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Skel-Monsta (すかるもんすた Sukaru Monsuta?), also known as Baron von Blubba, is a recurring enemy in the Bubble Bobble series. Skel-Monsta typically appears when the player takes too long to complete a level, showing up a few seconds after the "Hurry Up!" alert text appears. It is typically invincible, and will only stop attacking the player if they either complete the level or lose a life.

Biography[]

Appearance[]

The Skel-Monsta is a skeletal Monsta with pronounced jagged teeth and red eyes. Certain games give its body a rough bony texture, with cracks on its upper head.

Abilities[]

A Skel-Monsta has the power to bring death to any living being it makes contact with. It also possess several ghostlike abilities, including teleportation and moving through walls. It is impervious to Bub and Bob's bubbles in most games and can pass through them, and is typically unable to be defeated by conventional means.

History[]

Bubble Bobble[]

Skel-Monsta first appears in Bubble Bobble as an invincible enemy, appearing when the player takes too long to complete the level or touches the Gold Skull. It cannot be defeated through conventional means, and the player either has to lose a life or clear the level before he disappears.

The English manual refers to the Skel-Monsta as Baron von Blubba, and in the introductory comic, "Baron von Blubba" is listed as the one who kidnapped Bub and Bob's girlfriends, Betty and Patty, instead of Super Drunk.

Rainbow Islands[]

Skel-Monstas make a minor appearance in Rainbow Islands, appearing as projectiles being shot out by Monstas in the game's final world, Bubble Island. The game's main antagonist and final boss, the Boss of Shadow, is also revealed to be a giant Skel-Monsta known as the Super Skel-Monsta.

Parasol Stars[]

Skel-Monsta does not appear in Parasol Stars, but an enemy known as Death (死神 Shinigami?, "Death God") appears in its place, acting as the time limit enforcer.

In Bubble Bobble Part 2, "Death" is revealed to be one of the Skull Brothers, the main antagonists of the game who appear as hooded Skel-Monstas. An unused ending text crawl for Rainbow Islands reveals the Skull Brothers to have come from the pieces of the Super Skel-Monsta's soul, which escaped after the being's demise.

Bubble Bobble Part 2[]

Skel-Monsta returns as an enemy in Bubble Bobble Part 2, acting identically to its first appearance in Bubble Bobble. The Skull Brothers make their proper debut in this game, and now resemble hooded Skel-Monstas.

In the North American manual for Bubble Bobble Part 2, the Skel-Monsta is referred to as Sawbones.

Bubble Bobble Junior[]

In Bubble Bobble Junior, Skel-Monsta appears once again, acting identically to its appearances in the previous Bubble Bobble games by chasing down the player if they take too long to finish a level.

The game's main antagonist and final boss, the demon king Great Skel, is a large, robed Skel-Monsta with limbs.

Bubble Symphony[]

The Skel-Monsta appears again as an invincible enemy in Bubble Symphony, chasing the four protagonists down if they take too long to complete a level. Two Skel-Monstas appear at the beginning of most worlds in the game, holding one of the four keys the player needs to unlock the game's final world, Last Road.

Puzzle Bobble[]

The Skel-Monsta appears only in the console version of Puzzle Bobble, acting as the tenth and final opponent in the game's Player vs. Computer mode.

Bubble Memories[]

The Skel-Monsta appears in Bubble Memories as an invincible enemy, mirroring its role in most of its previous appearances. The game's final boss, the Super Dark Great Dragon, transforms into a giant mechanical Skel-Monsta known as the Super Mecha Skel-Monsta as its final form.

Classic Bubble Bobble[]

The Skel-Monsta appears once again as an invincible enemy in Classic Bubble Bobble, behaving identically to its previous appearances.

Bubble Bobble: Old & New[]

The Skel-Monsta appears yet again in Bubble Bobble Old & New, and receives a redesign in the game's "New" mode. It now resembles a whale much more closely than before, and appears more skeletal than ghostly.

Puzzle Bobble DS[]

Skel-Monsta is an unlockable character in Puzzle Bobble DS. It lacks any skeletal features in this title, simply appearing as a white recolor of Monsta. It is unlocked by clearing all levels in Classic Mode.

Bubble Bobble Revolution[]

Skel-Monstas appear as a regular enemy in the last two worlds of Bubble Bobble Revolution. Unlike the other games in the series, they can be trapped in a bubble and defeated like other enemies. The boss of the game's penultimate world, Drunk's Guard, is a giant mech modeled after the enemy and piloted by three Skel-Monstas.

