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Bubble Symphony (Arcade)

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Title Screen

Bubble Symphony

Also known as: Bubble Bobble II (Except JP and US)
Developer: Taito
Publisher: Taito
Platform: Arcade (Taito F3 System)
Released internationally: October 1994[1]


DevTextIcon.png This game has hidden development-related text.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
ItemsIcon.png This game has unused items.
MusicIcon.png This game has unused music.
TextIcon.png This game has unused text.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
LevelSelectIcon.png This game has a hidden level select.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.


ProtoIcon.png This game has a prototype article
NotesIcon.png This game has a notes page

Eight years later, they're still Bubblin' and Bobblin'.

Sub-Page

Read about prototype versions of this game that have been released or dumped.
Prototype Info
Miscellaneous tidbits that are interesting enough to point out here.
Notes

Debug Functions

Crash Handler

Luke, you turned off your debug monitor - what's wrong?
When an error occurs, a screen appears along with one of two encouraging messages for the debugger.

   DEBUG ME!      USE THE FORCE!        
   DEBUG ME! WHERE DOES THE ANSWER LIE? 
(Source: Original TCRF research)

Stage Select

They could have made this easier to use
When booting the game, hold the Service Coin button until the "SERVICE SWITCH ERROR" message pops up on-screen, then press 1P Start (×3), Service Coin, 1P Start. Start the game and select a character, and the menu should appear after the intro sequence. Use 1P Joystick to choose a world and 2P Joystick to choose a stage in that world.

Expanded Input Test

Normal Full
Nice and concise So you like inputs, eh? Well, have all the inputs in the world!

Entering the Taito Code (1P Start (×3), Service Coin, 1P Start) on the switch test will greatly expand the amount of input tested. This seems to include every possible input that the F3 system supports.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Debug Flags

There are multiple ROM locations that the game checks to activate various testing features. Put the codes at the start of each section in any of the following MAME XML cheat files to activate these features:

  • bublbob2o.xml (Bubble Bobble II Ver 2.5 - World Set)
  • bubsymphe.xml (Bubble Symphony Ver 2.5 - World Set)
  • bubsymphu.xml (Bubble Symphony Ver 2.5 - USA Set)
  • bubsymphj.xml (Bubble Symphony Ver 2.5 - Japan Set)

Game Pause

  <cheat desc="Game Pause">
    <script state="run">
      <action>maincpu.md@000300=00000001</action>
    </script>
    <script state="off">
      <action>maincpu.md@000300=00000000</action>
    </script>
  </cheat>

When activated, pressing 1P Button 3 will toggle a game pause. When paused, pressing 1P Button 3 again will advance the game a frame, and pressing 2P Button 3 will resume normal play.

Alternate Error Handling

  <cheat desc="Alternate Error Handling">
    <script state="run">
      <action>maincpu.md@000304=00000001</action>
    </script>
    <script state="off">
      <action>maincpu.md@000304=00000000</action>
    </script>
  </cheat>

Has the following effects:

  • All exception vectors will immediately reset the game instead of displaying the crash handler.
  • The Tilt and Coin Error screens, which are normally set to stay up for 112 frames before the game resets, will instead wait until the game detects that it's an infinite loop -- about 7 seconds.

CPU Meter

  <cheat desc="CPU Meter">
    <script state="run">
      <action>maincpu.md@000308=00000001</action>
    </script>
    <script state="off">
      <action>maincpu.md@000308=00000000</action>
    </script>
  </cheat>

Hold your horses
Should enable a CPU meter on the left side of the screen. What it actually does is put a yellow line on the screen during boot-up and in the service menu that disappears once the game reaches attract mode.

Hypothetically useful
Also tints the left side of the screen during gameplay...sometimes.

Sprite Viewer

  <cheat desc="Sprite Viewer">
    <script state="run">
      <action>maincpu.md@000320=00000001</action>
    </script>
    <script state="off">
      <action>maincpu.md@000320=00000000</action>
    </script>
  </cheat>

Moment = Eternity Bub faces down his fiercest foe: Literacy
Enables a sprite viewer. There are two problems with this tool:

  • The game doesn't stop when it's active. Thankfully, it will still function when the game is paused.
  • There doesn't seem to be a place that both displays the debug text at the bottom and loads the correct palettes for the viewer. For the former, pause the game during boot-up. For the latter, pause the game on the Push 1P / 2P Start screen.
  • Underflowing the sprite number will heavily corrupt VRAM and lag the game horribly until the number goes back above FFFF.

Controls

  • 1P Left/Right: Adjusts sprite number by 1.
  • 1P Up: Decreases sprite number by 40.
  • 1P Down: Increases sprite number by 40.
  • 1P Button 1 + 1P Joystick: Repositions the sprite.
  • 1P Button 2 + 1P Up/Down: Adjusts palette number.
  • 1P Button 2 + 1P Left: Decreases palette number by 7C.
  • 1P Button 2 + 1P Right: Increases palette number by 20.

