Super Crate Box: Weapon Guide
Last updated April 2, 2011


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TABLE OF CONTENTS:
1. Legalese
2. Credentials
3. Weapons
4. Acknowledgments
5. Contact Info
===================



1. LEGALESE
This FAQ isn't copyrighted.  Why would it be?  Why would any FAQ be
copyrighted?  You can reproduce this document.  You can steal it.  You can sell
it.  You can throw photocopies of it from a helicopter; I don't care.



2. CREDENTIALS
Here are my high scores for each level, along with where they rank on the
website leaderboard as of April 2, 2011.  My screenname is "barf" there, if you
want to check.  (Note: I haven't played the Red level too much yet, and I
almost never play Ambush mode.)

RED LEVEL
> Normal: 147
> SFMT: 55
> Ambush: 23

BLUE LEVEL
> Normal: 272 (3rd highest score)
> SFMT: 44 (43rd highest score)
> Ambush: 10

YELLOW LEVEL
> Normal: 492 (2nd highest score)
> SFMT: 73 (14th highest score)
> Ambush: 10



3. WEAPONS
Counting the weapon you start with, there are thirteen weapons total.  Divided
by category, they are:

straight bullets
- pistol
- double pistol
- revolver
- machine gun***

erratic bullets
- shotgun
- minigun***

explosions
- bazooka
- grenade launcher
- mines

other
- disc gun
- flamethrower***
- katana
- laser rifle

***these are rapid fire guns, ie will shoot continuously when you hold down the
fire button


The brilliance of this game is in large part from the fact that each gun has
such wildly different power levels and, moreover, that you are forced to 
constantly swap between them.


So, here comes the reason this guide was made (and the probable reason you're
reading it): the weapons broken down into tiers and rated along various
categories.

NOTE: The scale I'm using has the original pistol dealing 1 damage, the small
enemies requiring 2 damage to kill, and the large enemy requiring 10 damage to
kill.


::::: TOP TIER :::::
(Revolver, Flamethrower, Minigun)

Revolver
> Power: 5
> Fire rate: fast
> Accuracy: perfect
> Range: full screen
> Drawbacks: none
> Bonuses: none

Description: This is the best gun in the game.  If you get this, you can clear
the entire board quite easily by mashing on the fire button.  There is NO delay
between shots, it fires straight and fast, and it spans the whole screen. 
Being able to kill the large enemies with two (very fast!) shots is a godsend. 
If you could play the whole game with the revolver, it would be incredibly easy
and not any fun.

Flamethrower
> Power: a bunch over time
> Fire rate: constant
> Accuracy: good
> Range: half screen
> Drawbacks: stepping on fire makes you hop, which can prevent regular jumps if
not timed right
> Bonuses: sticks to walls; continues to deal damage after you stop firing

Description: This is another fantastic gun, and great at clearing the room. 
Just blast in all directions, alternating which way you face.  Jump up and down
to hit multiple floors at once (just make sure a skull isn't hovering above
you!).  If you're near the top of the screen, get some fire where the enemies
drop out, and you can preemptively kill a few guys before grabbing the next
crate.

Minigun
> Power: 1 (times many bullets at once)
> Fire rate: the fastest
> Accuracy: erratic, but made up for by volume
> Range: for full power, about half the screen; however, a couple of stray
bullets may go the distance
> Drawbacks: can unexpectedly push you backwards if you're careless
> Bonuses: once mastered, this push allows for a deft evasive maneuver

Description: Another great room clearer!  If you're near a wall, put your back
to it and blast away.  Jumping straight up will kind of "glue" you to the wall,
letting you keep blasting while slowly sliding down.  This helps you kill
multiple levels of bad guys.  If you're not near a wall, you probably want to
HOLD A DIRECTIONAL ARROW WHILE FIRING.  This prevents you from sliding
backwards (unless you want to slide backwards of course).


