version 0.98
by Michael Spencer (michael.spencer@balliol.ox.ac.uk)
last updated 20 March 2003


1. OVerview of game
2. Scoring
3. Guide to the individual levels, with tips

Note: I only have information about 69 of the game's 71 levels. If anyone
can supply information about the missing two, this would be very welcome.

- - -

Overview of game

Each game consists of sixteen levels, which are entirely separate. The game
contains seventy-one levels, and which sixteen of those you get are chosen
at random, so each game you play is different, and two games might well not
have a single level in common.

The game has three modes: Beginner, Advanced, and Insane. There is also a
Training Mode, but this is only for those who really feel the need to complete
the game first try. My recommendation for first-timers is to start on Beginner:
once you get the hang of aiming and what you need to do on each level, it is
not difficult to complete the Beginner course nearly every time you play.

Each level will give you an objective that you must complete. Often it is to
hit a certain number of targets (sometimes you are restricted to targets of a
particular kind or colour, or must get them in a certain order); unless you
are required to hit all the targets, it is always good to get more than the
objective. Other level objectives are more specific: for example, protecting
a mad doctor from being eaten by sharks. The number of sharks you hit does not
matter at all, but if one of them gets the doctor, you fail the level.

You start with three lives, and each level you fail costs one life; so,
mathematically, you should complete the game if you pass at least fourteen out
of sixteen levels. However, some levels have "bad" targets that cost you one
life if you hit them regardless of whether you pass the level. An extreme
example is the "wheel" level, where you have one shot to hit a target that is
rotating on a wheel together with seven bombs. If you hit a bomb, you cannot
hit the target as well because you have only one shot; so you lose a life for
failing the level AND a life for hitting the bomb. Also, there is a bonus
stage between the eighth and ninth levels that gives you a 50% chance of
obtaining an extra life.

Each level also comes in Beginner, Advanced, and Insane varieties. Where the
objective is numerical (eg. "hit so many targets"), the number required will
often increase as you ascend the difficulty levels. Where you have to hit all
the targets, there will usually be more of them to hit in the same time.
Sometimes (although rarely) the higher difficulties actually give you less
time than the easier ones. Or the targets may be smaller or move faster. Often
more than one of these changes go together.

The Beginner game gives you thirteen levels in their Beginner variety, and
three that are souped up to Insane level. It is therefore possible to complete
the Beginner game without passing any of the Insane levels. However, the
difficulty of the levels varies dramatically, and there are many Insane levels
that are not much harder to pass than most of the Beginner levels.

The Advanced game has twelve Advanced levels and four Insane, so you do need
to pass at least one Insane level to complete the game. The Insane game
consists entirely of Insane levels. Eleven levels do not have a Beginner
variety at all, so these only appear on the Advanced and Insane games.

- - -


The maximum possible score is approximately 180000, broken down as follows:

16 stages at 6000 each = 96000
Extra points on bonus stage = 10000
Finishing with four lives left = 40000
Passing the "special stage" = 5000
Maximum on the "final stage" = 29000

The "special stage" appears after the sixteenth level on the Insane game only;
therefore it is only possible to attain this maximum score on Insane. There
is also a final stage on all three games (but not on the Training Mode) where
you are given twenty-one targets to hit within five seconds; this does not
count as one of the levels, because you are not given an objective and
therefore cannot lose a life, but you can get 29000 points for hitting all
the targets.

The score you actually get if you play perfectly will vary considerably,
because it depends on which levels you are given. On some, even 5000 is next
to impossible; on others, over 8000 is easy. If you were extremely lucky it
might be possible to get something like 190000 as a total, but I seriously
doubt that any of us will live to see this achieved.

