The “popping enemies” combo

So, it’s 2013! It’s time to add some documentation about how we made Bubble Bobble Lost Cave, as several users requested. Let’s start from something you’ll meet immediately in the game – the combo bonus items. Remember the original sequence? Popping at the same time two or more enemies awards you with bonus stuff of increasing value:

arcadecomboYou get the banana by popping one single enemy, and the diamond for the seventh enemy of a 64.000 bubble burst combo. On the home/handheld versions, things ain’t quite the same (apart from the faithful SMS/GG take). You know it well if your console was the Nintendo Entertainment System, for instance. Still, we decided not to use the NES version but the Game Boy one, as reference for the popping enemies combo. Here it is:


Quite different, huh! And in black & white. Here’s how we adapted them into the Lost Cave:


As you can see, we tried to retain the original item shape, coloring and updating it in order to feel consistent in the original MTJ coin-op style. Here’s some detail about that:

grapeWHITE GRAPE is not a palette swap for the black one already present in the coin-op: it’s the juicier Rainbow Islands version.


ROUND RADISH is a personal variant of the mysterious, pale fruit you get on Game Boy. Apricot? Prune? Could be. We opted for radish:D


ICE CREAM CONE discards the coin-op version for the more refined Parasol Stars one, but with the palette from the Master System one. Yum!

layeredcakeLAYER CAKE We went for the Parasol Stars version which has three layers – the Master system and Rainbow Islands ones have only two.


GLASS OF CAMPARI There’s already a nice cocktail glass in the original item set, but we wanted this bigger one from Parasol Stars instead.


SNOWMAN One of our favourites. The shabby GB one got replaced by the Master System one, with its lovely 3/4 perspective. Love the cold gaze.

diamondCUPC… er, DIAMOND When we tried to replace diamonds in the game, it felt really wrong. They’re easily recognizable as high value items, therefore there’s a strong bond between form and function. So no cupcakes for you, this time. This choice proved right, listening to players’ feedback.

If you played Lost Cave a little bit, you know that this is only the tip of the iceberg, in terms of new bonus items. So stay tuned, slowly we’ll reveal them all, even those very weird ones which are so hard to find!