Your final answer is something one would be likely to see lots of in Gensokyo.

                                             Image of the Hakurei Shrine for illustration. Not part of the puzzle

In my trip to Gensokyo, I spied a(n)...

  • ... sign with an assortment of words, ԝritten in stone by a three-fingered spirit that was resistant to order, indicating a location by a diagram.
  • ... plants before unique youkai who seemed determined to check for similarities between pairs of things, down to their most basic elements (but discarding other data).
  • ... gаng of rough demons who were exiled by their peers and are now eating some food, together with a music playing tool held by a samurai who exceedingly focuses on the ending of all.
  • ... hungry demon that yanks food from some more generous allies who foster what matters at their heart and soul.
  • ... sign like of 𝗍he beginnings, but written by one spirit who strongly believes in the power of order, togеther with a location that might be at first invisible to the naked eye.
  • ... text often ado𝗋ed by those good at troubling the peace and troubling the quiet.
  • ... renowned human symbol, located in a place that marked the beginning of our voyage.
  • ... expansive place that is the current abode to a big ꬵan of scrolling backgrounds, who for some reason treats everything he sees as scrolling uphill.
  • ... drink which, notаbly like the playing instrument I read about earlier, belonged to the nutcase samurai.
  • ... arrangement of many reƖated objects that are carried jointly and serve as my mementos from this vacation's climax.
  • ... new location ostensibly equal to the first mentioned, however a study revealed that this certain one is haunted by youkai.
  • ... character of myths from antique times, who visibly enjoyed tallying noisiƖy ("seven! eight! nine!") as seemingly equivalent objects went from order to disorder.

PS: Amusingly enough, I did not see any buses in Gensokyo.

Scribbled notes, scattered about:

  • Appeals with garbled rap sayer extracting top of airship
  • Inscrutable puzzle game with central elements of obtaining gnocchi
  • Loyalty of one during big hour
  • Myth of Troy's radical
  • Gadget provided by extraordinary job: pursue cryptic cruciverbalist trails
  • Envisage agent in reservoir avoiding head of propaganda
  • A bright red woman in wailing
  • Austere banner: no Eastern rebels underground
  • Recovering time, itinerant soul reveals a water lily
  • Cicatrix on mushy softly shaved pelt turning crimson
  • Five plus one, inebriated we make a panorama
  • Nucleus of fashion is wearing odd glint, except for length of hours of 1am, 2am, etc


The American flag is in the backstory of Imperishable Night, but I meant to refer to the other game that takes place on the Moon.

As for the playing cards, a certain well-known literary character is known to have met some antropomorphic ones.

One of the sub-answers is to be used twice, referring to different things.

Hint 1:

I should give some flavortext to hint as to where each sub-answer is? There is plenty of it already!

Hint 2:

Each of the entries in my diary describes one or two things I saw and alludes to how I was able to see those things.

Hint 3:

1. We're analyzing a set of words. How could the number of fingers of a species be relevant?
2. If we're talking about pairs of things, there should be the same number of each element of the pair. What could we pair up here?
3*. Look for what was exiled, or expelled from a group of other similar elements.
4. The heart is what really matters.
5*. If you've found the first one, this one should be easy.
6. Which elements of this puzzle were responsible for making a commotion?
8. If you try to read text while the lines are scrolling, you might end up mixing them up!
11. Reuse the first answer here.
12. It would be wise to solve one other bullet first. Remember to count rearrangements of otherwise equivalent things: things that could have been in a different order and it would not matter.

*: this bullet indicated two elements but the second one was already found

  • $\begingroup$ I don't know if this is useful, but Gensokyo appears to be a portmanteau of Genso and Tokyo, and Genso in Japnese means rot13(ryrzrag [bs gur crevbqvp gnoyr]). $\endgroup$ – Zimonze Sep 25 '18 at 0:23
  • $\begingroup$ @Zimonze Not going to rule out the possibility, but I think it's more likely that Trafbxlb vf whfg gur frggvat bs gur Gbhubh Cebwrpg frevrf bs ivqrb tnzrf, jurer gur "trafb" vf whfg snagnfl/vyyhfvba. $\endgroup$ – Sp3000 Sep 25 '18 at 10:38

Partial Answer

I've found five hidden messages, and suspect there are seven more.

1 and 2

The last letters of the object descriptions spell out MALLET / ELIXIR.


There are several "lookalike characters" in the descriptions; for instance, the "w" in the first line's "written" is actually a Cyrillic "We". These lookalike letters spell out WATERFALL.

4 and 5

The cryptic clues have solutions as follows:

cryptic clue solutions
Each one has an answer coming from the title of one of the first 12 Touhou games. Ordering the clues by the game they come from, the first letters spell out AMERICAN FLAG and the last letters spell out PLAYING CARDS.

What do we do with these?

Each sub-answer seems to be from one of the Touhou games. For instance, the American flag is a plot point in Imperishable Night (8), and the waterfall is a location in Mountain of Faith (10). However, the Elixir also seems to be part of Imperishable Night, and the playing cards can be multiple different things (including something based off of Hanafuda, which are Japanese playing cards).

I originally assumed that there would be twelve hidden answers, and the first letters (ordered by game) would spell something out. However, two answers clearly seem associated with the same game, so I don't know what to do next.

I currently have not found anything relating to the order the cryptic clues are originally given in or the strange phrasing of the item descriptions.

  • $\begingroup$ the sixth clue is D(RE-p))AM; will update if/when I get more of the answer $\endgroup$ – Deusovi Sep 21 '18 at 8:08
  • $\begingroup$ The seventh is just C(HER)RY. $\endgroup$ – Zandar Sep 25 '18 at 8:15

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