The FAQ Is Finally Here!
Len’en is a series of STGs made by JynX (though it’s not strictly STGs, JynX has been coding a cafe/battle game lately, Book of the Cafe is what it’s called, and whenever Monochrome World gets released, it’s apparently going to be a “2d Action” game). And yes, before you ask, it was inspired by Touhou. However, while the two games have some similar elements (mainly youkai and bullet hell gameplay), Len’en has its own unique plot and characters (and the bullet hell stuff also has its differences from Touhou too).
Some nerds get spirited away. Yabusame, a friend of these nerds, has the ability to travel across dimensions. They use their ability to look for a specific nerd, Tsubakura, and, because this is a bullet hell game, they end up fighting some friends and acquaintances in the process.
Eventually, it turns out that everyone got spirited away because the Head Priest of the Senri Shrine and protector/dictator of Mugenri, Tsurubami, is going to the Outside World to do some plot stuff. The whole thing was a test to see who was worthy of replacing them while they’re gone (I have my own theories to explain why they did things this way, maybe I’ll post one of them in the thread, but I can’t emphasize enough how bad of an idea it was to spirit away some young adults and leave them in charge of your territory and shrine). In the end, Tsubakura and Yabusame ended up as deputy priests of the shrine (and no one got to go back to the Outside World).
The games after this are about how things change in response to Tsurubami leaving and the Outside World Humans coming in.
The Bullet Hell Games:
Z = Shoot
Shift = Focus
X = Flash Bomb
X + Shift = Regular Bomb
Esc = Pause
Arrow Keys = Move
The characters of Len’en have no canon gender (there are exceptions to the rule of course, like Hoojiro, Hal, and those dead backstory relatives, but none of them have appeared in a game so far). JynX said that we can interpret the characters as whatever gender we wish, so feel free to go wild with your headcanons!
I’m not going to explain much here, but basically they were a final boss of Brilliant Pagoda or Haze Castle. They got added in because… I guess JynX was trying to help us more easily understand how the fuck their powers work? Or maybe they just wanted to drive home how important of a character they’re going to be. Either way, it has caused arguments.
As for how to unlock them as a playable:
-In Evanescent Existence, you have to beat the extra stage with the second character you unlock.
-In Earthen Miraculous Sword, beat the extra stage with one set of characters character
-In Reactive Majestical Imperial, do the same thing. However, the conditions end up being a little weird due to how it’s coded (since if you collect enough of a certain item, you’ll unlock an Extra Stage α). Basically, the code just checks for a clear, so you have to either clear the main Extra Stage and not progress into the Extra α, or progress into the Extra α and clear that.
-In Brilliant Pagoda or Haze Castle, you have to clear the Extra α with everyone.
Your English Patch came with a font called Connecting Chains Serif. That font shrinks your text down by a lot, so once you download it everything should be fine.
Didn't think any of these warranted their own thing so I decided to make it its own section.
"Why doesn't the BPoHC tutorial work? "
I don’t know enough about programming to tell you why the tutorial doesn’t work now, but I do know that there are older versions of the game where it does work (and people have screen recorded the tutorial off of those versions). I recommend watching the tutorial, even if you already know how the game works (I like Yabusame and Tsubakura explaining the mechanics in-character).
"Why doesn't BPoHC have Easy Extra like the other games?"
JynX’s reasoning for not including Easy Extra was that by the time you unlock the Extra Stage (it takes a pretty long time to do that in this game), you’d be able to afford enough upgrades to brute force your way through regular extra (like a lot of things BPoHC, this is controversial).
"When are the other game modes that are listed in the menu going to be released?"
They weren't included in the original version because it would've taken a while, and I think JynX just wanted to be done with the game at that point (during the game's development they pushed themself a lot, to the point where their health was declining, though I think they've learned since then, point is, don't overwork yourself kids).
They confirmed that they're working on an update/remake (which will come out sometime after Book of the Cafe), and Arcade Mode was confirmed for that, so please look forward to it.
There are two patches on the wiki; one that only translates the titles and events and another that also translates all of the dialogue. You probably downloaded the former (I don’t remember which patch is which so good luck).
JynX's gender is set to private on their blog, so please respect that and use they/them pronouns for them. And keep in mind that physical characteristics associated with biological sex are not an indicator of gender identity (saying this because some people like to use JynX's voice reveal from the 5th anniversary video as evidence of them being a guy).
Well luckily for you, I took some game extractions someone else made and sorted through all of the character portraits I found in there! They're all in this zip file, so please enjoy it! (They are sorted by character and then game.)
English Patches 1-4 (I should note that the dialogue translations on the wiki are more up to date than whatever made it into the patches, so if you don't understand something, go look for the fight it appeared in on the wiki, you should find something a little more comprehensible there)
Book Of The Cafe English Guide
JynX's YouTube Channel (where they upload music from the games and have the Monochroids announce things)
Remember to respect everyone's gender headcanons! Have fun! (To enter the fanclub, say something about Len'en that you like. Or if you're uninitiated and want to get into Len'en for whatever reason, just talk about how you found out that the series exists or something like it).