Rainbow Islands: The Story of Bubble Bobble 2

Rainbow Islands: The Story of Bubble Bobble 2 (レインボーアイランド) is a 1987 arcade video game developed and published by Taito,[1] with the arcade version licensed to Romstar for North American manufacturing and distribution. The game is the sequel to Bubble Bobble from the previous year, and it is the second of four arcade games in the series (followed by Bubble Symphony and Bubble Memories, but itself has two direct sequels: Parasol Stars and Bubble Bobble Part 2). The game was ported to home computers and home video game consoles.

Rainbow Islands: The Story of Bubble Bobble 2
Arcade flyer
Romstar (NA)
Designer(s)Fukio Mitsuji
Composer(s)Hisayoshi Ogura
SeriesBubble Bobble
Platform(s)Arcade, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Amiga, Nintendo Entertainment System, Master System, PC Engine CD, FM Towns, WonderSwan, Game Boy Color, Saturn, PlayStation, Mega Drive, Mobile
Mode(s)1-2 players alternating turns

The "bubble dragons" of the first game, Bubblun and Bobblun (known as "Bub and Bob" in the western releases) appear in Rainbow Islands in their human forms as "Bubby" and "Bobby". 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).

Gameplay edit

The second stage (arcade version)
Arcade PCB (Taito B22)

Following the events of Bubble Bobble, Bubby and Bobby set out to defeat the "Dark Shadow" and rescue the Rainbow Islands. The Dark Shadow is the entity responsible for the events in Bubble Bobble.[2] The game is set on a chain of ten islands, each one with a different theme. Each island provides four rounds of game-play, and once these are complete the player moves to the next island in the chain. In each round the player must get to the top before the sea level rises and kills them. 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.

Players can release rainbows that act as weapons, makeshift platforms, and item collectors. Slinging rainbows damages any enemies and acquires any items that the rainbows come in contact with. When jumped upon, they fall down, beating any enemies below them, and releasing a damage field above them.[2] Collecting power-ups increases the player's speed, the speed of the rainbows and how many are spawned. If players take too long in a level, water will start to rise up from the bottom of the stage, and will kill the player character if it rises above his head.[2]

Like Bubble Bobble before it, the game has multiple endings. To get the "True and Happy" ending the player must find and complete the three secret islands (although most consumer versions of the game completely lack the secret islands because of budget constraints[3]). These islands are not visible until all 7 big diamonds are collected. To get a big diamond, the player must collect seven different-colored small diamonds on the island and finish the round. The small diamonds are found by destroying enemies by dropping a rainbow on them from above or destroying them with various special items. After collecting the small diamonds, a word "NICE" appears. If the small diamonds are collected in the correct order, the player will get to a secret room at the end of each island, which contains a permanent power up. The color of the small diamonds depends on where the fallen enemies land, so the player can somewhat determine which diamond colors will drop.

The scoring system also has secrets, which allow vastly higher scores to be achieved than normal.[4]

Ports edit

The European Master System port contains a bug that crashes the game after Level 7, sending the player back to the title screen. If the level select code is used to access Level 8, the same glitch occurs at the end of that level completely preventing the player from seeing the ending. The Brazilian version has fixed this glitch.[5]

The European version of the NES port, developed by Ocean, is more faithful to the arcade version, whereas the Japanese and North American versions have original level designs and story intermissions.[citation needed]

Rainbow Islands Extra Version is a modified version of Rainbow Islands; the layouts of the islands remain exactly the same except the stages' enemies and bosses appear in a different order (much like Bubble Bobble's Super Mode).[6] In addition, the bosses were made more difficult by adding more variety to their behavior. Rainbow Islands Extra was released in limited quantities in the arcade. The game was also included as a mode in the Mega Drive version of Rainbow Islands. The game was also included in the Japanese compilation Taito Memories II Jōkan for the PlayStation 2 and the PlayStation Portable collection Taito Memories Pocket.

