Project Fast Bullets commentary

Fast Bullets- Playing hardball with the big boys

  • Steve Wagner Fast Bullets strategy guide HERE
  • Phil Younger’s Master Study in Fast Bullets HERE

Beginning of practice on Mame 145, Berzerk Set 1, Infinite lives cheat

  • Default game- still 7-9k range, surviving only the easiest fast mazes
  • Infinite lives practice – 25k on Youtube
  • Skill of shot accuracy and precision is lacking
  • Robot bullets neutralize vertical shooting- need to learn run right to left while shooting vertical technique
  • No idea how to survive the starts when surrounded on 3 angles.
  • Doesn’t feel fun at all, at this point. Feels like it was designed as a futile quarter muncher.
  • Starting a maze feels like learning to drive stick shift car, goes ok once you get moving!


  • watched some master play- “Killing 101HERE
  • Observed being able to walk a circle around Otto, as needed
  • Observed, swing corners really wide to give more room to dodge angle shots
  • Observed, leave maze about 1 body length above lower exit
  • Observed, lots of running while shooting vertical, aggressive rather than getting stuck
  • Observed, much use of guiding robots into edges of walls to avoid conflict
  • Observed, shooting straight ahead at start of maze, sometimes staying still or no forward advancement.

First 100k of practice- Youtube

  • “surrounded” starts feel like having to be a gunslinger with accuracy/poise of a sniper, and lithe agility of a ninja!
  • “surrounded” starts seem impossible, writing that off for now to focus on basic maze navigation
  • exagerated movements that don’t seem efficient are necessary for keeping as much distance as possible from robot shots. swing corners wide by going toward point of corner is often useful
  • Robots shoot at angles so fast it hampers their vertical movement into firing position, sometimes exagerated movements to get out of their shoot zone is necessary so they will keep moving into desired positions.
  • importance of doing exagerated movements to get robots to run into each other or wall is valuable. one less gun battle to potentially lose, with Otto hot on the trail
  • Otto is slow enough when still robots on screen that it isn’t too bad to walk around in a circle, in open spaces.
  • some maze setups will block you into a hiding spot until Otto comes, UNLESS you take a calculated angle shot, hopefully with the assisted protection of a wall.

Next 60k of practice – Youtube

  • swaying odds- best to kill vertical robots on left side of a barrier, and take head shots at top of vertical barriers, and guide groups of robot into robots and walls to avoid fighting. fight like a chicken…
  • came across a series of starts with minimal robots and vertical wall out front where had to circle otto at start
  • Robots turned pinkish red at 111,500 points. don’t recall seeing red robots since early in game. Went to Red at 117k, then light blue at 119k.
  • surviving shots that go through neck, which is pure luck and indicating the leg shots need more speed/timing
  • read over Grant’s blog and learned he had a plateau in fast bullets a long time, finally broke through to 25k-
  • Discovered a trick- on shooting robots hidden on vertical walls.  draw them out far enough to right that they start walking forward along vertical wall then they are stuck from hiding, which gives you more time to shoot them on the left side.
  • Have run into a couple of situations where controls for player are unresponsive- player and shots refuse to work, while robots are shooting away. or player movement won’t stop until flurry of robot shots ends. reminds me of Defender reverse button problem where processing order loses the reverse on busy screens
  • Decided to stop at 160k because I realized the overly intense reflex start stuff was causing me to play timidly, contrary to the skill set I was working on building.  Especially, avoiding strategic angle shots.
  • To do- Need to map out the starting maze setup around the player to show some basic easy setups.
  • SUMMARY VIEW- success at fast bullets might show extreme mastery by seasoned veteran Berzerk players, but the spirt and heart of the game for the average player appears to be better showcased in the original design iteration of slow bullets

Default settings

  • Success! Played a default game of fast bullets to 14,510 (11,330 on first man)
  • 15k would be my gauge of success for being able to enjoy the strategy of the game
  • To progress further is going to require much more maze familiarity and visual discrimination of the gunslinger setups at the start of maze.  back to slow bullets…..

Memorize the Maze Starts- Being Fast Draw McGraw

Post-review Summary-

  • Learning Fast bullets requires ignoring some basic rules learned in Slow bullets.
  • The Robots in Slow are like civilians with hunting rifles, in Fast they are like trained marksmen with an assault rifle.
  • In Slow you had to keep pressing forward to outrun Otto, in Fast you will have to wait and be patient for proper shot setup
  • In Slow you could take cheap angle shots, in Fast you’ll be shot on sight
  • In Slow you didn’t worry about getting robots to kill each other or self because you could outgun them.  In Fast, avoiding a battle with a robot is crucial to survival.
  • In Slow, you panic when there are only a few robots at start of maze, in Fast it is a God-send
  • In Slow, you could take time to strategize the maze start and make a few mistakes.  In Fast, you have to assess the maze start in less than a second and any mistakes will get you shot.
  • In Slow, you could take the fastest way around a corner.  In Fast, it is sometimes wise to take the slowest way around corner to give more distance between you and a robot.

WTF Zone!  How is it possible to survive this type of start????

  • hoping for an epiphany during tenacious effort at success


Encouragement from Steve- Feb 2013

  • I would immediately shoot the robot in front of me and move very slightly forward
  • (sometimes the code will encounter too many bullets on the screen and you will move without you pressing an input, that is the most frustrating part of the game),
  • let the 2 up/down enemies shoot each other and get behind the bottom wall to a safe spot.
  • Joel West has mapped out all 64k rooms and assigned a difficulty value to them, some are simply a “5” difficulty and nearly impossible to avoid death unless the # of robots you get are few enough.
  • ie) it’s random but you obviously hope you get a large # of robots in a safe room and a small amount in an unsafe room.
  • A lot of it is pure luck.
  • I played one time with Joel and Vic Osinaga for a few hours.  We all got between 39-41k, you need a lot of luck to score higher (ie: good rooms).

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