Extended Sound Test

  <cheat desc="Extended Sound Test">
    <script state="run">
      <action>maincpu.md@000324=00000001</action>
    </script>
    <script state="off">
      <action>maincpu.md@000324=00000000</action>
    </script>
  </cheat>

29 is a good NUM BubbleSymphonyArcSoundTestEX1.png
Adds information to the game's sound test that lists the raw data of each sound effect / BGM, and adds a couple more features:

  • The "Reset" option resets the game, and the "Code Volume" option lets the player set the relative volume of the current sound or music track.
  • When playing BGM, the user can also adjust the volume of each of the track's sound channels.

Disable Auto Reset

  <cheat desc="Disable Auto Reset">
    <script state="run">
      <action>maincpu.md@000340=00000000</action>
    </script>
    <script state="off">
      <action>maincpu.md@000340=00000001</action>
    </script>
  </cheat>

In what seems to be a common feature from Taito games of this era (Prime Time Fighter has the same routine), the game will reset itself at the end of the attract mode loop if it's been left on for at least 6 hours. This flag disables that reset.

Air Current Debug

  <cheat desc="Air Current Viewer">
    <script state="run">
      <action>maincpu.mw@001B98=0001</action>
    </script>
    <script state="off">
      <action>maincpu.mw@001B98=0000</action>
    </script>
  </cheat>

The world's worst treasure map
Allows the user to see the air currents in each stage.

Note Clear Flag

  <cheat desc="Note Clear Flag">
    <script state="run">
      <action>maincpu.mw@00AEB4=0001</action>
    </script>
    <script state="off">
      <action>maincpu.mw@00AEB4=0000</action>
    </script>
  </cheat>

When set, the game deletes the players' excess notes at the start of each round. This does not apply to the split paths in Round A.

Demo Control

  <cheat desc="Demo Control">
    <script state="run">
      <action>maincpu.mw@00BA3E=0002</action>
    </script>
    <script state="off">
      <action>maincpu.mw@00BA3E=0001</action>
    </script>
  </cheat>

Where's my credit?
Setting this word to 0002 allows the user to freely move around during stage demos, including the tutorial.

Demo Test Flag

  <cheat desc="Demo Test Flag">
    <script state="run">
      <action>maincpu.mw@00BA40=0001</action>
    </script>
    <script state="off">
      <action>maincpu.mw@00BA40=0000</action>
    </script>
  </cheat>

Pictured: Bub, seconds away from death
This flag overrides the normal demo stage rotation by forcing the game to load Round P-1, the "F-1 Track" stage, for every demo.

Disable Round Name / Round Display

  <cheat desc="Disable Round Name">
    <script state="run">
      <action>maincpu.mw@00EF80=0000</action>
    </script>
    <script state="off">
      <action>maincpu.mw@00EF80=0001</action>
    </script>
  </cheat>
  <cheat desc="Disable Note Display">
    <script state="run">
      <action>maincpu.mw@00EF82=0000</action>
    </script>
    <script state="off">
      <action>maincpu.mw@00EF82=0001</action>
    </script>
  </cheat>

As stated, these flags will blank out the stage name and note display seen at the start of each stage.

(All other debug tools: Original TCRF research)

Unused Items

Items are grouped by the same categories that the game uses internally.

Point Items

ID 009B 004A 009D 009F 00A1 004B 00A2 004C 00A3
Item Spaghetti / Pasghetti Ruby Necklace. The chain's probably worth something too Hot Dog. Comes with lettuce, mustard, bun. About 280 calories Bronze Crown Ⅰ. If it were green it would be worth a lot less Bronze Crown Ⅱ: The man of your dreams is back Silver Crown Ⅰ. "Silver" referring to the material, not the color Silver Crown Ⅱ: More of the night HE came home
Gold Crown Ⅰ. You need four to get the eighth boss key
Gold Crown Ⅱ: The body count continues...
Value 7,000 8,000 8,000 8,000 8,000 9,000 9,000 10,000 9,000

To determine which point item to spawn at the start of each stage, the game subtracts the amount of time (in frames) the player spent on the previous stage from 1800, then divides that value by 60. This results in a range from 0 to 30. Unfortunately, there are forty entries in the point item table, so the nine most valuable point items end up being impossible to earn. The original Bubble Bobble expanded the number of point items that players could get if they were in a 2P game, but Bubble Symphony doesn't have this feature.

Note that Gold Crown Ⅰ is not actually unused: The Goblet transforms enemies into item 4C. However, since the item category is unchanged, they're counted as point items instead of monster drops by the game. Gold Crown Ⅱ also seems to be using the wrong point value.

