Touhou 9.5: Shoot The Bullet

From The Danmaku Gameplay Wiki

Camera Mechanics[edit | edit source]

Boss Shot[edit | edit source]

The Boss Shot is a bonus you get when your photo includes the boss. This bonus is tied to a multiplier that is added to the Base Value of a photo. The multiplier is based on how close the boss is to the center of the photo. The image below gives a representation of what multipliers you can expect if the boss is within the following areas. This does consider the fact that there are hidden multipliers to the Boss Shot, as is explained in the "Hidden decimals in score multipliers" section. If the photo frame shrinks, the outside area of the photo/screenshot is removed as it shrinks, meaning well shrunk photos cannot get x1.2 multiplier or possibly higher multipliers.

A rough representation of the Boss Shot multipliers. There is around 6 pixels of leeway (from the exact center) for getting a x2.0 multiplier. This current photo has Chen placed dead-center. If her sprite was moved, a different boss multiplier would apply, as it's shown here.

Two Shot[edit | edit source]

Two Shot is a bonus that is given to the player if both Aya and the boss are in the photo, granting you a x1.5 multiplier to your base score. Getting the Two Shot does not require Aya's entire sprite to be in the photo. Rather an invisible hitbox determines whether you're given this bonus or not, as shown in this rough example below:

A representation of Aya's Two Shot hitbox of roughly 26 pixels. So long as your photo contains this entire hitbox, your photo can get a Two Shot bonus.

Zoom Frames[edit | edit source]

Whenever you hold Z to activate your camera the game produces artificial slowdown. The smallest units of time within which the camera is activated is therefore dubbed "zoom frames". During zoom frames the game slows down to 1/4th of the normal speed. This allows you to take long distance shots more easily as the slowdown reduces the risk of you dying. It also makes the timing of Nice Shots much easier. While the game does produce artificial slowdown, the timer is unaffected by the slowdown. This means that with the more photos you take, the less time you get on the timer while being allowed to move around. In a scoring context this means that if you need to take your photo during a certain part of a boss' attack cycle, you may reduce the amount of cycles you get before the scene times out.

Camera Charge[edit | edit source]

Your camera requires 100% charge in order for Aya to have the ability to take a photo of the boss. When the charge is not at 100% it charges up automatically. The table below shows at what rate it charges and it specifically applies to when you just started the scene or after you just took a photo:

No Charge Speed
Charge (%) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8+ (every 3%)
Number of Frames 9 9 8 7 7 6 5 16 (5.33)

Now there is a way to charge your camera faster and that is by utilizing Charge Speed, by holding focus and shoot at the same time. This also slows down Aya's movement drastically. The rate at which this charges your camera is shown below:

Charge Speed
Charge (%) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18+
Number of Frames 6 5 4 4 4 4 3 3 3 3 2 3 2 3 2 2 3 2

If during your Charge Speed you let go off of the Focus or Shoot button, your Charge Speed deactivates and the Charge Speed tries to adjust itself back to the normal Charge Speed. The behavior at which it does so is however different, as shown below:

After letting go of Charge Speed
Charge (%) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12+ (every 3%)
Number of Frames 11 11 8 8 7 6 6 5 6 6 5 16 (5.33)

Taking these tables into consideration, we can now see that switching between Charge Speed and releasing it is actually a less efficient way to charge your camera compared to not charging at all, due to the first 2% charge after letting go off of Charge Speed taking much more time to be added to the charge.

As an quick demonstration, whereby we assume each example lasts roughly 1 second (60 frames):

  • No charge speed at all = 1% every 6.85 frames
  • Charging for 4% (takes 19 frames) + Release Charge Speed (gets 4% in 38 frames) = 1% every 7.125 frames
  • Charging for 5% (takes 23 frames) + Release Charge Speed (gets 4% in 38 frames) = 1% every 6.78 frames

This shows that on a second-by-second basis, charging your camera for 4% or less is less efficient than not charging at all. In general however, holding Charge Speed or letting go off of Charge Speed for a split second (or both) are where most of the charge is being lost. A practical example can be seen in the image below. When playing 7-5 you're expected to be efficient at charging your camera.

