Rainbow Islands: The Story of Bubble Bobble 2 (Arcade)
Bub and Bob are back (in human form), with rainbow power!
Rainbow Islands has a basic error handler that prints the error type, the contents of the Program Counter, and registers D0-D7 & A0-A7. To see it, well...crash the game. The game checks for the following 68000 exception vectors (text starts at 0x0159A), but these may not visible in an emulator since these are printed in the bottom 8 lines of the screen. Since the game normally only uses 224 scanlines for the game rather than the 232 used by the error handler, these can be cut off by emulators:
BUS ERROR ADDRESS ERROR ILLEGAL INST. ZERO DIVIDE CHK INST. TRAPV INST. PRIVILEGE TRACE EML 1010 EML 1111 PROGRAM ERROR
While there are a good amount of unused items in the game's code, most of them have been dummied out. With the exceptions of the yellow and green balloons, which work identically to the red balloon, all that's left of these items are their point values.
<cheat desc="Replace Sneakers With..."> <parameter> <item value="0x0051">I Placeholder </item> <item value="0x0060">Yellow Balloon</item> <item value="0x0061">Green Balloon </item> <item value="0x006E">Scroll </item> <item value="0x006F">Heart </item> <item value="0x007B">Water Potion </item> <item value="0x008C">Green Bubble </item> <item value="0x008D">Yellow Bubble </item> <item value="0x008E">Red Bubble </item> <item value="0x008F">Monsta Bubble </item> </parameter> <script state="run"> <action>maincpu.mw@013E4B=param</action> </script> <script state="off"> <action>maincpu.mw@013E4B=0077</action> </script> </cheat>
An early version of the letter in the bad ending is in the second GFX ROM. Unlike the final letter, which uses a tilemap, every single part of the early letter uses a unique tile. This is obviously unnecessary and makes the whole thing take up a significant amount of space, but they went ahead and did it anyway.
The only two differences are that "changed" was changed/turned to "turned", and a superfluous space before "surface" was deleted.
|An unused frame of Bubby realizing that he's about to fall off a cliff in the desert and make a small Bubby-shaped hole in the ground. Probably.|
|A pair of animations for, presumably, climbing on and stepping off of rainbows.|
|Sprites of Bubby changing into a superhero costume. No other sprites with this outfit exist in the ROM, so what this was meant to be used for is a mystery.|
|Bubbles designed like the ones in Bubble Bobble. The bubbles that appear in Bubble Island only have one frame of animation and don't pop.|
|Every boss but Doh was meant to have a more elaborate death sequence. Presumably, these bosses was meant to explode into smaller sprites.
Bosses 1-4 are just larger versions of existing enemies, so only bosses 6-10 need extra graphics.
|The boss of Robot Island even has four unique sprites for this! The parts should be flying all over the dang place.|
|Smaller sprites of the mace balls that the Cyclops enemies throw. Perhaps it could have split into these smaller parts?|
|The slimes in Dragon Island have animations for climbing Bubby & Bobby's rainbow projectiles, something they can't do in the final game.|
|This fireball's about twice as big as the ones shot by the golden-armored knights in Dragon Island.
Its location in the Object GFX ROM is close to the Dragon boss, so this might have been its original attack before its massive flame breath was drawn.
|This is a sketch of the Golem enemy's second animation frame. This might be a placeholder image for an undrawn third frame.|
|Behold the only unused enemy in the game, a small cycloptic robot meant to appear on Darius Island.
Its small size matches the other minions summoned by larger enemies, though it's not clear which enemy would spawn this thing.
|Used Animation||Full Animation|
More unused Golem frames. The bombs he throws were supposed to slowly form in his hands, but since these frames aren't used, they reappear instantly.
The Best 5 screen, like the Game Over screen, has similarly unused graphics that could have spiced up the otherwise plain text displayed therein. This is just a mockup, as no tilemap has been located in the ROM at this time.
The platforms in Dragon Island have special tiles for curved shadows, but they were never placed in any of the rounds. All shadows are simple rectangles in the final game.
Unused Music & Sounds
|10||This is a version of the Bubble Island theme with a six-and-a-half second intro. The version that plays in the final game, track 11, has no intro.|
|1F||Packaged with the rest of the standard sound effects, this could be an alternate "special item" collection sound.|
|26||Sound 25 is played twice: Once when the player is trapped by Dark Dragon's bubbles, and again when they're taken to a prison cell by said bubble.
