Let's appreciate... BUBBLE BOBBLE series!


Amazing OP!

Is it true that Taito lost the source code to the arcade version so none of the subsequent ports were exact?

Pretty much, yeah--some of the earliest ports did have access to the code (even the European ports, not that they were able to make any sense of it) but by the mid-'90s it had disappeared, apparently.

It was a difficult game to accurately emulate for a long time, too--a lot of the game logic was co-managed by a somewhat uncommon microprocessor that had to be decapped in order for people to figure out what it was doing. I'm not even sure the recent PS4 release got it right.


My existence is alternating between the bubble bobble and puzzle bobble themes being stuck in my head.

As a musician I think it's actually a bit absurd how persistent they are.

Dash Kappei

Not actually that important
Fantastic op!

BB makes the trifecta of my fav arcade games ever with Ms. Pac-Man and Donkey Kong.
The Master System port was amazing, one of the first times were you could almost say you had an arcade game at home.

Co-op was a great and infuriating experience, you knew that somehow by "Oops, mistake!" your partner would steel a candy from you or get in the way of the huge bonus drops at the end of a level...

BB is timeless, visually, sonically and in-gameplay.
In my opinion no sequel or spin-off came close to the perfect look of the first game.

I loved how you could input the secret buttons combo before playing to start the game full on power ups!
It was such a blast and the talk of my local Arcade spot for months when those cheats were discovered!
The whole game was full of neat little secret rewards and scoring mechanics to render the experience much deeper than what it looked like at first glance.

Again, wonderfully put-together write up, op.


I played it on the C64 first, later got better ports but it seems they don't let you move sideways while inside a ceiling and that made some levels much much harder. The levels looked more like sideways movement inside ceilings was intended, was it really impossible in the arcade version?


Awesome OP, thanks a lot for taking the time to make such an elaborate topic.

I was tempted several times to buy the PSN arcade version. How does it compare? Is it any good?


Fond memories. Had the High Score at the local arcade. Had a rivalry with a friend, constantly trying to beat the others score.

But was hard, never beat it, think i got to level 91 or something (one life). Once you die, and lose all power ups, you pretty much done/dead on the later levels. (that is the arcade version, never played nes version)


Excellent OP.

One of my most beloved series: catchy chiptunes, fun co-op, fun SP, amazing sprite work, adorable designs, easy to pick up / hard to master gameplay. Timeless classics, all of them.


I've bought a couple of Bubble Bobble games just because Bub and Bob on the cover were so cyute
Same for Super Bust-A-Move All Stars for Gamecube and that turned out to be one of the most fun 4-player games we played, so great!

I only played Bubble Bobble NES way later, when I heard so many people were loving it so much. So I played it co-op with a friend and yeah, that game is still fun. I'm pretty fond of the the basic, but colourful levels too. If I actually had this when I was younger it would be the kind of game I'd play over and over just so I could see every room in the game. Not sure we ever beat that final boss tho... and if we did (through heavy savestate abuse) I think only one of us was still alive so we still got the bad ending? The game up until that point was fun anyway!

And that Parasol Stars theme is so damn happy, I can't help but smile

e: Ohyeah, I did play Chack'n Pop through this pirated cartridge our neighbours had. That game actually scared me, lol. Trapped in a cave where monster ghosts hatch while you can hardly defend yourself and having to hurry before little robed people trap you in the cave forever. That's one dark game world...
Oh man, OP! Bubble Bobble has always been in the back of my mind throughout the years, but I completely forgot about Rainbow Islands! I loved both of those games when I was a kid! Bubble Bobble I'd play with my cousin on the NES, I remember going to her house and switching between playing that and the original Zelda all day. Rainbow Islands, I swear I played that enhanced version on my PC when I was young. Never played or heard of Parasol Stars, though. Interesting. This thread brought back some memories! It was also a joy to read through this morning, so thanks for the effort OP. Looking forward to your next thread like this. I was also waiting and waiting for Bust-A-Move, only to find the tease at the end!
We had the NES one when I was a kid.

All I remember is that I loved that game. Any details are pretty fuzzy though, since I was only 4 years old when it released.


Amazing OP. In addition there's also Fairyland Story, which is sort of like a proto-Bubble Bobble, and later semi related platformers like The New Zealand Story and Liquid Kids. There was also another puzzle spinoff Pop'n Pop, which incorporated all the above franchises along with Space Invaders, Arkanoid and Pocky & Rocky.


Rainbow Islands was always my favourite one, loved the core mechanic and how good it felt when you powered up to 3 fast rainbows. Played it to death on my Atari St and on friends Amiga's.


