Publication date of the original Japanese article: 2020-12-24 16:41 (JST)
Translated by. Ari Clark
On December 24, fangame circle D.N.A.Softwares released a new bonus character, “ZUN”, for the Japanese version of their Nintendo Switch game Touhou Unreal Mahjong. After paying to unlock him, ZUN can be used in single-player mode and online versus mode, and has a special ability to load up pinzu (circle tiles) in a “Barrage Stack” by spending his Beer Gauge.
Touhou Unreal Mahjong is a fan-made mahjong-themed spinoff from the Touhou franchise, developed by D.N.A.Softwares for the Nintendo Switch and released by Mediascape as part of their “Play, Doujin!” project. It features more than 100 characters from the Touhou Project, which was developed by indie/fangame developer Team Shanghai Alice, and each character has been given their own special abilities which opens up many different paths to mahjong victory.
The character added this time, “ZUN”, is not a Touhou Project character, but the high priest and creator of the Touhou Project, the head of Team Shanghai Alice, ZUN himself. His appearance in the game uses a real photograph of him, posing with a beer gripped in one hand. Juxtaposing this image with all the cartoon illustrations of pretty girls makes it look like someone Photoshopped it in, but this bonus content is actually for sale in the Japanese version of the Nintendo Store. Apparently, a ZUN-only table can also be generated in-game for groups of players who have all paid to unlock the character.
As noted in the trailer that introduced the character, ZUN has also appeared in previous generations of the Touhou Unreal Mahjong series, such as the original Touhou Unreal Mahjong, which was distributed as a fan-game, and Touhou Unreal Mahjong 3rd Generation.
These previous ZUNs have had abilities such as scoring extra points according to their number of circle tiles when victory is declared, but this version of ZUN has an ability that uses a full Beer Gauge to stack up a Barrage Stack of circle tiles. Not only does he brandish a bottle in one hand, but he can also pop up onscreen holding his beer against a backdrop of golden waves, making it seem like he’s unleashing his barrages of circle tiles while downing a constant stream of booze.