One of three spin-off games of the Epic Battle Fantasy series, a Touhou Project-inspired Bullet Hell Shoot 'em Up. The sequel, Bullet Heaven 2, has its separate trope page.
You can play it at Kongregate here or on Newgrounds here. On May 30, 2022, an enhanced version was included as part of the Epic Battle Fantasy Collection on Steam, available for purchase here.
Bullet Heaven features the following tropes:
- Bonus Boss: Four of them, unlocked by getting high ranks on many maps. These are reskinned, harder versions of the normal bosses.
- Bullet Hell: Even the bullets shoot bullets!
- Charged Attack: There's a charging system when it comes to weapons; the longer you take to fire either your main or sub-weapon, the more energy it will build up. Main weapons will gain attributes like piercing or splitting when charged, while sub-weapons usually just increase the time you can keep the sub-weapon active, or how many uses it has.
- Defeat Equals Explosion: Every boss explodes upon defeat; in the second game, they release a cloud of bullets all over the screen when this happens. Fortunately, these bullets can't harm you, as they are just for show.
- Everything's Even Worse with Sharks: Sharks appear as enemies, flying in quickly from the sides and usually on the bottom half of the screen (ie. where the player tends to be).
- Game Over: Both this game and the sequel say "Level Failed" after the player runs out of hearts.
- Gameplay Grading: Both Bullet Heaven games grade you based on your overall score:
- BH1 grades you on an F to S scale, and your score is modified by enemies killed and hits taken. Four cheats exist, but they lower your score enough to drop your rank once for each one used.
- The survival level keeps the "kills" factor, but grades you based on the farthest wave you reach in one run.
- BH2 separates each stage into 10 main waves plus 3 bonus ones depending on your performance. Points are obtained based on kills (as above), fast time, bullets cleared, and money collected, but the most important high-score factor is the DIAMONDS from perfect waves! The criteria for a perfect wave are as follows:
- All enemies killed,
- No damage taken,
- No bombs used, and
- Must be at full health, or you just get a heart to Heal Thyself by following the above points.
- BH2 also modifies the rank scale from its predecessor by allowing you to go up to 3 stars above the A rank, complete with a cool jingle for the star ranks!
- As well as displaying stage ratings, completing all stages in one world displays a world rating based on your lowest stage score (example: if you have all 3-stars except for one star on one stage, your world rating will be one star. If you got all 3-star ratings, congratulations!).
- Difficulty is another factor in scoring; raising the base difficulty multiplies your score, but it equally multiplies the score requirement for each rank. Handicaps, however, raise your score but not the rank requirements. This means that handicaps increase how quickly you rank up in a stage if you can handle the additional challenge. Conversely, cheats lower your score, but a negative multiplier only means that your score will stay at 0.
- Diamonds (and hearts) also recharge both your weapons so you can beat the next wave faster, which is another reason to dodge well.
- Harder Than Hard: The bonus levels. They're just upgraded versions of the bosses. This being a Bullet Hell game, have fun finding the parts of the screen that aren't occupied with pain.
- Invincibility Power-Up: Enemies in both games can drop a shield powerup that functions as a Deflector Shield and and Attack Reflector, though it doesn't protect against the generally far more avoidable Collision Damage. The second game also has a (very expensive) cheat that makes you invincible but totally nulls your score!
- Kaizo Trap: Bullets don't clear after you pass waves or even levels, meaning it's entirely possible to die right after beating a boss! There's even an an achievement for dying with no enemies onscreen!
- Made worse with slower computers in that the game can slow down during boss battles (which can be advantageous in the right amount), then speed back up once the boss stops shooting.
- No-Damage Run: Doing this is one of the best ways to achieve high scores. (The sequel allows you to add handicaps, as well.)
- No Fair Cheating: Downplayed; both games have built-in cheats, but using them only drops your score and rank.
- Numerical Hard: Averted: The sequel to Bullet Heaven adds a lot more of bullets to enemy attacks.
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Matt shoots tons of swords at enemies.