::::: TIER TWO :::::
(Machine Gun, Bazooka, Grenade Launcher, Mines)

Machine Gun
> Power: 1 (times many bullets, although not as many as the Minigun)
> Fire rate: fast
> Accuracy: perfect
> Range: full screen
> Drawbacks: pushes you back, but at a slower rate than you walk, causing you
to have to lightly tap an arrow key to stand still
> Bonuses: none

Description: A fine gun, but generally a lesser-than version of the Minigun. 
Its ability to go the whole screen in a straight line is great, although it
doesn't exactly compensate for its other (relative) shortcomings.  To put it
another way: I'm never unhappy to get the Machine Gun, but realistically,
there's probably not a single scenario in which it's preferable to the Minigun.

Bazooka
> Power: 10
> Fire rate: the slowest
> Accuracy: perfect
> Range: full screen
> Drawbacks: none
> Bonuses: wall trick (see below)

Description: This gun provides one of three ways to make the very powerful
effect in this game that is the explosion.  It's a great gun when the room is
empty, although its slow firing rate makes it an irksome pickup when things are
crowded -- even though an explosion is large enough to kill a ton of guys
across multiple levels.  Don't forget that you can fire straight into a wall to
make an explosion surround you, killing enemies that would have been harder to
hit directly (for instance a floating skull or falling enemy above your head).

Grenade Launcher
> Power: 10
> Fire rate: slowish
> Accuracy: low
> Range: half screen
> Drawbacks: small size of grenades sometimes causes them to slip through
enemies and bounce off to an undesired location
> Bonuses: ricochet ability allows for some cool trick shots once mastered

Description: The best part about this gun is IT'S FASTER THAN THE BAZOOKA.
This makes me prefer it to the Rocket Launcher in almost every conceivable
scenario.  The aiming takes a while to get used to, but once you do its
superiority should be clear.

As mentioned in the stats section, DO NOT FORGET THAT GRENADES RICOCHET.  This
can be used to your advantage.  If an enemy is near a ledge, firing a grenade
straight at it will usually go over its head.  But turning around and firing
the grenade towards the wall will usually cause it to bounce backwards, land
right at the edge, and kill the enemy in question.  Practice this -- it has
saved me innumerable times.

Note: This next tip is almost never useful, but you technically are able to
drop a grenade through the fire pit at the bottom of the screen and have it
come out through the top before it explodes.  Wheeee!  (P.S. You can also
technically do this with the Flame Thrower, but that's even less useful, in
addition to being a bit strange conceptually.  Dropping fire through fire??)

Other note: Curiously, this is the only gun to actually get weaker on the easy
difficulty level.  Because there are fewer enemies, the grenade is more likely
to "slip through the cracks" when firing.  But firing it on SFMT mode means
it's very likely to connect no matter how lazily it's aimed -- and its blast
clears the area every bit as well.

Mines
> Power: 10
> Fire rate: slow
> Accuracy: ...stagnant?
> Range: none
> Drawbacks: can't shoot these forward; hard to kill skulls directly
> Bonuses: can continue to kill enemies even after you've switched weapons

This is my personal favorite weapon, although it's obviously not the best.  If
the board is empty, plant a few of these before switching weapons.  Obviously. 
If the board is full, working your way through the crowd with only Mines is one
of the funnest and most challenging parts of the game.  (Contrast this with
working your way through a crowd with only Double Pistols, which is even more
challenging but markedly less fun.)  If this is the situation you are in, your
basic principal is this: always be planting.  As soon as the next mine is
ready, drop it.  Wherever you are.  The explosion from one will clear a small
space around it, fortunately reaching up one level higher.  This sometimes
creates a small spot for you to jump up and plant another mine into before
dropping back down.  Slowly, over time, you can work your way upwards like
this.  Like I said, it's both fun and challenging.  Developing a good mine game
is one of the keys to reaching high scores in SFMT mode.

If you have complete freedom over where to plant those surplus mines before
switching weapons, the best areas are (1) the bottom of the screen and (2)
anywhere that only skulls can get to (for instance, the top-middle of the blue
stage).  Putting extra mines at the top of the screen isn't a WASTE, exactly,
but they're likely to destroy enemies you could have killed with your new gun. 
If they're at the bottom of the screen, they're most likely killing those
enemies that sneaked past you, and were about to go super saiyin by falling
through the fire.