Sound 26 should have been used in that second situation.
|27||Sounds like another bonus item collection sound. Right?|
|29||This sounds like a harsher version of the "boss hit" sound effect (28).|
|2B||Placed before the other two Doh's Island sounds by ID, this would have been used after stepping on a gold or silver block.|
|2F||Name a game with three different klaxon sounds! And don't say Rainbow Islands, because this klaxon isn't used.|
|33||This is very close to the sound that Doh makes after dying in Arkanoid, and this is where it's used in Rainbow Islands Extra.
Not in the original game, though.
|34||Seems like an alternate version of sound 30, heard as the Electric Fan boss is dying.|
|F3||This sound does a basic test of the game's audio engine.|
Original Magical Island Arena
The boss arena in Magical Island is larger than it appears in normal gameplay. The three topmost platforms aren't accessible at all, and the two platforms below those can't actually be jumped upon.
Power-Up Difficulty Feature
The power-ups in the game (which follow the pattern of Sneakers, Red Jug, Orange Jug, Red Jug, Yellow Star, Crystal Ball, Red Star, then a special power-up) are dropped from every third enemy in the game. There's unused code in the game to change how often they drop based on the game's current difficulty level: One every two enemies defeated, one every three, one every five, or one every seven enemies. In the finished game, all four of the drop table pointers point to the once-per-three drop table.
Put this code in MAME's rbisland.xml cheat file to reactivate this dropped feature:
<cheat desc="Drop Rates Change With Difficulty"> <script state="run"> <action>maincpu.mw@013E2C=3E3A</action> <action>maincpu.mw@013E34=3E62</action> <action>maincpu.mw@013E38=3E8A</action> </script> <script state="off"> <action>maincpu.mw@013E2C=3E4A</action> <action>maincpu.mw@013E34=3E4A</action> <action>maincpu.mw@013E38=3E4A</action> </script> </cheat>
There are two differences with the sets labeled "New" and "Old" in MAME's nomenclature, both of which are related to the secret rooms.
- The 50,000,000 point bonus for visiting all secret rooms isn't achievable in the old version, since the counter that gets incremented each time the player visits a secret room hadn't been coded yet.
- It's possible to go above the secret rooms by walking on rainbows in the old version. Going past the screen will scroll the screen up to the next bonus area and make the game think that the player is fighting a boss.
Rainbow Islands Extra
|Rainbow Islands Title||Rainbow Islands Extra|
Rainbow Islands Extra is a modified board for Rainbow Islands that was only released in Japan. Most of the differences between the two games are related to difficulty; Rainbow Islands Extra is designed to be significantly more difficult than the original.
- Each stage's enemy set—save for Bubble Island—has been changed in Rainbow Islands Extra:
|Insect Island||Darius Island|
|Combat Island||Magical Island|
|Monster Island||Dragon Island|
|Toy Island||Doh's Island|
|Doh's Island||Insect Island|
|Robot Island||Monster Island|
|Dragon Island||Toy Island|
|Magical Island||Robot Island|
|Darius Island||Combat Island|
|Rainbow Islands||Rainbow Islands Extra|
- Every round was given a new palette in Rainbow Islands Extra. Some of the bonus items that are part of each stage's layout were changed as well; the most significant change is that almost all of the Star items past Insect Island have been removed.
|...But what does it mean?|
This game has text or audio that needs to be translated. If you are fluent with this language, please read our translation guidelines and then
Notes: These may need to be checked
HINT D Enter all 10 hidden rooms and earn 5 million points if you've continued, or 10 million if you haven't. It's a much better deal to go without taking Power-Up Equipment (1-9)! You'll earn 1 million points in each hidden room (1-9), but if you don't take anything from 1 through 9, you'll earn 50 million points! Clear stage 40 without using commands or Power-Up Equipment for a bonus of 3 million points! Head for 100 million!
HINT E The hidden commands have all been changed! There are a total of 13! The hidden room commands display only the first letter and one one other letter, with the rest blanked out. The "one other letter" differs depending on the location, but is related to the color of something. Break Hint F's code!
HINT F Power-Up Equipment appears based on the color of something. If you understand this, you'll have even more fun fighting with strategy! Let's crack the code!! PUPULBNEBOUHIDEGONM ONSARUNKNVADERMIGHT
- Three new hints, Hints D-F, were added to the game. These hints detail the changes made to the original game's mechanics.
|The legendary B.B-3 story!!|
Super Skull Monster has died.
However, a spirit has escaped from his body.
It split into 3 pieces, and later became
the Three Skull Brothers!!