To replace the Sapphire Necklace (The item that appears on Round A-1 on a fresh boot) with one of the unused items, put the following code in the appropriate MAME XML cheat file:

  <cheat desc="Change Point Item">
    <parameter>
      <item value="0x009B">Spaghetti</item>
      <item value="0x004A">Ruby Necklace</item>
      <item value="0x009D">Hot Dog</item>
      <item value="0x009F">Bronze Crown I</item>
      <item value="0x00A1">Bronze Crown II</item>
      <item value="0x004B">Silver Crown I</item>
      <item value="0x00A2">Silver Crown II</item>
      <item value="0x004C">Gold Crown I</item>
      <item value="0x00A3">Gold Crown II</item>
    </parameter>
    <script state="run">
      <action>maincpu.pw@40ECA8=param</action>
    </script>
  </cheat>

Monster Drops

Lemon. When life gives you _a_ lemon...I don't know, use it as a garnish maybe? Tomato. Pronounced "tomato"
There are two unused monster drops: A Lemon and a Tomato.

  • The Lemon is worth 6,000 points. It was likely replaced by the Pink Diamond, also worth 6,000 points, to keep the game consistent with the original Bubble Bobble.
  • The Tomato was never assigned a point value, so it defaults to 10 points. Tomatoes were only available as end-of-stage items in Bubble Bobble.

To change the Banana monster drop with one of the two unused drops, place the following code in the appropriate MAME cheat file:

  <cheat desc="Change Monster Drop">
    <parameter>
      <item value="0x0020">Lemon</item>
      <item value="0x00AA">Tomato</item>
    </parameter>
    <script state="run">
      <action>maincpu.mw@0AB5B4=param</action>
    </script>
    <script state="off">
      <action>maincpu.mw@0AB5B4=0x0027</action>
    </script>
  </cheat>

End-of-Stage Drops

0014 001A 0032 0034 0038 0047 007D 0087 0089 008C 0092 0094 0099 009C 009E 00A0 00A9
Mushroom. It's non-toxic! Chestnut. Please supply your own open fire Strawberry Shaved Ice. Known as kakigōri in Japan, this dish is typically flavored with a fruity syrup and condensed milk Lemon Shaved Ice. Strawberry, lemon, cherry, and melon are some of the more popular flavors of kakigōri Ujikintoki. Contains green tea syrup, sweet bean paste, mochi, and green tea ice cream. So if you like all that, dig in Spear Shellfish. That's the literal translation, anyway. Click here to watch an old Japanese commercial on the subject Orange Flower. At least that's what Bubble Bobble called it. This version looks more like a thumbprint cookie Mochi. Who bit into it?! Coffee. Don't talk to me unless I've had my it Tuna Sushi? No you can't Amethyst. Born in February? Then I've got good news for you Butterfly. Not a lot of meat on these things Amethyst Necklace. Amethyst can't catch a break Spaghetti...again. I prefer cavatappi Hot Dog! We have a wiener Copper Crown Ⅰ 2. Twomato

There are seventeen unused end-of-stage drops (The items that replace bubbles once a stage has been cleared under certain conditions). Of the seventeen, all but the last four share a sprite with a used item. All items are worth 700 points.

To change the end-of-stage drop in Round A-1 with one of the unused drops, add the following cheat to the cheat file:

  <cheat desc="Change Round A-1 Drop">
    <parameter>
      <item value="0x0014">Mushroom</item>
      <item value="0x001A">Chestnut</item>
      <item value="0x0032">Strawberry Shaved Ice</item>
      <item value="0x0034">Lemon Shaved Ice</item>
      <item value="0x0038">Ujikintoki</item>
      <item value="0x0047">Spear Shellfish</item>
      <item value="0x007D">Orange Flower</item>
      <item value="0x0087">Mochi</item>
      <item value="0x0089">Coffee</item>
      <item value="0x008C">Tuna Sushi</item>
      <item value="0x0092">Amethyst</item>
      <item value="0x0094">Butterfly</item>
      <item value="0x0099">Amethyst Necklace</item>
      <item value="0x009C">Spaghetti</item>
      <item value="0x009E">Hot Dog</item>
      <item value="0x00A0">Copper Crown I</item>
      <item value="0x00A9">Tomato</item>
    </parameter>
    <script state="run">
      <action>maincpu.mw@0AF59E=param</action>
    </script>
    <script state="off">
      <action>maincpu.mw@0AF59E=0x00A4</action>
    </script>
  </cheat>

Chest Drops

Melon Shaved Ice. Please read previous section's alt text for more information
One of the chest's small item drops is unused due to an off-by-one error: The table that contains all of the small item drops has sixteen entries, but the code that reads that table only generates fifteen items. The Melon Shaved Ice, worth 850 points, is the one that goes unused.

