"Get" one of the games, install it, and start playing. I'd recommend "Double Dealing Character," mostly because I like it and it has cleaner graphics than the games before it. Use the arrow keys to move. Hold down shift to move slower. Hold Z to shoot. Hold X to bomb, clearing away enemy bullets to keep from dying. You don't need to play with any specific character or any specific difficulty level; just do what's fun.
(To run DDC in English, you'll need the THCrap patcher; I didn't have any trouble with it but you might depending on your level of computer strength. I think some of the pirated versions come packaged with it, but I don't know which ones.)
Touhou has a lot of lore, but (oddly) most of it isn't found in the games. You can explore deeper by reading the official mangas (silent sinner in blue, forbidden scrollery, wild and horned hermit, the three fairies saga) or the official fan books (perfect momento, the maribel and renko stories). Touhou Wiki has translations.
If you're interested in fan works, there's a lot of fan-made comics and game music arrangements to check out. I'd recommend "Touhou Tag Dream" and Tohonifun's "Yukari VS Ran" comics for action, anything by Yakumi Sarai for depression, and Neko no Sakegoto's comics for echii-not-quite-porn yuri, but there are a whole lot of other things to read that I'm forgetting.
For music, IOSYS is one of the most popular (and, on /jp/, hated) circles; they have several arrangers, lyricists, and vocalists, working in almost every type of music. Shibayan Recods, Hatsunestumiko's, Buta Otome, Yuuhei Satelite, and NJK Record are some of the more respected circles. The fandom loves to say that there are Touhou arrangements in every style, so whatever kind of music you like, there's probably someone making it.
There's also a couple episodes of unofficial, fan-made anime, called "Memories of Phantasm." Some fans really like it, others think it has a weak plot and too many inside jokes.
If you want to start at the "beginning," you'll probably be in over your head because the first games were released in the 90's for a pre-Windows computer called "PC-98" that was popular in Japan. You can play them with emulators, but it's much easier to just start with the windows games. In fact, when Touhou's creator, ZUN, began releasing games for windows, he retconned everything that happened in the PC-98 games out of existence. (Including Mima, who doesn't exist)
The first, and most popular (according to the latest poll) windows game is Embodiment of Scarlet Devil. If you want to "start at the beginning," you can start there; but it's kind of a bitch compared to the other games because a lot of game mechanics too make things more enjoyable hadn't been thought of yet: for example, being able to see your "hitbox" (the one spot on your character that will count as a hit if a bullet touches it), being able to collect powerups by moving to the top of the screen when you're not at full power, and bullet waves that come in patterns instead of just being random spam rushing at your face. The characters are well loved, but the gameplay not so much...
Who says thcrap is a botnet? Besides /jp/ memelords? "muh antivirus" isn't scared of botnetting, it's scared of an application that can modify programs in memory, like thcrap does to add translations (and other patches) to touhou games without actually modifying the files.
Also, does it really matter if the fag liked the games or not? The patcher works pretty well, so what do his intentions matter?
thcrap isn't a virus, and if you buy the games instead of stealing them (I know, I know, NEET rights to piracy) you won't get a virus that way either.
>>51243 If you write a static patch, you have to release a version for each language, and re-release fixes if you discover an error in the translation. If you want to use a patch sometimes but not always, for example "any patch that effects gameplay, and isn't just a translation," you need multiple copies of the game files sitting around, one for each combination of patches.
The upside to thcrap's dynamic patching system is that you can turn patches on and off at runtime, and install whichever patches you like, while still using the same game files. And the latest versions of each patch are automatically downloaded, so you can get a basic translation as early as possible instead of waiting forever for all the little details to be ironed out. Since the text insertion points and translation are separate, it's easier for volunteers to work on one part if they aren't as competent in the others. It also handles multiple patches so they don't have to be as aware of each other to prevent conflicts.
Yes, it has a dumb name, and it's a centralized system instead of the good ol' fashioned statics, but it's not really that bad
>>51287 The programs that apply static patches only run once, writing directly to the file and patching it permanently. Dynamic patching patches the game each time you run it, so the patcher runs each time you run the game. There are more patches than just translations, too; the most notable example is boss run patches, so players can jump straight to bosses if they get tired of slogging through the stage for whatever reason.
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