SOURCE: Game Boy RND2. L’esprit d’escalier (staircase wit) is a French term used in English that describes the predicament of thinking of the perfect retort too late. Thanks, Wikipedia. I decided to name this level like that for two reasons – because it works like a staircase, and because it’s a much more mellow Round 2 for the game, compared to the original Round 2 of Bubble Bobble. The same is true for Round 1 many of the early GB levels, and that’s why you see many of them as an intro to the Lost Cave. The team from the GB version had much more time than the original developers to balance level design – mostly to rebalance the damage to playability by the micro-sized screen window!

You may not remember HOW MUCH micro-sized it was. Here it is, a 160×144 pixel screen which shows the bitter truth about the Game Boy Screen. Yep, this is the in-game view of the Round 2 rebuilt above. You can still do amazing things with it – I use my 1990 GB daily to create chiptunes with LSDJ – but playing Bubble Bobble this way simply doesn’t work. So, please take note that all original levels from Game Boy and Game Boy Color versions of the game and shown here are a reconstruction of the whole screen layout for comparison’s sake, but on the real handheld you could only see them in a much tinier 160×144 window!


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