1. Aya was charging between waves without ever letting go off of Charge Speed and reaches 100% charge as soon as the kunais appear.
2. Aya released Charge Speed twice but also re-pressed Charge Speed very quickly after. Despite this, Aya lost alot of charge and was forced to die at only 90% charge. When the kunais appeared like how they appear in screenshot 1, she was at only 74% charge, meaning she ended up being 26% behind.

Camera Frame Behavior[edit | edit source]

Beyond the camera charge having several types of behavior, the camera frame itself does too. The camera frame will stay some distance from Aya and is aimed in the direction of where the boss is. The movement speed you're using does play a factor in the distance the frame is away from Aya. When you're in Charge Speed or Focus Speed, the camera moves away from Aya slightly more than if you were in Unfocus Speed, as can be seen in this example:

1. The distance of Aya's camera frame if she's in Unfocus Speed.
2. The distance of Aya's camera frame if she's in Focus Speed or Charge Speed.

Another factor to where the camera frame is positioned is Aya's own movement. Whenever you're in Focus Speed or Charge Speed, the camera frame attempts to follow the boss while staying a fixed distance from Aya. If you're in Unfocus Speed however, moving Aya will cause the frame to rotate in the direction Aya is moving in and is at that point no longer aiming at the boss. If you stop moving while being Unfocused, the camera will try to aim itself towards the boss again, but will do so slowly. To fix that you can hold Focus again and the camera will quickly snap towards the boss as a way to stablize itself. The example below shows how the camera frame moves between the two types of movement:

1. The camera frame rotates to the left as Aya has moved herself to the left for 15 frames in Unfocus Speed.
2. The camera remains focused on the boss even after Aya has moved herself to the left for 15 frames in Focus Speed and would also apply to Charge Speed.

Camera Tricks[edit | edit source]

Defensive Photos[edit | edit source]

These are photos that do not include the boss in the photo and show a "Failed" text near your camera frame. These shots may appear useless but can be very important in clearing a scene or executing a scoring strategy. You gain around 0.415% charge (rounded down) back per bullet that you delete with your defensive photo, up to 60% charge (145 bullets). The size of the frame has no impact on the charge you gain back.

From a 60% charge, it only takes around 1.5 seconds to charge back to 100%. If the bullet pattern takes more time to reach you/become a threat, you've now given yourself a free opportunity to take a photo of the boss without any risk of prematurely getting hit.

Bringing the camera closer[edit | edit source]

Aiming your photo for as long as possible is an effective way to do long distance shots. There is however another additional trick you can do to make this even more effective. Whenever Aya starts moving away from the boss in focus speed, the camera frame moves closer to the boss. This process takes between 11 to 37 frames to complete depending on the duration of Aya moving away from the boss in focused speed.

If for example you're below the boss and move down for 1 frame, it takes 36 frames until the camera stops moving upwards. If Aya however moves down for 10 frames, the camera only takes 1 frame to move up after Aya moved down. This happens because the camera starts moving away from Aya/moves towards the boss when you start moving away from the boss. This makes the most efficient/fastest way to get extra long distance shots to move away from the boss for 10 frames and then immediately activate the camera. If you however want the long distance shot to prioritize distance rather than speed, then you want to move down as briefly as possible.

In short: Doing a brief tap away from the boss in Focus Speed and then aiming your camera makes reaching the boss easier.

In this example Aya has not moved away from the boss before attempting to take a photo. Aiming the photo for as many frames as possible (down to 2% charge) allows you to barely take a Boss Shot.
In this example Aya has moved away from the boss for 3 frames. The frame is now already much closer to the boss despite Aya being further away from the boss. Aiming the photo for as many frames as possible (down to 2% charge) now allows you to get the boss in the center of the photo. You've now given yourself much more leeway and Aya could've been even lower on the screen and still get the boss in the photo, thanks to this moving-away trick.

