Bit Blaster XL – Game Guide

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This guide will explain weapons, enemies when to use bombs, and more.

Bit Blaster XL – General Game Guide

General notes:

1. Use the last ship. Not only does it have the best stats, but ammo pickups are worth 10 ammo, not 5 ammo. If you don’t have the last ship yet, concentrate on getting the last ship.

2. I have only played with autofire on, because on my Mac, control-left switches screens, and control is used to fire.

3. This guide covers both regular 3.0 and the 3.1 beta. The only major difference is the addition of black holes in the 3.1 beta.

4. You won’t get 75000 every time. It takes patience.

Enemy types

Small meteor

You will encounter only these at the beginning of the game, but they will appear throughout the game. Late in the game, be careful: most of what you’re dodging will be either a red mine or a ship, and these blend in. Not only that, but small meteors move faster later in the game. These are worth 100 points.

Large meteor

When these are hit, they split into 4 smaller pieces. The large piece is worth 125 points, and the small pieces are 25 points each. Each piece gives an ammo pickup, so if you are low on ammo early in the game, and you have a weapon that will get all at once (laser, flame, explode), you can get extra ammo this way.

Basic ship

This ships start appearing at a score of about 1500 points. Every few seconds, it will shoot a red mine at you. These red mines cannot be destroyed (without losing a life) except by bombs (and black holes in the 3.1 beta), but they will go off the screen in a few seconds. The time between shooting mines is shorter later in the game. When you try to destroy these ships, aim for the top or bottom; the left and right sides are much harder to hit due to the shape of the ship. These ships are worth 175 points each.

Enemy bomb

Enemy bombs start appearing at a score of about 3000 points. They move slowly toward the center of the screen. If they reach the center of the screen, they explode into six mines. These six mines move much more slowly than those fired by basic ships and red ships. If you destroy them before they reach the center of the screen, they are worth 200 points each.

Green ship

These ships start appearing at a score of about 8000 points. These ships alternate between moving toward you and being stopped. These are the only ships that do not move entirely horizontally. Luckily, they do not shoot mines; the main danger is them hitting you. If you have the last ship, you are faster than they are (although just barely faster in the late game), even without boosting. Keep in mind that when one of these is stopped, the direction it goes in next is toward you, not the direction it is currently facing. These are worth 250 points each.

Red ship

These are the most dangerous ships in the whole game, and they start appearing at a score of about 12000 points. Like the green ships, they alternate between stopping and moving. Like every enemy except the green ship, they only move horizontally. However, when they are stopped, they shoot a stream of mines at you (usually between 6 and 10). Destroying this enemy gives 300 points.

Meteor with red balls

This is the last enemy in both 3.0 and 3.1, and they start appearing at a score of about 20000 points. They appear as large meteors, but they have 4 red balls spinning around them. If one of your bullets hits a spinning ball instead of the meteor itself, the meteor is not destroyed, which means that the spinning balls serve as protection. However, if you do hit the meteor inside, you get 400 points, but the four balls will dislodge and move toward you. Just like standard large meteors, it will also split into four pieces, in addition to the four balls that dislodge. They do not look like mines, but they act exactly like mines.

Black hole (3.1 beta only)

Black holes are the second-to-last enemy in the 3.1 beta. They do not appear in 3.0. Even though the internal enemy number is higher than that of the meteor with red balls, black holes can appear as early as 12000 points, making it not the last enemy. These enemies are the only enemies that do not start on the edge of the screen. Instead, you will see a visual cue that one is coming in the middle of the screen. After a few seconds, they appear, and then they start to grow over time. After about 15 seconds, they explode into about 12 (not sure of the exact number) things that act like mines (but look slightly different). They can be removed by shooting them several times; once is not enough. Destroying one is worth 750 points.

Black holes suck anything that comes into it: other ships, powerups, ammo pickups, coins, and enemy bullets (except those from other black holes). Crashing into it causes loss of a single life and destroys the black hole, as normal.

