Drillimation Systems today has officially released Chuhou Joutai 3: Three Nights of Scarlet Abscess as a Steam exclusive. The game was first teased in February with the demo released in June.
Three Nights of Scarlet Abscess is the third installment in the Chuhou Joutai series of retro-style danmaku shooter games. The games play similarly to Touhou Project but are targeted at beginners. The game was highly anticipated from the start. Drillimation heavily relied on grassroots marketing to make sure the game reaches as many people as possible. The demo, which released on June 24, 2022, became the most successful game in Drillimation’s history, being downloaded over 10,000 times within the first two months of release.
Three Nights of Scarlet Abscess has four playable characters to choose from. While Susumu Takajima and Kagami Ochiai from the first two games return, the game introduces two new playable characters: Ryuta Shigematsu, a kyudoka, and Kumiko Uchida, a shrine maiden.
The plot of the game revolves around finding and defeating three remaining prisoners who are associated with a violent militant group that escaped a prison break and finding the woman responsible for starting it.
The entire game was developed by one person, though Drillimation received outside help from a few others. The game’s art direction received a complete overhaul from the previous game, the extremely difficult Chuhou Joutai 2: Paraided!. While it does use the same pre-rendered graphics as that game, it is much cleaner. Several songs in the game’s soundtrack existed before Three Nights of Scarlet Abscess. They were originally composed for a canceled Touhou Project fangame by Vietnamese indie studio Studio Emiko.
While the first two games had itch.io releases, this is the first game in the series to not have one and instead be a Steam exclusive. This was to take advantage of a new Steam extension for GameMaker, the engine all three Chuhou Joutai games run on. Three Nights of Scarlet Abscess is also the first Drillimation game to have built-in anti-piracy protection to make the work of software pirates difficult. Notorious warez group Skidrow cracked the DRM for the first two games in less than a week after they released. The measure includes a built-in check to ensure the player is subscribed to the Steam server, and prevent the game from being played if they are not.
Director has No Plans on Directing Fourth Installment
According to one interview, the game’s director has confirmed that he has no plans on directing a fourth installment at the moment. Drillimation has stated that Three Nights of Scarlet Abscess would mark the end of an era, and their next project has already been decided.
Drillimation announced they intend to team up with Whitethorn Digital to develop a new Touhou Project RPG for PC and Nintendo Switch. The reason for that decision was that if Drillimation kept pushing out a new Chuhou Joutai game every year, their reputation would decline. They felt it would be much better to create a new franchise with a new playable character. Rather than creating one huge world, the game would be divided into segmented chapters in the form of Acts.
Drillimation also announced in July that they would be introducing a new logo that would go into effect in January of 2023. This is to accompany their new philosophy, with an aim of meeting diverse consumer needs. They also considered other future possibilities to expand the Chuhou Joutai franchise, including a remake of the first game, and a side-scrolling prequel.