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Bomb Jack (Arcade)

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Title Screen

Bomb Jack

Developer: Tehkan
Publisher: Tehkan
Platforms: Arcade (Custom)
Released internationally: October 1984

CodeIcon.png This game has unused code.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
Carts.png This game has revisional differences.

NotesIcon.png This game has a notes page

Bomb Jack do's and don'ts.


  • Collect and destroy bombs.
  • Avoid enemies with your jumping prowess.
  • Obtain bonus items and lit bombs for extra points.


  • Bomb Jack.


Miscellaneous tidbits that are interesting enough to point out here.

Bonus Life Dip Switch

SW1, 2, and 3 of Dip Switch 2 are normally unused, and the service manual says as much. However, they were originally used for a Bonus Life setting. A routine starting at 5A07 handles the bonus life system, but the first opcode of that routine was changed from a "push af" to a "ret", effectively negating the process.

To re-enable this feature, change the value at 5A07 from C9 to E5, or put the following cheat in MAME's bombjack.xml cheat file:

  <cheat desc="Fix Extra Lives Dipswitch">
    <script state="run">

(Source: Mirko Buffoni (MAME Bomb Jack driver))

Unused Graphics

BombJackArcPlaceholderTiles.png This is a preliminary level tileset. Most of the tiles are just hexadecimal numbers.
The sphere enemy was supposed to have a transformation animation. This is that.
Early Final Comments
Some of these aren't bombs at all! Ye Olde Cartoone Bombe Stored near the end of the background tile bank are preliminary designs for the demi-titular bombs.
The name ain't Dynamite Jack, son
Red Bomberman is out for blood
The first and third unused designs also have lit graphics in the background tile bank.
BON An early version of the bomb's explosion graphic. Only the first frame is different.
The sphere enemy has an alternate, diagonally rotating animation.
(Source: Original TCRF research)

Revision Differences

Old Set (MAME Set 2) New Set (MAME Set 1)
I’m Lucy? I thought YOU were. Oh Kazutoshi Ueda, you were altogether too generous

The extra credit message was corrected in the next board revision.

(Source: Mirko Buffoni (MAME Bomb Jack driver))


To do:
Get recordings of the Arcade Archives tracks.

As was quite common for arcade games of the time, Bomb Jack used a few tracks cribbed from outside sources as background music. The first level theme is an arrangement of "Kittens of the Apple Forest", the ED theme for the 1983 Anime "Mrs. Pepper Pot", the second level theme is an arrangement of the 1968 Beatles song "Lady Madonna", and the third level theme is completely original. (Notably, these appear to be officially licensed, as the Japanese flyer is labeled with the logo for the Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers.)

Original Tecmo Classic Arcade Arcade Archives

Unsurprisingly, later emulated versions of the Arcade game would attempt to replace these songs in various ways. The PS2 "Tecmo Hit Parade" collection erases the songs entirely, the Xbox "Tecmo Classic Arcade" collection overlays .wav recordings of music from its NES sequel Mighty Bomb Jack on top of the game (even replacing the third level theme, despite Tecmo having full ownership of that song), and the PS4/Switch Arcade Archives release edits the offending music data directly, creating new arrangements of the Mighty Bomb Jack tracks.