Mountain of Faith Stage 5, or how I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb

During my no-damage clear of the first four stages of Mountain of Faith, I quickly realized something: the fact that bombs draw from your attack power, and therefore your attack power goes down whenever you bomb, is not meant to discourage you from bombing. In fact, it encourages you to bomb because you can refill easily from the power-up items dropped by enemies. It’s as if most enemies drop pieces of bomb for you to use.

If you want to capture all the spellcards, Mountain of Faith is harder than Imperishable Night. But if you want to just get through the stages without taking damage, Mountain of Faith is not that hard. Just learn the patterns enough to where you only need one bomb for each card, and bomb everything. You’ll get all your power back from enemy drops.

Mountain of Faith also makes it easier to collect those power items. When you’re focused, nearby power items will gravitate toward you. And when you’re not focused, you can collect all items on screen by flying above the “Item Get Border Line”, helpfully indicated for you at the start of the game. (You don’t even need to be at full power to use the Item Get Border Line, unlike in Imperishable Night.) Additionally, there is no difference in your attack between having 4 power and 5 (max) power, meaning when you bomb at 5 power, you don’t really sacrifice any power and just clear some space in your inventory to collect power items.

If you’re at 5 power, power items aren’t pieces of bombs, they just add to your score and (I’m assuming) count toward a new point of life. If you’re not playing for score, you should bomb to keep safe. Every time you take damage, a little more than three bombs worth of power are spawned near your character, so even if you depleted your power to nothing thanks to overbombing, you’re close to full again as soon as you get hit. The fact that there is no deathbomb window no longer matters, because you learn to bomb early and often.

I’ve managed no-damage clears of Mountain of Faith’s stage 4 and 5 in fewer than 50 tries, far less than the several hundred I’ve spent on the corresponding stages of Imperishable Night. Also, check out this survey, taken from the Toho fansite gensokyo.org. It counts people, from a set of 13,000 Toho players, and how hard of a difficulty at which they were able to complete various games in the series without using a continue.

Imperishable Night, which I cleared not too long ago, is the game that the most people have cleared on Normal or harder, but although it seems Mountain of Faith’s difficulty rises greatly at Hard and Lunatic, many people still manage to clear it on Normal. So to Sage, who says Imperishable Night is the only game he was able to clear without continuing, I say try Mountain of Faith, and bomb more.

Also, it seems that the high randomness of Phantasmagoria of Flower View (my first Toho game, and which I have to this day been unable to one-credit-clear on any level harder than Easy) is not a barrier for people who don’t rely on memory as much as I do, and that Subterranean Animism really is hell on earth.

3 Responses to “Mountain of Faith Stage 5, or how I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb”

  1. Samukun says:

    I can concur that Subterranean Animism contains every flavor of pain.

  2. Zeroblade says:

    Having just started playing Subterranean Animism a couple days ago, I second that concurrence. It’s LOADS harder compared to Imperishable Night, and even Mountain of Faith, which was already a notch tougher (esp. in stages 4 and up) compared to say, Embodiment of Scarlet Devil or Perfect Cherry Blossom, which to me are the standard for judging difficulty in Touhou.

  3. gn00b says:

    “You don’t even need to be at full power to use the Item Get Border Line, unlike in Imperishable Night.”

    Actually, you can always auto-collect in Imperishable Night by focusing above the line.

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