Quoted from jonesjb:
One of the uniquely cool things about Alien is that there are shots that you want to hit as well as ones to avoid. ferret is there some sort of consistent color hierarchy that symbolizes this (i.e. always aim for green shots or flashing shots, always avoid red ones - symbolizing aliens attacking)?
There isn't currently a consistent color for "bad" shots, but it's not because we didn't think about that. I could but won't prattle on forever about all the considerations that went into it, but the combination of "making the lights represent the entities from the movie" (e.g. I thought the "cat" shots in Find Jonesy should be orange) and "making the lights distinguishable, especially when stacking of features is considered" (e.g. multiball Jackpot shots are generally red) made things challenging. This still might get revisited in the future. I personally find it easier just to focus on what the color is for the "good" shots, since anything that's not that color is something I want to avoid during those modes.
Quoted from jonesjb:
Also, how do shots to avoid work in this game? Do they have negative points, or reduce progression toward goals, or something like 3 strikes and you lose the mode?
We never subtract from your actual score.
Beyond that: Depends on the mode. There are three modes that have "bad" shots: Acid Burn, Find Jonesy, and Bug Hunt. Acid Burn features a hurry countdown; shooting a "bad" shot fast-forwards the countdown, which means fewer points for the remaining good shots, and could cause you to time out the mode sooner if the hurry value gets to its minimum. Find Jonesy is a different model, it's a game of finding the cat via "warmer/colder" ... shooting the good (cat) shots moves you "warmer", shooting the bad (Alien) shots moves you "colder". If you get "warm enough", you catch Jonesy and win; if you get "too cold", the Alien gets ya and you lose the mode. Scoring in this mode is based on shot efficiency; you'll score the most by hitting only cat shots. In Bug Hunt, "bad shots" only come into play in the second part of the mode (the Marines vs Aliens firefight) ... here, shot values are multiplied by the number of Marines that are still alive, but Marines get killed when you make bad shots. (And I watched that scene several times with a notebook in hand to make sure they get killed in the same order in the game as in the movie. )
As you might guess, these modes aren't your best choices for stacking with multiballs (although I'd be willing to take Bug Hunt into a multiball and hope multiball firepower wins out before the Aliens ravage the good guys). On the other hand, these modes have some of the best points-per-shot potential in the game for those who can shoot accurately.