Maximizing aiming distance while keeping Two Shot[edit | edit source]

Aya's dimensions of her camera produce a 4:3 aspect ratio, meaning her frame has slightly more width than height. Her frame is also always stuck at a fixed angle in this game, unlike Double Spoiler. With this in mind there are effective ways to aim your camera as much as possible without losing the Two Shot (and this also helps if you're not concerned with the Two Shot / playing for survival). Due to the 4:3 dimensions, it means that when approaching a boss, there's little distance between Aya and the top-middle part of her camera frame. There is however more distance between Aya and the side part of her camera and even more distance between Aya and the opposite corners.

With this in mind, it is more effective to take your photo from the side or from a 45-degree angle. Doing this makes it easier to get a 2.0 Boss Shot with your photo without losing the Two Shot while also staying further away from the boss. This also extends to getting photos with any other Boss Shot multiplier. This seperate page shows comparisons of how much you can afford to aim your photo without losing the Two Shot and getting 2.0 Boss Shot and what this looks like in a more survival-oriented context.

In short: [Survival] Taking photos from the side or a 45-degree angle makes it easier to take photos from the boss while also deleting bullets directly in front of Aya

[Scoring] Taking photos from the side or a 45-degree angle makes it easier to get a 2.0 Boss Shot while keeping a safer distance and not losing the Two Shot

Frame Data[edit | edit source]

Camera[edit | edit source]

When activating the camera your camera, you can't hold it indefinitely. The size of the frame also shrinks after 16 frames of holding the camera, after which the charge percentage goes down until it reaches 0%. If you fail to take a photo in time, the photo is discarded and you regain 50% charge. The table below shows the percentages of charge (and by some extent the frame size) you have on certain frames.

Frame 1-16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36
Charge 100% 97% 95% 92% 90% 88% 85% 83% 80% 78% 76% 73% 71% 69% 66% 64% 61% 59% 57% 54% 52%
Frame 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57
Charge 49% 47% 45% 42% 40% 38% 35% 33% 30% 28% 26% 23% 21% 19% 16% 14% 11% 9% 7% 4% 2%

Nice Shot[edit | edit source]

The Nice Shot is the red hexagram that shows up in most scenes that can give between 1.2 to 1.5 extra multiplier. However this Nice Shot only shows up for a very limited number of frames in set intervals. For most scenes this frame window is 13 frames (or 49 zoom frames). The scenes that have a Nice Shot but use a different frame window are the following:

Scene 5-8 6-2 6-3 6-4 6-6 6-7 6-8 7-7 7-8
Frame Window 28 55 18 8 18 18 27 27 18

Other Scoring Tricks[edit | edit source]

Taking photos after timeout[edit | edit source]

It's possible to take photos of the boss as they run away from running out the timer. This is advantageous in 5-6, as the boss ends up being placed in a more favorable position to get alot of bullets in the photo and getting a higher Boss Shot multiplier.

A photo being taken as Patchouli runs away, allowing for a photo that scores 52,360 points in this replay.

RNG Manipulation[edit | edit source]

When viewing a replay and playing it out til the end, the game will store a certain RNG value that will not change when playing a scene yourself afterwards. This value will always be the same if you view the same replay. This way you can manipulate the randomness of a scene at will. So long as you perform the same actions (i.e. luring the boss horizontally and/or (not) using Charge Speed in the same pattern), you can make the first photo of a scene produce the same result. You can however only apply this manipulation for the first photo. After this photo the RNG will produce different results unless (presumably) you take the first photo exactly the same way every time. It is currently unknown if getting photos with exactly the same score still changes RNG or not. This RNG Manipulation trick has been discovered in ISC on 11 July 2021 by CycloneFN and was possibly discovered even earlier. This trick is also applicable in Double Spoiler.

Oddities and Miscellaneous[edit | edit source]

Defensive Best Shot[edit | edit source]

In Shoot the Bullet you can take defensive photos to quickly remove bullets even if the shot does not include the boss. These photos are normally discarded. However, if not a single Boss Shot has been taken that would score higher than the discarded defensive shot, the discarded shot is the photo that displays on the scene menu.

