek to put an end to the incident but used it to further her own ends - to enjoy a cool summer.
  • Yukari Yakumo - A youkai who looks over borders, including the one at the Hakurei Shrine. Infuriated by the Tenshi's plan to make the shrine celestial property, she seeks Tenshi out and destroys the newly-rebuilt Hakurei Shrine.
  • Suika Ibuki - A party-loving oni who felt the temperaments were being gathered. Thinking the whole venture fun, she went up to Heaven to help turn Tenshi's prank into something more serious and to stay for the food and drink.

New Characters

  • Aya Syameimaru - A newspaper journalist for the tengu society of the mountain. While not searching for potential scoops, she guards the mountain against trespassers.
  • Reisen Udongein Inaba - A moon rabbit who now resides in Eientei. By the orders of her master Eirin Yagokoro, she goes around warning people for earthquakes and investigates the aftermath.
  • Komachi Onozuka - The shinigami in charge of bringing souls to the other side. Now just wandering around and slacking off.
  • Iku Nagae3 - An oarfish (known as "messenger of the Dragon Palace" literally in Japanese) whose task is to take notice of earthquake signs and warn the people of the inevitable disaster. Nominally under the command of the celestials.
  • Tenshi Hinanawi3 - A celestial who ascended to Heaven through no virtue of her own. The tempering of the temperaments and instigating earthquakes were all her doing, due to her being bored and wanting people to "defeat" her.

Note(s)

  1. Home console version only, but has no backstory. All these characters are unlockable.
  2. Can only be played in multiplayer mode.
  3. New character in the entire franchise.

Development

The idea of making Killer Minecraft: Immaterial and Missing Power 2D was made for the Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, and Windows 3.1 versions, basically for those who didn't own a PlayStation or a Windows 95 computer. The first installment was originally going to be a launch title for the Nintendo 64 but had to be scrapped due to the delay of the system in 1995.

Scarlet Weather Rhapsody was originally going to be another Driller Engine 2 game, but after ZUN and Twilight Frontier saw Tekken running on Namco's newly released System 11 hardware, they decided to develop for that instead. Driller Engine 3 was still in alpha testings when the game began development in 1995, which made development difficult due to a large number of bugs that needed to be crushed when the new engine was being developed.

The Super Nintendo and Genesis versions of Immaterial and Missing Power had its graphics downgraded due to system limitations, leading to all character animations scrunched down to keyframes. The idea of having Konata Izumi and Kagami Hiiragi hidden in Scarlet Weather Rhapsody was due to its unpopularity. Tsukasa Hiiragi almost got cut out from the game due to complaints from players stating that she was difficult to use. As a result, Drillimation drastically changed the way how she played.

The replacement characters of Anna Hottenmeyer, Chuta Bigbang, and Yutaka Zhong for Konata Izumi, Kagami Hiiragi, and Hiyori Tamura were done to give more variety to the roster. Scarlet Weather Rhapsody was originally a 2.5D fighting game like its predecessor. The game was 80% complete when it was still being developed in Driller Engine 2. However, after the release of Driller Engine 3, Drillimation decided to turn it into a 3D fighting game.

This led to a tough call at Team Shanghai Alice and Twilight Frontier, as they had to scrap the entire project and do it all over again. The game was showcased in magazines like Nintendo Power, GamePro, and Famitsu. To help compensate for fans, Super Smash Keyboards 3 was released in 1997 to hold off until the release of Scarlet Weather Rhapsody. Some of the models used in Super Smash Keyboards 3 were reused in this game, alongside Twilight Frontier developing new models for the Touhou Project characters. They were unable to use the models from Touhou 10: Mountain of Faith due to the way they were designed.

Beta versions of the game were released in Japanese arcades on August 17, 1997. Though eight cabinets were set up for the game, it reportedly took over an hour of waiting in line before one could have a try at the game. On the same day, a new demo was offered for free download on Drillimation's website before its international release on April 29, 1998. The home console port was released on May 25, 1998.

The game's data contains four unused characters. Wriggle Nightbug and Nitori Kawashiro were planned to appear but were cut due to time constraints. Nitori would later appear in Killer Minecraft 4: Hopeless Masquerade. Kaguya Houraisan and Fujiwara no Mokou were also considered but were removed due to them being too strong. Kaguya's real reason for removal was due to a bug in the game's code. According to an interview in GamePro, Susumu Takajima stated that her player model used a ton of polygons, leading to frame rate drops. She has a partially developed moveset, but she can only throw punches. Animators also had difficulty animating her gown, where unlike Yukari Yakumo's gown had fewer polygons. However, if the player manages to win a match with Kaguya, the game will simply crash due to her not having a victory FMV sequence.

References to other games

Reception

Like its predecessor, Killer Minecraft 2: Scarlet Weather Rhapsody received critical acclaim upon release. The game currently holds an 88% on Metacritic based on 71 reviews. Critics praised the musical score and environmental backdrops but criticized the flawed backgrounds. The sound effects were also praised, but criticized some of the explosions and the "death screech" sound effects.

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