To fix this discrepancy, use the following cheat:

  <cheat desc="Fix Chest Drops">
    <script state="run">
      <action>maincpu.mw@0ACB88=0x0010</action>
    </script>
    <script state="off">
      <action>maincpu.mw@0ACB88=0x000F</action>
    </script>
  </cheat>
ID 0061 0062 0063 0064 0065 0066
Item Big Soda Popsicle. Full explanation: This is a "cider" popsicle, which in Japan refers to a clear, fruit (typically citrus)-flavored, carbonated beverage. Sprite and Ramune would be considered cider under this definition. It's not blue raspberry or anything like that Big Chocolate Popsicle. Big enough to use as sticky torpedos Big Orange. Big leaf, too Big Watermelon. If Yoshi got a hold of this, he'd be set for weeks Big Eclair. "Death By Chocolate" might be literal here Big Shortcake. Bigcake
Value 10,000 10,000 20,000 20,000 30,000 30,000

The other six items are copies of the big point items that come from the six colored Magic Canes. The only differences between the cane-generated items and these copies are their IDs and their item class.

To replace the Big Purple Diamond at the end of Round A with one of these unused items, place this code in the cheat file and then pick the item:

  <cheat desc="Change Round A Chest Drop">
    <parameter>
      <item value="0x0061">Big Soda Popsicle</item>
      <item value="0x0062">Big Chocolate Popsicle</item>
      <item value="0x0063">Big Orange</item>
      <item value="0x0064">Big Watermelon</item>
      <item value="0x0065">Big Eclair</item>
      <item value="0x0066">Big Shortcake</item>
    </parameter>
    <script state="run">
      <action>maincpu.mw@0ACDF4=param</action>
      <action>maincpu.mw@0ACDF6=param</action>
      <action>maincpu.mw@0ACDF8=param</action>
    </script>
    <script state="off">
      <action>maincpu.mw@0ACDF4=0x006B</action>
      <action>maincpu.mw@0ACDF6=0x006B</action>
      <action>maincpu.mw@0ACDF8=0x006B</action>
    </script>
  </cheat>

Special Items

Of the fifteen unused special items in the game, four work as expected, four are bugged, and seven have no effect at all.

Item ID Points Effects
Yellow Shoes. No relation to the store of the same name 00CC 100 Increases player's speed by 2 steps. This is double the value of the standard Red Shoes.
Purple Shoes. Not exactly flying off the shelves 00CD 100 Increases player's speed by 3 steps, maxing it out.
Red Chest. A painful reminder of the importance of sunscreen 00E4 1,000 At the end of the stage, turns all bubbles into Red Diamonds worth 700 points and drops a Big Red Diamond worth 60,000 points.

In the original Bubble Bobble, this spawned after collecting 3 Purple Lamps. There are no lamps of any kind in Bubble Symphony
Purple Chest. Does not contain a Purple Heart 00E5 1,000 At the end of the stage, turns all bubbles into Purple Diamonds worth 700 points and drops a Big Purple Diamond worth 80,000 points.

In Bubble Bobble, the player has to clear the game to get this to spawn.
Parasol. Arcade version of Parasol Stars confirmed??? 00F3 200 Uses effect 18. While this does point to a unique subroutine, it's identical to the standard null item subroutine.

In the original Bubble Bobble, parasols warped the player several rounds ahead. Bubble Symphony's world structure and secret system makes warping ahead less of a benefit.
Red Beamed Note. Furious that its unbeamed brother got the call instead 0111 1,000 Note items that act similar to, but cannot be used in conjunction with, the non-beamed notes that appear in the final game.

These notes are bugged: The red and blue notes will always spawn a big diamond, while the green and yellow notes will always spawn a key, even if the player already has it.
Blue Beamed Note. It's got issues 0112 1,000
Green Beamed Note. 100% eco-friendly 0113 1,000
Yellow Beamed Note and I don't care 0114 1,000
Green Boots, sans climber 012A 300 All five items use effect ID 35, which points to the standard null item subroutine.

Boots were newly created for this game, so there's no telling what they might have done.

Still, it's fun to dream...
Red Boots. Not as sexy as they sound 012B 300
Gray Boots. Made for walking 012C 300
Blue Boots, never worn 012D 300
Yellow Boots. Pair well with rain 012E 300
Crayon. I think this one is Radical Red 0130 100 Uses effect ID 38, which points to the standard null item subroutine.

In Bubble Bobble, this item acted like one of the Holy Water items and also changed the next three special items into Holy Water.

To force one of these special items to spawn, put this code in the usual place:

  <cheat desc="Select Special Item">
    <parameter>
      <item value="0x00CC">Yellow Shoes</item>
      <item value="0x00CD">Purple Shoes</item>
      <item value="0x00E4">Red Chest</item>
      <item value="0x00E5">Pink Chest</item>
      <item value="0x00F3">Parasol</item>
      <item value="0x0111">Red Beamed Note</item>
      <item value="0x0112">Blue Beamed Note</item>
      <item value="0x0113">Green Beamed Note</item>
      <item value="0x0114">Yellow Beamed Note</item>
      <item value="0x012A">Green Boots</item>
      <item value="0x012B">Red Boots</item>
      <item value="0x012C">Gray Boots</item>
      <item value="0x012D">Blue Boots</item>
      <item value="0x012E">Yellow Boots</item>
      <item value="0x0130">Crayon</item>
    </parameter>
    <script state="run">
      <action>maincpu.pw@40EA50=param</action>
    </script>
  </cheat>
(Source: Original TCRF research)

High Score Names

There are eleven different names that the game checks on the high score entry screen. Non-Japanese sets have a three-character limit for names, so only the first two of these names can be put in.

