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Bullet Hell / Shmup Mechanics

05-01-2011, 04:28 PM
#1
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 2,761
Bullet Hell / Shmup Mechanics

Glossary of core mechanics typically found in Bullet Hell / Danmaku shoot-em-ups. These are often used in conjunction and with various scoring effects. Note: these are core mechanics, not weapon types. If anyone wants to cover weapon or bullet types, I'll gladly include a link.

Alternate Weapon
Usually switching between a spread or focused attack. Occasionally to counter specific types of enemy bullets, or enemies on a different plane (Ex: tanks on the ground).
Example: DoDonPachi, Espgaluda, Danmaku Unlimited, Fantasy Night

Chain
Maintaining a chain or hit counter that multiplies your score.
Example: DoDonPachi

Cancelling
Removing enemy bullets, typically by cancelling them with your own. Usually to add to your score or chain. Sometimes used in a local effect, such as Pulse in Espgaluda II.
Example: DoDonPachi, Espgaluda II

Awakening
Switching to an alternate mode which triggers an increase in bullet spawning. Often results in a focused view, or slow-motion.
Example: Espgaluda II, some TouHou titles on PC.

Proximity
Score multiplier based on your proximity to the enemy destroyed.
Example: ISUD, Espgaluda II, rRootage

Grazing
Being in close proximity to a bullet, often for multiplying your score or charging a powerup.
Example: Danmaku Unlimited, DoDonPachi, rRootage

Auto-Bombing
The automatic release of a bomb upon hitting a bullet, usually in place of a life.
Example: DoDonPachi, Espgaluda II, Fantasy Night, Lightning Fighter, Danmaku Unlimited

Polarity
Switching colors to be impervious to, or absorb, the selected color. Usually only 2.
Example: rRootage, Ikaruga

Reflection
Reflecting enemy bullets back to attack the enemy. Usually used as a barrier or powerup.
Example: rRootage

Adpoption (better name?)
Upon death of enemy, gathering it into your own unit to add it's firepower to your own.
Example: Tumiki Fighters

Photography
Surviving as long as possible while a single boss fills the screen with an every-increasing number of bullets. When you choose, you take a "picture", and your score is the total number of bullets currently on the screen.
Example: Shoot the Bullet (TouHou, PC)

Physical Items
Items which spawn from the destruction of enemies, which interact with solid landscape obstacles, causing them to bounce around and/or gather. Typically used for scoring, or as a scoring modifier. Could increase/decrease in power based on the number of bounces.
Example: Deathsmiles

Drawing
Drawing lines, usually with a limited length, to destroy enemies and/or repel bullets.
Example: Carrot War, Chalk (PC)

Reloading/Reversal
Your ammunition/attack is dependent on elements that spawn from an enemy. This could be in the forum of collecting debris from fallen enemies to shoot back, or a polarity/gravity reversal that converts and returns enemy fire.
Example: Pollushot

Suicide Bomber
Charge up a meter, and then make direct contact with an enemy to detonate your character in a highly damaging bomb. Sometimes this is necessary for timed bosses with too much hitpoints.
Example: Hitogata Happa (PC, PSN)

Social Games: Pocket Mine 2, Terra Battle, PAD
GameCenter: StriveMind

Last edited by strivemind; 10-01-2011 at 07:32 AM. Reason: Added more types
05-01-2011, 04:29 PM
#2
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 2,761
Reserved for additional mechanics or links.

Social Games: Pocket Mine 2, Terra Battle, PAD
GameCenter: StriveMind

05-01-2011, 04:38 PM
#3
Joined: Apr 2011
Location: Northern California
Posts: 550
Very nice post! You might want to fix the bolding for "Reflection" though. Also want to point out that grazing is used in DoDonPachi's iPhone mode.
05-01-2011, 04:46 PM
#4
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,923
Top-notch list, strivemind.
05-01-2011, 05:45 PM
#5
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 1,929
Good list and explanations! I see Dodonpachi & Espgaluda II having almost all the various techniques. That's probably why for bullet noobs like me to find the 2 Cave games confusing at the beginning... Lol.. Bullet hell games to me, like fighting games, reveals their depth the more you play them.
05-01-2011, 09:50 PM
#6
Joined: Jun 2010
Location: a[V-O-I-D]
Posts: 14,104
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Great list Strive!!! Thank you for posting!!!
05-01-2011, 10:33 PM
#7
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 2,761
Quote:
Originally Posted by tops2 View Post
Good list and explanations! I see Dodonpachi & Espgaluda II having almost all the various techniques. That's probably why for bullet noobs like me to find the 2 Cave games confusing at the beginning... Lol.. Bullet hell games to me, like fighting games, reveals their depth the more you play them.
My examples are good starters, but definitely don't cover all of the games available on iOS, and especially not all on the PC. If people have other good suggestions, throw them out there.

Social Games: Pocket Mine 2, Terra Battle, PAD
GameCenter: StriveMind
05-20-2011, 03:13 PM
#8
Take a look at this link if you need addtional info about shmup terms...