Bubble Bobble (バブルボブル Baburu Boburu?) is the first game in the Bubble Bobble series, released for the arcade by Taito in 1986. The game is an action-platformer in which players control the twin bubble dragons Bub and Bob, attempting to rescue their girlfriends from the Cave of Monsters.
Each player controls one of the two dragons, Bub and Bob. The player can jump on platforms and blow bubbles to trap enemies inside, which Bub and Bob can pop to defeat the trapped enemies, leaving behind collectible items which are worth points. Bub and Bob can jump on bubbles to reach higher platforms which are unreachable by jumping normally. After defeating all the enemies in a level, the player proceeds to the next stage.
If the player takes too long to complete a level, a message appears on the screen that says "Hurry Up!", and the enemies turn angry, which is indicated by them turning red and moving faster. If the stage is not cleared soon afterwards, an invincible enemy known as Skel-Monsta appears and pursues Bub and Bob. The Skel-Monsta disappears after the player either defeats all the enemies or loses a life.
Certain levels contain Special Bubbles (Thunder, Water and Fire). Bub and Bob can activate these by popping them in the opposite direction they want the element to go. Thunder Bubbles send a lightning bolt flying horizontally across the screen, defeating all enemies in its path. Water Bubbles send a torrent of water down through the level, sweeping up enemies until it reaches the bottom. Fire Bubbles create a small flame which lands on the ground, setting fire to the area around it, which defeats any enemies that make contact with it. Bub and Bob are paralyzed by any fire or lightning that touch them, but they can use water to traverse around a level. There is also a rare bubble, simply known as the Special Bubble, that has a 1 in 4096 chance of appearing. If popped, it gives Bub and Bob fire breath for 5 rounds.
Special items can appear that can defeat enemies or allow Bub and Bob to skip levels. If Bub and Bob do not lose any lives up to certain points, secret doors appear that take them to a secret room with numerous gems to collect as well as cryptic messages on getting the true ending. If they take too long in the room, however, an enemy known as Rascal appears and chases them in a manner similar to that of Skel-Monsta.
There are 100 levels in Bubble Bobble. At the final level, the player faces the final boss of the game, Super Drunk. Super Drunk moves around the stage, throwing bottles at the player. Bub and Bob need to collect the Thunder Tonic to blow Thunder Bubbles. After being zapped enough times, Super Drunk is trapped in a bubble that Bub and Bob can pop to defeat him. After this, the two can rescue their girlfriends Betty and Patty, along with their parents in the true ending.
In a certain village where everyone lives peacefully, Bub and Bob lived alongside their girlfriends, Betty and Patty. One day, the two girls left the village to explore the nearby woods, stumbling into a mysterious area known as the Magician's Forest. Due to their unfamiliar surroundings, the two became lost, accidentally wandering into a cave deep in the forest known as the Cave of Monsters. The girls met Super Drunk, master of the cave, who kidnapped them and trapped them on the 100th floor. Bub and Bob set out to rescue the two, but ran afoul of Super Drunk as well, who transformed them into Bubble Dragons. Using their newfound abilities, the two set out to journey through all one hundred floors of the cave in order to rescue the girls.
Bubble Bobble features three endings: the bad ending, the good ending and the true ending. They are unlocked depending on how you play the game.
If the game is beaten in single player, Betty is rescued from a bubble, but not Patty. The game tells you to "Never forget your friend!" and sends you back into the game to try again.
If the game is beaten in multiplayer, Betty and Patty are rescued, but the game informs you you have not reached the true ending. The player needs to replay the game in Super Mode called "Super Bubble Bobble". Activating the Super Mode is done by inputting a certain joystick and button combination (which is provided in the good ending screen and must deciphered by the alphabet in the first secret room) in the starting screen.
If the game is beaten in Super Mode, Betty and Patty are freed. A large Bubble Dragon drops down and transforms into Bub and Bob's parents. The game then plays a message:
YOU COULD HELP YOUR FATHER &
MOTHER! THEY WERE CONTROLLED
BY SOMEONE. WHO IS HE? NO ONE
KNOWS OF IT! THE TRUTH IS IN
THE DARKNESS FOREVER...
- Main article: List of items in Bubble Bobble
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- 1987 - Amstrad CPC, MSX
- October 1987 - ZX Spectrum
- July 1988 - Commodore 64
- July 2, 1988 - SMS
- November 1988 - NES
- May 1989 - Amiga, Atari ST
- July 1989 - Apple II
- December 1989 - DOS
- 1990 - FM Towns
- March 9, 1990 - Sharp X68000
- March 1991 - Game Boy
- 1994 - Game Gear
- February 19, 2004 - Windows
- 2006 - J2ME
- December 31, 2007 - Wii
- October 16, 2013 - 3DS
- January 29, 2014 - Wii U
- March 15, 2016 - PS4
- The Sega Master System received an expanded port of Bubble Bobble known as Final Bubble Bobble, which featured new items, levels, and bosses.
- The NES port features 13 more levels which the player must clear if they collect the Crystal Ball at level 99.
- The Sharp X68000 port was developed by Dempa with MTJ's direct supervision. This version includes a hidden minigame called Sybubblun, which features an original set of very difficult levels, with the whole game being given a visual motif to resemble the Arcade game Syvalion.
- The FM Towns version features a unique set of graphics if the code "ILOVEYOU" is entered. Bub and Bob's spikes are altered to look like a bow on their heads, and all of the enemies are changed.
- The game forbids the initials 'SEX' on the high score table. If you try, it gets changed to 'H.!'.