Bust-A-Move Deluxe[]

While Skel-Monstas do not appear in the game themselves, lanterns shaped like them appear on the sides of the screen during gameplay.

Rainbow Islands Revolution[]

The Skel-Monsta appears in Rainbow Islands Revolution, acting as an invincible enemy that appears when the timer runs out like its previous appearances in the Bubble Bobble series, replacing the rising water from the original Rainbow Islands.

Bubble Bobble Double Shot[]

BBDS BaronVonBlubbaScene

A Skel-Monsta scaring Bub, Bob, and Bubu in Bubble Bobble Double Shot

The Skel-Monsta appears as an invincible enemy in Bubble Bobble Double Shot yet again, appearing after the player takes too long to complete a level. A giant Skel-Monsta appears as a boss on Round 90, chasing the player throughout the level. The player must flip colored switches with the Bubble Dragon of the corresponding color to escape. After reaching the Chack'n Heart at the bottom, the player can touch the giant Skel-Monsta to defeat it.

Skel-Monstas do not appear during boss fights in Bubble Bobble Double Shot, with their role being taken over by Rascal in those stages.

Bubble Bobble Plus![]

Skel-Monsta appears in Bubble Bobble Plus!, behaving identically to its first appearance in in Bubble Bobble. The Super Skel-Monsta appears the DLC Expert 1 level pack as the final boss.

Bubble Bobble 4 Friends[]

Skel-Monsta appears in Bubble Bobble 4 Friends' DLC campaign, Bubble Bobble 4 Friends: The Baron is Back!. In the English version of the game, it is referred to by its previous English name of "Baron von Blubba". The Skel-Monsta serves the same role it did in the original game, appearing if the player takes too long to complete a level. In this appearance, it uses a version of its sprite from the original Bubble Bobble, albeit increased in size to match the rest of the game's models.

A giant Skel-Monsta, resembling the original sprite made out of blocks, serves as the final boss of The Baron is Back!. The boss is referred to as Boss von Blubba in the English version of the game, and Boss Skel (ボス すかる Bosu Sukaru?) in the Japanese version.

Puzzle Bobble Everybubble![]

A Skel-Monsta appears in Puzzle Bobble Everybubble! as a playable character, unlocked by clearing the game's Skel Tower chapter. Skel-Monstas also appear in the game's story mode, and as a type of obstacle in gameplay, with the player instantly receiving a game over if one of their bubbles makes contact with them. Additionally, one of the selectable skins for the Skel-Monsta character gives it the appearance of a regular Monsta.

In the game's story, the Skel-Monstas have begun to infest the Rainbow Tower, causing it to be renamed to "Skel Tower" ("Baron's Tower" in the English release). Bub, Bob, Peb, and Pab set out to investigate the cause of the infestation, and discover a nearly endless supply of bubbles in the tower, which they proceed to try and pop, being observed silently by the Skel-Monstas. The four manage to explore deeper into the tower, discovering a number of hidden passages and staircases, but instead of being chased by the Skel-Monstas, the creatures seem to be trying to help them instead. After they manage to clear out most of the bubbles, the Skel-Monstas celebrate, leading Bob to figure out the cause behind their presence in the tower. It is revealed that the Skel-Monstas were living quiet lives deep within the tower, hidden from the outside world, but that the sudden flood of bubbles created by the Miniroons led to the tower's mechanisms and traps going haywire. This caused the tower to produce even more bubbles, disrupting the Skel-Monstas' quiet lives.

In the game's Memory Album, the playable Skel-Monsta is described as a mysterious being that loves tag, and it is stated that it dislikes being alone.

Skel-Monstas are referred to as Baron von Blubba in the English release of Puzzle Bobble Everybubble!.

Other appearances[]

Pop'n Pop[]

A Skel-Monsta appears as Drunk's helper in Pop'n Pop. The Super Mecha Skel-Monsta from Bubble Memories, along with the Super Great Dark Dragon, also appears as the final boss.

Etymology[]

Skel-Monsta's name comes from the English word "skeleton", and the name of the enemy upon which it is based. However, in Japanese, the initial part of its name is pronounced identically to the Japanese rendering of the word "skull", sukaru (スカル?), as "skel" would be sukeru (スケル?). This has been reflected in some media, with the enemy's name being written as "Skull Monsta" instead of "Skel-Monsta".

Trivia[]

  • The playable Skel-Monsta in Puzzle Bobble Everybubble! is stated to have a birthday of October 31st, which is Halloween, referencing the enemy's ghostly appearance.

Gallery[]

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