Imperishable Night

, by Team Shanghai Alice, is the eighth official game of the Touhou Project scrolling shooter series. It is the third Touhou game to be released specifically for the Windows operating system. It was first released in the 66th Comiket in August 15, 2004. In English speaking circles, the game's title is often abbreviated as IN.


Imperishable Night features a total of eight playable characters, in pre-set pairs (and later, individually). The pairs, one human and one yōkai, work in tandem: one person fires when unfocused, while the other pops in and fires when focused, with a reduction in movement speed. The two attacks can be drastically different. The individual characters do not have an attack change when focused.

Quite a few smaller details are unique to this game, including Last Spells - for an enemy, a Last Spell is a bonus Spell Card which the player can tackle without fear of losing lives/bombs. On the player side, Last Spells are secondary "bomb" Spell Cards, which last longer/do much more damage at the expense of two bomb stocks. There is a gauge which tracks how human/youkai (normal/focused) the player is, as well as a new "Time" system, which affects gameplay.


Every stage has a time counter, which, despite what the name might imply, requires the player to collect a certain amount of "time points". If the player fails to collect the required amount by the end of the stage, the clock, which tracks the frozen time in Gensokyo, shifts one hour ahead. Otherwise, the clock only advances half an hour. The clock starts at PM 11:00; if the player ever reaches AM 5:00 in-game, the player is given a bad ending. Having to continue also advances the clock by half an hour.

Time points are collected via shooting down when playing as a human, or from grazing bullets when playing as yōkai. If the player loses a life, some time points are deducted. Also, when playing on difficulties Normal or higher, filling the time counter for a stage also unlocks the Last Spell for that stage's boss.

Phantom gauge

A gauge on the lower left corner of the screen keeps track of how human or yōkai the player is, and affects the player's score accordingly. The gauge, ranging from -100% (human) to 100% (yōkai), is determined by which mode the player uses more. When the player reaches ±80%, he can collect time orbs by hitting enemies (as a human) or by grazing against bosses and killing enemies (as a yōkai). Since it's important to collect as many time orbs as possible (to slow time and get high scores), the player should try to keep the gauge either below -80% or above 80%. When playing as the Netherworld Dwellers' Team or individuals, the gauges would be limited somewhat.

Spell Practice Mode

The Spell Practice Mode is unlocked by beating the game with the normal ending (i.e. before the game time reaches 5:00 am). This feature allows a character/team to practice a spell card (bullet pattern) they have already seen in the Story Mode and Extra Mode. In this mode, players have only one life and cannot bomb, and is only able to clear a spell card by shooting down the boss before time runs out without being hit. Clearing spell cards here will show ZUN's own comments on the spell cards or the character associated with them.

Only available in the Spell Practice Mode are Last Words, which are typically the hardest spell cards in the game. These spells are earned by accomplishing certain feats such as beating the game using certain characters/difficulties or seeing/mastering a sufficient number of spell cards.


It's the eve of the Harvest Moon Festival in Gensokyo when the youkai sense that something is wrong with the moon. It appears that the moon has been replaced by a fake moon that can never become full. In order to find the real moon before sunrise, the protagonists extended the night to make an imperishable night, and set out to find the culprit.

After minor skirmishes along the way, including a battle with a fellow culprit-seeker, the protagonists reaches Eientei, the mansion of the perpetrator. Once inside, they find that the mansion is guarded by a the moon rabbit Reisen Udongein Inaba, whose ability can cause disorientation. From here, the team may either choose the path that leads to the fake moon conjured by Eirin Yagokoro, or the real moon, where the moon princess Kaguya Houraisan is hiding. It is then realized that the moon was swapped in order to sever the link between the earth and the moon to hide Kaguya from the lunar emissaries who seek to bring her back. The team then accepts Kaguya's "Five Impossible Requests" and fight until daybreak.

Having completed the Five Impossible Requests, the team is given another challenge by Kaguya in the Extra Mode: assassinate her rival, Huziwara no Mokou.


Playable characters

Initially, the player must play with one of the four preset teams. After the player has beaten Kaguya with all four teams, then it is possible to play the characters individually. Playing as individuals instead of teams does not change the story.

Boss characters

  • Wriggle Nightbug (リグル・ナイトバグ) — Stage 1 boss, a firefly youkai who happens to be in the way.
  • Mystia Lorelei (ミスティア・ローレライ) — Stage 2 boss, a night sparrow preying on humans.
  • Keine Kamishirasawa (上白沢 慧音) — Stage 3 boss and Extra stage midboss. The protector of the Human Village who turns into a hakutaku during full moons.
  • Reimu Hakurei — Stage 4 boss when playing as Marisa/Alice or Sakuya/Remilia. Reimu is looking for the one who stopped the passage of time.
  • Marisa Kirisame — Stage 4 boss when playing as Reimu/Yukari or Youmu/Yuyuko. Like Reimu, Marisa is searching for whoever she thinks is the one lengthening the night.
  • Tewi Inaba (因幡 てゐ) — A youkai rabbit who has taken residence in Eientei.
  • Reisen Udongein Inaba (鈴仙・優曇華院・イナバ) — A rabbit who deserted from the moon, now a disciple of Eirin.
  • Eirin Yagokoro (八意 永琳) — A master pharmacist who, long ago, produced the elixir of life for Kaguya, causing Kaguya to be exiled from the moon.
  • Kaguya Houraisan (蓬莱山 輝夜) — The princess from the Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, originally from the moon but now lives her life in Gensokyo in recluse from the lunar emissaries who want her back.
  • Huziwara no Mokou (藤原 妹紅) — A girl who, by some chance, swallowed the elixir of life and became immortal. She held a millennium-long grudge against Kaguya for humiliating her father when he was seeking Kaguya's hand in marriage.


Related media

Touhou Bōgetsushō (東方儚月抄) is an extension of the story in Imperishable Night, split into three parts, each carried by a different Ichijinsha magazine. The main component, Silent Sinner in Blue, is a manga serialized in the monthly Comic Rex; it is through Silent Sinner in Blue that the main plot progresses. Cage in Lunatic Runagate is a novel being serialized in the quarterly Chara Mel; it centers on the viewpoints of the characters around the story. Finally, is a lighthearted yonkoma focusing on Reisen and Tewi Inaba. The plot of Touhou Bōgetsushō overall revolves around the disturbances on the lunar capital, Yukari's plans to invade the moon, and Remilia's rocket trip to the moon.

Ichijinsha sought ZUN for this venture before he started to work on Mountain of Faith, and ZUN once had thoughts to make the manga about the upcoming game. However, as Mountain of Faith progressed, ZUN decided that he should base the story on something that Touhou fans are already familiar with. He turned to Imperishable Night because he felt the game did not provide much room for character development despite having such a rich cast. With the three-part media blitz, ZUN hoped to expand on the characters' inner thoughts.


External links

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