The game’s title screen.
Available only on itch.io!

Over the past two days, Drillimation Systems was selected to be the composer for a Touhou Project fangame for a biannual jam on itch.io. This project was titled Catch Hina! by Phoskryfes, a simple puzzle game as suggested by the title, the player must capture Hina Kagiyama in the shortest time possible in a similar manner to Pac-Man. It is the fifteenth game by Phoskryfes and the second Touhou Project fangame made by him.

Hina Kagiyama is a character who debuted as the stage 2 boss of Touhou 10: Mountain of Faith, which released in 2007 (or 1997 if you live in the Chuhou Joutai world). She is a goddess whose sole job is to gather the misfortunes of humanoids and scare off those who try to enter the Youkai Mountain range (located in Eastern Kozan in the Chuhou Joutai world). Hina’s way of stockpiling misfortunes has her spinning/dancing in circles.

But, that’s not who you play as in the game. You take on the role of Nitori Kawashiro, a character who debuted in the same game as Hina, though she appears in the third stage. The game has a story that is short and sweet. Set in the Great Youkai Forest, Hina has become dizzy and is spinning out of control. Nitori must save her before she crashes on and/or stumbles on any object.

If you don’t want to play the game, you can listen to the songs I composed below:

The Light Side of Fate, arrange of The Dark Side of Fate
Candid Friend arrange

The story behind these tracks is also interesting as well. After the game’s developers had an impression on listening to the 2A03 version of The Story of Hearthcliffe from Chuhou Joutai, they asked me to compose in the same style, despite the game not utilizing any retro-style graphics! I decided to mimic Koji Kondo’s iconic style using only 50% square waves for the pulse channels, and I arranged Candid Friend in the same BPM as the underwater theme from Super Mario Bros. I was also asked to make the tracks sound lighthearted and not intense like in the originals.

Silk River Lane arrange, the original intended version
Silk River Lane arrange without the VRC6 expansion; they liked this one better

We were asked to compose one more song for the inclusion of Kagami Ochiai, that being an arrange of the stage 6 theme Silk River Lane from Chuhou Joutai. Because Kagami descends from the daimyo, we were originally going to arrange Ochiai Clan’s Young Maiden ~ Monsoon Orange but the developer suggested we arrange Silk River Lane instead. Instead of using the same instruments in the first two songs, we used the instruments from Konami’s Ganbare Goemon 2, released exclusively for the Famicom in Japan in 1989.

I was afraid my decision to use the Ganbare Goemon instruments would get turned down, so to avoid this, I exported two versions of it: one with the Konami VRC6 chip, and another without it. Turns out they liked the one without the expansion chip better.

That’s Kagami in the center between Nitori Kawashiro and Hina Kagiyama. You’re enough to figure out where this image is in the game.

My involvement in the project also got the others lucky. They got free Steam keys for Chuhou Joutai as a reward for my involvement. A post-release update will feature Kagami Ochiai from that game as well. Keep in mind for any game project Drillimation becomes involved with whether they’re doujin or commercial, an element or two from Chuhou Joutai must be featured as a way to get their word out.

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