Bubble Bobble 2: Rainbow Islands 1991 By: Taito

Bubble Bobble 2: Rainbow Islands NES Screenshot Screenshot 1


Rainbow Rider

Far away in the middle of the Rainbow Sea, seven islands rise from the salty water. This is where Bubby was born, not long ago, under a brilliant rainbow. Bubby has always been able to make rainbows spring from his hands just for fun. One day while Bubby and his brother Bobby were playing in the woods, Krabo, an old monster, cast an evil spell on the islanders. Bubby knew right away that only he and his rainbow magic could save his family and friends. In order to break Krabo's evil spell, Bubby must explore all seven islands and collect a big diamond from each one. This is the only way he can defeat Krabo. You must help Bubby in his mission!

HURRY BUBBY! After a certain amount of time the islands will sink and there will be no one left to save! Along the way Bubby will have many adventures and get into all kinds of trouble. You must help Bubby make decisions that could determine the fate of all the islanders. Good luck Bubby!

--From the NES Bubble Bobble 2: Rainbow Islands instruction manual.

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Bubble Bobble 2 is a pretty fun game. The gameplay is almost as entertaining as the first installment. The graphics are pretty good. There is a lot of use of bright colors and you can tell the animation and drawing were done by the same programmers as the first Bubble Bobble. The sound effects and music are kinda cheesy, but they are also reminiscent of the first installment. The controls are easy to learn and they are also pretty much the same as the first one, so if you've already played Bubble Bobble, you can pick this one right up. The story is kinda corny, but most of them are. There are several secrets to find including secret levels which adds to the replayability factor, and the difficulty in completing the game.


The game is set on a chain of ten islands, each one with a different theme. Each island provides four rounds of
gameplay, and once these are complete the player moves to the next island in the chain. The islands get
progressively more difficult, with enemies moving much faster on the later ones. These are depicted on a map
screen before the start of each island. The three secret islands are not visible until all 7 big diamonds are
collected. Most consumer versions of the game completely lack the secret islands. The main characters are Bubblun
and Bobblun, the protagonists of Bubble Bobble (known as "Bub and Bob" in the U.S. release). However, in this game
they appear in their human forms as "Bubby" and "Bobby", as opposed to the "bubble dragons" of the first game.
Also unlike the first game, players must now "alternate" (i.e., take turns), with player one as Bubby
(green shirt), and player 2 as Bobby (blue shirt).

Level format

Every round has essentially the same format. The player begins at the bottom of a long, vertical level, and must
reach the 'Goal' at the top. Levels are filled with structures and platforms that can be used to ascend. On the
way up, various enemies will
attempt to thwart your efforts. A collision with an enemy results in the player's death. In addition, some
enemies possess projectile weapons which will also kill the player.
If the player spends too long on a level, the message "Hurry!" appears on screen, accompanied by an urgent
klaxon. Subsequently, the music speeds up, and a few seconds later, water begins to fill up the screen from the
bottom. Immersion in the water results in death (it is possible to "wade" in it, up to about neck-deep), and thus
the player must hasten his or her efforts to reach the Goal.
If the Goal is reached, a victory jingle is played and the message "GOAL IN!" appears on screen. As a reward for
the player, a large chest full of bonus food items drops in and scatters its contents over the Goal platform,
leaving the player to collect these to obtain more points before the round ends.


At the top of the last round of every island, there is a large boss enemy, which is in most cases an enlarged
version of one of the regular enemies on that island. Bosses are significantly tougher and better armed than
their smaller counterparts. If the boss is defeated, a chest drops in and scatters its contents, in the manner
of regular Goals, with the addition of a big 'points item' (which is always either an aubergine, an apricot,
bananas, green grapes, a slice of cake, a money bag, or purple grapes). However, if all seven diamonds have been
collected on that island, the big 'points item' is replaced with a big diamond.

Additionally, if certain conditions are met, which the conditions on the screen appears after the best ending,
the boss can be skipped entirely.


The player's singular special ability is the power to create rainbows (similar in concept to Rainbow Brite's
powers, but much more linear). These manifest as arcing trails left by a bouncing star. Unlike their physical
counterparts, these rainbows are solid and can be walked upon by the player, or by enemies. If they are not
collapsed by the player, they remain fixed in space before eventually disappearing, either after a number of
seconds, or if a large number of rainbows have been created since (there can be only a finite number of rainbows
on screen; approximately eight).

Rainbows can be used either defensively or offensively in order to defeat various enemies.

A Button Jump
B Button Make Rainbow
Start Button Start/Pause
Select Button Select
Stage Select
On the title screen, press Left, B, Right, Up, Down, Left, Right, B, then A to access the Stage Select.
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