Bubble Bobble

aka: Arcade Archives: Bubble Bobble, Bubble Bobble Classic
Moby ID: 787
Arcade Specs
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Description official descriptions

Bubble Bobble is the story of two humans, Bub and Bob who wander into the mysterious cave of monsters and magically turn into dinosaurs. The only way to transform back is to reach the end of the cave...

Bubble Bobble is a platform game, with each level being a single screen. The enemies must be cleared from a level to go to the next one. With one player controlling Bub and the other controlling Bob, the player can jump and collect items for points (such as fruit). The real power Bub and Bob have however is the ability to blow bubbles. These bubbles can be as platforms to leap on, or to trap enemies. Enemies trapped in a bubble must be popped by jumping into them, wherein they'll turn to fruit. Additionally, power-ups sometimes float by in bubbles. They include lightning, which flies out horizontally at enemies, and water, which drags the player and enemies straight down flowing over platforms. Taking too long to complete any level will summon Baron Von Blubba, who will float around the screen trying to destroy the player.

The NES version has a few extra stages bringing the total number of stages to 112. The Sharp X68000 version contains a hidden minigame called Sybubblun. It contains a set of 20 original difficult levels with the game being reskinned with a Syvalion theme.


  • アーケードアーカイブス バブルボブル - PS4 / Nintendo Switch Japanese spelling
  • バブルボブル - Japanese spelling
  • バブルボブル クラシック - Japanese Android/iPhone/iPad spelling
  • 泡泡龍 - Chinese spelling (traditional)
  • 泡泡龍 Classic - Chinese (traditional) Android/iPhone/iPad spelling
  • 泡泡龙 Classic - Chinese (simplified) Android/iPhone/iPad spelling
  • 버블보블 클래식 - Korean Android/iPhone/iPad spelling

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Credits (Arcade version)

15 People (8 developers, 7 thanks)

Game Design
Software Programmers
Sound Creator
And Special Thanks to All Other People!
Produced by
  • Taito



Average score: 79% (based on 63 ratings)


Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 329 ratings with 6 reviews)

Help two little dinosaurs get their ladies back

The Good
In Bubble Bobble, you play one of two dinosaurs trying to get their girlfriends back. In order to do this, you must get through 100 rounds by getting rid of enemies by trapping them in bubbles, and then popping them. In the last round, you are faced with one of the bigger versions of an enemy, and it is so big that bubbles don’t even work, so you have to use something else instead. When enemies get knocked out, they turn into fruit, which you can get for points. Some enemies defend themselves by throwing weapons such as boulders, hammers, or lasers at you. If you waste too much time trying to accomplish your tasks, the words “Hurry Up” will scroll across the screen, giving you a warning that a ghost will appear and try to eat you. You can avoid being eaten by usually going off the bottom of the screen to get to the top.

During the game, as well as giving off bubbles, other bubbles appear from the bottom of the screen, which may help kill enemies. When you pop a water bubble, the water from the bubble flows across every platform in the round, as long as there are no gaps in the platforms. Bubbles with thunderbolts can be popped and this will cause the bolts to go left or right, depending on the direction you were facing when you popped the bubble, and strike everything in its path. Popping bubbles with flames inside them causes these flames to drop down and start a fire on the nearest platform.

Six colored bubbles will appear from the top or bottom of the screen, and will spell out EXTEND. If you collect all six bubbles, you get an extra life. Besides fruit, you can get other items that will regularly appear. These items serve different purposes. For example, getting the cross floods the round and drowns enemies, and getting a flashing crown makes enemies turn blue and stop what theyÂ’re doing, allowing you to eat them. A door will appear every 20 rounds if you do not lose a life. Entering that door will lead to a secret round rather than the normal one, and this room is filled with diamonds or fruits. Each secret round has a message that tells you how to play the game.

There are two endings to this game: one good, one bad. For those of you who have already played Bubble Bobble, but havenÂ’t been able to read any one of them, one of the messages say that it always helps to take a friend along with you, meaning that the game is best played with someone else. If you choose to ignore this advice, you may receive the bad ending.

I believe that this game is addictive because most gamers will more often than not lose all their lives before they reach Round 100, or beat the game and then get to see the bad ending. They will then try to beat the game again, but only to see the good ending.

