BIT.TRIP FATE is the fifth mainline entry in the BIT.TRIP hexalogy. The game takes the form of a horizontal shoot 'em up. CommanderVideo and his friends (now with Mr. Robotube replacing Radbot) must navigate a series of dangerous obstacle courses in the hopes of stopping the Timbletot once and for all.
The game is a noteworthy departure from the previous games, in some ways even moreso than RUNNER, and lesser in others. Most notably is the game's brooding, dark tone in comparison to its predecessor, with vague dives into topics of rage and self-destruction.
The game has also received some attention for being one of the first video games to prominently feature dubstep music at its core design, especially notable as dubstep gained a resurgence in popularity during the early 2010s, making the game something of a trend-setter.
FATE is, in most instances, played with a dual-controller set-up (Wiimote + Nunchuck, Circle Pad + Stylus, Keyboard + Mouse, etc.). You control the movement of CommanderVideo, the direction he aims in and when he fires.
The objective of the game is to help CommanderVideo navigate auto-scrolling corridors safely while defeating enemies and destroying or avoiding obstacles in the way. CommanderVideo's movement is restricted to a wavy rail that permeates every level called the Vibe. Players can freely move CV horizontally, but his vertical position relies on the peaks and valleys present on the Vibe itself. Players must be careful about how they move and position CommanderVideo to avoid enemy Beats. Worth noting is that only the area around CV's Core is affected by enemy attacks.
Additionally, players can aim and fire lasers, which are used to defeat enemies as well as certain obstacles, like voxels and meteors. The destroyed enemies and obstacles drop Core pick-ups like the ones from RUNNER, that when collected will increase the MODE-Up meter. While firing his lasers, CV's movement speed is slowed.
Like BEAT, CORE and VOID before it, FATE features several power-ups. Unlike those games, the player has the ability to choose their power-up whenever one appears, as opposed to them being predetermined. These power-ups alter CommanderVideo's bullets, though they do not evolve across the different MODEs like the default bullets do. Instead they remain the same in every MODE except for GIGA.
Meat Boy fires large, singular, slow moving, and highly damaging bullets, making sub-bass "wub wub" sounds when they're fired. The bullets can partially pass through obstacles, however they shrink and fizzle out rapidly upon doing so, which greatly reduces their damage and hang time. Conversely, they are capable of piercing through enemies as well as nullifying their bullets. The latter feature alone makes Meat Boy the chosen power-up for players who aim for perfect runs.In GIGA, Meat Boy's bullet is almost doubled in size and the sine sound effect has its pitch drastically lowered.
Mr. Robotube fires two streams of bullets in a tandem sine wave formation. These bullets have tremendously high damage, potentially the highest in the game and are capable of passing through walls and enemies. Because of the damage output and piercing ability, this is the second-most used Power-Up as its accuracy issue can be compensated for.
In GIGA, the bullets become larger and a third, straight stream of bullets is added, greatly increasing the overall accuracy and coverage of the bullets, making aiming a non-issue.
CommandgirlVideo fires a pair of conical triple spread shots, each firing directly opposite the other. Like the Robotube power-up, the bullets have their damage and coverage greatly amplified at the cost of base accuracy. Aside from these changes, the bullets lack any special attributes and are affected by enemies and obstacles the same way CommanderVideo's default bullets are.
In GIGA, two additional double spread-shots are added, creating a circular 10-bullet spread shot that can hit nearly anything.
Junior Melchkin fires thin lasers that can pierce through enemies and are slightly stronger than the default bullets. Because these lasers are only marginally stronger than the standard bullets and offer no bonuses beyond enemy piercing (they are still blocked by obstacles), this power-up is the least favored amongst most players.
In GIGA, the three lasers are replaced with a single, monstrous laser beam that does additional damage, though it's still blocked by walls.
The Pick-Up itself is a small circle with the helper characters inside. These cycle through the characters in the order of CommandgirlVideo, Meat Boy, Mr. Robotube, and Junior Melchkin. The Power-Up cannot be dodged, but after a certain amount of time it will vanish, making it possible to avoid using a Power-Up for self-imposed challenges.
Additionally, while under the effects of a Power-Up, the helper character will orbit CommanderVideo, where they will be able to block projectiles and pick up Cores for CommanderVideo.
