When Dan started this challenge, he probably knew this was going to be an epic contest to determine the supreme conqueror of the Bubble Bobble realm.  But then he knows that this is my favorite game ever.

I’m not sure when I actually got Bubble Bobble for the original Nintendo. Maybe it’s always been there.  It is among my two most valued NES games, the cartridges to which I still hold dear.  I’m sure we’ll talk about the other one someday.

But this challenge isn’t for the NES. This website is called welovethearcade.com!  We’re playing the arcade version this week. It is very different, and seriously difficult.

There are several small aspects of the gameplay that were apparently changed when the game was ported to the console. A major difference is the bubble physics. Bubbles push back against your dragon if he’s not moving, making them harder to pop, and more likely to get you killed.

They also won’t pass through those smaller cracks in crowded levels like this one

Bubbles also pop instantly when no space is available, so if you are used to bubble jumping out of a tight spot, get ready to be stuck and die quickly.

Bubble Bobble Level 19
Eight Nights of Death by Demon Whale

That candlestick (Menorah?) level is a perfect example of everything different about bubbling in arcade Bubble Bobble. If you get stuck in one of the narrow columns like I did above, it’s basically impossible to get out, and you can only pray that a lucky lightning bubble will come along and finish off the last monsters. If you blow bubbles while on top of a pillar, that bubble can push you off inside, and if you’re in your starting location, you can’t blow bubbles out of it.

Words cannot convey how much I despise this level. And look at the above paragraph. I used a lot of them!

Bubble Bobble Secret Stagr
Look at all them gems.

As for the competition itself, I’m well ahead with 1.9 million, obtained with the luck of finding two demon doors to secret levels, each worth around 200k, a bunch of high value canes, and at least two perfect jar bonus rounds.

Bubble Bobble 1.9 million high score

That was all at level 43. Dan was going on about reaching level 70-something, but I was too busy basking in my awesome score to pay attention.  We’ll hash it out in our post-competition wrap-up.

Until then.