Catalogue of Arcade Emulation Software - the Absolute Reference

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Puzzle Bobble / Bust-A-Move (Neo-Geo) (set 1)

Puzzle Bobble (c) 06/1994 Taito.

The first in the hugely successful puzzle series from Taito, Puzzle Bobble is a game for one or two players in which the aim is to clear each play area of the colored bubbles that litter it. This is achieved by firing bubbles up the screen - with the angle of trajectory dictated by the player - at the clusters of static colored bubbles that litter each play area. The aim is to forms chains of like-colored bubbles, thus making them disappear. At regular intervals, the bubbles will drop one row down the screen, making life more difficult for the players. The game is over when the bubbles reach the very bottom of the play area.

In the one-player game there are thirty rounds to complete, whereas in the two-player Vs. mode, the winner is the player who clears their play area first. The addictive yet straightforward game-play mechanic ensured that the "Puzzle Bobble" games would be the most successful of their genre since Russian programmer, Alexey Pajitnov's legendary "Tetris" was unleashed upon the gaming world in the late 1980s.


Taito B System hardware

Main CPU : 68000 (@ 12 Mhz), Z80 (@ 4 Mhz)

Sound Chips : YM2610B (@ 8 Mhz)

Screen orientation : Horizontal

Video resolution : 320 x 224 pixels

Screen refresh : 60.00 Hz

Palette colors : 4096

Players : 4

Control : 8-way joystick

Buttons : 3


The game was originally called "Bubble Buster". The Bubble Buster title screen is buried in the game itself.

This game is known in US as "Bust-A-Move".

This game runs originally on the Taito B System but it was re-released six month later (12/1994) on the SNK Neo-Geo MVS hardware (Taito's first game on this hardware, Game ID : 0083).

As well as typically cute Japanese animation (the characters from "Bubble Bobble" operate the cannon) and music, the game's mechanics and level design were beautifully balanced, and the game was terrifically successful at the arcades, spawning several sequels (see Series section for more information). It is unusual in being popular with women and girls.

If you look closely at the bubbles, you'll notice that the enemies from "Bubble Bobble" are trapped inside; a different enemy for each different colored bubble. The following chart shows which enemies are trapped in which color bubble :

Legend : Color of Bubble => "Bubble Bobble" Enemy Inside

Blue => Zen-Chan

Yellow => Pulpul

Red => Invader

Green => Drunk

Purple => Monsta

Orange => Banebou

Black => Hidegonsu

White => Mighta

The game forbids the initials 'SEX' on the high score table. If you try, it gets changed to 'AAA'.

During the credits you can see one of the constellations form the image of a fish, that fish is a boss from the "Darius" series; also made by Taito.

Stepehn Krogman holds the official records for this game with 13,874,390 points (difficulty 6) on 06/11/2004.

Zuntata Records released a limited-edition soundtrack album for this game (Puzzle Bobble Variety - ZTTL-0009) on 28/03/1997.


Perform well during the game and after the credits you will get a special contest image with a scrambled message. It only works on the Neo-Geo version.


Pop bubbles of the same color : each bubble is worth 10 points.

Drop bubbles : the first bubble is 20, and each additional bubble scores double.

Thus : bubbles dropped score

1 20

2 40

3 80

4 160

5 320

6 640

7 1280

8 2560

9 5120

10 10240

11 20480

12 40960

13 81920

14 163840

15 327680

16 655360

17 or more 1310720

Bonus points : are awarded based on how fast you completed the stage.

Time you completed points awarded

0-5 sec. 50,000

6 sec. 49,160

7 sec. 48,320

8 sec. 47,480

9 sec. 46,640

10 sec. 45,800



64 sec. 440

65+ seconds or greater NO BONUS


There is a special bonus of a million points on rounds 9 and 13. This is achieved by linking up a number of ORANGE bubbles on round 9 and BLUE bubbles on round 13.


1. Puzzle Bobble (1994)

2. Puzzle Bobble 2 (1995)

3. Puzzle Bobble 2X (1995)

4. Puzzle Bobble 3 (1996)

5. Puzzle Bobble 4 (1997)

6. Super Puzzle Bobble (1999)

7. Azumanga Daioh Puzzle Bobble (2002)

8. Super Puzzle Bobble 2 (2002, Sony PlayStation 2)

9. Super Puzzle Bobble All-Stars (2003, Nintendo GameCube)

10. Puzzle Bobble Vs. (2003, Nokia N-Gage)

11. Ultra Bust-a-Move (2004, Microsoft XBOX)

12. Puzzle Bobble Pocket (2005, Sony PSP)

13. Puzzle Bobble DS (2005, Nintendo DS)


Game designer : Seiichi Nakakuki

Programmer & Game designer : Tkhc.02

Programmer & System designer : Tmr

Programmer & Play designer : Nob

Character & Game designer : Kazuhiro Kinoshita

Character designers : Komai Ryota, Miwa Kamiya

Music composed by: Kazuko Umino, Yasuko Yamada

Sound effects : Hideki Takahagi

Sound soft : Naoto Yagishita

Sound producer : Hiroshige Tonomura

Designers : Hiroyasu Nagai (Super Star Nagai), T. Yoshiba, M. Osaka, Nobuaki Kuroki, Y. Onogi

Supervisers : Masaki Yagi, T. Saito, G Rox, H. Kato, K. Tajima


* Consoles :

Nintendo Super Famicom (1995)

SNK Neo-Geo CD (1995)

Panasonic 3DO (1995)

Sega Game Gear (1995, "Bust-A-Move")

Nintendo Game Boy (1998, "Puzzle Bobble GB")

SNK Neo-Geo Pocket (1999, Puzzle Bobble Mini")

Bandai WonderSwan (1999)

* Computers :

PC [MS Windows 95, CD-ROM] (1996)