The Original Chuhou Joutai at Three – How an Entire Trilogy was Produced in Four Years

Warning: This article contains spoilers for the entire Chuhou Joutai trilogy. We do not recommend reading this article until you’ve beaten the main campaign of the game at least once.

Three years ago today, the original Chuhou Joutai game released on Steam. It was the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the game marked the beginning of a franchise, and a trilogy that would define Drillimation.

Chuhou Joutai stood out from Touhou Project in a number of ways, including a few that could enter the Guinness World Records, including Largest Number of Cutscenes in an Arcade Game and Most Difficult Game Created in GameMaker. If inducted, these games would have the following descriptions:

  • The largest number of cutscenes in an arcade game is 30 in Drillimation Systems’ Chuhou Joutai 2: Paraided!, released in 2021. The Chuhou Joutai games are known for their humorous dialogue.
  • In an attempt to defeat Cave’s Mushihimesama Futari as the most difficult bullet hell shooter in existence, Chuhou Joutai 2: Paraided! by Drillimation Systems is considered to be the most difficult game made on the GameMaker engine. Released in 2021, this infuriating game is much more challenging than anything Cave has produced.

Since the summer of 2022 after the third Chuhou Joutai game entered post-production, Drillimation had begun work on a new franchise, whose codename was Chuhou Joutai Origins and Project Kourin. Prior to GameMaker Studio 2.3, creating an RPG for us was not considered possible as the Prophet didn’t have enough programming knowledge on how to code an entire RPG in GameMaker from scratch. After GameMaker Studio 2.3 released, we realized it was possible to create an RPG using the sequences feature.

I’ll take you to the beginning with the first Chuhou Joutai. Susumu Takajima, a Japanese-American boy who has been living in Gensokyo for almost a decade, teams up with his favorite idol from Kozankyo, Kagami Ochiai, to find and defeat the mastermind of SPASDOT, an evil terrorist organization. Taking place in a world inhabited by humans and spiritual youkai people, Chuhou Joutai takes you on a humorous journey where the duo must learn the secrets of SPASDOT. Their only methods of surviving SPASDOT’s heavily-armed and very dangerous grunts is by throwing danmaku at them. Despite the duo’s different ethnic backgrounds, they can be united in ways to wrestle the rule of the Federal Kingdom of Gensokyo away from SPASDOT.

Chuhou Joutai has players traversing through vertically-scrolling stages, shooting at anything that gets in their way and evading the enemies’ danmaku. Susumu Takajima and Kagami Ochiai work together to explore the Land of Illusions, fighting SPASDOT’s grunts, solving problems for Kozankyo’s townsfolk, until they reach Fred Fawkes and defeat him, liberating the Land of Illusions from SPASDOT’s hands.

Chuhou Joutai 2: Paraided! is a direct sequel to the first game. Taking place a few months later, the duo plan to vacation in Japan, and during a bon festival with Crown Princess Konata, SPASDOT resurges and steals the Crown Princess’s most precious item – the Mini Hakkero. The duo and Crown Princess team up to become an unstoppable force against SPASDOT. Frederic Sam Fawkes is back, ready for revenge after an imposter of him was killed in the first game.

Chuhou Joutai 3: Three Nights of Scarlet Abscess is again, a direct sequel to the second game. Considered to be the ultimate Chuhou Joutai game, Susumu Takajima and Kagami Ochiai are joined up by two of their friends: Ryuta Shigematsu and Kumiko Uchida. They are on a search for the three remaining escapees of a prison break, and midway through the game, Susumu Takajima hears of a plot of SPASDOT wanting to lay siege on a royal ball that Crown Princess Konata invited him to. The person behind the plot is Violetta Scarlet. The group defeat her, and bring peace to the Land of Illusions once again.

The trilogy is very straightforward. After the trilogy was complete, the Drillimation Danmaku Universe timeline started to go the other way. While the next game that Drillimation made is in the same world, Touhou Kourinden ~ Mythos of Phantasmagoria is considered a prequel to the Chuhou Joutai trilogy, taking place over 300 years before the events of the trilogy. In Mythos of Phantasmagoria, you will play a hero by the name of Rinnosuke Morichika (named Kourin in-game), who must go on a journey to defeat the evil Vladrouge Scarlet, who is the father of Remilia and Flandre Scarlet.

The lore of the Drillimation Danmaku Universe will always have this prophecy. Any person who defeats a person bearing the “Scarlet Devil” title will gain the title of “Driller”. You will see how the Driller legend had all begun in Mythos of Phantasmagoria. Furthermore, Chuhou Joutai and Mythos of Phantasmagoria are connected within the Drillimation Danmaku Universe.

I had a good four years developing the Chuhou Joutai trilogy. After I finished Three Nights of Scarlet Abscess. I was ready to move on and create a new franchise for Whitethorn Digital. We are hoping you look forward to the demo of Mythos of Phantasmagoria next month.


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