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Bubble Bobble - One of the most addicting arcade games ever
Bubble Bobble Info:
Publishers: Taito & Romstar
Designer: Fukio Mitsuji
1st platform: Arcade
Release date: 1986 (For arcade)
Genre: Platform game
Mode: 1 or 2 players simultaneously
Standard resolution: 256×224 (horizontal)
Bubble Bobble, "バブルボブル", "Baburu Boburu" is an arcade game by Taito, released in 1986 for Arcade, and later ported to home computers and consoles. The game is about 2 Bubble Dragons, "Bub", "Bubblun", "バブルン", "Baburun" and "Bob", "Bobblun", "ボブルン" "Boburun". It's a platform game where the players jump through 100 different levels, blowing bubbles and avoiding enemies and collecting items.
The was very popular and led to many sequels and spin-offs. The goal of the game, is to rescue Bub & Bob's girlfriends from a big end-of-level monster.
Each player controls 1 of the Dragons, Bub or Bob. They can move along platforms, and jump to platforms above and to the side, like in most platform games.
The dragons blow bubbles to trap there enemies, who are defeated if the bubble is burst by one of the players. The bubbles float for some time before bursting, and the dragons can be jumped on them, to access otherwise unreachable areas. Once all enemies on the current level are defeated, the dragons move on to the next.
The enemies turn red and move faster if they are the last remaining, or if they escape from a bubble, after being left too long inside one. They also becomes red if a certain amount of time has been spent on a level. It also happens if either of the players collects a skull (only negative item), and the monster is hit by the comet crossing the screen. This is a rare occurrence, that most players will never see. If a further time limit expires, an invincible skeleton appears for each player, chasing them using vertical and horizontal movements. They disappear once a player's life is lost, or if all other enemies are defeated.
Contact with any enemy or their rocks, lasers, fireballs, etc. is deadly.
The music was written by the Japanese team "Zuntata". Peter Clarke, Tim Follin and David Whittaker arranged the music for the computer versions of the game. Some versions have different intro music by David Whittaker.
Game versions (Ports):
Taito has ported Bubble Bobble to many different computers and consoles. Amongst them are: Commodore 64, Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Amiga, Atari ST, MSX, Amstrad CPC, Sharp X68000, PC "DOS" both in 1989 and 1996, Apple II, FM Towns Marty, Sega Master System, Nintendo Game Boy, Nintendo Game Boy Color, Nintendo Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, Sony PlayStation, Sega Saturn, Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Nintendo & Famicom Disk System, Sega Game Gear, mobile phone (Sprint PCS), Texas Instruments TI-8x series, and Ultra Cade's Taito Arcade Classics.
Specials: An unreleased version exists for BBC Micro on public domain. The Sega Master System version came with 200 levels and had different bosses.
In 1996, Taito lost the original Bubble Bobble source code!?! (Or so they claimed) ..So as Probe Entertainment made the computer & console conversions for them, Taito just sent them the Bubble Bobble arcade PCB, so they could play the original game and reproduce the mechanics. This led to the release of Bubble Bobble and Rainbow Islands for Sega Saturn, Sony PlayStation and the 1996 version for PC (DOS).
The original Nintendo Game Boy and Nintendo Game Boy Color versions have a "Moon Water" storyline, and are known as "Bubble Bobble", and "Classic Bubble Bobble" respectively.
In 2002, a homebrew version was released for the Texas Instruments "TI-83 graphing calculator".
In 2005, versions for Microsoft Xbox, Sony PlayStation 2 (PS2), and PC as a part of "Taito Legends" compilation was released.
In late 2006, a new port for mobile phones in Europe and Japan was released.
In 2007, the Nintendo 8-bit version of Bubble Bobble was released on Nintendo's "Virtual Console" service for the Nintendo Wii. It costs 500 Wii Points, which is about $5 (US).
Bubble Bobble inspired many sequels, including:
Rainbow Islands: The Story of Bubble Bobble 2 (1987)
Rainbow Islands Extra Version (1988)
Parasol Stars (1991 - Released for PC-Engine/TurboGrafx-16 and converted for Nintendo 8-bit in Europe, Amiga, Atari ST, and Nintendo Game Boy Europe)
Bubble Bobble Part 2 (1993 - Released for Super Nintendo & Famicom, Nintendo 8-bit and Nintendo Game Boy)
Bubble Bobble II (World title) / Bubble Symphony (Europe, Japan, U.S. title) (1994 - Released for Taito Arcade and Sega Saturn in Japan)
Bubble Memories - The Story of Bubble Bobble III (1995 - Released for Arcade Machines)
Rainbow Islands - Putty's Party (2000 - Released for Bandai Wonder Swan)
Rainbow Islands: Towering Adventure (2009 - Released for Wii Ware and Xbox Live Arcade)
Bubble Bobble Plus! (2009 - Released for Wii Ware) / Bubble Bobble Neo! (2009 - Released for Xbox Live Arcade)