Always preferred calling it Bust a Move. Wish it was on Xbox One

Damn. Just realized it's completely different lol


British, had a C64 as a kid, followed by an Amiga as a teen and the local arcade had a Puzzle Bubble machine so this series has always been close to my heart and the music from each seared into my brain.

In fact Bubble Bobble was the first game I played when I got the NES Mini. It still holds up.


Original arcade version is the GOAT. The Baron Von blubba music still sends chills down my spine and makes me break out in sweats. You know shits about to get real when these homeboys show up.


i'd honestly include a little blurb about mizubaku daibouken/liquid kids as it feels related to the Bubble Bobble games (and it's amazing in it's own right).

Great thread otherwise.
We had the NES one when I was a kid.

All I remember is that I loved that game. Any details are pretty fuzzy though, since I was only 4 years old when it released.

The cart was pretty rare. It came out so late in the NES lifecycle I believe the story is that it was basically not much more than a rental title. Actually found one in the wild years ago, got it for my wife as a birthday present.


PS4 version is legit. Worth the cash. Even my kids enjoyed it, which is uncommon for most old games. :)


Rainbow Islands was always my favourite one, loved the core mechanic and how good it felt when you powered up to 3 fast rainbows. Played it to death on my Atari St and on friends Amiga's.
Those conversions were pure magic, almost arcade perfect.
Never really played Bubble Bobble, but I recently got into Puzzle Bobble. At the bowling alley that functioned as my arcade growing up, they had a NeoGeo machine which had it, but at the time I never played it, instead going for Metal Slug. Still, from the eyecatch/demo stuff, it was pretty easy to grasp the concept, and looked interesting....but Metal Slug was also in there and you can't ignore that. It wasn't until recently that I actually decided to give the game a shot, and I really took to it. If it weren't one of those arcades where you just pay a overhead fee and then get to have free play, I probably would have used a spent a loooot of money playing it.
Nice thread OP! I only played BB on the NES but I'll make sure to check out the ones you posted. Always loved the designs of the characters.
I played Bubble Bobble, Rainbow Island and Parasol Stars.
I loved all 3 of 'em!

Bought Bubble Bobble on the PS4 and my kids loved it too. I wish they'd release Rainbow Island and Parasol Stars as well!
i played this alot with my best friend at the time on C64. it was his favorite game. i got it on Master System. actually gave it another go a couple months ago. never knew it was considered the best.

the main theme is unforgettable.


I played BB/RI/PS all on the Amiga, and all of them are stone cold classics. Great coop, lovely colourful graphics, awesome tunes.

Always sucked that all the re-releases of Rainbow Islands had to rework the music to remove the Somewhere Over The Rainbow interpolation.


Aryan mech phallus gun
The first Bubble Bobble is one of my favorite games of all time. I wish we can get new versions of it on current platforms.


Bubble Bobble is my #1 reason of getting a Nes Mini.

Though I still prefer the GB version of the game...


Amiga version has the best theme. I think other versions had it too, but it was crammed into the end credits or something so as few people as possible could hear it.


One of my favorite games on the NES but I never played another version. Loved the couch coop. Great game for my first console.
One of my all time favourites! Great OP.

I had this on my Amiga. It came in a bundle with Rainbow Islands and the often forgotten but awesome New Zealand story. It was an amazing compilation.


When I was a kid, I played Bubble Bobble mostly on the NES, and Rainbow Islands and Parasol Stars on the Amiga. Really cool games.

Is not strange to anyone that the Parasol Stars' boss theme it's a rip-off of the Lambada?

I also remember that a school friend had a version of Bubble Bobble on one of that big 5 1/4 floppy discs for a old computer with only 2 colors and crappy sounds from the motherboard

Edit: Seems that here in Europe, Parasol Stars had an exclusive port to the NES, and GameBoy and Atari versions too.


The Amiga Brotherhood
Great work op!

I played bubbloe bobble on the c64 and arcades and rainbow island and parasol star on the amiga.

The world needs more bubble bobble-like games :\

There are a couple other similarly-styled Taito games:

-The Fairyland Story (1985), which is the evolutionary link between Chack'n Pop and Bubble Bobble

-Don Doko Don (1989), another single-screen action game in this vein that never really caught on, probably because it doesn't have much in the way of scoring gimmicks/secrets. (There's a Famicom sequel but it's a standard scrolling platformer.)

Never heard of these two!


Played the original on my Atari ST to death, also my dad played it forever as well, we never did complete it though.
Great topic dude! I love bubble bobble so much! And I've learned something today, I never ever knew about Parasol Stars! I'm going to have to play it soon!
The first nes game was a childhood favorite. I bought bubble bopple neo a few years back. I miss this franchise dearly.

The first one got an nes version, right? I swear I played it on the nes in the 80's.

Oh there absolutely was! I played the hell out of it and still have the main theme pop into my head from time to time.
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