There’s currently two ways to play a very unique version of Billie Bust Up. The first is the “pre-alpha” which is the one single boss fight with Fantoccio, the theatre-loving puppet. Then there’s the “Patreon alpha” which is the boss fights with Barnaby.
You can find the playtest builds via Patreon. It’s $5 a month to maintain access to play.
The game has gotten very popular over the years and is now being published by Humble Games. The exciting thing is that these two demos are in of themselves an absolute blast to play. Here’s how to beat each demo.
Pre-Alpha Fantoccio Fight
The fight has three phases. There are random and non-random elements you have to be aware of. Fireballs are random. The pathing of the hands technically isn’t. The buckets and rocks that fall are random. Brooms, the shark and the stone hands are all static.
There are some tricks you don’t get talked about. First is using shift (on keyboard) pushes you into a dodge roll with invulnerability frames. If you hold the dodge key, you’ll enter into a bounce phase that lets you move around the map faster.
The second is a double jump that can follow into a pound that can kill enemies.
In the first phase you’ll start with a series of fireballs. This will lead to a single pounding fist. Then you’ll have a phase of brooms. Then the puppet hands, followed by a smash. There’s no major tip here other than the puppet hands in this phase can be avoided by staying in the top right or left corners.
When he attacks, attack back to end the phase and start phase 2.
This phase the set changes into a swashbuckling adventure. You’ll have not only fireballs to deal with but also dropping buckets. This phase follows a set pattern, but the critical thing is to note you can often dodge the mops by staying to the left or right and standing between them. They only fully form a wall in the middle.
When he attacks, spam the attack button until he starts phase 3.
This phase is slightly easier as there is less randomness. Two critical steps here to be aware of:
- The hands operate based on the lyrics. Listen to the lyrics to know when you can dodge out of them.
- The guitar is fixed with the music as well. Keep jumping as best as you can.
There’s no final fight, after you do enough of the guitar phases the game will end.
This fight doesn’t have phases per se. It’s a fixed chase sequence through the castle that remains perfectly static every single run through. Unlike Fantoccio, you won’t have the more powerful dodge or the dodge hop ability. You instead will get the ability to use your umbrella (right click) and the shield (right click while on the ground). The shield can take roughly four hits and regenerates quickly.
Using the shield is the easiest way to get through the fight quickly. Avoiding jumping as much as you can also seems to be really helpful. For the gaps between platforms you can easily run across them without any issue.
Since nothing in this fight is random, outside of one fireball sequence that has a long shadow telegraph, you just have to memorize the course.
You can use the shield to cheap out of a lot of things. Like on the meat rollers you can use the shield to ignore jumping all together while the electricity buzzes by.
The major change in hard mode is that there’s no health recovery items and the knife attack is used much more by Barnaby.
There’s also no directly attacking Barnaby. Once you reach the end of the course the map ends. The playtest is constantly updating, but the map so far has been rather stable between releases. Good luck and enjoy the music!