The game includes a rating system that converts your score into a sort of
rank, which depends on which game you play. For example, if you achieve 120000
on the Beginner game, your rank will be "Try the Advanced mode!", whereas the
same score on Insane earns you a rank of "King of Insanity". The ranks are,
however, based on the assumption that completing the game on one credit is a
rarity. It is almost impossible to do this without earning the highest rank
available on that mode, whereas completing the game on two credits or more
may well earn one of the lower ranks.

Here is my approximate guide to what your score actually means, based on the
assumption that you are playing at the difficulty level that is right for you,
and therefore expect to complete the game on one credit.

Less than 80000: you cannot complete the game with a score this low
80000 to 100000: mediocre, but if it's the first time you've completed this
difficulty level, that is an achievement in itself
100000 to 120000: decent score; you have mastered this difficulty level
120000 to 135000: by now you really should move on to the next difficuly level
135000 to 150000: excellent score
150000 to 160000: you possess champion quality, and if you can make this sort
of score on the Insane game, you are a true Master of Point Blank
160000 to 175000: any score in this range on Insane and you have proved that
all the money you pumped into the game was worth it
Over 175000: consider entering the world championships

As for the scoring on indiviual stages, you are given points for number of
hits, percentage accuracy of shots, and speed. Usually the speed that counts
is only that of the first shot; where the aim is to hit something a large
number of times (eg the bulldozer) it is the time taken to destroy it that
matters. Percentage accuracy is multiplied by 10 and added to your score, but
an accuracy over 100% earns a 1000-point bonus. On some levels you can score
hits for targets other than those that count towards completing the level;
these count as hits when calculating your accuracy as well.

Tips for improving your score:

1. Know what the extra targets on each level are, and hit them. (See my guide
to the individual levels for everything I know about this.)

2. Earn the 100% accuracy bonus as often as you can. It makes a big difference.

3. Take your time: only the speed of the first shot affects your score.

4. Take risks: for example, getting "bingo" with three balls rather than two
gives a big boost to the score for number of hits.

5. You get 10000 points for each life left at the end, and that's a lot. So
don't take risks when you think there's a serious chance of losing a life.
For example, on the "criminals in the park" level on Insane, shoot the first
nineteen criminals, and then leave the last one alone. You only get 200 more
points if you hit him, and the chance of hitting the hostage is too great.

One last thing. Scores are always going to be much lower on two-player games,
because even though more targets appear on many levels, the fact that you must
share the targets between you always outweighs this. I don't have any figures
for how good a two-player score is; concentrate on beating the other player!

- - -

Guide to the individual levels

There are seventy-one levels on the game (or so it claims), of which fifty-
eight appear on all three modes; the remainder are confined to the Advanced
and Insane modes. There is also a special stage that appears only on the
Insane mode, as an extra level after the sixteenth. Where I give tips for
levels, unless I mention specific modes, I usually have Insane in mind, but
what I say will apply to all three.

The order the levels are listed in is entirely arbitrary.

