There is only one primary weapon called… the gun (or lazer if you wish). I’m very creative with the names, see :) This weapon can be powered up by the collectibles that float around. Pretty much straightforward shmup issue. However, it can operate in two modes of fire: spread and concentrated. Switching between the two can be done at any time by tapping the fire button. Player’s now able to make some tactical decisions in every situation; should he go softening the whole attack wave or just piercing right through it, should he concentrate fire on most dangerous targets first and then finish off the rest of the scattered enemies using spread fire or maybe the other way around…
Now to something a bit more interesting - secondary weapons. When prototyping them, I’ve had three things in mind: to give them a lot of destructive power, to utilize game’s unique hull/bullet concept to a great extent and finally to make each weapon operate in a rather distinct way. The list of about ten ideas narrowed down to three that ended up in the game:
Singularity pulse - produces a strong negative gravity field around the player, deflecting all but biggest enemies away. Enemy bullets in operational radius are turned and fired back on them. By holding the detonate button player can gradually charge the pulse up to the wanted intensity. It’s predominantly a defensive weapon, very good for breaching out of tricky situations.
Sticky mines - Player can launch a number of mines that stick to enemy hulls. When detonated they’ll cause a massive damage to everything in radius. Similar to Singularity pulse each mine can be continually charged up. It’s up to player to decide should he attack with many small scattered mines or just fire a couple of big ones.
Bullet thief - This weapon sucks out the enemy’s bullet reserves. Stolen bullets “stick” to the player’s ship until he fire them back in form of directed or radial blast. Very effective because it will deprive the enemies of their firepower and simultaneously build up the powerful counterattack.
Bullet thief in action against the X boss (top:stealing, bottom:blasting back)
Only one secondary weapon can be carried at time. Prior to mission start, the player must pick the one he’ll be using throughout the mission. Unambiguous nature of each weapon require of player to deal with enemies in a specific way. This significantly changes the playing style for each weapon. Secondary weapons are powered up alongside the primary. Powering will increase the damage while optimizing the charge consumption.
Third kind of weapon found in the game is the floating bomb. These come in several flavours the players of original Ablation will probably be familiar with. They are detonated simply by picking up. Very destructive but there’s a fair amount of luck involved as they’re randomly spawned by the destroyed enemies.