I wanna be the Barrage

Creator: サイバー

Average Rating
7.4 / 10
Average Difficulty
72.1 / 100
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Avoidance (9) Taisa (4) Jumpscare (1) Barrage (6) Classic (2) domu_game (1) Cyber (1)


  • by NightShark115
  • by Kiyoshi
  • by Kiyoshi

21 Reviews:

Things that should not exist:
That's 8/35 levels in game, meaning 27/35 are playable.
27/35 = ~0,77
I rate this game 7,7/10

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Tagged as: Avoidance Taisa Barrage
[11] Likes
Rating: 7.7 77       Difficulty: 80 80
May 4, 2019
*Cleared on 20/03/2023*

Barrage is a splendid innovation, game-changer classic, and comes from the vision of one of the most divisive and still well-known classic fangame makers: Cyber. 2010 was exactly the year where the concept of barrage, a term coined for high-density bullet-hell avoidances, was applied to fangames. The 3.0 version of Black in May implemented the first Colonel (aka Taisa [aka Schwarlitz Longhener {aka First TIS}]) boss, documented as the first barrage boss. This would take Cyber to keep thinking on the concept of the infamous boss fight and adapt it into a fangame throughout. The game saw the light of day on November 2nd, 2010.

The structure of the game is flawless, period.

The most important aspect of the game is that it introduced for the very first time, as I’m aware of, a different hitbox for the kid, unlike “Be the Dotkid!”, where your 2X2 square is literally your hitbox. Here, you have a cross in the middle of 3 vertical pixels and 3 horizontal pixels creating a cross. It sort of is a hitbox of 3X3, instead it isn’t because the pixels at each corner are blank.


It seems that the Kid has gone Christian; otherwise, how could he beat the almighty Colonel Schwarlitz Longhener?

The game makes fully scaled use of this reduced hitbox gimmick, which is very easy to get used to, accounting that it remains visible the whole time. In this sense, it works like any famous vertical bullet-hell franchise where the center is what matters. Challenges are done considering the nature of the hitbox, which would be otherwise impossible with the normal 11X21 hitbox.

-You first face four stages, where the subsequent stage can only be unlocked if one conquers the 7 challenges of the stage, each one properly numbered to signal the intended order, with the format: [Stage]-[Trial]. You can replay them as many times as desired. Trials within a stage are also unlocked if the previous ones are taken down. All trials have a time bar to understand when they finish.

-Stage 1 has two main purposes: analyzing one’s position (position-based attacks) and identifying patterns and their timing. 1-7 is a conglomeration of all previous lessons learned with a dynamic sprite and implementing the gimmick of slow-motion for the first time. The slow-mo gimmick perfectly respects jump heights considering our inputs, but everything happens slower. You’re pretty much a Quicksilver Kid in these instances, except the game decides when you can do this. Enjoy the orange.

-Stage 2 trains you in dominating density in narrow spaces, using the gimmick of infinite jump to greater effect than the last stage. 2-3 in particular is I think one of the most influential concepts in the world of fangames as a sphere circles you and you must maneuver inside that confined space. 2-4 is great visually, but also is a foreshadowing of the madness to come. 2-6 is also quite creative, since you reap what you saw: all big orbs at the beginning don’t kill you, but will spread barrage garbage at the end of the trial, only those that you touched. The boss of the stage, 2-7, teaches you that unreadable barrage sometimes consists in identifying blind spots. This might be a downer for many; I see it as a trade-off: it can be a boring trial-and-error exercise, but considering the length of the avoidances, tediousness is diminished. Enjoy the green.

-Stage 3 is for understanding circular patterns, or more clearly, how attacks are done in circular patterns (either from the center sprite or with orbs circling around the screen creatin projectiles) and you must find the correct time to make your character circle around the center of the screen conveniently. 3-5 is visually genius, but also an infamous difficulty peak as the circular pattern is not intuitive and will often find you in really tight spots; it’s more an endurance test rather than a trial-and-error challenge given the frenetic nature of the challenge. It might be frustrating to have this as Stage 3. 3-6 is just a friendly reminder that the most famous corner we’re used to exploit for avoiding might not always be the best one, but there might be another alternative. The boss at 3-7 is just fabulous and has, hands down, the best implementation of the slow-mo gimmick in the entire game: intuitive, responsive and exciting, right at the climax. However, this boss is the reason I am tagging this game with “jumpscare” because Jesus Christ... It gets you exactly where you’re most concentrated. Enjoy the sky blue.