A. Normal levels (those on all three modes)

1. "Guess Who": twenty question-marks in a grid turn round one by one in a
random order to reveal targets.
2. A rectangular grid of black-and-white targets. You have to hit them all.
3. Hit targets carried by balloons, while avoiding bombs. Tip: shooting the
balloons drops them, so you can shoot bomb-carrying balloons to clear the
bombs out of your way. Balloons also count as extra targets for scoring.
4. Dr Dan and Dr Don dancing in the clouds carrying targets.
5. Lots of Dr Dans and Dr Dons. Some hold up targets for about a second, then
these disappear and different ones will hold up targets.
6. The wheel. A target and seven bombs rotate on a wheel, and you have one
shot. Tip: hold your gun over a bomb and wait for the target to move round to
where your gun is.
7. Targets on the faces of spinning tetrahedra. The trick to this one is to
know when to move your gun from one tetrahedron to another. There's no easy
answer, but when a tetrahedron has just one target left, keep it in view, and
shoot the target when it comes round. Then the tetrahedron will explode and
another will appear with a fresh set of targets.
8. A row of five targets. When you've shot them all, five more will appear
behind them, and so on. The targets get harder to hit as they get gradually
further away. Tip: pick up the 100% bonus on this level.
9. A row of jack-in-the boxes, some of which are coloured targets. As on all
coloured-targets levels, you must shoot only your own colour. Tip: the ones
right at each end are difficult to aim at, because there are two close
together that are often different colours. Aim above the top one or below the
bottom one and you don't risk hitting the wrong one by mistake.
10. Three shutters that take it in turns to open, revealing coloured targets.
Tip: when both outer shutters open together, six targets of each colour will
be revealed. You have time to hit six on Beginner, five on Advanced, only
three on Insane. Shoot this many and then stop, or you risk the 100%.
11. A ring where four targets of each colour appear (three on Beginner) and
reappear in a different arrangement when you've shot all of your colour.
12. Seven targets on a wheel, with one of the doctors rotating inside and
obscuring the targets. Tip: find the largest gap between two of the doctor's
limbs and follow this gap round. You'll lose some of your time points, but
the 100% bonus is worth a lot more.
13. Red and white targets are held up by the two doctors, and you are
instructed as to which colour to hit.
14. Twenty-five circular holes, through which targets appear on lollipop
15. Numbered targets floating in the sea. You have to hit near the centre to
get the highest points.
16. Six numbered targets are revealed one by one. You have one shot at each.
17. Birds fly out from the trees, together with some bombs.
18. Skeletons jump out from a graveyard, again together with bombs.
19. Seven bat-cages. Each time you open one, five bats fly out. Tip: kill all
the bats from each cage before going on to the next. Even on Insane you have
enough time to do this, and the bats fly away after a time, so if you open too
many cages too early, you won't be able to get enough bats.
20. Sheep dance towards a gate. You must shoot off their wool. Tip: you need to
completely shear a certain number, so concentrate on this; but you do score for
each hit on a sheep whether or not you shear it completely.
21. Jet planes fly very fast across the screen and sometimes go in loops.
22. An army moves across some trenches. The soldiers and tanks are pretty good
at keeping only small areas of their bodies exposed to your shots.
23. A magician throws up a coin that you must hit with one shot. Tip: always
shoot the coin on its way down.
24. "Defeat one mosquito". On Beginner, you have three shots, but if you miss,
the mosquito will disappear and you have to wait for it to reappear elsewhere.
If you aim your second shot at it immediately, you will waste the shot. On
Advanced you have two shots, on Insane only one. Tip: on Beginner and Advanded,
if you are sure of hitting the mosquito, use your other shots on the pictures
of Dr Dan and Dr Don for extra points.
25. Lots of fireworks are thrown into the sky for you to shoot.
26. You must shoot many windows out of a tall building. Tip: don't forget the
little windows in the bottom corners. Start shooting the coloured windows as
soon as they appear to get a maximum score.
27. A city street, in which the targets are fifty-one neon signs. There are
some other targets that give points, but I've never worked out what they are.
28. You must shoot little clockwork mice that run around a random arrangement
of stationary bombs. Note: this is the only level easier to complete on Insane
than on Advanced. The reason is that on each difficulty level, the mice run
around faster than before, and the number you must shoot increases; on Insane,
even though you must hit more mice, because they run around so much there are
always enough of them for you to hit without having to pick out mice that are
hiding behind the bombs.
29. You must hit all the oil barrels.
30. Your targets are Space Invader-like graphics, some of which are green and
require two shots. On Insane, you need to kill at least one of the green ones
to achieve the quota. On Advanced, the formation is different and includes
green ships coming from both sides of the screen; it is therefore probably
harder to kill all the ships on Advanced than Insane, although easier to make
your quota.
31. You must shoot all the armour off a knight, who moves further back each
time you hit his body. Tip: fire rapidly around the knight's body, and don't
care whether you hit him. His moving back does not make it much harder, and
