Houchou (pronounced /ˈhoʊtʃoʊ/ HOH-choh) is a chaotic artifact spoon in SLASH'EM. It is thrown at a target, and if it hits, it instakills the victim. There is no defense against Houchou, but if it hits a target, the tool itself is always destroyed in the process.
Because its base item is not randomly generated, Houchou will never be found randomly. It can be given as a gift to chaotic characters or wished for by anyone. Being gifted Houchou unrestricts dart skill.
Overall, this is one of the weakest sacrifice gifts. It can only be used once, meaning it provides no lasting benefit to your character, and the fact that it can miss makes it a poor option both for emergency situations, and for taking out powerful peaceful monsters, such as shopkeepers and priests. Later on, it can be used to bypass one particularly difficult fight (for example Demogorgon), but mostly this item just gets in the way of getting a better sacrifice gift, such as Doomblade or the Bat from Hell. Note that throwing Houchou is at least safe: monsters will not throw it back at you, since they are not programmed to throw weapon-tools.
If thrown upwards, Houchou will kill you. Also, don't try to take out One-eyed Sam with this: his amulet of life saving will save him, and he (and his assistants) will be quite angry and ready to behead you with Thiefbane.
包丁 (hōchō) is Japanese for "kitchen knife".
In the Japanese RPG Final Fantasy IV, there is a kitchen knife that could be thrown to instantly kill or severely damage almost any monster. The English localization changed this item to "Spoon", but oddly (and humorously), its effect when used—instant, violent death—was kept. It is thus that SLASH'EM's Houchou is a spoon.
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