-Stage 4 is very problematic for me since its difficulty partially comes from a visual challenge: the background is light gray and there are orbs of light colors, or even orbs that have only a white outline, but the interior’s color match the color of the background. Considering the substantial amount of reading you must do, it’s really bothersome (4-2 is the worst of the cases). Here’s where the creator showcases his ability to create visual shows more clearly, which you cannot see unless you record yourself because you’re focused on your character. 4-3 is the most interesting, I’d argue, as it plays with a Touhou concept where the subsequent waves of attack depend on your previous movements and their timing: either you open or close your own path to victory. Understanding it takes time, but it doesn’t take long to realize it behaves like you want it to behave. 4-5 is well done since it introduces the concept of fast barrage and avoiding, which creators today have exploited to stupid levels, but that only lasts half of the challenge; the second half makes you read and create a strat for a combination of RNG with pattern, where the most common one consists taking advantage of the space that exists between the left and right borders of the screen. 4-6 shouldn’t exist: the blind spots are pattern, but quite unspeakable and dumb considering that it’s a repetition from a previous stage, but with the corners unavailable for standing on them. The boss of 4-7 is just meh: it has no relation to the previous challenges, but works more as just an additional challenge and is certainly not the most difficult.

-After the four “official” stages are cleared, the game takes the original “Warning: Do Not Go” joke of Black to the extreme; it gives a hilarious warning that roughly translates to the following: Congratulations on clearing 4 phases! The barrage from here forward is different than the one from before. I don’t care what they look like at all; it’s just made to kill the player. However, in terms of the game, it is clear here! From here on, it is an extra production. If you are going to do it, please be prepared and do it. Note: Since you cannot come back if you proceed, it is recommended to back up saved data.

-Proceeding this supposed warning screen, you face individual challenges.

--5-1: Curving! Good luck with fast reading of curved bullets. Orange is back (pro tip: blind spot)
--5-2: Circular density barrage spins around the enemy’s sprite, and you must time your entry into said circles. It reverses the rules, as now being closer to the enemy’s sprite is the safer spot! I think this is quite revolutionary for the time.
--5-3: A heart-pumping challenge that will behave exactly like you tell it to, with increasing density of many times: horizontal and vertical projectiles that appear from the borders of where you are, then circular orbs coming at you from the two upper corners, then two more from the bottom corners, then a huge orb that will go at you at increasing speeds, culminated with an almost unavoidable barrier that the enemy throws at you. It gets really crowded at the ending, and you must remember the proper time in which the barrier begins, but it’s rewarding to clear.
--5-4: This trash is my nightmare. First half is ok and easy; the tricky part is to calculate the height of your jumps for getting across the red and blue projectiles. But for the love of everything that is holy, the second half is 95% stupid. There are two main strats to use: either go to the roof and then fall down, dodging everything (which is dumb hard), or (pro tip) stay in the lower-right corner reacting (if you can) to all the garbage around you. It is not intuitive at all, and even if the latter is the safest strat, RNG seldom can get unreactable. The timing you must do at the end is also very stupid. The hell with this garbage.
--5-5: Even if this can be second-tried at worst (I had the luck to first-try it), I think it’s the most fun of the challenges. The tilesets around you look like a Sudoku collage of all previous ones, indicating that you will face the main bosses of the game. Indeed, each one appears by turns, but cumulatively, to unleash their attacks against a pitch black background, which Cyber and Carnival adored so much. It’s a proper way to test a great deal of the stuff that has been learned, like that type of exam that doesn’t ask you for all possible questions, but those that the professor considered the most relevant ones.

5-6: Taiko Drum

W(H)ellcome to the toughest challenge of the game, which makes this deserve a rating of 80: Taiko Drum. This boss gives tons to talk about. First, you can really call this an extra (which isn’t), as it feels so detached from the rest of the game, but still maintains the barrage vibe. This is the spot where you realize it was all practice. The screen is divided by eye-piercing red and blue colors, while orange and blue Taiko projectiles with a massive size go against you.

Cyber is no stranger for using tense soundtracks for the final challenges to drive you nuts, but this is no ordinary soundtrack: just like in Black, the Dodonpachi series plays a huge role. At the hyperactive beat of Dodonpachi Daifukkatsu Black Label’s “Mercilessness”, you must do the first true music-synced avoidance of the game, and also the longest so far. Cyber is arguably the reason why barrage was born in fangames and fangames use soundtracks from Dodonpachi.

The avoidance is very fun, except when it isn’t. It is a sin when you don’t account for how feasible it is to include combinations of limited blind spots and RNG: you can get walled. Taiko Drum constantly throws waves at you during the chorus, and they are pattern: the blind spots never change. However, this makes you pray that there isn’t a huge orb occupying that spot. Many moments in this avoidance are objectively luck, and the last instagib is unforgivable; even knowing when and how it happens, the space to maneuver is so narrow and, if the RNG is not proper, you will watch yourself die many times milliseconds before the very ending.

