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Pocket Bomberman

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Title Screen

Pocket Bomberman

Developer: Hudson Soft
Publishers: Hudson Soft (JP), Nintendo (US/EU)
Platforms: Game Boy, Super Game Boy, Game Boy Color
Released in JP: December 12, 1997
Released in US: November 1998
Released in EU: 1998

DevTextIcon.png This game has hidden development-related text.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
TextIcon.png This game has unused text.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
SoundtestIcon.png This game has a hidden sound test.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.
Carts.png This game has revisional differences.

Bomberman takes a break from the top-view gameplay. Originally released as a Game Boy title in 1997, and later released as a Game Boy Color launch title in 1998.

To do:
Unused graphics

Debug Menu

Download.png Download Pocket Bomber Man (Japan) Test Menu Restoration Patch
File: Pocket_Bomber_Man_(Japan)_Test_Menu.ips (1,054 B) (info)
Current version: 1.0

Pocket Bomberman Test Menu.png

Apply the above patch to a Japanese v1.0 ROM. The game will start out in the main test menu. There are no color palettes used in this menu, so a Super Game Boy will show the previous screen's palette.

Screen Test

Test various tile maps to be used during gameplay. Press A to switch between display mode ("DISPLAY") where Up/Down changes tile map or scrolling mode ("SCROLL") where the directional pad scrolls. Each tile map is supposed to be used with a specific primary and secondary graphics bank. The unmodified ROM has all but the pause screen on default values. The patch assigns "correct" banks to all but two entries: 0x09 and 0x0D.

Switching display modes is not possible properly without the patch, because there is a bug in the original menu code that will read the same button press twice, thus resulting in turning scroll mode on followed by turning scroll mode off immediately afterwards.

Pocket Bomberman SGB Debug Menu.png

To access the debug menus on hardware, use the Game Genie code 0F7-DAB-E62 (US, monochrome), 0F8-0EB-E62 (Japan, monochrome), or 0F9-C1A-E62 (Game Boy Color version) to replace the main menu with the (slightly broken) debug menu. Pressing A toggles a marker on each CHR image, probably a marker to help the programmers keep track of the current image they're working on or checking for bugs or inconsistencies.

Parts Test

Test parts, i.e. one-tile and multi-tile blocks used to create the in-game world.

Piece Test


Test menu tile maps (with encoding conversion from ASCII) shown at a 0x04 by 0x04 tile offset from the top left corner. This is the routine that actually displays the test menu as well. Among the more interesting menus are early mode select and password screens (typos inclusive).

Many of the other screens were likely placeholders text for screens that are now graphical only (e.g. Game Over, Title Screen):


Fun fact: Piece test is likely named after the routine that assembles the text piece-wise as opposed to just copying a tilemap onto the screen.

Sound Test

Test all the sound effects in the game. Game Genie code 02F-37A-E66 will allow you to test the music instead of the sound effects.

ROM Test

Graphic data is organized into banks in Pocket Bomberman. Here you can look at each bank individually.

Object Test

Supposed to be a sprite test, but not working. This routine heavily depends on external screen update routines that once resided inside the main loop. However, these are now inside the gameplay loop only. So this menu prepares the sprite data of one sprite at 0x40 by 0x40 of the currently selected kind, but this data is never converted to an active OAM sprite, so the screen stays blank.

(Source: Andrew Rae for finding the debug text, nensondubois for activating the Debug Menu and additional unused text, Laternenschein for adding patch and additional info.)


Returns you to the previous state of the state machine.

Development Super Game Boy Borders

Among the screen test tilemaps that can be found using the SCREENTEST test menu mentioned above are the following two "drafts" or the Super Game Boy border using only Game Boy tiles instead of SNES tiles. The "normal game" border is missing one of its graphics banks and thus a major portion of the border graphics although the tilemap is complete.

Regional Differences

To do:
Compare the English and Japanese Super Game Boy borders.

GB Kiss

An additional option is accessible with the Japanese version, but only on a regular Game Boy. This relied on a cart's built-in infrared receiver and that there were two carts close to each other. This was used for exchanging and creating user-created maps.

Game Boy Color

Game Boy Color support was added in later North American and European releases. There is no Japanese version with this enhancement.

(Source: Ragey)