I did it!
I can’t believe it… After so many months I was finally able to 1cc Embodiment of Scarlet Devil on Normal. This would be my first 1cc of a Touhou game on Normal mode and my first ever clear of what I can honestly say is one of the hardest of the Windows series. How I managed to beat it before any of the other games is beyond me, but I finally got to see the good ending for Reimu. I won’t spoil it too much for those who actually care but…Remilia gets invited back to the shrine for tea. I explain my success due to a number of factors that I think can be applied to the Touhou series as a whole, even if your twitch dodging skills aren’t amazing.
1) I played Reimu A. Patchouli’s spellcards change depending on which character you pick and I’ve always found them easiest with ReimuA.
2) I took a different approach to spellcards from what I normally do. This time I decided to be a little patient and look for gaps that I could use to weave through the bullets and my patience paid off. I had tried this sort of thing previously but it didn’t yield much success, which brings me to my next point…
3) Practice, practice and more practice! There was a period of about 4 days over the summer where I did nothing except sit in front of my computer and play Embodiment of Scarlet Devil Normal with ReimuA, and when I wasn’t playing it I was watching replays of it. I tried it with many different characters but my most consistent was ReimuA and so I was able to learn a lot about how to approach each stage when using that single shot type and how long I had to endure against each boss and each spellcard. Granted I still died a lot but it was much less hellish when I knew approximately how long it would take to kill each boss rather than just sitting on my hands waiting to die.
I will say this, ReimuA has a much less difficult time on the stages than some of the other characters but that’s just something I accept as a benefit rather than detracting from my overall victory. I mean, MarisaA and B are penetration types rather than spread types and as such, they do better against bosses than the stages, so there’s a tradeoff in every case.
Now I can finally tackle the long-awaited Extra stage, but first excuse me while I do a little victory dance.