If a red ship is about to be sucked into a black hole, let it be sucked in. This is even more important if a meteor with red balls is about to be sucked in — if it is sucked in, the four red balls will be sucked in instead of being dislodged.

Golden meteor

These are more rewards than enemies. They look like large meteors, but they are gold-colored. They are relavitely rare, and I do not know the lowest score they can appear at. If you shoot one, it turns into four coins, worth 750 points each if you have unlocked all ships, and 250 points otherwise. This means that a single golden meteor is worth 3000 points. Unlike standard large meteors, it does not break into four meteors, so you can easily move into one and immediately collect the coins if one of your shots hits the meteor, which it usually will. If you accidentally hit it with your ship, the coins will still appear, but you will lose a life as usual.

Priority of what to hit first

Top priority should be red ships, as they are the most dangerous. Next is about a tie between basic ships and green ships. Enemy bombs are less important than either of those two unless the enemy bomb is about to reach the center of the screen, since enemy bombs aren’t dangerous (except for physically hitting them) until they reach the center of the screen. The large and small meteors are lowest priority. Meteors with red balls are sometimes high priority and sometimes low: they take up a large amount of space, and they are worth 400 points each, but hitting them causes four balls to be dislodged at you. Black holes should not be bothered with if they are still small, as they are hard to hit multiple times. However, once they are medium-sized or large, they should be high priority unless they are about to suck in a red ship or meteor with red balls.

Weapon pickups

Extra bullets

Spread (blue S): This is a really good weapon. You have three times as many bullets firing at the same rate as the default weapon. Just be careful of the ammo count.

Mirror (yellow M): You will fire bullets from both the front and the back at the same rate as the default weapon. I find back-facing bullets to be harder to control than bullets 30 degrees from the front, and Spread is 3 bullets instead of 2, so Spread is better than Mirror. However, Mirror is still good.

Rapid (R): Bullets are faster than the default weapon. Better than the default weapon, but there are better options.

Additions to the main weapon

Homing (H): Every few seconds, a homing shot goes toward a seemingly random enemy, and it always hits. However, you cannot control what it hits (sometimes it is just a small meteor), and each homing shot uses 5 ammo. Below 7500 points, this should usually keep the screen mostly clear. If you have this early in the game, it is better for the homing shot to hit large meteors (compared to default firing), as a homing shot that hits a large meteor will destroy the pieces it breaks into, too.

Magnet (purple M): This brings ammo pickups and coins to you at a much faster rate than normal, but bullets are still normal. This means that it is better than the default weapon (but only slightly). It is much worse than many other powerups.

Trail (orange T): This leaves a trail behind you that kills any enemy in its way. The trail lasts for about 3 seconds behind you before fading away. Better than the default weapon, but there are better options.

Through (green T): Bullets will go through instead of stopping after hitting something. This is better than the default weapon, but there are better options. This weapon has the advantage that when it hits a large meteor, some (usually 2) of the pieces it splits into will be removed already.

Shield (red S): You will have five balls spinning around your ship that move with you and destroy any enemy they hit. Boosting will make them spin much more quickly. I find this confusing, as the direction I am traveling is often not the direction the balls are moving, and I sometimes go the wrong direction because of this.

Other medium-range and long-range weapons

Explode (E): This seems like a good weapon. When the bullet hits an enemy or a wall, or it travels a certain distance (it’s the only medium-range weapon in the game), it destroys any enemy within a certain distance of where it hit. There are two major disadvantages though: each bullet uses 6 ammo, and firing rate is much slower than normal.

Giant (G): Other guides have said that this is not a good weapon. I disagree. When the bullet hits an enemy or a wall, extra bullets travel at 45 degree angles. These extra bullets often hit other things that you were not intending to hit, which is almost always beneficial. If it hits a large meteor, exactly two of the smaller fragments will be removed. I believe that this is a good weapon.

Bounce (red B): The bullets bounce off walls, which means they usually hit something. The major problem with this is that the bullets are red, which can easily be confused with mines. It’s very hard not to confuse bouncy bullets with mines.