Name Filter Comments
SEX H ! The standard Taito name filter. Except no substitutes!
KKK ??? Taito started to filter this name in the mid-nineties.
FUCK XXXX This one should be obvious.
________ ??? The user isn't allowed to enter a blank name in the table.
HARUMI K MAIL "HARUMI K" is Harumi Kasuga (春日 はるみ), a programmer whose credits include Prime Time Fighter.

"MAIL" is their usual handle.
MELTYCAT BIN Meltycat is Takafumi Kaneko (金子 尚史), a programmer who also worked on Prime Time Fighter.

"BIN" is another pseudonym.
SUPER SJBLRJSR These are the codes from the original Bubble Bobble.

The only one that still works is BJBJBJRS, which enables classic Bubble Bobble mode.
POWERUP LJLSLBLS
ORIGINAL BJBJBJRS
BUNNY LUCKY See below.
GIRL LOVELY
(Source: Original TCRF research)

Entering "BUNNY" or "GIRL" plays a ringing bell sound effect and unlocks a special item at the start of the next game. Both items look like top hats Top of the hat to you but have different effects:

It's raining women This enormous woman will devour us all!
  • The "BUNNY" top hat acts like a treasure chest / magic cane item: At the end of the stage, all bubbles will transform into small bunny girls worth 700 points, and a Big Bunny Girl worth 100,000 points will fall from the top of the screen.
Step one of the wine-making process
  • The "GIRL" top hat will spawn a Bunny Girl assist character. Enemies struck by her big top hat will transform into Grapes worth 4,000 points.


(Source: Meltycat)

There's a special case for names made up of a single character ("AAAAAAAA", "11111111", etc.). The game randomly picks one of the sixty-four(!) different names in the following table to replace it:

Name Game Name Game Name Game Name Game
AIRINFERN Air Inferno EXZESUS Exzisus MEGABLAS Megablast RIDINGFI Riding Fight
AQUAJACK Aqua Jack FAIRYLAN The Fairyland Story METALBLA Metal Black RUNARK Runark
(Growl)
ARKANOID Arkanoid FINALBRO Final Blow MIDNIGHT Midnight Landing SCI Special Criminal Investigation
BENBEROB Ben Bero Beh FLIPPUL Flipull
(Plotting)
MIZUBAKU Mizubaku Daibouken
(Liquid Kids)
SCRAMBLE Scramble Formation
BUBBLEBO Bubble Bobble FRONTLIN Front Line MS ISSAC Metal Soldier Isaac II SPACEGUN Space Gun
CADASH Cadash GALACTIC Galactic Storm NIGHTSTR Night Striker SYVERION Syvalion
CAMELTRY Cameltry GRIDSEEK Grid Seeker NINJAWAR The Ninja Warriors TIMEGAL Time Gal
CHACKNPO Chack'n Pop GUNBUSTE Gunbuster OP WOLF Operation Wolf THENEWZE The NewZealand Story
CHAMPION Champion Wrestler GUNFRONT Gun (&) Frontier OUTERZON Outer Zone THUNDERF Thunder Fox
CHASE HQ Chase H.Q. GYRODYNE Gyrodine POWERWHE Power Wheels
(Double Axle)
TOPLANDI Top Landing
CRIMECIT Crime City HALLEYSC Halley's Comet PULIRULA PuLiRuLa TOPRANKI Top Ranking Stars
(Prime Time Fighter)
DARIUS Darius INVADER Space Invaders PUZZNIC Puzznic UNDERFIR Under Fire
DINOREX Dino Rex KAIZERKN Kaiser Knuckle
(Global Champion)
QIX Qix VIOLENCE Violence Fight
DONDOKOD Don Doko Don KIKIKAIK KiKi KaiKai RAIMAIZ Raimais VOLFIED Volfied
ELEVATOR Elevator Action LIGHTBRI Lightbringer
(Dungeon Magic)
RAINBOWI Rainbow Islands WARRIORB Warrior Blade
EXTARMIN Extermination MASTEROF Master of Weapon RASTANSA Rastan Saga
(Rastan)
WYVERNFO Wyvern F-0
(Source: Gaming Hell)

Unused Graphics

What am I looking at here? Oh, right. Thanks

A large sepia-toned map and banner that would presumably track the player's progress from world to world. The map's far too tall to fit on-screen, so the game would have to pan down once the player made enough progress.

Put this code in the appropriate MAME cheat file to replace the starry background at the start of the game with the world map:

  <cheat desc="World Map Screen">
    <script state="run">
      <action>maincpu.mw@09D700=0xB0F0</action>
    </script>
    <script state="off">
      <action>maincpu.mw@09D700=0xB5E2</action>
    </script>
  </cheat>

You are here
Sprite IDs: 03D4-03D7

Early signs for world doors, the first two of which were used in the prototype. They translate to "over there", "over here", "secret", and "mystery" respectively.

