|“||You human who's forgotten the fear of night! Die from the terror of this unidentified flying object!!||„|
|~ Nue Houjuu|
Nue Houjuu is an extra stage boss who first appears in the twelth installment of the Touhou Project series, Undefined Fantastic Object and is the youkai who embodies the unknown and uses Seeds of Nonidentification to disguise both herself and whatever she pleases.
There are many legends according to her appearance when, in fact, she is hiding her "true form." She was just enjoying scaring humans until she got bored of it (although her dialogue suggests she was sealed underground), so she spent most her time underground until the incident in Subterranean Animism where she went above ground to check what happened. She found out that Captain Murasa and the other youkai who were also sealed underground made it above ground and were planning something. She decided to have some "fun" by putting the Seed of Non-identification in the fragments of Tobikura. Eventually, she saw the heroine collecting them and she decided to secretly follow them, either helping or getting in their way before deciding to show up to congratulate the heroine for saving Byakuren.
Based on one of Reimu's quotes in Touhou Hisoutensoku, she is currently living with Byakuren in her Temple.
According to Mamizou's quote during Ten Desires, Nue called Mamizou into Gensokyo to help her out.
- (Touhou 12, 12.5, 13) She has short black hair and dark red eyes. She has three red metallic-looking wings on the right side of her back, and three blue arrow-shaped tails coming out from her left side. Carries a trident, has a snake on her right arm (which might be the Seed of Non-Identification), and also wears a black wristband on her left wrist. Her dress is all black with blue and white trim in the middle, a red bow on the front, and a small, yin-yang-like tomoe design at the bottom corner of the skirt of her dress. She wears black thigh-high stockings and red shoes with bows on them.
- (Touhou 13.5) Same as above, but her red wings are larger.
A very mischievous girl who reacts badly to anyone finding her true form and enjoys some rather malicious pranks. Despite this, when she found out about how Byakuren's followers were friendly to youkai, she did feel a bit of guilt over her actions. After the events of the Extra Stage in Undefined Fantastic Object, she does go to her temple to train. She isn't well-acquainted with the other youkai at the temple, and can apparently be frequently seen near the edges of the property, looking bored.
- Byakuren Hijiri (Currently lives at her temple)
- Minamitsu Murasa (Unknown, but appears to have known her before Undefined Fantastic Object)
- Mamizou Futatsuiwa (Friend)
- A nue is a legendary beast that has "the head of a monkey, the body of a raccoon dog, the legs of a tiger, and a snake as a tail". Nue's family name, Houjuu, literally means "sealed beast" as written.
- Due to her character design, theme song, and the fact she is an Extra stage boss, some fans have compared her to Flandre Scarlet. This has led to her fan nickname, "U.F.O-wen."
- Nue is the first(?) character ZUN himself has drawn with thigh-highs, and she seems to appeal to zettai ryouiki fans. (Zettai ryouiki loosely translates into "absolute territory" and refers to the area of bare skin seen between a skirt and thigh-highs.) There is a slight shadow of doubt over this since Suwako's sprite in MoF clearly shows her wearing thigh-highs while her drawn portrait shows her wearing socks long enough to be thigh-highs but are slightly folded down to where her knees should be. Mystia also seems to be wearing stockings reaching above her knees in her drawn portrait in Imperishable Night.
- Like Satori, Nue has a forename identical to her species.
- In addition, Nue's spell cards are heavily reminiscent of other characters', such as Flandre, Yukari, Rumia, and Hina. Specifically, they tend to act as combinations of spell cards, often using one element from one, and one from another.
- Nue is the only Extra Stage boss to appear as a midboss in multiple stages. Ran has been a midboss in one stage.
- Nue's appearance as a ball of light midboss on stages 4 and 6 is similar to the stage 2 midboss of Mystic Square. Yuuka also turned into a ball of light during her battle in Lotus Land Story.
- However, she bears the most similarity to the midboss of Lotus Land Story's extra stage. Their appearances are identical, and both drop items when leaving the screen, each ending with an extra life, or an extra bomb stock if the player died once/more than once.
- Similar to Kogasa, she tends to scare off people by using the fear of the unknown, or the fear of her true form.
- Nue has the tag "Heian" on her song and a couple of her spell cards. Heian may be referring to the Heian period (794 AD to 1185 AD) of Japanese history (traditionally depicted as a Golden Age in Japanese History) and/or to a former capital city of Japan (794 AD to 1868 AD), 平安京 "Heian-Kyo", which is now the city of Kyoto. Her age of approximately 800 years also places her origins at the end of or during the Heian period.
- Her theme song's name might refer to 平安京エイリアン "Heian-Kyo Alien", a game developed in 1979.
- The melody of bass on the first part of her theme music is borrowed from UFO, the best hit song of Pink Lady.
- Nue's "Danmaku X from a Wandering Star" spell card in Double Spoiler has danmaku in shapes resembling that of the PlayStation's button logos.
- In Kyoto, the streets are laid out in grid-like pattern. You can see her survival spell card is referring to this.
- Nue is the first Extra stage boss in the Windows series to have not met the final boss prior the start of the game she first appears in.
- Nue's first non-spell card attack resembles Vivit's first attack in her second form in Shuusou Gyoku.
- Nue (along with Kaguya, Parsee and Yuuka) is one of the few characters that do not wear any type of headgear.