5-7: Taisa

If we could consider the possibility of a Cyberverse occurring, pretty much like with Carnival (whose stories where intentionally interconnected, introducing the prototype concept of “medley” even before Kamilia 1 was a thing), Taisa is back from Black (sad state of affairs I cannot phrase that as “Back in Black”), but in a weaker form. However, he has still three phases, each one increasing in difficulty.

Long story short, this boss is brilliant. The first phase can drag for many, but if you take some time to appreciate the patterns Cyber programmed, you’ll realize barrage is also visually satisfying. A whole attack in the middle is standing still in two very precise blind spots of two frames of opportunity each, and you can literally go to the kitchen to fetch some water and come back in time to move to the second location. What I did was to behold and wonder: “How do you even do that, especially in 2010?”. Green orbs attack is very unfair since you never know when they stop spinning and choose a linear trajectory outside of Taisa, and the last attack is just choke material that can be easily avoided.

The famous second red phase is an exercise of timing and precision: the second attack vibes to a weird tune that seems to be unknown even today, and again, it’s just visual pixelated art. Occasionally it pulls off a wall that can find you in the most inappropriate spot killing you, as the beginning of that chain of tiny orbs has no space between orbs, so you better calculate in midair where it might start and read the rest afterwards: it is extremely fair and readable, and with the implementation of infinite jump, it is no less than fun. The final attack still makes everyone go: “OMG that’s 3D brooo!” and for my two cents, it is an amazing visual effect. Taisa creates a cylinder that becomes each time less dense because he uses many of these orbs to aim at you. This attack is debatably the hardest only if you’re good at reading the previous barrage attack, as the line he creates has little space to go through and the best strat is to move suddenly quick so that the space becomes bigger. It is still tough.

And then... it’s all over, right? Lol.

Face final phase, and it follows the philosophy of Silent Night, Deadly Night 2: “GARBAGE DAY!” At the beat and hype of Vanessa, Taisa conglomerates all powers from all previous stages (including Taiko Drum!) to give you a fun time. Just like Black’s final attack, density increases as time goes by, which makes you see the top of the screen to see how much time rema... “Where the hell is the time bar? Where is it?” Indeed, the game pulls your pants down and then the rug under your feet as the time bar that all challenges had disappears. Unless you know the song, you’re in full uncertainty and can only infer by how the song is sounding. Whoever credits ㅇyㅇ for creating the first boss ever to assemble the powers of previous bosses, a revision is required: Solgryn, Influka and Cyber did it first at the least.

The game ends with Zelda’s Lullaby and a reminder of all cutie Touhou sprites that were used (also used in Maze) and allows you to replay any challenge you wish if you enjoyed any, and the probability of you enjoying zero stages is close to 0.

Influential and revolutionary, even if flawed and not a masterpiece, set many rules for future avoidance making. As maligned as Cyber might be, he deserves all credit for this unique release considered today to be a timeline event (which should also include Maze, for Christ’s sake!). An immediate old-school favorite and fully recommended if you can get past beyond the unfair and luck-based segments.

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Tagged as: Avoidance Jumpscare Barrage
[4] Likes
Rating: 7.0 70       Difficulty: 80 80
Oct 24, 2023
Very fun game based around bite sized avoidances, reminiscent of the touhou scene style games such as Shoot The Bullet or Impossible Spell Card, of course however in IWBTG! The premise is executed quite well, most of the levels are at least some degree of enjoyable, which is a great thing. The only level I disliked was 5-4, and special shoutout to the two proper bosses, Don Chan/Taiko Drum and Taisa, which were the highlights of the whole game for me, being quite fun bosses. I ended up really enjoying this, and it deserves it's classic status. If you want to get into more barrage style RNG reading, this is a great place to look.

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[3] Likes
Rating: 8.7 87       Difficulty: 69 69
Jul 15, 2023
Taiko drum is a total RNG nightmare, but everything else is pretty fun.

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Tagged as: Taisa Barrage
[1] Like
Rating: 6.5 65       Difficulty: 70 70
Apr 22, 2018
A very good introduction to avoidance and bullet-hell type bosses. Basically, the game is a series of bosses who unleash all sorts of bullet hell attacks on you, and you simply have to dodge all the bullets. Thankfully, the kid has a much smaller hitbox (a dot on his chest), allowing him to pull off all the necessary dodges, thus making the game fair most of the time, yet still challenging. The music for the entire game (except the last 2 bosses) is your typical Guy rock, although I didn't find that annoying at all. Overall, a pretty solid game. A must-play if you enjoy bullet hell bosses.
P.S. The colonel is harder than the taiko drum.

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Tagged as: Avoidance
[1] Like
Rating: 6.8 68       Difficulty: 65 65
Feb 27, 2015