On this scene only one photo was taken that did not include the boss. Despite the photo being discarded during gameplay, a best shot of 1,920 points was still recorded. This shot will not be replaced until a Boss Shot or defensive photo scores higher than 1,920 points.

Base Value Progression[edit | edit source]

As you progress through the game, the scores generally follow an upward trend. This is not exclusively due to later scenes having denser patterns. The game arbitrarily increases the Base Value of individual bullets when taking photos of the same bullet types later in the game. To use pellet bullets as an example, in 2-2 the pellets give roughly 6 Base Value, in 6-5 they give roughly 69 Base Value and in EX-3 they give roughly 78 Base Value.

Base Value of Bullet Clouds[edit | edit source]

Each bullet type in any given scene has a certain value applied to them, after which the score multipliers apply. However, whenever these bullets are in their bullet cloud form (or bullet glow), the Base Value is around 2.12 times higher than if that bullet is fully formed. This makes prioritizing bullet clouds in some scenes for scoring vital. The score difference was tested in 2-5. Whether this score discrepancy applies to all scenes the same is unclear but this general rule of bullet clouds being worth significantly more score applies across the whole game.

1. Disregarding the center jellybeans (worth 860 points with x3.6 worth of collective multipliers), the first photo gets 8,210 points out of the fully formed bullets.
2. The second photo gets 17,420 points out of the bullet clouds of the same bullets, making it worth 2.12x more score

Self Shot/Two Shot Redundancy[edit | edit source]

In this game, whenever you get a successful photo of the boss that gets Aya in the photo as well, you obtain both the Self Shot (with Aya in the photo) and the Two Shot (for getting both characters in the photo). This means you either get both bonuses or you get neither. The multipliers of these bonuses are x1.2 and x1.5 respectively, making it effectively a x1.8 multiplier. Losing the Two Shot means you'll lose both multipliers and you lose 1.8 times your score, unlike Double Spoiler where you only lose the Two Shot (x1.5).

Hidden decimals in score multipliers[edit | edit source]

In the game the multipliers are shown to you with one decimal. There is however at least one extra decimal being used to calculate the score. A good example of this is in the two images below. The first example barely gets a x1.5 Nice Shot multiplier which is the highest this multiplier can be. The second example takes the photo one frame later and gets the exact same bullets in the photo. Even though the game shows a x1.4 multiplier, you are losing much less score than if you were really losing out on x0.1 multiplier.

1. The first photo gets roughly 3,760 Base Value, giving you a calculation of 3,760 x 2.0 x 1.2 x 1.5 x 1.5 = 20,300.
2. The second photo with x1.4 multiplier would give you 3,760 x 2.0 x 1.2 x 1.5 x 1.4 = 18,950 which is not correct. When you consider hidden decimals, you get 3,760 x 2.0 x 1.2 x 1.5 x 1.49 = 20,170. This is not quite the exact right answer, possibly due to fluctuating Base Values or an additional hidden decimal, but this is so far unclear.

Unused Bonuses[edit | edit source]

There are four bonuses in the game that are unused in both Shoot the Bullet and Double Spoiler. These bonuses are Geometric!, Lonely Shot, Miss Shot and Counter Flash!. It is unclear what these bonuses could've done.

A sheet of all the values used in the game, including the different types of bonuses.

Pity Scene Unlock[edit | edit source]

There is a hidden mechanic present in the game where if you're playing through the game and you're struggling so much that your photo count on your latest unlocked Level is 10,000, the game will unlock the earliest locked level for you and allow you to progress. This has been discovered as early as January 31st 2006, possibly by the player K.K[1][2]. This mechanic does come with an unintentional glitch. If you have every scene unlocked already, the game will unlock the level after Level EX (where originally there was going to be extra content but this was dropped). The scenes in what's effectively Level 12, are duplicates of the scenes from Level EX. Clearing these scenes will increase the total scene clear count and the total high score. When attempting to accumulate 10,000 photos on the 12th Level, nothing happens.