::::: TIER THREE :::::
(Katana, Shotgun, Laser Rifle)

Katana
> Power: 5
> Fire rate: medium
> Accuracy: fine
> Range: REALLY SMALL
> Drawbacks: doesn't have the vertical range you expect it to; doesn't fire
quiiite as fast as you expect it to
> Bonuses: causes the big enemies to about-face when hit

This is a better weapon than it might first seem.  Sure, it can't reach, like,
anywhere, but it is pretty strong and, well, reasonably fast.  Usually fast
enough.  The problem is that it just doesn't allow you to mash the fire key the
way you can with the equally-strong Revolver.  Which has, might I add, WAY
BETTER RANGE.  If you get the Katana, slash up a few enemies fast and dash to
the nearest crate while hoping for something better.  If you agree with my
power rankings, the odds are 64% that it will be better!

Shotgun
> Power: 1 to 5, depending
> Fire rate: medium
> Accuracy: fine
> Range: small
> Drawbacks: awkward pushback; you can never tell quite how much damage it
dealt to those big guys
> Bonuses: good at hitting floating skulls

Description: If you have to clear out a room with this, you are not going to
have a fun time.  This gun is weak, both at power and range.  It does have the
potential to kill a large enemy in two shots, but only if EVERY part of BOTH
shots connects.  Which doesn't always happen.  Sometimes you will think you got
two clean shots off, only to have that big guy still lumbering towards you and
kill you before you can "reload."  It's happened to me a great many times.  The
shotgun is useful in  that it can kill a few small enemies at once, but you're
generally best off not holding onto this thing longer than you have to.

Laser Rifle
> Power: 5, then 10
> Fire rate: slow
> Accuracy: perfect (unless jump timing is involved, which it usually is)
> Range: small, then full screen
> Drawbacks: hard to time jump shots right; awkward reloading phase between
blasts
> Bonuses: If you switch weapons while it's charging, you can fire the new
weapon while the laser beam keeps charging... and it will then fire the actual
laser, even though you already have and have been using the new gun.

Description: This weapon is so horrifically awkward.  It can be very
powerful... but no matter how much you get used to its quirks, you never get
COMPLETELY used to them.  As said above (twice) you will absolutely have to
practice timing your jump shots with this thing.  Listen to the noise rise...
boooeeeep... jump... PCHEW!!!!  Did you hit that row of green guys on the
platform?  If not, you are probably about to die since this thing takes so long
to reload.  Sadly, this is the type of situation you will find yourself in ALL
THE TIME with this gun.  So it takes practice, practice, practice.

It is fun to run towards a line of bad guys, turn on the charge beam, and
"lawnmower" through them with it before the actual blast goes off.  Just make
sure you don't start charging too early, or it will run out before the bad guys
do and somebody will drop on your head before you can fire again.

As for killing the big guys: while the yellow thing is charging and visible, it
does 5 damage to whatever it touches.  But it can get multiple hits very
quickly, meaning if a big guy walks into you while your laser is charging, it
WILL get hit twice quickly and die before reaching you.  Very useful.

As you get more comfortable with this gun, you will start to do tricks like
plowing into a few enemies with the charge thing and then jumping up and
turning around in mid-air to blast away a row of other enemies with the laser
blast itself.  Of all the weapons in this tier, this one is the best at
clearing out a room... but it's still very awkward.

Note: If you die while it's charging, it will still fire while spinning out of
your hands, sometimes killing enemies after you've died!  (Not actually
helpful, but it is interesting to watch.)


::::: BOTTOM TIER :::::
(Pistol, Double Pistol, Disc Gun)

Pistol
> Power: 1
> Fire rate: fast
> Accuracy: perfect
> Range: full screen
> Drawbacks: is bad
> Bonuses: you'll never find it in a crate!

Description: Yes, the gun you start with is the worst gun in the game.  It's a
good thing you always have a chance to grab that first crate before an enemy
nabs you.  Unless you're playing ambush mode.  Which I don't like to do.  Yeah,
sometimes you'll want to fire off two quick shots to kill an errant small guy
before grabbing your first real gun, but that's about all the use you'll
probably get out of this thing.