you get extra points for hitting him.
32. You must protect Dr Dan or Dr Don from being hit by rolling barrels, each
of which takes several shots to destroy. You can tell which barrels have been
hit because they get slightly redder each time.
33. You must protect Dr Dan or Dr Don from sharks. Tip: if you have already
lost the 100% bonus, firing rapidly at the sharks' fins in the water is a good
source of extra points, but not worth the loss of the 100% bonus if you think
you can achieve it. And you don't have time to do this on the Insane version.
34. You must protect Dr Don from missiles that fly out of range and then come
back down. They kill the doctor by landing; they don't actually have to land
on him. (Note: the level description says "Dr Don" even though which doctor
you get depends on which gun you are playing with. Are they both called Don?)
35. You must protect your doctor from a bulldozer by shooting it a large
number of times. Tip: aim your first shot carefully. The 100% bonus is nearly
always lost on the first shot on this level.
36. You must destroy a plane by shooting it sixty times. Each part of it drops
off after a certain number of hits, so you need to spread your shots.
37. You must shoot a house a large number of times.
38. You must shoot a falling car a large number of times.
39. Several stacks appear, each with the numbers 1 to 5 in order with 1 on the
bottom. You must shoot the numbers on each stack in order. Since the other
numbers drop down after each one is shot, this is achieved by shooting the 1,
then shooting the same place four more times.
40. Similar, but now the stacks move across the screen, dragged by Dr Dan and
Dr Don. You must keep shooting at the same vertical level, but moving sideways
to follow the stacks. Note: if you shoot the doctors by accident, they hurry
away (who can blame them?) and you won't get the stack fast enough.
41. Sums appear on a blackboard, with the numbers 0 to 9 on signs around it.
You must shoot the sign matching the correct answer to each sum.
42. A three-by-three bingo grid appears, and numbered balls bounce around. You
must either shoot three balls whose numbers are in a line on the grid, or shoot
two balls whose numbers are on opposite sides of the middle cell (which is
marked "free"). You have only three shots. Tip: the two-bal route is useful if
you want a greater chance of passing, but three balls means more points.
43. You progress through a park, passing criminals and hostages, and must shoot
the criminals. As on all criminals-and-hostages levels, you lose one life for
each hostage you shoot. Tip: see tip no. 5 under "Scoring" above.
44. You are in a railway station, and criminals and hostages pop up in certain
places. Tip: learn where the hostages pop up, so you don't shoot one without
knowing it was there. Further tip: as on many criminals levels, all windows are
extra targets for scoring purposes.
45. You are on a city street, with cars passing by, and criminals and hostages
popping up. To achieve your quota on the higher difficulty levels, you must
shoot some at least of the criminals in the cars. Tips: as for 44 above.
46. The criminals-and-hostages theme is moved to a Wild West setting.
47. Thirty criminals appear one by one on the rooftops of a city (no hostages
this time). Tip: the windows of the building on the right are extra targets.
48. You must shoot all of a crowd of criminals, the backmost of which holds
a single hostage. Tip: slow down right at the end. Even on Insane, you have
just enough time to work out where the last criminal is and shoot him without
having to fire randomly and risk hitting the hostage.
49. A single criminal lurks behind a whole street of hostages. One shot.
50. "Keep the can airborne" by shooting it. Tip: on Insane, if you aim at where
the can is, it won't be there any more. Keep your gun aimed just below it.
51. "Protect Earth from UFOs" by shooting them. Each mothership breaks into
small ships when shot. Tip: don't let the motherships especially too far down.
52. Statues rotate across a conveyor belt, and you must shoot off the bit that
is missing in an "example". Note: if two of the statue's limbs are one behind
the other, your shot will be counted as having hit the one in front.
53. Three objects jump past a window, and you must shoot the one that matches
an example. The other objects, except bombs, are extra targets for scoring.
54. You must shoot a pyramid of glasses from top to bottom, meaning that you
lose if you shoot a glass that still has at least one glass on top of it.
55. You are shown sixteen panels that match in pairs. These are then reversed,
and you must remember the pairs and shoot them. Tip: remember the locations
of two pairs (three if you're fast enough). There will be time to work out the
others, provided that you always shoot an unknown panel before a known one.
56. You scroll along two scenes, and must shoot anything in the bottom scene
that does not match the top scene. What the differences are varies each time,
and you lose a life (very unfairly) for shooting anywhere where there is
sometimes a difference but not this time. Some differences are temporal: for
example, an apple drops from a tree at a different time on both pictures. While
one apple is down and the other still up, you can shoot the difference, but not
when the second apple has also fallen. Tip: ignore temporal differences. They
are too risky, and you should be able to make your quota without them.
57. You progress through three rooms inhabited by Ninjas. You pass each room
when you have shot enough Ninjas. The object is to kill an Evil Lord who hides
behind the third room.
58. Three stars flash in a random order, and are reversed to reveal targets,
which you must shoot in the same order.

