SOURCE: Game Boy Color RND1-FRS Mmmmmkay. Where do I start? Here’s the first Game Boy Color level included in Lost Cave. By comparing the Lost Cave screen with the original handheld one you’ll notice a huge difference – a big hole on the ground and on the ceiling, something not present in any coin-operated Bubble Bobble ever! This is a symbolic choice. Since Bubble Bobble on Game Boy Color is the most appalling conversion (if we can really call it “conversion”), we decided to spice the GBC levels up with much less fidelity than the one we used while importing levels from the other ports. Tipically, we recreated the airflows from scratch, since the GBC edition has some of the most unimaginative airflow layouts ever seen in Bubble Bobble (ie most of the bubbles just go UP, thanks, goodbye). This was one of the most heavy and time-consuming level design tasks for me (Bisboch), but also Aladar had his crazy task since he had to add some code to the coin-op data in order to implement more kinds of gloor/ceiling holes – and this came incredibly handy also on some Game Boy/NES levels. Finally, enemies in the GBC version are usually 5, sometimes 6 per round, so we added one baddie in lots of GBC levels. Also – and this shows how careless or desperate were the developers – every single baddie in Bubble Bobble GBC starts the level FACING RIGHT. Yes, this is crazy, and while it can be justified on the small GBC screen as a trick to give more time to the player before enemy contact, it simply would not work on the coin-op in 2 player mode – imagine poor Bobblun facing every enemy heading his way, in every round! So, even enemy patterns was reworked quite a lot – that’s why we didn’t wasted time by adding them to the GBC screens in this guide. This, or because we are lazy!
Finish this round – hopefully amassing bubbled enemies in the lower part of the screen – and you’ll be awarded with lots of pop-corn, which will land on the upper platform! Yum! Pop-corn comes from Sega Master System version, but you can find the same sprite, decolorized, on Game Boy too (just finish GB RND30).
One final notice about Game Boy Color – As you can see the ROUND indication is a little bit strange, “RND1-FRS“. That’s because the Game Boy Color port has a branch-like structure, similar to OutRun or, more aptly, the Bubble Bobble II / Bubble Symphony coin-op. So, this round was the 1st of the Forest (FRS) branch. The crazy thing about these branches is that some of them are accessed only by speed running thru’ the round – this way, a secret door will appear and you’ll be teleported to the following level, but on a parallel branch. Confusing as it may sound, this system is one of the worst design flaws in the GBC game, preserving the player to fully explore all the 128 ROUNDS in the game. We painstackingly played them all, figured out how this foolish branch system works and got passwords for them all – someday we’ll share them with you, but believe us: Lost Cave contains all the interesting stuff from the GBC version, with vital improvements too, so, uhm, why bother?