Books? This is a video game, not no liburry!
Sprite IDs: 0CA7-0CA8

Unused level icons, probably from a scrapped stage. These books are in the same style as the ones found in the prologue.

No need for this.
Sprite IDs: 0F5E-0F5F (Icons), 0F60 (Text)

A level icon for the area where the left door of the starting stage leads. Since there's no door that leads to that part of the first stage, there's no use for this icon.

Nina?
Sprite IDs: 033A-033C

Speaking of fairies, here's one now. This might have acted like the fairies in Rainbow Islands which orbited the player and killed any enemies they touched.

Can you figure out the next four numbers in this sequence? Also, can you pull out the pins and rescue the princess?
Sprite IDs: 0365-036C

The multipliers from the first game are back, and they're still not used!

Now THIS is an orange flower With money, you can buy your own luck
Sprite IDs: 059E-05AC (Orange flower), 05E3-05EB (White flower), 05EC-05F4 (Coin), 05F5-05FD (Rainbow), 05FE-0606 (Music note)

Alternate Holy Water items that match the ones from the original Bubble Bobble except for the coin, which replaces the clover. The first full frame of that coin is used for a special item that gives an extra life. The orange flower has 15 frames of animation, while everything else has only 7 frames.

Parasol Stars confirmation confirmed???
Sprite IDs: 062A-062B

These two sprites were definitely meant to be used by the cut parasol item. Could have acted like a shield of some sort.

Key is empty, heart is too

Sprite IDs: 062C-062F

Empty silver versions of the game's multicolored keys. These could be early versions of those keys, but since the final designs directly follow these sprites, that's probably not the case.

You mean we could have controlled Roy Adams's severed head twice?!
Sprite IDs: 0B54-0B9E

Five marbles from Cameltry: Black Steel, Misty Bry, Kakuren-Bon, Space Invader, and Operation Wolf. Besides the Operation Wolf marble, which shares a palette with the Dr. Cameltry marble that appears in the game's credits, none of the other marbles have proper palettes; the colors seen above are taken directly from Cameltry.

The six marbles were likely meant to be used as support characters like Chack'n, Ptolemy, and Tiki, but the game contains no code related to these sprites.

The stuff points are made of
Sprite ID: 0E0B

A locked safe. This is grouped with the graphics for other end-of-round exclusive item drops like the Donut and Ramen, but there's nothing that uses this graphic in the game's item table.

No, they're not suede, geeze
Sprite ID: 1145

It's a blue shoe. This was used in the prototype in place of the geta that the final game uses.

Footloose ghosts

Sprite ID: 11C6

A strange sprite of two Skel-Monstas carrying the four unused types of music notes in bubbles. Similar sprites are used in the game to show the Skel-Monstas absconding with the game's four keys, but those have two frames of animation each and have much lower IDs than this sprite.

Turning around in the darkness. I get knocked down. Hooray!
Sprite IDs: 0ED8-0EF3

An odd unused shadowy enemy. Seems it would spin around, fall, and do... uh, something.

Jane, stop this crazy thing! Tiny little thing. You're dead now buddy.
A panicked version of the spinning animation is present as well, possibly the "stunned" state of this enemy. There are also animations for being trapped inside a bubble and getting popped.

Used Full
Kicky Girl Walky Girl

Sprite IDs: 0EB0-0ED4

The Bunny Girl assist character has six walking frames, but only three are used in-game.

Used Full
Glitchy Girl Jumpy Girl

Some of the frames meant for the walking sequence are instead used when jumping and falling, leaving the actual jumping and falling sprites unused.

Blinky Girl
There are also graphics for the Bunny Girl blinking that are never referenced in the code.

Sleepy Girl Panicky Girl Tiny Girl

Animations for sitting, freaking out, and being trapped in a bubble! Seems she was originally conceived as an enemy instead of an assist character.

Flying around. You're copying Shadow Guy! Point, click, kill.
Sprite IDs: 0E65-0E7C, 0EA5-0EA8

An unused boss! This is a giant version of the Dranko enemy, it was meant to be the boss of one of the five pre-final stages (O, N, M, L, K) just as giant versions of the Mighta and Monsta enemies appear as bosses there, but instead, those two bosses are used 3 and 2 times respectively. The pointing animations would be used for attacks.

Standard anime expressions; so cute. What a world, what a world.
Along with the standard death animation, a range of different emotions are available for this boss. The last frame is not finished and is missing the complicated shading found on the rest of the frames.

Not Ptolemy from The Fairyland Story, honest.
However, an altered version of one of the Super Dranko sprites did make it into the game: it's used in the background of the fifth Treasure Room you can visit during a playthrough.

I hope my beer bottle doesn't break. Oh no! Okay, don't break this one guys. Damn it!
Sprite IDs: 0E96-0EA4

Two different bottles that would have been thrown by Super Dranko.