The Bad
When I played the MS-DOS version of Bubble Bobble, the game behaved like a dinosaur, making it impossible to play the game. If youÂ’re experiencing problems like this, but havenÂ’t got a 486 or this 1996 remake, then I suggest that you download MAME plus a copy of Bubble Bobble floating around many arcade ROM sites. The arcade version is twice as good.

The Bottom Line
The sort of game that will keep you addicted for several hours. Followed by two other great games that were only in arcades, Bubble Memories and Bubble Symphony, though Bubble Memories is a complete rehash of Bubble Bobble with updated graphics and sound. MAME can emulate both these games. ***½

DOS · by Katakis | カタキス (43087) · 2003

Burstin' lotsa bubbles and lookin' damn good doin' it!

The Good
Bubble Bobble...I LOVE this game to absolute pieces. I first encountered this back when the arcade game had come out, and then later on when it hit the shelves, I received this for Christmas one year for my (then) shiny new 286 PC.

I fell even more in love with the game when I got it at home.

In a cute little intro, you see your main characters; two little dinosaurs named Bub and Bob (or if you play the Japanese version, Bubby and Bobby), as they are about to take a fascinating journey through a world filled with monsters. Their weapons? Bubbles. Yes, that's right...these pudgy little dinos spit bubbles at their enemies. But they're not any ordinary bubbles! These bubbles can encase their enemies, rendering them helpless. Once an enemy is trapped, they can pop the bubble, sending their hapless foes flying and bringing forth a TON of treasures, including lots and lots of food, diamonds for tons of points, and Power-Ups, including Sneakers (faster running), Candies to enhance your bubbles, and the almighty Parasol to send you flying past a few levels! Even though the game may seem simple, just play it for five minutes. After five minutes, you'll end up playing for five more minutes. Then ten. Then twenty. Then before you know it, you'll have been playing for hours, just wanting to burst more and more baddies. It's addictive as hell, and that just makes it all the more fun!

Now, as this is an arcade port, how did everything port over to the PC? Surprisingly well, actually! The graphics look great even with less colors (great compensation was used to get the graphics to look accurate in EGA), and the sounds and music are very close to the arcade. The music deserves a little special mention, as it was composed by Taito's in-house band, Zuntata. It's very cute and goes perfectly with the action of the game! Plus, the song is so catchy that it'll be with you for years on end, playing in your mind when you least expect it.

The Bad
It's Bubble Bobble, dammit! You do not question Bubble Bobble! ^_^

The Bottom Line
Bubble Bobble, even now, is still so damn playable and fun that I'd gladly tell anyone to grab it if they can find it. Plus, Taito had also created a special compilation pack of the original Bubble Bobble and its sequel, Rainbow Islands, for Windows9x/NT and the PSX, meaning that there's just no excuse to miss out on Bubble Bobble now!

DOS · by Satoshi Kunsai (2020) · 2002

My favourite game of all time!

The Good
In my very early youth there were few games that actually captured my imagination. Sure gaming was good but there was no one game that really stood out. Except of course Bubble Bobble. The idea is simple a single screen level with enemies on it. You have to cover them in a Bubble and then pop them to beat them. Add 100 normal levels plus 100 @ levels and about 20 secret levels and the most memorable end of game boss of all time and you have an instant classic. Some of the levels had themes. Who could forget the dreaded level 57. Where you had to go up the side hoping the monster would not shoot you. Or the key in level 99 where you go through the secret door to the second half of the game and if you finished the level you got the fake ending. Grumple Gromit the best end of game boss in the history of the known universe. The lightning bubbles and that music. Wow I love it too much!!

The Bad
Erm!? They never made a sequal

The Bottom Line
Play a dragon who captures enemies in bubbles. BEST GAME EVER NUFF SAID!

DOS · by Matthew Bailey (1257) · 2000

[ View all 6 player reviews ]


1001 Video Games

The Arcade version of Bubble Bobble appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

BBC Micro version

A BBC version was independantly coded by Peter Gillet with graphics by Martin Kelsey. Modeled after playing the C64 conversion for hours it was demonstrated to Firebird which rejected it. It has since surfaced on the internet.

Commodore 64 version

Stephen Ruddy who worked on C64 port of the game had no access to the source code. He was playing the original game, figuring out all the details and incorporating them into the conversion. The only help was some design documents in Japanese but with no translation (source: Interview with Ste Ruddy in Retro Gamer 37).

Cancelled mobile port

Sometime in the early 2000s, Stephen Ruddy (author of the C64 conversion) attempted to port the game to mobile phones using Java. All 100 levels were copied across, including most of the movement patterns, but the game was never completed. This site has some video of what does exist.


