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The Extend Bubbles (EXTENDエクステンドバブル Ekusutendo Baburu?) are a recurring type of bubble in the Bubble Bobble series. They are a set of bubbles that when collected, bestow the player with an extra life. Extend Bubbles appear in most games in the Bubble Bobble series, and typically spawn after the player has defeated at least two bubbled enemies simultaneously

Description[]

Extend Bubbles appear in a variety of colors, are typically have six variants, with each variant having one of the letters needed to spell "EXTEND" contained inside of it.

The appearance of the Extend Bubbles is usually triggered by popping two or more bubbled enemies simultaneously. The number of Extend Bubbles will always be one less than the number of popped enemies. For example, if the player pops two enemies at the same time, only one Extend Bubble will appear in the next level, floating upwards from a shaft on the side of the screen the player spawns on. If the level does not have a shaft or if the player completes the level before the Extend Bubbles appear, the queued Extend Bubbles will appear in the next level with a shaft. Extend Bubbles can also spawn if the player collects a Fire Necklace.

When a player collects one of the Extend Bubbles, the corresponding letter will be stored in their inventory indicated on their edge of the screen. Letters of the same type cannot be stacked. However, in most games, collecting three of the same letter causes a Magic Cane to spawn. When all six letters are collected, the player earns an extra life and is immediately transported to the next round.

History[]

Bubble Bobble[]

Extend Bubbles first appear in Bubble Bobble, with their debut appearance codifying their role an behavior. Extend Bubbles will spawn if the player defeats two or more enemies at once by trapping them in bubbles and popping them simultaneously. If popped, the bubbles will give the player an extra life, and they will be immediately transported to the next round, regardless of whether or not all enemies in the current round have been defeated. Obtaining the Fire Necklace item allows the player to generate ten random Extend Bubbles at the next available opportunity.

Collecting three of the same type of Extend Bubble will cause one of six varieties of Magic Cane to spawn, with the color of the cane depending on which bubble has been popped.

Final Bubble Bobble[]

The Extend Bubbles reprise their role from their debut appearance in Final Bubble Bobble, an expanded port of the original arcade title produced for the SEGA Master System. The "X" bubble is now colored orange instead of the light reddish-pink color present in the original release, a detail that most future installments in the series retain.

Bubble Bobble (Game Boy)[]

Extend Bubbles appear in the Game Boy version of Bubble Bobble, appearing under the same circumstances and having the same function as the original arcade title. Due to the Game Boy's monochrome display, each bubble is shown as being gray in color in this title.

Bubble Bobble Junior[]

The Extend Bubbles make another appearance in Bubble Bobble Junior, once again giving the player an extra life if they collect every variety of bubble. As with their appearance in the Game Boy version of Bubble Bobble, the bubbles are all displayed in grayscale due to the limitations of the hardware.

Bubble Symphony[]

Extend Bubbles appear in Bubble Symphony, behaving identically to their appearance in the original Bubble Bobble. The appearance of the bubbles themselves differs slightly from their debut appearance, with the letters inside of them now being colored instead of simply being black like their debut appearance. The reddish-pink colored "X" bubble was also changed into an orange one again, which would stay the coloration of the bubble for most of the series going forward.

Bubble Memories[]

Extend Bubbles make another appearance in Bubble Memories, retaining their behavior from previous titles. The letters inside the bubbles retain their colors from their depiction in Bubble Symphony.

Classic Bubble Bobble[]

The Extend Bubbles reappear in Classic Bubble Bobble, still maintaining the same role as previous games. Despite the Game Boy Color featuring a full-color display and the sprites in the game all featuring color, the bubbles are once again depicted in grayscale, similar to their previous handheld appearances.

Bubble Bobble: Old & New[]

The Extend Bubbles appear in Bubble Bobble: Old & New, reprising the same role as before due to the game's status as a remake of the original Bubble Bobble. In the game's "New" mode, the "X" bubble is once again colored orange, much like previous games, contrasting from the original coloration of the bubble.

Bubble Bobble Double Shot[]

Extend Bubbles serve the same role as before in Bubble Bobble Double Shot, though collecting the different colors is achieved in a slightly different manner. Extend Bubbles now spawn by default as black bubbles with a yellow star inside of them, which when popped, cause all other bubbles on-screen at the time to pop as well. To collect the individual letters, the player must make use of the game's three playable characters, utilizing the bubble color-mixing mechanic introduced in this title. Hitting the blank Extend Bubble with two of Bub's green bubbles, Bob's blue bubbles, or Bubu's red bubbles will cause the bubble to turn into a green "T", a blue "N", or a red "E" bubble, respectively. Hitting the Extend Bubble with a single bubble from Bub and Bob each creates a cyan "E" bubble, while a bubble from Bub and Bubu creates a yellow "X", and a bubble from Bob and Bubu creates a purple "D".

Due to this mechanic, the colors of the Extend Bubbles in Bubble Bobble Double Shot differ slightly from their depictions in the rest of the series; an orange bubble is no longer featured in the set, with the "X" being encased in a yellow bubble instead, and the "T" and "E" being encased in a green and cyan bubble respectively, as opposed to the yellow and green colors used in most other appearances.

Bubble Bobble Plus![]

Extend Bubbles once again feature in Bubble Bobble Plus!, behaving identically to their appearance in the original Bubble Bobble. In the game's Arrange mode, several new variants of Extend Bubble are introduced, allowing the player to spell out a number of other words besides "EXTEND". The "X" bubble is once again reddish-pink in color, as it was in its initial appearance, and a dark green "O", a dark red "H", a magenta "W", an orange "R", and a dark blue "V" bubble have been added. Using these new variants, along with "EXTEND", the player is able to spell out "HERO", "WINNER", and "NEVER", which bestows them with two, three, and four extra lives respectively. If the player obtains a letter that is not part of the word they are currently in the process of spelling, all previously obtained Extend Bubbles not in that word will be lost, with the word to be spelled changing to a different one featuring the newly-obtained letters.

To spell "WINNER", the player must obtain two blue "N" bubbles, making this currently the sole instance in the series in which the collecting more than one of the same Extend Bubble variant and having them both count towards spelling a word is possible.

Bubble Bobble 4 Friends[]

The Extend Bubbles make an appearance in Bubble Bobble 4 Friends, possessing a vastly different role from their previous appearances. They now spawn in specific locations on specific rounds, with only one of each variant being obtainable per world. The bubbles will disappear if the player takes too long to pop them, though once they are collected, they permanently stay in the player's inventory, allowing the player to replay the world in order to collect bubbles they might have missed previously. Collecting all six bubbles for a world allows the player to upgrade one of their Gear sets, increasing the amount of times they are able to utilize the respective ability of the set, with the traditional "EXTEND" animation playing after defeating the boss of said world. Which set is upgraded depends on the world the bubbles are collected in, and there are a total of ten full sets of Extend Bubbles to collect in the game, with five in the initial set of levels and five in the game's Hard Mode levels.

Extend Bubbles appear in a similar capacity in The Baron is Back! mode, though collecting these bubbles does not upgrade the player's great, and merely adds points to their overall score.

Trivia[]

  • The Extend Bubbles make an appearance in the Taito arcade title The NewZealand Story, appearing as potential item drops after defeating enemies. They are simply referred to as "EXTEND" in the manual for the Japanese Mega Drive port of the game. They serve the same function as the Bubble Bobble series, giving the player an extra life if all six are collected. The bubbles also appear in the Nintendo DS sequel to the game, The NewZealand Story Revolution, functioning identically.

Gallery[]

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