A demonstration of unlocking the 12th level and a link to a scorefile can be found here.

A screen of the menu after 10,000 photos were taken in Level EX, unlocking content in the 12th Level.

Glitches[edit | edit source]

Risk Shot[edit | edit source]

There is a Risk Shot bonus that displays whenever your character is close enough to one or more bullets, whereby the bonus is calculated for each bullet seperately and is also based on how close you are to each bullet. The bonus is capped at 2,000. However this bonus does not actually function. No matter how much Risk Shot bonus you get, the bonus never has any infuence to the score, as can be seen in these two images getting an identical number of bullets and identical multipliers.

1. The first photo is taken without Risk Shot bonus.
2. The second photo is identical but gets Risk Bonus.

Color Bonuses[edit | edit source]

There are Color Bonuses for various colors that you're given if you take a photo with enough of said color in your photo. These Color Bonuses give you an extra boost to your Base Value. However, there is a display bug where the displayed Color Bonuses are wrong when taking the calculation of the photo into account. The example below will illustrate this:

In phase two of 10-8, you can get a Red Shot bonus that's worth a Base Value boost of 300 points. In the image below the first photo gets this bonus and the second photo does not by one bullet. With the Red Shot Bonus of 300 and multipliers added to it, the total score boost should be approximately 1,290 points (rounded up), yet the real difference is 19,530 points. This would make the real value for the Red Shot (in 10-8 at least) 4,560 points. This does not take the Base Value of the one extra bullet into account but the point is that the difference between the reported Base Point increase is staggeringly different from the real Base Point increase.

It's currently unknown if this bonus discrepancy is consistent across all scenes and what the differences are for the other bonuses. In 6-8 at least the Colorful Bonus also gives way more Base Value than what the game suggests.

1. The first photo is taken with Red Shot bonus.
2. The second photo is identical but misses one bullet, losing the Red Shot Bonus

Frozen Boss Movement[edit | edit source]

Whenever a boss is close to the top-right corner of their invisible box of where they are allowed to move, there is a small chance that the boss will not move at all if you're positioned to the right of the boss. Normally in this situation they should always move away from you horizontally. This glitch does not work on the left side of the screen. An instance of the boss not moving can be demonstrated in this clip. You'll also see that when the boss is close to the right side of the screen but not the top-right, they can still move but then the bug forces them to be locked horizontally.

Wrong Boss Character[edit | edit source]

After playing one scene, quitting out and trying another scene, this scene can play out using the character of the previous scene. Depending on the boss character this can cause glitchy effects such as in this video where Youmu leaves copies of herself behind in a scene where Chen is supposed to show up. If both scenes use different backgrounds, they will display the wrong backgrounds as well, as this video demonstrates. In this video the scene that's being played is also supposed to spawn poison clouds but they fail to spawn.

8-7 Glitch[edit | edit source]

In this scene you can make Ran disappear from the screen almost indefinitely. This can be done by forcing Ran to move straight upwards (with exact 90° precision), after which she will not reappear until around 80-90 seconds later. ARF demonstrates this glitch in this video. If Ran is not directed with exact precision, Ran will reappear much sooner.

Bullet Wiggling[edit | edit source]

There are two types of bullet wiggling that happen when playing a scene. One type that occurs with already spawned bullets and another that occurs with bullets in the process of spawning.

For the first instance, when you activate your camera and you are already close to a line of bullets, there is a chance that you will die to the next bullet in said line even though you didn't get hit by bullets before it. It appears that the hitbox of the bullets get shifted slightly.

1. Aya is close to a curving line of bullets.
2. The identical instance but Aya is using her camera and dies to a bullet despite it being in the same position visually.

For the second instance, whenever you activate your camera and let the camera spend zoom frames, for every such frame bullets in the process of spawning get misaimed, causing a wiggling and warped curve to bullets as demonstrated in 4-3 shown below.

