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Bomberman is a strategic, maze-based computer and video game franchise originally developed by Hudson Soft. The original game was published in 1983 and new games in the series as still being published to this day.
The general goal throughout the series is to complete the levels by strategically placing bombs to kill enemies and destroy obstacles. Although most games in the Bomberman series use the same type of maze-based levels established by the original game, some are Zelda-like adventure games, Mario-like platformers, Tetris-like puzzle games, and kart racers. It is considered to be a classic franchise by many video game players.
The term Bomberman also refers to the actual "species" of the series's protagonists and titular character. A "Bomberman" is a robotic-like man with a flat computer screen face (they have eyes, but no visible mouth,) within a sometimes squared, sometimes circular helmet, with a roundish body, long limbs and usually balled hands/feet. The series first began with a Bomberman that went from being a robot to achieving humanity (and change its appearance accordingly). Should Bomberman Act Zero be in fact a prequel to all other games, then it may be taken as proof that Bombermen are cybernetic (though, arguably no longer, in later games, necessarily made out of pre-existing beings).
Hudson Soft's 1983 ZX Spectrum and MSX title Eric and the Floaters (Bomberman for the Japanese MSX release), later adapted to the NES in 1985 as Bomberman is the first in the series and considered the origin of the Bomberman concept. After the NES version of the game, Hudson ported and improved the game for the TurboGrafx-16 (PC-Engine in Japan), in 1990 with a new look and feel. Subsequent sequels (Bomberman 93, 94 and Bomberman Users Battle) would also appear on the system. Bomberman's current look originated from the TG-16 version.
Following that, ports and retoolings of the game have been released on virtually all major video game systems, including Arcade, NES, TG-16, Super NES, N64, Sega Saturn and PlayStation. Because of its simplistic gameplay, the Bomberman series has been widely copied through knock-offs and copycat titles. There are dozens of unofficial ports of the game for graphing calculators; it is a favorite among TI-89 gamers.
Versions of Bomberman released by Ubisoft for home computer systems in Europe were re-titled Dynablaster.
The Bomberman games usually include many powerups that are found beneath destructible blocks. These include:
- Skates - Increases Bomberman's walking speed. (This was a boot in Bomber Man arcade games by Irem)
- Boot/Bomb Kick - Allows Bomberman to kick dropped bombs out of the way. Cancels out Bomb Pass.
- Clog/Sandals - Decreases Bomberman's walking speed.
- Mitts/Power Glove - Bomberman can pick up and throw bombs over walls and obstacles for short distances. If one were to throw a bomb onto an opponent, it will be stunned for a few seconds and a number of its powerups will be dropped, allowing another Bomberman to take them.
- Super Power Glove - Same as Power Glove, but allows Bomberman to hold it to create a dangerous bomb
- Boxing Glove - Bomberman can punch bombs that are in front of him over walls for short distances.
- Block/Wall Pass - Allows Bomberman to walk through destructible walls. A Bomberman in a wall which is being blasted apart by a bomb will be killed.
- Extra Bombs - Bomberman is allowed to drop an additional bomb without waiting for its predecessor to explode. Multiple Extra Bomb powerups can be collected.
- Mine - Transforms Bomberman's bombs into mines which are invisible to any Bomberman, it won't explode until any player, including the one who placed it, steps over it. It will appear for a brief moment before exploding. The blast can kill any player.
- Bomb Pass - Allows Bomberman to walk through bombs; also cancels out Bomb Kick.
- Detonator/Remote Control - Allows Bomberman to explode his bomb at will.
- Spiky bomb - While every bomb in the game only destroys one block at the time, the spiky bomb icon will make the player's bomb able to break any number of destructible walls within the current fire range of the player.
- Line Bomb - Allows Bomberman to drop all of his available bombs in a row in the direction he is facing.
- Egg - Contains a variety of animals which Bomberman can ride on, the most famous being wall-hopping kangaroos, each called a Louie. Different games have different animals, each with unique abilities, some of which cannot be replicated by other powerups. In recent games, these eggs have been replaced by the Charaboms.
- Fire power - Increases the bomb's range.
- Cherry Bomb - A red bomb more dangerous when powered up.
- Fire Suit/FlameProof Jacket/Asbestos Vest - Lets Bomberman be invincible from everything for approximately 10 seconds, although in some games this will only grant him invincibility from bomb blasts, but not enemies. The receiver of this powerup will "blink" rapidly.
- Heart - Allows Bomberman to take an extra hit (from a bomb blast or an enemy) before dying.
- 1-up- Increases the life count by one, so that the player can continue the game even though his Bomberman died. (Only in Single Player mode)
- Skull or Posion - Infects Bomberman with a random disease. Effects include being unable to drop bombs, swapping player positions with another random player, continuously dropping all available bombs one has, slowing movement speed drastically, continuously moving in the direction one is facing, a temporarily inverted control scheme, or death. Skulls act differently in different Bomberman games. For example, sometimes the skull disease can be passed to another player by touching them and is lost when collecting a powerup, whereas in other games the disease is spread to whomever the player touches. There are two known instances that this item has given a benefit: on some occasions it will grant speed (allowing Bomberman to walk faster than with maximum skates) and on others it will give Bomberman the Maximum Bomb (his bomb blast radius is increased to infinity). Both are very rare and will be passed down to another person when the owner touches them. Sometimes Skulls cannot be destroyed. This means there is only one Skull in the entire arena but it can only be destroyed by kicking a bomb into it or landing one on it.
- Combine/Merger (found only in Saturn Bomberman) - Allows Bomberman to merge with any player he touches, causing him to grow slightly and gaining any powerups the other player had. If only two players are left in the arena (with the rest being killed or merged) and the player with Merger powerup touches the other player, the Merger is cancelled, causing all merged players to be released. While the powerup is in effect the player flashes red in colour. It lasts a limited amount of time and 2 players with the Merger powerup cannot merge together.
- Ebola (Found only in Atomic Bomberman) - Infects the player with up to 3 random diseases.
- Evil (Found only in Bomberman 64) - Initiates a stage-wide and temporary hazard. Hazards include: a size-changing disease for everyone, an obscuring disco light, an object-tossing tornado, a random player position swap that occurs periodically, randomly being stunned, maximum-strength bombs for everyone, and forcing everyone to pick up and throw anything they come across, including powerups.
- Devil (Found only in Saturn Bomberman) - Infects all players with a random disease, including the player who picked up the powerup. A bat is displayed over the player who collected the powerup, which lasts a limited amount of time.
- If 4Kids Owned Bomberman Jetters(A Funny Fan-Based Bomberman Jetters Audio Commentary Radio Show Criticizing 4Kids on what would happen if the Anime was licensed.
- BombermanBoard.net -A Fanbased Bomberman Proboards simalar to SonicAnime.Net
- Unofficial Fanmade Bomberman Jetters Opening ( A Bomberman Jetters Fanbased AMV Criticizing 4Kids.)