The Story of Bubble Bobble 2 (So “Bubble Bobble 2” then)
I got very close to completing Rainbow Islands on the Spectrum once. I think I put a cheat mode on and made it to a high level but it crashed. Since then, although I’ve played many versions thoughout the years, I’ve never come close as it’s just too hard.
Or so I thought. I read somewhere that the Master System version was, for whatever reason, quite a lot easier than other versions. Having played it, and (obviously) completed it today, I think whoever wrote that was right because it is. Sure, it’s not a walk in the park, but it was relatively straightforward.
I found that once you have the power-up that gives you a double rainbow (I presume the missing triple rainbow is due to technical issues – the game suffers greatly from flicker and slowdown as it is), providing you’re careful, almost every level is quite easy. All the bosses are pushovers with a double rainbow too, whereas when I’ve played before they were nigh on impossible. Of course, if you die you lose it, but another power-up to give it back tends to come along soon enough.
Another reason it’s so easy is that the water that forever chases you higher, and serves mainly to make you panic and die, takes much, much longer to make an appearance. I saw it just once in the entire game, and that was near the end when I fell about four screens downwards – I still outran it without difficulty though.
However, easiness aside: I didn’t get all the diamonds. That really is too hard. What I did do, though, is complete the seven worlds and then use the code that provides you with to unlock the eighth and final world, and then completed that. I may not have found all the diamonds but I did beat all the levels and bosses, so that’s good enough for me.
The retro game completeathon rolls ever onward, and today it slew Bubble Bobble Plus on Wii Ware. Previous attempts at finishing it were always stumped by Level 72, which is impossible (although there’s a video on YouTube that proves otherwise – I don’t believe it myself), but thankfully I nabbed EXTEND on Level 71 so skipped to 73. Phew!
Level 99 was a bit of a pain, until I figured out ways you could fall through walls, and then it was onto the final (and only) boss – Super Drunk. Who was very, very easy. Far easier than I recall, although the Master System version is the one I have played the most and it is somewhat different to the Arcade version this is based on.
Played co-op with my wife this afternoon. All was going well, until we reached level 72. Which is impossible.
I remembered it from the arcade version, and although it was bit fiddly there, on Bubble Bobble Plus it is, in fact, impossable. You start in a narrow column, and can’t get out without jumping on bubbles. Problem is, you’re too enclosed to blow any as they burst immediately.
In the arcade version, you can put your back to the left wall and just about get clearance. But in this version, you can’t. If you’re up against the left wall, you can’t face right without moving away from the wall, reducing the space you have for bubbles. It’s difficult to describe, so here’s Adam Dawes on Youtube showing us how to do the arcade version.
Now imagine that, but without being able to jam yourself into the left side of the level. That’s Bubble Bobble Plus! Grr!