Hong Meiling is a youkai of an unknown category, appearing as the third stage midboss and boss in the sixth Touhou game, The Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, and again in later games and associated materials. She is the gatekeeper and gardener of the Scarlet Devil Mansion, serving Remilia Scarlet loyally and without question. Meiling is also known to be a master of martial arts and a Chinese nationalist, showing the same stereotypical pride Chinese characters are depicted to have in Japanese works.
Meiling is very laid back, occasionally taking siestas while on the job, a habit that has gotten her into trouble numerous times. She regularly recieves challenges and is considered a worthy opponent to the strong. Unlike most youkai, Meiling isn't outwardly aggresive towards humans, only targetting those who trespass on her master's property. Meiling is boastfully prideful of China, comparing Yuyuko Saigyouji to a Jiang-Shi and noting how celestials like Tenshi Hinanawi read Chinese works.
Meiling is commonly depicted in a green dress and beret that resemble both traditional Chinese clothing and the uniform of Mao's Red Guard. Her beret has a gold star on the front with the traditional Chinese symbol "龍" (pronounced "lóng"), meaning "dragon".
Hong Meiling first appeared in The Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, where she served as both the boss and midboss for the game's third stage. She attacked Reimu Hakurei and Marisa Kirisame early on, before being pushed back. When she returned, she attempted to mislead the heroines, either telling Reimu that there was nothing in the direction she was going or trying to convince Marisa she wasn't guarding anything. In either case, she fights them a second time, which again leads to her defeat.
Meiling would later appear as a playable character in Immaterial and Missing Power, though her inclusion would be due to a patch, and she wouldn't actually have any effect on the game's storyline. Her next official appearance was during the events of Shoot the Bullet, in which Aya Shameimaru would take pictures of her danmaku. Her final appearance in the games occured in Touhou Hisoutensoku, where she saw a roaming giant which she assumed to be an incarnation of a God of Calamity, Taisui Xingjun. However, those she warned didn't take her words seriously. Left with no other choice, Meiling alone is forced to defend the Scarlet Devil Mansion and all of Gensokyo from the rampaging deity. After defeating some pseudo-characters that were sent as assassins, Meiling defeats a giant catfish and, eventually, Taisui himself. However, after her victory over Taisui, she realises that this was all a dream.
Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red
One day, a mysterious crop circle appeared in the gardens of the Scarlet Devil Mansion, causing widespread rumours, speculation and gossip regarding the Mansion. Meiling claimed not to be the culprit, but admits that she had been tasked with restoring the garden to its original state now that Remilia had grown bored with the crop circle pattern. During her interview with Aya Shameimaru, Meiling notes that she is quite worries, as she has no idea how to change the flowers back. When questioned on the crop circle's origins, Meiling denies falling asleep, prompting Aya to talk about aliens. It is eventually revealed that the person behind the crop circles is Patchouli Knowledge.
During the party to celebrate the completion of Remilia's Moon rocket in Silent Sinner in Blue, Meiling was tasked with guarding the gates of the Scarlet Devil Mansion as invitees walked by. This was further expanded on in Inaba of the Moon and Inaba of the Earth, where it is shown that her task at the time was vetting invitations. Meiling gave a speech about how she would not let anyone throught without the proper invites, but the residents of Eientei simply walked past her whilst she was still talking. Meiling eventually got them to show her their invites, but was bombarded by so many invites from so many rabbits, that a whole slew of people (including the Eientei group) managed to slip by her.
- Usage of Qi - Qi, in the case of Meiling, refers to the Qi of martial arts, which pertains to auras. It is an ability that allows the user to see and discern the shape of energies and auras within the body. This form of Qi is a popular staple in many Japanese works of fiction besides Touhou, and as such, it can be assumed that Meiling can manipulate her Qi to fly and use her danmaku, like characters in those other works. Assuming this to be true, her spell cards are in actual fact powerful Qi attacks.
List of Spells
- Flower Sign "Gorgeous Sweet Flower"
- Flower Sign "Selaginella 9"
- Rainbow Sign "Colorful Rainbow Wind Chime"
- Illusion Sign "Imaginary Flower Yumekazura"
- Colorful Sign "Colorful Rain"
- Colorful Sign "Vivid Chaotic Dance"
- Colorful Sign "Dazzling Color Typhoon"
- Colorful Sign "Colorful Light Wind Chime"
- Extreme Color "Vivid Chaotic Dance"
- Light Sign "Blossoming Light Orb"
- Polar Light "Flower-Adorned Morning Star"
- Flower Sign "Mountain-Breaking Cannon"
- Three Blossoms "Colorful Ultimate Mountain-Breaking Cannon"
- Flower Sign "Colorful Light Lotus Flower Palm"
- Colorful Flip "Fluttering Petals and Falling Leaves"
- Colorful Chinese Flower "Rainbow Taijiquan"
- Rainbow Sign "Intense Rainbow Fist"
- Chi Sign "Star-Pulse Shot"
- Strike Sign "Dapeng Fist"
- Chi Sign "Earth Dragon Sky Dragon Kick"
- Chi Sign "Fierce Tiger Energy Release"
- Star Chi "Earth-Moving Star Pulse Shot"
- Blazing Strike "Dapeng-Felling Fist"
- Colorful Sign "Vivid Color Downpour"