14 Features

Retro Vault: Bubble Bobble, Theme Hospital, Yoshi GBA

Plus: A bizarre 1994 Sega video and Paperboy concept images

Retro Vault is our regular weekly feature in which we dive into gaming's past and share five classic nuggets of retro nostalgia. If you want to catch up on previous Retro Vaults, check out the CVG Retro Vault archive.


Summer 1986 - Bubble Bobble arcade flyer

Little did Taito know that the unassuming little arcade game it was making would eventually spawn a whole range of sequels and spin-offs.

Bubble Bobble starred two little dragons called Bub and Bob, whose girlfriends had been kidnapped by the evil Baron von Blubba. To save them, they had to make their way through the game's 100 levels.

Although the game appeared similar to the likes of Mario Bros, with the same task - clear a stage of enemies to proceed to the next level - it was the way in which enemies were disposed of that was unique.

Bub and Bob could only defeat enemies by spitting bubbles at them. If a bubble hit an enemy it would become trapped, allowing Bub or Bob to run over and jump onto the bubble, bursting it and killing the enemy inside.

This interesting mechanic, combined with the infuriatingly addictive music, made Bubble Bobble a hit and led to the subsequent release of a whole host of spin-offs such as Rainbow Islands, Parasol Stars and the Puzzle Bobble / Bust-A-Move series.

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