Large fiery death. Small, still deadly. A growing star.
Sprite IDs: 0E7D-0E88 (Fireballs), 0E91-0E95 (Star)

Small and large fireballs, as well as a big star. This is basically a giant version of the Dranko enemy's attack.

Bolt of bigness.Slightly slanted. Small strike.A bit skewed.
Sprite IDs: 0E89-0E90, 0FCF-0FD6

These lightning bolt graphics, however, aren't similar to any attack by the Dranko enemies. This might have been spawned by the silver bottle.


(Shadow enemy, Super Dranko, level icons: Random Talking Bush)
(All other graphics: Original TCRF research)

Unused Music

Track A5 is a short, upbeat jingle, and is named "Map Display" on the OST. It's a safe bet that this would have played on the scrapped World Map screen.

Unused Stage Names

Return of Ishtar Rooms

It seems that prior to coming up with their own stage names, the developers instead used the full set of room names from The Return of Ishtar as filler. These placeholder names can be found throughout the name table and appear in the exact same sequence as The Return of Ishtar. The first twenty-nine names are unused:

ID Name ID Name ID Name
0001 DRUAGAS GRAVE 0027 SACRED CHAMBER 003C LIBRARY
0005 JEWELRY STORAGE 0029 SPECTER CELL 0041 AUDIENCE HALL
0007 FOOD STORAGE 002A CAVE OF GRAMARYE 004A KINGS ROOM
0008 SHUNNED CAVERN 002C CHANTRY 004E ADMINISTRATION
0009 LOCKED ROOM 002E INTRICATE PATH 0053 WEAPON STORAGE
000E KITCHEN 0032 PASSWAY 0058 DEAD END
0014 SMALL DOME 0034 FORGOTTEN ROOM 0059 REMAINS
0019 LARGE HALL 0035 TROPHY ROOM 0064 HARNESS STORAGE
001D COLOSSEUM 0036 UPWARD PASSWAY 0066 JAILER CHAMBER
0023 INVIOLATE AREA 003A BOUDOIR

Copies of the "JAILER CHAMBER" name also appear in the following slots: 0075, 0076, 0083, 0086, 0094, 0096, 009D, 00A5, 00B6, 00B7, 00B9, 00BC, 00BE, 00C1, 00C2, 00C5, and 00DE

Gasp!
The thirtieth placeholder name, "CURSED ROOM", is actually used by the training stage! Accessing Round Q-1 through the stage select will display the stage name and give the player full control. Beating the stage takes the player to Round A-2.

Two other stages, "JUNCTION" and "WATER DUCT", share the names of rooms in The Return of Ishtar but are out of sequence, so they were probably picked deliberately. The name "LARGE HALL" appears twice: Once in slot 0006, where it's used as the name of Round G-1, and once at 0019 as filler in the correct Ishtar sequence

Boss Stage Names

In the prototype, boss stages had their names displayed at the start like any other stage. The final game checks whether or not the player is entering a boss round, and will disable the display if true. While Rounds A through E have blank entries for their boss stages, other rounds have names that are simply not displayed:

ID Name Stage #
005B SUPER MAITA N/A
005C SUPER MONSTA N/A
005E MECHABUBBLUN N/A
0061 SUPER MIGHTA Round M-10
0062 MECHABUBBLUN N/A
00C9 JACK OCOLSON Round G-10
00CB KING MONSTA Round N-10
00CF MECHABUBBLUN Round J-10
00F8 GIANT INVADER Round I-10
00F9 MANUKE Round F-9
00FB MECHABUBBLUN Round H-10
00FC GREAT MIGHTA Round K-10
00FD GREAT MIGHTA Round O-10
00FE KING MONSTA Round L-10
0104 HYPER DRUNK Round P-12

It seems that the developers never settled on a name for the Mighta boss, switching between "Super Maita", "Super Mighta", and "Great Mighta".

Did You Know: "Colson" is nineteenth century slang for a globe. The name comes from Hermann Colson, an Austrian geographer who become an anti-flat map advocate after the invention of the Littrow projection in 1833; he viewed the projection's retroazimuthal nature as an affront to God
To force the game to display names during boss stages, place the following code in the appropriate MAME XML cheat file:

  <cheat desc="Force Stage Names">
    <script state="run">
      <action>maincpu.mw@045744=0x600C</action>
    </script>
    <script state="off">
      <action>maincpu.mw@045744=0x6708</action>
    </script>
  </cheat>

Other Unused Names

Thirty-seven names come from rounds that were removed from the game:

