Alice Margatroid is a character from the Touhou Project games.
Another magician that lives in the Forest of Magic, and neighbor to Marisa. Her power is magic, with her signature ability being the manipulation of her dolls. She's mostly aloof and self-confident, but is still willing (if reluctant) to work together with Marisa and isn't above showing kindness to others.
In the XP4 fics, Alice is a member of the Unlikely Heroes and ally to the Heroes Coalitions.
Alice was first seen in Mystic Square wearing a pink/white dress with a blue apron and a matching headband with a ribbon on the side. Her eyes were gold, her hair is blonde, and she wears white socks. In the Extra stage of the same game, she appears to be carrying a large black book that's called the "Grimoire of Alice".
In Perfect Cherry Blossom, she has blue eyes and short blonde hair with a red band in her hair. She wears a light blue dress with long white sleeves and a long pink ribbon going round her neck and another one round her waist. Also, she appears to be wearing socks and has a black book, possibly the same one from Mystic Square.
In Immaterial and Missing Power, Alice's sprites have blue eyes, but in her portrait she instead has gold eyes. Her book is wrapped up in a red ribbon, and she has strings on her fingers to control her dolls. She is also seen wearing black boots. From Imperishable Night and on, Alice's eyes have continued to remain gold, but her sprites in Scarlet Weather Rhapsody and Touhou Hisoutensoku were unchanged from blue.
Upon first glance she is said to look like a doll (which is unusual among Touhou characters). Her height is stated to be "fairly tall".
According to Perfect Memento in Strict Sense, maybe since she was originally a human, even as a youkai, she has high understanding and friendship level to humans and presents a low danger level, and if someone gets lost in the Forest of Magic, she also gladly gives shelter upon arriving at her house. However, Alice's house is covered all over with dolls, and since she is not very eager for conversation, it seems like visitors immediately flee when there is something eerie. When she showed her hospitality was in Immaterial and Missing Power, when she led Sakuya Izayoi out of the forest, who had become lost.
In chapters 5-6 of Strange and Bright Nature Deity, the Three Fairies of Light accidentally arrived at her house, and Alice was hospitable to them, providing tea and cake. She seemed caring with the fairies. However, Sunny Milk attempted to lie to Alice, but accidentally blurted out the truth instead. Among her ramblings, she mentions that she's looking for a magician with a grimoire that "shines wonderfully with all the seven colors of the light". Alice does not deny this to be false and became very angry. It is possible this is the in-universe explanation for her title, "Seven-Colored Puppeteer".
The Japanese bullfinches (called uso, a homophone with "lies") saw through the aforementioned lie of the fairies, and as "birds that peck at all lies said until now," a large group of them came flying to the window, and as opposed to how the fairies were severely pecked at, Alice was saying, "ufufu... so, how does it taste?" while nonchalantly providing a cracker to the bird. Thus, it could be said that Alice does not tell lies.
She's attached to magic, but she is indifferent to other people. She doesn't perform the usual act of attacking humans, but she unexpectedly likes fights and upon challenged to battle, she gladly accepts. As she manipulates a great number of combat dolls, the fight is compelled to be highly outnumbered, making a difficult battle inevitable, but since she has her hands full with manipulating the dolls, that is her weakness.
She's an indoors type who was often alone, but in Perfect Memento in Strict Sense, the range of her place of activities is "any kind of place" in Gensokyo, she performs her share of intermingling with the village, appearing in front of people in times of festivals to exhibit her skills with dolls. In each ending of Imperishable Night and Immaterial and Missing Power, she participated in banquets at the Hakurei Shrine. In addition to things like "the frog dolls being popular," there have also been expressions that indicate that her dolls are well-received in the village. She also said things that hinted that she sometimes visits the library of the Scarlet Devil Mansion.
Just like Marisa Kirisame, she has an obsession with collecting things, especially magic items. Although this is an area that could be thought of as an area of commonality between them, there has not been a single depiction that would suggest that she had anything stolen from Marisa.
Unlike Marisa, Alice does not find it enjoyable to win battles with overwhelming power and is more interested in strategy, so she usually fights with power that is a little above that of the opponent and always holds back even if it means losing. It is because if she were defeated using her true strength, then there would be nothing left afterwards, which resembles Reimu Hakurei. It is unknown if this is fundamental to her personality, or if this is simply something she judged as an efficient strategy that her secret skills should not be shown.
Related to this, in Scarlet Weather Rhapsody, among the 15 characters, she did not have a cost 5 spell card, which might be an example of not showing her true strength. However, in Touhou Hisoutensoku, a cost 5 spell card was added. In the first place, since in Imperishable Night, she had a Last Word just like other characters, which were supposed to exemplify each of the characters' full strength, it does not mean that she never displays her full strength (with an appropriate spell card) no matter what the situation. On the other hand, it could also be that her last word spell card The Phantom of the Grand Guignol was actually still going easy.
In Immaterial and Missing Power, she kept avoiding the really strong characters, not fighting those like Remilia Scarlet and Yuyuko Saigyouji, spending her efforts to get to Suika Ibuki. It is unclear what state of mind she had at that time to do such a thing. Incidentally, it was the same in Scarlet Weather Rhapsody. Concerning this, she succeeded in her goal when she met Sakuya Izayoi, Patchouli Knowledge, and Youmu Konpaku, as she judged that it would a waste of effort to meet Remilia and Yuyuko, but she did engage in a battle with the powerful Yukari Yakumo. Additionally, she felt comfortable testing her Goliath Doll on Cirno in Touhou Hisoutensoku.