Platform Year Company Notes
Commodore 64 1989 Graftgold/Ocean[7]
ZX Spectrum
Amstrad CPC
Amiga 1990 Converted by Andrew Braybrook.
Atari ST
Mega Drive Aisystem Tokyo/Taito Released as Rainbow Islands Extra.
Nintendo Entertainment System 1988 Taito US JP[8] Released in the US as Rainbow Islands,[9] this version has different level layout and game mechanics compared to the original.[10] It also includes an island based on KiKi KaiKai as a replacement for Magical Island.
1991 Ocean EU AUS Released in Europe as Rainbow Islands: Bubble Bobble 2,[11] this version is different from the alternative Japanese and North American version and plays more like the original arcade game.[10]
Master System 1993 Taito/I.T.L./Sega This version is similar to the US/Japanese NES/Famicom version, even including the KiKi KaiKai island from that version.[10]
PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16 NEC Avenue
MS-DOS 1996 Graftgold/Acclaim Released as Bubble Bobble also featuring Rainbow Islands, also includes an enhanced version with redrawn sprites and backgrounds.[2]
Sega Saturn
WonderSwan 2000 Bandai Released as Rainbow Islands: Putty's Party.
Game Boy Color 2001 TDK Mediactive Includes the KiKi KaiKai island from the US/Japanese NES/Famicom version as a secret island.
PlayStation 2 2005 Empire Interactive/Sega Released as part of Taito Legends
Microsoft Windows
Mobile Taito Released as mobile version for various handsets.
PlayStation 2 2007 Taito Released as part of Taito Memories.
Xbox 360 2009 Taito Released with updated "2.5D" graphics.

Reception edit

In Japan, Game Machine listed Rainbow Island: The Story of Bubble Bobble 2 on their December 1, 1987 issue as being the second most-successful table arcade unit of the month.[25] It went on to become one of the top ten highest-grossing arcade games of 1988 in Japan.[26] The Spectrum version of the game was number-one on the UK sales chart from May[27] to June 1990[28] at the time of release. It was re-released at a budget price, and was number 1 again from October 1992[29] to March 1993.[30] It was also the top-selling Amiga budget title in March 1992.[31]

UK magazine C&VG gave the ST version a score of 93%, praising the graphics and calling the game addictive and "tremendous fun".[12] It was awarded 94% in the April 1990 issue of Your Sinclair[16] and was placed at number 8 in the "Your Sinclair official top 100".[32] In issue 93 of the same magazine, the readers voted it the 2nd best game of all time. It was also awarded 94% score in Crash.[14] The readers of Crash voted Rainbow Islands the #1 game of all time in December 1991.[33] MegaTech magazine said it was "virtually arcade perfect, with only flickery sprites letting the side down".[21]

Edge wrote in 1994 that "Taito's Rainbow Islands has all the ingredients for a superb videogame – incentives, copious rewards and bonuses, and intelligent bosses".[34]

Despite these accomplishments, in his review of the Bubble Bobble Featuring Rainbow Islands pack, Rich Leadbetter of Sega Saturn Magazine said Rainbow Islands was "vastly underrated and over-looked". He added that the gameplay still felt fresh and unique despite the passage of years, and was good enough to make the collection a must-have by itself.[2]

Accolades edit

The Amiga version of Rainbow Islands was the first game to make #1 on Amiga Power's annual All Time Top 100 list in 1991,[35] and again in 1992.[36] It held the spot for years until losing to Sensible Soccer, which retained the title for the rest of the magazine's run. The Mega Drive version was the 9th best game of all time, according to Mega magazine's "Mega Top 100 Carts" in 1992. In 1996, GamesMaster ranked the game 79th on their "Top 100 Games of All Time".[37]