ID Name ID Name ID Name
0000 OPERA HOUSE 0090 AMEDAMA 00AC JUMPING ONE
000B FISH 0091 DO NOT STREAM 00AE TWOPLAYER DOWN
000C PACHINKO 0095 WATERFALL 00B1 CRESCENT
0025 CAT 0097 GIRIJIYAN 00B3 THE POINTER
0040 PRESENT FOR YOU 0098 YAMASAN NO HAKO 00B4 STRANGE WAY
0052 MAIN 0099 BUHI BUHI 00BF PIPE DREAMS
007A THE CHASE TWO 009C TUKUBAI 00C0 MR MOLE
007E GOOD FIREMAN 009E SLOT MACHINE 00C4 OH RAIBOWS
0080 FIRE WORKS 00A0 FLAME MAN 00C6 LIGHTER
0088 TYURUNTYURUN 00A4 DAN DAN DANGO 00DB PIPE LINE
008B THE TARGET 00A6 FALLING MAN 00DC HAT MAN
008D RAINBOW AND ARMY 00A8 FIRE BATTLEMAN
008E BUBBLE WATER 00AA SPECIAL BOMBER
  • "OPERA HOUSE", "FISH", "PACHINKO", and "PRESENT FOR YOU" all appear in the prototype. The maps for "CAT" and "MAIN" are also in the prototype but cannot be accessed without cheating.
  • Round L-8 is "THE CHASE ONE". Its followup, "THE CHASE TWO", was cut, leaving the name as something of a non sequitur.
  • "TYURUNTYURUN" (ちゅるんちゅるん) is an onomatopoeia for slowly slurping or sipping something, like noodles or a soda through a straw.
  • "AMEDAMA" (あめだま) refers to any round or ball-shaped candy. There's an enemy in the game with the same name that looks like wrapped candy.
  • "YAMASAN NO HAKO" is "Yama-san's Box". Whoever that is.
  • "BUHI BUHI" (ブヒブヒ) is an oinking sound, like from a pig.
  • "TUKUBAI" or tsukubai (蹲踞), is a washbasin that's placed at the entrance of holy places for visitors to ritually purify their hands and mouth.

Missing a few colors, but it is rainbow-like
All of the game's secret rooms share the same name, "THE RAINBOW", which uses name slot 00FF. Enable the "Force Stage Names" cheat before entering a secret room to see it.

For some reason, this name appears fourteen more times in the name table in the following slots: 00CC, 00CD, 00CE, 00D0, 00D5, 00E1, 00E4, 00E5, 00E7, 00ED, 0103, 0105, 0106, and 010A.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Developer Text

Hmmm...
To do:
What do the internal names correspond to?.

An incomplete set of internal sound names can be found, fragmented, on various ROM chips.

JACK*WARAI-1 UNNAMEDLAYER JACK*WARAI-2 JACK*TAMA    JACK*OKORI   JACK*DEAD    SLEIGHBELL   TILE*HAGARE 
AWA*WARI     NAGERU       PROPERA      EXP*MINI     PARTS*TOBASI S*DRANK-WARA WIND*AWA     BANE        
WARNING      1UP          COUNT        WARI*NORM    IWA*KUDAKE   SUIBOTU      LADIES       AND         
GENTLEMAN    THIS         IS           TITLE*1      DRUM*ROLL    BUUU         AWA*1        SP*AWA      
EXTEND*AWA   ITEM         DOOR*IN      SIBIRE       MOERU        AWA*MATOME   P*DEAD       FIRE        
NAGARE       EXP          ZISIN        STAR         BALL*1       BALL*2       LARGE*RACKA  CDOOR*OPEN  
DRIUS*WAR    DRIUS*DETA   DRIUS*TAMA   MANUKE       OKORI        EXTEND       GATTAI       INV*1       
INV*2        INV*3        INV*4        DRANKO       COUNT        SIBIRE*2     SUZU         CAKE        
BEEM         ITEM*2       COMIC*RACKA  COMIC*CHAKU  ATAMA*HAZUMU MAHO         IWA*1        KASA        
THUNDER      FOOD         KO*MONSTA    CURSOL       AWA*JUMP     JUMP         TITLE*2      ICE         
COMICAL*TMP  HAKUSHU      BOSS*TOBU    TAMA         BOSS*HIT     COIN         INV**HIT     EXTRA*WARI  
BIN          BIN*2        G+ROCK       PIANO        SLOW         BOSS*HIT-2   IWA*BIG      CATLE       
LASER        UFO*HIT      UFO*HIKO     DARIUS*SHOT  CELLO        VIOLIN       SNARE        PAR         
(Source: Original TCRF research)

Regional Differences

Title Screen

Japan/US World
It's called a symphony because you collect notes, I guess? I'm not even going to approach the whole "Bubble Bobble II" debacle here

Some World sets use the alternate title of Bubble Bobble II. This is set by the long at address 0x0033C: If the region flag is set to 03 (World), setting that address to a non-zero value will change the game title to Bubble Bobble II.

High Score Names

JP INT
KEPPEL KPL
HARUMI K KSK
KUZUKAWA MEL
MARIRIN FUK
NATSUKO SAK
FUMIN PAI

High score names can be up to eight characters long in Japan sets and only three characters long in other sets, necessitating two different sets of default high score names.