Tenshi Hinanawi

        Today is known among Touhou Project fans as Tenshi Day, as the numbers 10/5 sound like ‘Tenshi’ in Japanese. So why not talk about her for a bit? Tenshi Hinanawi has appeared in a few games, but her first and more prominent appearance was in Scarlet Weather Rhapsody, a fighting game spin off of the main Touhou series, where she was the final boss. Well, most of the time.
        I said most of the time because every playable character, herself included, had a story mode, most of which end facing her, but not all. So how does the game work? It takes the original games’ bullet hell premise and turns it into a fighter. Regular attacks are the expected physical combos, but the other two attack buttons fire either light or strong projectiles. Generally the strong projectiles are slower and stronger, but it varies between characters.
        Every character has a magic meter on the bottom of the screen, consisting of five orbs. Using a projectile attack uses up an orb, which fills up after some time passes. They can also be destroyed if your guard is broken, leaving you with only four orbs until it fixes itself, which takes a while. Knowing how to use projectiles for long range fighting is very important.
        Just as important though, is using your movement. The fighters can walk, yes, but also dash backwards and forwards. Dashing lets them ‘graze’ projectiles and get past them with no damage, but you can only dash so far, so some attacks may not be entirely grazeable. It won’t work for physical attacks either. In addition to jumping they can also air dash with the press of a button, allowing them to move more freely. This can also grave projectiles and help get distance, or close in on enemies. Unlike ground dashes however, this uses up your magic fairly quickly.
        Finally there are spell cards, which are split up into three categories. Skill cards grant your characters new abilities in battle, but… I’m not very good with them myself, as they require complicated button combinations. Still, once you figure out how to do a few of these they can be useful. Item cards grant you some beneficial effect temporarily. Lastly there are the actual spell cards, which are generally massive and powerful attacks. They can be grazed too, however, so it takes some strategy to use them effectively on your foes.
        In addition, you cannot use any of these immediately. First a card must be equipped to the character, making a deck, then in battle they will be randomized. Hitting the enemy or being hit will build up a blue meter on the card shape in the corner of the screen, which when filled reveals one of your cards. Keeping this up will reveal all five of your currently available cards, and as those are used up more will reveal themselves.
        Last thing to cover is the weather system. During a fight, the weather is normally Clear with no effect to either fighter, but as time goes on it will switch to another weather type, which then effects the battle in some way. For instance, River Mist pushes bother characters away from each other, Tempest removes flinching, and so on. Tenshi’s particular weather is Aurora, which randomly uses a different weather effect. The description is aptly “Anything can happen”.
        Now that the gameplay is done, let’s move on to Tenshi herself. Tenshi is a Celestial living in Heaven, high above Gensokyo. Heaven is thought to be a paradise, but it seems it is only so to those who enjoy a peaceful, enlightened lifestyle. Tenshi is not among those. While technically only the enlightened or those who lead good lives are allowed to Heaven, Tenshi ended up there thanks to the fact that her entire family was brought up, even if she personally isn’t suited for it.
        She simply finds Heaven boring, and looks down at Gensokyo, with all its incidents and mayhem, with envy. She wanted to stir up some trouble and have fun herself, so she started her own incident, with the help of her magical ancestral sword, which identifies the spirit of others and turns that into weather. This results in Gensokyo getting very bizarre, personalized weather all over. For instance, Reimu Hakurei had perpetual sunshine, and Marisa Kirisame had perpetual rain.
        This, in turn, leads many of those effected to try and find the source of this, and thus lead them to Tenshi, who was more than happy to battle them. However, she did not stop at weather, because while some people did come to her for that reason alone, Reimu did not, as she wasn’t aware this was anything more than an especially sunny few days. This lead Tenshi to use her own ability to control the earth to cause a small earthquake, leveling Reimu’s shrine.
        That certainly got the miko moving, leading to the battle and excitement that Tenshi craved, with the safety of Gensokyo itself on the line, because if she isn’t stopped, then another earthquake would be unleashed, far worse than before. Luckily, Tenshi is beaten, and unlike most of the final bosses from these games, she isn’t let off with just a slap on the wrist, but instead has to help Reimu rebuild her shrine.
        Why exactly she got punished like that I don’t know, but I imagine it could be just because she targeted Reimu specifically. Tenshi’s own story mode actually happens after every other character’s, and involves all of them coming up to battle her as a sort of punishment party, which eventually ends with them all having an actual party, and Tenshi herself being quite happy.
        Tenshi herself is unlocked by beating the game with any character. Her melee attacks naturally involve using her sword, but also kicks, pushes, and other such things. Her light projectile fires out one of her keystones, the pointed sharpened to do more damage. The attack requires no charging at all and can do multiple hits. Her strong projectile summons another keystone, from which she fires a wave of laser blasts. They start out grouped together and spread out the further they go.
        As for spell cards, here I have to make some distinctions. In story mode your opponents do not get normal spell cards like you do. Instead, once you take out their health bar they will pull out a story exclusive spell card to attack you with. These generally have moments where they can be hurt freely, but they will not flinch from attacks. Knocking their health bar down again will end the card. The later in story mode you face someone, the more cards they will have.