The story will continue
one day 100 years later,
when Bubby and Bobby's descendants
once again begin the journey
to the fateful battle.
- There's an extra message in the good ending after the player enters their name into the high score table. It's a plot synopsis of what should have been "Bubble Bobble 3", but both Parasol Stars and Bubble Symphony ended up using a completely different story. This plot was instead used for Bubble Bobble Part 2 on the NES.
- The Rainbow Special item, which can only spawn after using 33 credits in the original game, now appears every 800 credits in this version.
- Not only that, but it doesn't actually do anything in Extra! Its routine has been completely dummied out.
- The Bronze, Silver, and Gold Scepters appear after collecting 6 of the appropriate crowns in Extra, compared to 6, 8, and 10 crowns respectively in the original game.
- The requirement for the Red Tiara was changed from 20 enemies killed by the guardian fairy to 50 enemies.
- The requirement for the Green Tiara was changed from 30 enemies killed by stars to 90 enemies.
- The requirements for the three Ring items changed from collecting 3 Red Jugs/Orange Jugs/Sneakers to 12 of those items. This change makes the various Potion items appear much more often than in the original game.
Some of the enemy patterns in Rainbow Island Extra have changed, mostly in the early and later islands:
- The only enemies in Insect Island that fire projectiles are the turrets, and those bullets no longer home in on the player.
- The Fighter Plane enemies from Darius Island aren't present in Insect Island.
- The Wizards in Combat Island do not shoot any projectiles.
- The Caterpillars that were originally in Magical Island are completely absent from Extra.
- All of the knights in Monster Island are Gold Knights; The regular Knight enemies don't make an appearance here.
- The Water Gun enemies in Dragon Island can shoot two times in a row, compared to just once in the original game.
- The number of bombs that the Crate enemies in Darius Island shoot was doubled from two to four.
- The Cannon enemies in Darius Island can shoot up to three bombs at once, up from a single bomb in the original game.
All of the bosses in the game had their difficulty levels rebalanced to match their new location in the game.
- Electric Fan's ships no longer track the player, and the boss itself only has 10 HP, down from 22 HP in the original game.
- The Red Devil's trident moves two-thirds as fast in Extra. He has just 13 HP, eleven less than the original game.
- The Dragon boss has to come to a stop twice, not once, before he uses his flame breath. He has 18 HP, four less HP than normal.
- Doh moves (!!!) back and forth while firing his deadly squares.
- The Giant Spider has a new attack: Spider webs shoot out from its butt and fall from the sky.
- The Giant Vampire shoots out eight bats at once, up from six in the original game.
- The number of Clowns that the Giant Clown spawns doubled from four to eight. The boss itself moves twice as fast.
- The Giant Robot has slightly faster rocket fists and fires six energy balls instead of four.
- The Giant Plane has changed the most, and is significantly harder in Extra:
- The plane itself moves twice as fast.
- The Giant Plane shoots out seven bombs, one every five frames, then waits 35 frames. In the original game, it dropped just one bomb every 48 frames.
- The bombs fall down four times as fast.
Leave without taking the Power-Up Equipment to earn 1000000 points!!
- Exiting a secret room without collecting the bonus item nets the player 1,000,000 points. If the player visits the first nine bonus rooms and doesn't collect a single bonus item, they'll get 50,000,000 points!
- The point bonus for entering all secret rooms has decreased from 50,000,000 points to 10,000,000 points. If the player collected the Big Bubble item, it's reduced further to 5,000,000 points.
- The passwords in the secret rooms are not fully visible. The first character is always revealed, but only one of the other seven characters is displayed. That character depends on the last diamond collected in a stage before the boss. So, theoretically, a player would have to visit a bonus room at least seven times to get the full password.
- Additionally, all of the secret room passwords are different between versions:
|Cheat||Rainbow Islands||Rainbow Islands Extra|
|Big Red Jug||RJSBJLBR||JLSSSBRJ|
|Big Orange Jug||SSSLLRRS||BRSLJSLJ|
|Money + Continue||RRRRSBSJ||RSJRLBRS|
|Score Limit Off||SRBJSLSB||BBSSJJJJ|
- The passwords for Hints A-C aren't given in Extra, but they're identical to the original game.
- For the first seven islands in Extra, the special items in each secret room are not determined by the stage number. Instead, the treasure depends on the color of the last diamond collected.
- Additionally, two of the special items in the original game—the big wing book and warp doors—were replaced by new treasures.