This game is unique from the other BIT.TRIP games when it comes to modes, as you shoot enemies and collect Cores to MODE-Up, but getting hit just once in any mode will mode you down. Also, the vibe (Which Commander Video travels on) acts the same as the HUD. Also, paddles appear on the Mode Bar, depending on which mode you're in. Every bullet an enemy hits turns them the color of the HUD. CommanderVideo also does body movements according to the mode.
The Mode Bar resembles six paddles for GIGA. Commander Video shoots four wide-spread bullets for every shot, each just as strong as three ULTRA bullets. Your multiplier is x200. Shooting enemies turn them pink, and defeating enemies make the deep echo tone, and a deep beat that echoes. All power-ups are advanced from their past modes (Ex: Meat Boy's bullets are greatly enlarged, and makes a different sound.) The music also gets an extra percussion layer to match with the music. Commander Video's aura makes five rings, but the fourth and fifth come out later than third (Like in EXTRA). The HUD acts three-dimensional, and moves from side-to-side to the rhythm, same as the vibe. Commander Video begins to dance in this mode. Continue to grab COREs and defeat enemies to get an extra 500,000 points, or get hit and Mode down to EXTRA.
The Mode Bar resembles five different colored paddles for EXTRA. Commander Video shoots three wide-spread bullets for every shot, each doing more damage than SUPER bullets. Your multiplier is x100. Shooting enemies turn them into different static colors of the rainbow (as the HUD) and defeating enemies makes the deep echo tone, and an extra beat with an echo. Commander Video's aura makes four rings, but the fourth ring comes out later than the others, as if separated from an invisible ring, each with different colors of the rainbow. The HUD makes a neon effect, and booms out at the player to the beat, and every time it does this, it changes colors (as in MEGA). Commander Video begins to shake his arm in the air in this mode. Grab COREs and defeat enemies to Mode up to GIGA Mode, or get hit and mode down to ULTRA.
The Mode Bar resembles four paddles for ULTRA. Commander Video shoots three spread bullets for every shot, each doing more damage than MEGA bullets. Your multiplier is x50. Shooting enemies turn them into single-color rainbow cycle (as the HUD) and defeating enemies makes the deep echo tone, and an extra beat. Commander Video's aura makes three thinner rings of different colors, fading out one-by-one and the middle aura makes a full single color rainbow cycle. He begins to act like he is flying in this mode. The HUD changes through a rich rainbow color variety, and the Mode name slides across the screen. Grab COREs and Mode up to EXTRA Mode, or get hit and mode down to SUPER.
The Mode Bar resembles three paddles for SUPER. Commander Video shoots three slightly spread bullets for every shot, each doing more damage than HYPER bullets. Your multiplier is x20. Shooting enemies turn them into a fluent rainbow (as the HUD) and defeating enemies makes the deep tone echo. Commander Video's aura makes three rings of different colors, fading out one-by-one, and the middle aura makes half of a single color rainbow cycle, and acts like he is skipping. The HUD changes a variety of rainbow colors as its own layer in the background, and shoots out towards the player. Grab COREs and defeat enemies to mode up into ULTRA Mode, or get hit and mode down to MEGA.
The Mode Bar resembles two paddles for MEGA. Commander Video shoots three bullets for every shot. Your multiplier is x10. Shooting enemies turn them static rainbow colors (as the vibe) and defeating enemies make a deep tone in-key of the song. Commander Video's aura makes two different colored rings come out every now and again. His hand will drop lower. The HUD changes rainbow colors statically. Grab COREs and defeat enemies to mode up to SUPER, or get hit and mode down to HYPER.
You start every level in this mode. The Mode Bar resembles one paddle for HYPER. Commander Video shoots two bullets for every shot. Your multiplier is x1. Shooting enemies turn them yellow, and every enemy you defeat will make a short beep in-key of the song. Commander Video's aura makes one yellow ring come out every now again. The HUD is a broad yellow. Grab COREs and defeat enemies to mode up to MEGA, or get hit and mode down to NETHER.
This is the lowest game mode, as there is no music, and sounds are old-style retro. Commander Video shoots one bullet for every shot, and stands. There is no paddle on the Mode Bar for Nether. The background is very fizzy, like a static TV screen, as the HUD is black and gray. Shooting enemies turn them gray for every bullet you hit them with, and defeating enemies makes an exploding sound instead of a musical note. Commander Video's aura is gray and dimmed, and sometimes blinks and disappears, fizzing every now and again, the CORE for his heart makes the same action. Your multiplier is x0.1. Mode up into HYPER, or Mode down and get a Game Over.