Short-range weapons

Laser (L): Good for the early game, but bad for the late game. Your ship gains a laser in front of it that destroys whatever it touches. This includes all fragments of a large meteor.

Flame (F): Same as the laser, except there is a slight delay, as the stream of “fire” takes time to travel.

Burst (purple B): This weapon will shoot bursts within 45 degrees of the front of your ship. It is bad for the late game because it is short-range, but it is slightly better than the other short-range weapons in the late game.

Other remarks

If you run out of ammo, you will go back to the default weapon when you pick up ammo again. Picking up a weapon powerup will give you 30 extra ammo. (The guide previously said 25.)

When to use bombs

Bombs are powerful. Whenever you use one, all enemies and mines disappear (except at the edge of the screen in some cases, see below).

This is the only way to destroy mines before they go off the screen without losing a life (or with black holes in the 3.1 beta). The enemies that are on the screen at the time do not drop any coins or ammo pickups, but they do give points. Bombs also destroy weapon powerups, and unfortunately, extra life/bomb/boost pickups and coins. Ammo pickups are not destroyed by bombs.

There are three situations that using a bomb might be helpful:
1. If you are about to lose a life or pick up a far inferior weapon and you cannot avoid it. Make sure to use the bomb before you actually do lose a life.
2. If you can’t keep track of the situation because there’s so much going on. Sometimes you just get overwhelmed.
3. If there are many enemies on the screen, but you have low ammo or no ammo. Ammo pickups are much easier to collect after using a bomb, and using one will not cause ammo pickups to go away.

You should NEVER use a bomb if an extra life pickup is on screen, unless you can’t reach it without getting a game over or you are already at full lives (4 extra).

If you have full bombs (4 extra), collecting a bomb pickup will do nothing. However, using a bomb and then trying to pick it up will not work, as the bomb will destroy the pickup (usually; see the paragraph below).

Interestingly, bombs don’t quite cover the whole screen. If you are at the far left or far right edge, the opposite edge will not be cleared by the bomb. If done right, it can allow a bomb to be used with a bomb or life pickup onscreen without destroying it. This means that in some cases, a bomb pickup is not entirely useless if you already have full bombs.

Extra lives, and when to restart early

Life pickups

An extra life pickup will always appear at 7500, 15000, 30000, and doubling each time after that.

Here is what to do and what not to do if there is an extra life pickup on screen:

1. If you do not have full lives, try to pick it up without losing a life.

2. If you do have full lives, you can either wait in the case that you lose a life before it goes off the screen, or you can intentionally lose a life to destroy dangerous enemies, and regain the life you lost by picking up the extra life. Just be careful not to lose two lives. Invincibility after losing a life lasts for 1.5 seconds.

3. DO NOT use a bomb while the pickup is on screen, as this will destroy the extra life pickup. Additionally, don’t use a bomb when you’re about to get an extra life pickup (usually within 2000 points of one), as the pickup might get destroyed in the explosion. (Exception: If the pickup is already onscreen, and you can use the fact that the bomb doesn’t quite cover the whole screen, you can use it if you know exactly what you’re doing.)

Restarting bad games

1. If you lose two lives before 4000 points, restart. Losing one life isn’t a problem, as you can easily pick it up at 7500, and it is not that hard to go from 4000 to 15000 without losing a life (although it won’t be that way every time).

2. If you lose three lives before 10000 points (one extra life remaining if below 7500 and two extra lives remaining if above 7500), restart. It is unlikely that you will regain all your lives, as you would need to get the 15000 and 30000 pickups without losing any lives. I have done it, but it is extremely rare.

3. If your score is above 20000, keep going. There is always a chance that you will make it far, especially with the life pickups at 30000 and 60000 points.

4. If you are going for a high score above 120000, restarting should be more common than if your aim is just the 75000 achievement. The higher the target, the higher the threshold for continuing. Just remember, never restart if it is easy to get back to full lives at any time.

To restart, crash into the wall.

This is the ending of Bit Blaster XL – Game Guide. I hope it will help you. If there is wrong or you have suggestions, please let’s know and comment us. Have fun.

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