If you finished level 99 by killing the enemies you got the bad ending. You had to get the secret key which opened up another 120 or so levels.


Though there have been many games based on the Bubble Bobble characters, a game called Chack'n Pop(1984) featured several of the characters and powerups later seen in Bubble Bobble. The main character from that game, Chackn, appears as one of the level designs in Bubble Bobble and also makes cameos in most of the sequels and derivative games.

Sharp X68000 version

The Sharp X68000 version has a hidden mode titled "Sybubblun" with unique rooms and a different style of gameplay.


  • ACE
    • October 1988 (issue #13) - Included in the Top-100 list of 1987/1988 (editorial staff selection)
  • Commodore Format
    • January 1991 (Issue 4) - listed in the A to Z of Classic Games article (Great)
    • July 1993 (Issue 34) - Modern Classics: Platformers
    • November 1994 (Issue 50) – #9 The All-Time Top 50 C64 Games
  • Computer and Video Games
    • May 1988 (Issue #79) - Golden Joystick 1988 Award: Third in category Arcade Game of the Year
  • EGM
    • 1995 Buyer's Guide - Game Gear Game of the Year
  • Retro Gamer
    • October 2004 (Issue #9) – #12 Best Game Of All Time (Readers' Vote)
    • Issue 37 – #7 in the "Top 25 Platformers of All Time" poll
  • ZZAP!
    • Newsfield Reader's Awards 1987 - Best Arcade Conversion (readers choice)
    • Newsfield Reader's Awards 1987 - Best Platform Game (readers choice)
    • January 1990 (Issue 57) – 'The Best Games of the 80's Decade' (Stuart Wynne)

Information also contributed by Martin Smith, Mathew Bailey and PCGamer77


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Related Sites +

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    For Atari ST: game entry database; downloadable release; game packaging; advertisement; manuals; magazine reviews; additional material.
  • AtariMania (Taito, USA, Atari ST)
    For Atari ST: game entry database; downloadable release; game packaging; advertisement; manuals; magazine reviews; additional material.
  • AtariMania (The Hit Squad, UK, Atari ST)
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  • DOSBox, an x86 emulator with DOS
    Compatibility information page about the original game and its DOSBox versions.
  • Hall of Light
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  • Lemon 64
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  • MSX Generation
    For MSX: game database entry; game packaging; manuals; additional material.
  • The Arcade Flyer Archive
    for Arcade: digital repository for advertisement flyers
  • The Bub and Bob Page
    Site about Bubble Bobble and related games such as Bust-a-Move/Puzzle Bobble and New Zealand Story.
  • The International Arcade Museum
    for Arcade: extensive information about the arcade game machine.
  • The Tipshop
    For ZX Spectrum: a central archive for all Spectrum and SAM games hints, tips, cheats, maps, hacks and pokes.
  • Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Encyclopaedic entry for the combined platforms of the game.
  • World of Spectrum
    For ZX Spectrum: downloadable releases; additional material including – cassette inlay, advertisement, instructions; remakes links; player reviews; magazine references; magazine adverts.
  • ZX-Art - online archive of pixel art and 8-bit music
    For ZX Spectrum: music, credits, pixel art. artist's graphics artwork.

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 787
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Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history! If your contribution is approved, you will earn points and be credited as a contributor.

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by bubandbob.

J2ME added by Trypticon. Commodore 64 added by Quapil. Nintendo 3DS added by GTramp. Wii U added by Michael Cassidy. Arcade added by 666gonzo666. Amiga added by Rebound Boy. Game Boy added by Kartanym. PlayStation 4 added by Sciere. FM Towns, Windows added by Kabushi. Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum, MSX added by Martin Smith. Wii added by gamewarrior. Antstream, Android, iPad, iPhone added by lights out party. Sharp X68000 added by Terok Nor. Atari ST, NES, Apple II added by Servo. Nintendo Switch added by BOIADEIRO ERRANTE. Game Gear added by Big John WV.

Additional contributors: Rebound Boy, Shoddyan, Sciere, Alaka, Freeman, lights out party, Игги Друге, Patrick Bregger, mailmanppa, S Olafsson, Jo ST, FatherJack, ZeTomes, Kayburt, BOIADEIRO ERRANTE.

Game added February 19, 2020. Last modified May 5, 2024.