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In Touhou: the Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, for each of the Spell Cards, there is a property next to each of the sub-weapons. For example, Reimu's "Homing Amulet" and "Persuasion Needle" list "Spirit" and "Dream" next to them respectively. Marisa's "Magic Missile" is "Magic" while her "Illusion Laser" is... "Love"?

Are these properties by which the sub-weapon is stronger against certain enemy types? Or are they simply for flavor?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

These are flavor elements. In the Touhou universe, most spellcards are preceeded by a "Suit", much like we have card suits.

Patchouli is an easy example: she is a wizard that uses the five elements (plus Sun and Moon). Her main elemental spells are just [Fire Sign], [Water Sign], [Wood Sign], etc. for their suits. Then, her spells which are combinations of elements are [Fire Earth], [Water Metal], etc. They don't have any gameplay effect beyond explaining what those colourful bullets assailing you are.

In the case of the sub-weapons, the descriptor is matching the suit for the accompanying spellcard. Reimu's "Fantasy Seal" Spellcard is [Spirit Sign], Marisa's "Master Spark" Spellcard is [Love Sign], etc.

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