B. Advanced- (and Insane-) only levels.

59. Flower fairies jump up carrying targets. A hit on one of the fairies is
counted for scoring purposes.
60. Targets, together with bombs, move across a green rollercoaster.
61. Coloured targets move up and down a rollercoaster. As usual, you must hit
only your own colour.
62. Coloured targets roll down ramps and sometimes fall through gaps that
suddenly appear and then close again.
63. You must shoot coloured targets on the faces of rotating cubes. This is
very like the "tetrahedra" level but with coloured targets. Just be careful.
64. Protect Dr Dan or Dr Don from UFOs that try to grab him. Once he is
grabbed, you can still save him by shooting the UFO holding him. Tip: the UFOs
come gradually forwards (appear to get larger), and only ones right at the
front will try to grab the doctor. Shoot the larger ones first.
65. Three cardboard cut-outs of criminals will turn to face you, and you must
shoot only the ones carrying guns.
66. You move through a street of criminals and hostages, but there are far more
hostages, so you must shoot the criminals through small gaps between them.
67. Dr Dan or Dr Don will appear as a cowboy drawing a gun on you. You have
two seconds and one shot to shoot it out of his hand.
68. An odd assortment of objects, including the flaming torches from a level on
the first Point Blank game, fly back and forth in an arc, together with bombs.
You can shoot any object towards your quota, but not the bombs.
69. Bombs held by parachutes float around over one of the doctors. You must
shoot the parachutes to drop the bombs into the basin he holds to catch them,
but any bombs that land on the floor will explode and cause the doctor to jump,
probably making him miss any other bombs that you have already released. As
always, you lose a life for each bomb you shoot. Definitely the least fair
level on the entire game: it would be quite hard enough with some harmless
object being caught instead of the bombs.

As I said, this list is not quite complete, unless the game is mistaken when it
claims a total of seventy-one different levels, not including the special stage
or the final stage. Which reminds me...

C. The bonus stage

This appears on all three modes after the eighth level. You must choose between
four chests, of which one contains an extra life, one coins worth 10000 points,
one coins and an extra life, and one nothing. Pure luck. And it can make a
20000-point difference (remembering that each life you finish the game with
adds 10000 points to your total score).

D. The special stage

This appears after the sixteenth level of the Insane game only. I will not
spoil the surprise, but will remark only that it is not difficult, and that it
is a good way to get an extra 5000 points, and is therefore a good reason to
play the Insane game rather than the others once you are good enough. It is
also by a long way the funniest level on the game, beating even the sheep.

E. The final stage

You have twenty-one targets to shoot and five seconds. It's very like the final
stage on Point Blank, except that the targets are arranged so that it's quite a
lot harder to get them all. With practice, however, you should be able to get
them all every time, which adds 29000 to your score.

- - -

This FAQ is copyright by Michael Spencer, 2003