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As a child going to my local arcade was an exciting experience, Never have I seen such great graphics and sounds on a tv screen and one I can interact with, Testing my skills on the latest games was great and I spent many 10 pence pieces in my aim to master these great retro games. At a time when consoles had not really taken off and home computers were still in there infancy the arcade was the best place to be when it came down to some serious game play. The games were more dedicated on a PCB and the cabinets and Jamma controller gave it this feel you cant get with emulation.Not only were the arcades a great place to play games but the social aspect improved on the experience, the sound of fruit machines paying out a win to the sounds of people talking and also playing games to my left and right. Nowadays the arcades seem to have lost that moment in time when the arcade was for games now it's about winning tickets to spend on prizes inside a display. Fruit machines a line the walls but if you look closely there are no games to play anymore.

The consoles and computers have taken over this segment of the market. There are still arcade games made and some are good but today people would rather stay in and play as it's online now and games have advanced to a new level from the 2D ones of the past. But I will never forget these classic games of my childhood and I want to show you some of my favourite games that I played.

Bubble Bobble is a game by Taito also known as Baburu Boburu and was released in 1986. Players  control 2 dragons called Bub and Bob, In one player mode you control the green dragon called Bub and if in two player mode the other player controls Bob, In two player mode both dragons are on screen at the same time. There are 100 levels of gameplay a maze like platform called the cave of monsters where you have to bubble up the bad guys and then pop the bubbles, After popping the bubbles they evapourate into fruit and other items, Items include bananas onions cake sweets diamonds and gold necklaces. Some items are worth more than others especially diamonds. Fruit has a low value but does add up the more you play into the maze. Each level see's the dragons glide down in a bubble to start the next round. The aim of the game is to get to level 100 where you will meet a giant enemy, You must bubble up this enemy but it will take you a lot of bubbles to do so,If you fail to pop the enemy it will break the bubble and turn red which means trouble as now the enemy will whizz around the screen a lot faster, If you complete the game in single player you will go back to any level from 50 up to 90 again and again. The score will stop at 9.999.999 and the only way to finish the game and save your girlfriends is to kill superdrunk in 2 player mode. Each level of the maze gets progressively harder and some levels will test you, If you manage to get to level 50 without dying an umbrella will appear that will warp you down 20 screens a bonus feature. If you get to level 20 without dying a magic door will appear if you get to the door you will go into a secret room where you collect a load of diamonds that will boost your score, The same applies to level 30, and 40.

Secret Room Level 30

Each room will have a hieroglyphic code which must be deciphered, The ending also has a code, If the player manages to decipher the code it tells you how to enter a new game called Super Bubble Bobble. This mode is a lot harder as the enemies will have fire breath and be faster. If this mode is completed with two players, a second "Happy End" is displayed in which Super Drunk is revealed to be the brothers' parents under the control of some outside influence. The brothers return to normal and are reunited with their parents and girlfriends. 

If you manage to bubble up all the enemies on a particular level and burst them altogether greater rewards will appear and a maximum of 64.000 points extra is awarded. Sometimes a cross will appear or special item, These include invincibility and fire breath, also the screen will fill with water and lightning will also kill the enemies. Sometimes a giant fruit or diamond will fall at the end of a round this will furthur increase points. Collecting sweets gives you power ups, A yellow sweet gives you rapid bubble a purple sweet gives you long range and a blue sweet gives your bubbles a better bite, Collecting a red shoe speeds up your dragon, Collecting E,X,T,R,A, as coloured bubbles will give you an extra life, You will go to the extra life screen to receive it. Eventually you will not get any more lives for points and can only rely on these EXTRA bubbles to stay in the game. Dying normally results in more wipe outs as you lose all powers and on higher levels it is hard to complete the level with no power ups.

Bubble Bobble True Ending All

The game has an intoxicating melody throughout the game a catchy jingle, There is even some music available that is based on the tune. A great game at the time and very addictive game play, There has been many ports for this game and can be found on virtually all 90's computers and consoles.The game gear version has 200 levels and includes super mode and is considered the best version after the arcade version. Collecting a magic potion starts a timer where you have to collect all the items like rainbows and flowers before the time runs out if you collect them all you get 100000 points otherwise you get points for what you collected and a time bonus. Collecting a magic potion removes all monsters from the level.

If you manage to reach level 85 of Bubble Bobble you will see a word spelled KIMI, This is a nod to the man that made the intoxicating melody that plays throughout the game. Tadashi Kimijima is a Japanese composer who made the tune, He worked for Taito from 1985 to 1991 and he is best known for the Bubble Bobble tune.

Tadashi Kimijima

On every stage you will only have so much time to bubble and kill the monsters, If after a short time monsters are still alive a warning will appear and then a ghost will appear. The ghost will follow you around the screen getting faster and faster, The enemies on screen also change to Red and speed up making them harder to bubble and kill. You cannot kill the ghost so you had better be quick. Each level has it's unique strategy and system you will learn as you play. You can jump on bubbles to get out of tight spots but if you fall into some areas of the map you get trapped and the ghost or monsters will get you, Good Luck.

A new version of Bubble Bobble has been created by a pair of hackers called Lost Cave. This game has 100 levels and are Taito made but heavily tweaked. Bonus items have been changed and secret codes are now hidden in game. Dedicated to Fukio Mitsuji, Levels were designed by his disciples as Mitsuji had a school to teach game design. The game romset is available and can easily be played on the MAME emulator.

Fukio Mitsuji Creator Of Bubble Bobble, Born 1960 Died December 11th 2008.

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