Double Pistol
> Power: 1 (plus another 1 in the opposite direction)
> Fire rate: fast
> Accuracy: perfect... twice
> Range: full screen
> Drawbacks: is STILL bad
> Bonuses: suffering through the badness of this gun causes you to appreciate
your next gun so much more, no matter what it is

Description: That's right, literally doubling the benefit of the worst weapon
still gives you a terrible weapon.  I hate getting Double Pistol, and if I get
one at the bottom of the room while the board is full and the next crate is at
the top of the room, I am likely to start crying on the spot.  And die before
getting that crate.

This thing is so weak that no matter how much you mash on the fire button it
will still sometimes not be enough.  Consider that each small enemy takes two
hits and each large enemy takes ten.  With a platform even half full of bad
guys, this is a nigh-impossible feat no matter how good a masher you are.

The fact that this weapon fires in both directions is RARELY relevant.  If you
are able to get to the next box without wasting too much time, DO IT.  Killing
any more than two enemies on your way is probably a waste of time, since (on
SFMT mode at least) they are probably spawning faster than these useless pea-
shooters can kill them.

Disc Gun
> Power: 5
> Fire rate: medium
> Accuracy: narrow
> Range: full screen... then one wall bounce and another full screen
> Drawbacks: The largest drawback of any gun, which is that IT. CAN. KILL. YOU.
> Bonuses: ricochet occasionally works to your advantage

Description: I HATE THE DISC GUN.  Yes, it's more "powerful" than the Double
Pistol, but it also has the significant problem of BEING ABLE TO KILL YOU.  If
you are mashing the fire button with your previous gun, and you walk into a
crate while facing a wall, guess what?  There's a 9% chance that you just
killed yourself.  If you hit fire after picking up a Disc Gun it will bounce
off of that wall and kill you.  To put it another way: if you are trying to get
any kind of a high score, you had better break the habit of rapid firing while
walking towards a crate that's facing a wall.

Also, this gun presents an even greater need than the Laser Rifle for you to
practice your jump timing.  Missing a jump shot with the Laser Rifle means not
killing your enemies; missing it with the Disc Gun means YOU JUST KILLED
YOURSELF.

On the converse, connecting means clearing out a whole line of small guys...
but just as likely is aiming too high and having it whizz over their heads.

If you want to kill a big guy with a single shot of the Disc Gun, you will have
to time it just right.  The sequence needs to be: hit them, disc bounces off
wall, disc hits them a second time... BEFORE they reach the ledge.  And most
importantly, they have to be far away enough from the wall for the disc to
clear them while bouncing.  If not, it will just count as one long hit and not
kill them.

So.  Combining all of the above: if you get the Disc Gun, be very, very, VERY
careful.  And swap it for something better ASAP.

Before you do swap it, you might as well jump up and fire a disc across the
floor above you... it might kill a couple of enemies later since it takes so
long to bounce around.

Note: Not only is this the only weapon that can kill you; it's also the only
weapon that can itself be destroyed by an explosion.

Brass Knuckles
> Power: 25
> Fire rate: fast
> Accuracy: none
> Range: full screen (when thrown)
> Drawbacks: cannot be used after thrown
> Bonuses: can actually punch through walls

Description: The Brass Knuckles are not actually included in this game.



4. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Thanks to Vlambeer for creating what is one of the most balanced games in 
history.  And for getting SO much varied gameplay out of so few variables. 
Super Crate Box doesn't have twenty boards, thirty enemies, and forty guns,
which then receive elemental attributes while your characters levels up.  And
yet I still have gotten more hours (and WAY more excitement) out of it than
from all those games that do.

Thanks to Eirik Suhrke (Phlogiston) for creating such a brilliant soundtrack
that it can actually withstand all those hours of gameplay and still be
enjoyable.

And thanks to Anthony Burch for telling me about this game in the first place. 
P.S. HAWP is great.


5. CONTACT INFO
I love email!  I can be reached for any reason at cottonrhetoric@gmail.com
–CR