Touhou Scarlet Diabolique Fantastica The Focus Of The First exALive

arcadehero February 21, 2024 2
Touhou Scarlet Diabolique Fantastica The Focus Of The First exALive

It’s been a little bit since we’ve had some news from exA-Arcadia, with their most recent game release taking place in December with Arcana Heart 3 Xtend.  Now they are gearing up for their next release in the shoot ’em up Touhou Scarlet Diabolique Fantastica, and they’ve held a special livestream event on YouTube to discuss it. Let’s see what it is all about.

A Touhou Refresher

Touhou is of course a huge IP in Japan, where fans of danmaku shoot ’em up (shmup, or STG) games have long enjoyed the series. Here’s a website in English that explains it in more detail. There have almost been a couple of dozen Touhou games released to the market over the years, although up to this point, only one has come to arcades, which was Touhou Perfect Sakura Fantastica back in 2022.

This sequel was announced a little while back and it is finally ready to storm arcades, although I would note that it is going to be available worldwide – not just in Japan. That is because it is launching on the exA-Arcadia platform, where they do not have region codes and the like to restrict it to just one corner of the globe.

Touhou Scarlet & exALive

The sequel to the game above has been under development for well over a year now by Team EXA AM5, which is the same team who worked on the Touhou Sakura game up above. Scarlet is the 8th game in the series, where Sakura was the 7th – although I couldn’t tell you where that all falls within the game’s lore and wider canon timeline. Unsurprisingly, there are quite a few videos on YouTube which get into the deeper Touhou series lore, so I’ll let you explore all that on your own whims if you so desire.

Since Japan is the main stronghold for the series, it makes sense that this new game would receive all of its launch attention there. That said, it is not available yet; it begins testing in Japan next week. To promote it, exA-Arcadia held a livestream event on YouTube this morning called exALive. Essentially it’s a focused Nintendo Direct without quite that level of production value, but able to convey all the needed information for fans. The caveat of course is that it is all in Japanese (both spoken and written).

As this started when I was actually able to sleep this morning, I’ve had to catch up but here are some elements I’ve gleaned from it (my Japanese is rudimentary, so I’ve scoured more for visuals; I’ve also reached out to Shou for some details).

They have employed several voice actresses for the game, much like they did with the previous release. I believe that these will be unique to this version. The game also has 1-2 frames of input lag, making it blazingly responsive. While I did get to play this at IAAPA 2023, the build was still a little early, so it was lacking the gadgets you see below. Although they only showed the game running horizontally on the stream, it does fully support TATE mode and can play “the right way” for arcades or fans who prefer that setup. It also has SD 4:3 monitor support (as do all exA games, just in case anyone is wondering about using it on a CRT Japanese candy cab).

Touhou Scarlet Diabolique Fantastica, exA-Arcadia shmup

Here’s one of the kits for Touhou Scarlet that will be available soon. They will have a Limited and Regular edition available; This slide only shows one. I don’t know pricing at the moment but I would assume it will be similar to the first Touhou title($1850~$2300USD). The video also spends some time discussing the exclusive items that you can grab when ordering through one of two Japanese distributors, but I’m pretty sure those are all limited to purchases within Japan.

Future exA Plans

At the end of the stream, they discuss what is to come, with an announcement of their Amusement Expo booth and their presence at EVO 2024.

For Amusement Expo, which takes place a month from now on March 20th-21st, they will unveil at least one new title, possibly more. I believe one is a new fighter, which is a genre that will be receiving more love here in the States (aside from collectors, most consumers here are more into fighters than shmups). There could be more, but these situations are always fluid. There is already one thing that won’t make it thanks to shipping delays from overseas. They will also be much closer to the front this year than last – booth 553, which is right across from LAI Games’ big booth.

For EVO, they are bringing at least six titles but I would also plan on seeing more than that in terms of both software and hardware. It’s an easy guess that anything new there will be a fighting game. It will be interesting to see how people react to one of the fighting games that they have coming this year, since I can reveal that its a certain IP that most everyone knows. Even some casuals that don’t follow this stuff will…

What do you think of these latest announcements out of exA? Would you like to see Touhou Scarlet Diabolique Fantastica at a location with the system?


  1. Moises Escalona February 21, 2024 at 9:04 am - Reply

    This amazing!!! Do you own any Ex-Arcadia?

  2. PocketTrash March 13, 2024 at 6:49 am - Reply

    are they making a touhou arcade game? : o

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