During the PC-98, she obtained the "Grimoire of Alice", a book that produced "the ultimate magic", and it seems like it would contain amazing magic that couldn't be used without reading it.
As her specialty is making dolls, she is also able to manipulate a great amount of dolls at the same time. This skill is among the finest in Gensokyo. She is able to make her dolls move pretty much any way humans can, and other than that she can make multiple dolls perform different actions, sometimes making them cooperate and sometimes making them move completely asynchronously, such that to onlookers around her, it might not seem like she is manipulating them. Due to this, Marisa Kirisame commented that "she said that she controls all the dolls herself, but that sounds like a whopper". The dolls can themselves manipulate and maybe even create other dolls, but it seems that Alice insists on creating new dolls herself. In chapter 5 of Strange and Bright Nature Deity, she gave a command to a doll orally, but at that time she was indoors while at the same time there were at least 12 dolls above the roof removing snow, and there were also some dolls inside the room cooking. At that time, the dolls have been portrayed as having emotion, in a cute way.
Although in common perception, it would seem obvious for the dolls to be able to talk, but there has been no mention of conversational ability. In some official material however, like Imperishable Night's Prologue and Strange and Bright Nature Deity chapter 5, Alice's dolls appear to be able to act and talk independently – someone adds in words in hiragana to Alice's words. In Marisa's B Ending in Subterranean Animism, it has been confirmed that the dolls do talk in katakana. Whether the dolls are talking due to manipulation by Alice or if half-automatic dolls are talking by themselves is a big mystery. However, according to her Perfect Memento in Strict Sense article, she hasn't yet succeeded in creating an independent doll, and a conversation between Marisa Kirisame and Rinnosuke Morichika in Curiosities of Lotus Asia chapter 16 suggests that Alice just controls the dolls and pretends they are alive for her own amusement and for showing off, but these talks were before the latter said game.
According to Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red, her objective is to make a completely autonomous doll that have their own thoughts and move by their own volition. Currently, when Alice gives a command to her dolls, they move as if they were autonomous, but she has to periodically give commands to them, and moreover it seems like she has not have had enough training in order to achieve it. In Touhou Hisoutensoku, she unleashes a move called "Semi-automaton". Because of that, it can be seen that the degree to which the ordinary Alice manipulates the dolls is clearly not all by herself. In order to perfect a completely autonomous doll, Alice does experiments, and the link to that with the "soul" is detailed.
However, according to her conversation with Youmu Konpaku, it was said that "the strings that attach the body and soul are the same as the ones that control dolls". If this is originally considered, then it could be asked, "isn't that which was put into the dolls Alice's own spirit?". It is not explained, for the dolls that she is experimenting with, if she needs to periodically give them magic power or if they are just fine without, and if they will move even if she does not give them any commands at all. However, in Touhou Hisoutensoku, Alice did say "it seems that it's more convenient to control the dolls myself than have dolls that think on their own".
Among Alice's famous skills, if the explanations of "Edo High-Explosive Pawn" and "Lemmings' Parade" are looked at, she also prepares her dolls for explosives. In Subterranean Animism, it seems that the dolls that she lent to Marisa Kirisame have been prepared with gunpowder, and due to this she objected to Marisa since they wouldn't survive in the Hell of Blazing Fires. Certainly in the game, the dolls didn't randomly explode. Also, in Magic Sign "Artful Sacrifice" as well as the skills "Volatile Doll", "Doll Cremation" and so on, she is able to put in magic power into the dolls to make them explode. It's unclear what the relation or difference is between the dolls that use gunpowder and the dolls with magic power put into them. One Lemmings' Parade consumes an enormous number of dolls, and since all the dolls are hand-made by Alice, to ordinary people, it would seem that without reason she returns her hard work to waste in an instant. However, it could be questioned as to whether Alice really adopted such a bad technique for such efficiency, and there is also the consideration that the dolls could merely be creating a blast from their explosion without scattering and dispersing, so that they are able to be collected again.
- Phantom-seeing power
Other than manipulating dolls, it seems that Alice has high phantom-seeing power, and in Imperishable Night's extra stage, she saw through that Fujiwara no Mokou was not actually living. In Perfect Cherry Blossom's Afterword, it has been written that "something that can't die isn't really alive". In addition to Imperishable Night, she saw through Keine Kamishirasawa's true form and also saw the invisible light from the full moon.
- Alice appears on the cover of Mystic Square.
- The name Alice is a reference to the main protagonist in Lewis Carroll's famous novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, as the majority of enemies in Mystic Square's extra stage are card soldiers of the same type seen in the Walt Disney animated movie version of the novel. The title of the BGM used in that stage also directly translates to "Alice in Wonderland".
- Alice's last name is based on the character Miss Murgatroyd from Agatha Christie's book "A Murder is Announced".
- Because of Shinki's dialog, in which she mentions that everything in Makai is her creation, it is thought that Alice is Shinki's daughter (although this definition would also extend to the other Makai residents). However, there's been no further mention of this since then, and Perfect Memento states that Alice was once a human who became a youkai magician. It is unknown whether this is a retroactive change of continuity, merely a mistake by Akyu, or if fans were mistaken from the beginning when thinking Alice was Shinki's daughter. Since there has yet to be any official statement by ZUN, this is merely speculation. However, it is interesting to note that her title is "Witch of Death."