        In any case, I’ll start with Tenshi’s player spell cards, then move onto her as a boss. First, her skill cards. Sword of the Earth has her drive her blade into the ground, making it raise up to hit grounded enemies around her. Pillars of Divine Punishment I know is a move she can use normally, so the card just makes the move stronger. It makes a pillar-shaped keystone drop either in front of her or behind her to crush enemies, or to serve as a shield against projectiles. Beams of Non-Perception fires out a stronger and wider barrage of lasers from her keystone then usual, and Sword of Non-Perception has her dash forward with her blade, grazing projectiles as she does.
        Six Earthquakes- Signs has her stab the ground, producing a localized earthquake shortly afterward. It’s unavoidable on the ground, but won’t hit you in the air. Guarding Keystones… does exactly that, summoning tiny keystones to protect her, but they can also be fired out as an attack. Heaven and Earth Press makes two keystones fly at the enemy from above and below. Lastly, Sword of Scarlet Perception has her slash randomly with her sword for a good close range attack.
        Onto her actual spell cards, we’ll go by level. Earth Sign “Sword of Unletting Soil” is basically a bigger version of Sword of the Earth, big enough to hit airborne foes as well. Non-Perception “Sword of Rapture” is a close range slash that seals the enemy, doing good damage and also prevents them from being effected by the current weather, which can be to your advantage. Heaven Sign “Sword of Divine Justice” has her shoot up into the air in what amounts to a sword uppercut. She can’t be hit while doing this, but if she misses it leaves her wide open when she lands.
        Temperament “Meteorological Revelation” fires out a large laser from her sword, gathering power from around her. Aside from making a strong attack, this also ends the current weather too. Spirit Sign “State of Freedom From Worldly Thoughts” makes her temporarily immune to flinching, but she cannot block. Earthquake “Sword of Worry and Joy” is a stronger Six Earthquakes- Signs. Keystone “World Creation Press” has her fly offscreen and then crash down on the enemy with a giant keystone. And lastly, “Scarlet Weather Rhapture” has her float into the air and fire a massive laser at the enemy. Like Temperament, this resets the weather.
        As for her boss cards, the first is Keystone “Heaven’s Rock”. She jumps to a random spot, then fires a large keystone at you directly. If this unblockable stone hits, it then shoots up into the sky offscreen, and red orbs will rain down slowly fir a few seconds. If it doesn‘t connect, it will stop after going a certain distance and fire out two waves of red orbs in all directions. Tenshi herself is very easy to hit since she remains still so long, and the attacks are easy to deal with.
        The second is Heaven and Earth “Earth, Thy Violence Nurtures Us!”. With this, Tenshi jumps over you, summons a keystone, and drops down on you, creating a wave of rock pillars across the screen. After a couple of seconds, she will jump over you again and drop once more. The best way to deal wit this one is to fly up to her height when she jumps, as the pillars won’t go that high, and don’t be too close by, shooting her as she hovers and when she lands.
        Third is Meditations “Earth-Calming Stone”. Tenshi summons a small keystone in front of her, which fires a massive amount of lasers in all directions. Being anywhere near her is unadvisable. White orbs will fall from the sky and land, bringing large keystones out of the ground. These can block your projectiles or hers, and getting hit by them when they come up will break your guard. Stay away from her and fire as much as you can.
        Fourth is Heaven and Earth “Faraway Lands, Gaze Upon This Earth!” She stabs the ground, producing a lot of earth pillars. The one Tenshi is on will be the highest, but they get lower the further away from her they are, and the furthers parts of the screen from her will be untouched. If she is on the corner, that gives you half the stage to work with. Once they come up, she will fire a wave of orbs from her sword in all directions, then jump to your location to start again. Again, don’t get near her, those pillars hurt when they come up, and the best time to shoot her is as she is raising them and before the orbs start falling.
        This is actually her final spell card… when she’s not the final boss. However, if she for your character, her sword will land next to her as she falls, and fire a laser into the sky as pillars raise both of you even further into the heavens. The music will change and the final battle will truly begin. She only has one card, “Scarlet Weather Rapture”, but she will take much less damage and be very hard to hit.
        Firstly, she is floating in the middle of the screen and will not react to damage. Melee attacks are generally useless against her, especially due to her three attacks. First, she will fire a barrage of lasers in all directions. You can graze through them or stop them with your own projectiles, leaving her open to attack. Second, she will produce four clusters of sweeping lasers that spin around her, forcing you to move about to avoid them.
        Her final attack, which she only starts to use at the halfway point, is to aim at you, visible through a red haze between you and her, and then firing a massive laser. At first she will do this rarely between her other attacks, but as her health goes down she will drop her other moves entirely and simply aim this attack at you faster and faster, in the end going so fast that she’s planning three lasers at once, forcing you to move constantly to avoid getting beaten, much less returning fire, but this also means you’re very close to victory.
        that’s Tenshi Hinanawi! I hope everyone has a happy Tenshi Day, and I’ll see you next time.

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