1. A straight curve of bullets.
2. The same curve but with a wiggle/warped effect due to Aya's camera having been used as bullets got spawned in.

Camera Wiggling[edit | edit source]

Whenever your camera crosshairs is focused on top of the boss and is centered on the boss, there are circumstances in which the camera wiggles between the center pixel of the boss every frame. The direction the camera wiggles in depends on where Aya is relative to the boss. A visual representation of this wiggling behavior can be seen here through a slow frame-by-frame demonstration:

Video Demonstration

The wiggling is caused by moving Aya away from the boss in focus speed briefly (provided the crosshairs will be on top of the boss' center), which is the camera trick mentioned in the section "Bringing the camera closer". If you're able to get close enough to the boss without this camera trick but still to get the camera centered on the boss, the camera crosshairs will not wiggle. Whenever you activate your frame, the wiggling behavior stops.

While the wiggling behavior can very slightly change the camera position and may be inconsequential, in scoring at a high optimized level, this may make ideal photos impossible. In 1-1 for example this can cause the third photo to score 42,080 instead of 43,880 if the camera is activated on the wrong frame in which the camera wiggles (effectively a 50% chance).

1. A certain frame where Aya's camera is activated while the camera wiggles beforehand.
2. The same scenario but the camera was activated 1 frame later, which caused the camera position to move down by 2 pixels.

Score Overflow[edit | edit source]

When photos score 1 million or higher, the game will pull from other sprites to replace the first number of the score. When taking the sheet from the Unused Bonuses section, the second, third, fourth and fifth row make up the values 10 to 18, 19 to 24, 25 to 30 and 31 to 35 respectively. In the left image, the last three photos get photos of 2.1 million (=21). If you get a photo of more than 3.5 million, the game will pull from sources elsewhere, as seen in the image to the right (that plays the Ultra Patch mod) where value 36 is pulled from the background you see whenever you activate your camera. Photos of 1 million or higher are only possible to get in 10-8 and EX-7.

1. Three overflow photos getting 2.1 million (displaying "Geometric!")
2. Three overflow photos getting 3.6 million using the Ultra Patch mod (displaying the photo-taking BG)

Infinite Timer[edit | edit source]

There is a glitch (discovered on January 8th 2024) that allows the scene to continue indefinitely even after the timer has reached zero. This only works on scenes with multiple phases. More specifically, scenes where after taking a certain number of photos the bullets on screen get deleted and the behavior of the boss changes. The infinite timer is caused by taking the last photo of a certain phase right before the scene times out. Whenever a photo is taken, the playfield freezes for around 0.5 seconds but the timer continues running. If the photo is taken at or under 0.5 seconds left, the playfield unfreezes after the timer has already reached zero. This causes the boss' running away behavior to not take place and the phase-changing behavior takes priority. What can also happen is that you take a photo immediately upon the boss running away, after which the boss will move offscreen but the next phase still plays out, leading to unintentional behavior with the boss positioning. This video demonstrates both instances of the glitch happening. This does not have very practical applications in scoring but the glitch could technically be set up to trivialize the challenges of having a limited timer.

Demo Replay Softlock/Crash[edit | edit source]

When leaving the game on the title screen, demo replays start playing automatically. If you let a replay play and you exit out of it as a photo is being taken, the game will return you to the title screen with permanent slowdown (that was created by activating the camera). If after this point you attempt to play a scene or play back a replay, the game stays stuck on the selection screen until you force the game to close.

If instead you wait for the game to play a demo replay again, it creates strange effects. The demo replay desyncs due to the slowdown and the game duplicates assets and sprites on top of each other up to 4 times, including Aya and the boss. This too causes there to be 4 times as many bullets. In 7-1 for example the bullet cap is reached because of this. Things that eventually lead to a crash are the following:

  • Aya attempting to take a photo (4 times).
  • Aya dying to a bullet.
  • Pressing Z at any point during the demo replay.

A demonstration of this glitch can be found here.

External Links/Sources[edit | edit source]