References edit

  1. ^ "Rainbow Islands The Story Of Bubble Bobble 2". The International Arcade Museum. Retrieved 2014-06-24.
  2. ^ a b c d e Leadbetter, Richard (October 1996). "Paint the Whole World with a Rainbow!". Sega Saturn Magazine. No. 12. Emap International Limited. pp. 48–51.
  3. ^ "Rainbow Islands".
  4. ^ "The Ultimate Guide to... #01 Rainbow Islands", Retro Gamer, Imagine Publishing (79): 24–29, July 2010
  5. ^ "What's Up With Rainbow Islands?". smspower.org. Retrieved 2016-07-02.
  6. ^ "Rainbow Islands Extra Version". The International Arcade Museum. Retrieved 2014-06-24.
  7. ^ "Rainbow Islands Work In Progress". The One (6): 14–16. March 1989.
  8. ^ "Rainbow Islands – The Story of Bubble Bobble 2 PAL A – Nintendo NES Wiki". Nes-wiki.org. 2013-08-06. Retrieved 2013-09-29.
  9. ^ "Rainbow Islands". GameFAQs. Retrieved 2017-08-20.
  10. ^ a b c "The Definitive Bubble Bobble", Retro Gamer, Imagine Publishing (28): 61, August 2006
  11. ^ "Rainbow Islands: Bubble Bobble 2". GameFAQs. Retrieved 2017-08-20.
  12. ^ a b "Rainbow Islands Atari ST Review". Computer and Video Games. No. 94. September 1989. pp. 80–81.
  13. ^ "C+VG Review". C+VG. Future Publishing (101): 68. April 1990.
  14. ^ a b "Crash Review". Crash (75): 45. April 1990.
  15. ^ "Sinclair User Review". Sinclair User. No. 98. April 1990. p. 71. Retrieved 2013-09-29.
  16. ^ a b "Rainbow Islands Review". Your Sinclair Rock'n'Roll Years. Archived from the original on 2013-07-31. Retrieved 2013-09-29. Your Sinclair. No. 52. April 1990. p. 94. {{cite magazine}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  17. ^ "ACE Review". ACE (24): 92–93. September 1989.
  18. ^ "Review – Rainbow Islands". Zzap!64 (53): 10–11. September 1989. Retrieved 2014-06-23.
  19. ^ "Review – Rainbow Islands". Micro Hobby (198): 38. April 1991. Retrieved 2013-09-29.
  20. ^ "Review – Rainbow Islands". The Games Machine (28): 45. March 1990. Retrieved 2013-09-29.
  21. ^ a b "Game Index – Rainbow Islands". MegaTech (2): 78. February 1992.
  22. ^ "Review – Rainbow Islands". Mean Machines. No. 2. Outofprintarchive.com. November 1990. pp. 92–93. Retrieved 2013-09-29.
  23. ^ "Rainbow Islands Sega". Sega Master Force. No. 2. September 1993. p. 13. Retrieved November 19, 2015.
  24. ^ Leadbetter, Rich (October 1996). "Review: Bubble Bobble Rainbow Islands". Sega Saturn Magazine. No. 12. Emap International Limited. pp. 74–75.
  25. ^ "Game Machine's Best Hit Games 25 - テーブル型TVゲーム機 (Table Videos)". Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 321. Amusement Press, Inc. 1 December 1987. p. 25.
  26. ^ "第2回ゲーメスト大賞 〜 年間ヒットゲームベスト100" [2nd Gamest Awards – Best 100 Hit Games of the Year]. Gamest (in Japanese). Vol. 29 (February 1989). December 27, 1988. pp. 25–41 (41). alternate url
  27. ^ "Your Sinclair Top Ten Games". Your Sinclair Rock'n'Roll Years. Archived from the original on 2015-09-12. Retrieved 2013-09-29. Your Sinclair. No. 53. May 1990. {{cite magazine}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  28. ^ "Your Sinclair Top Ten Games". Your Sinclair Rock'n'Roll Years. Archived from the original on 2014-06-17. Retrieved 2014-06-22. Your Sinclair. No. 54. June 1990. {{cite magazine}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  29. ^ "Your Sinclair Top Ten Games". Your Sinclair Rock'n'Roll Years. Archived from the original on 2014-06-17. Retrieved 2014-06-22. Your Sinclair. No. 82. October 1992. {{cite magazine}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  30. ^ "Your Sinclair Top Ten Games". Your Sinclair Rock'n'Roll Years. Archived from the original on 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2014-06-22. Your Sinclair. No. 87. March 1993. {{cite magazine}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  31. ^ "Charts: Month ending 27th March 1992". The One. No. 44 (May 1992). EMAP. 21 April 1992. p. 16.
  32. ^ "The YS Top 100 Speccy Games Of All Time (Ever!)". Your Sinclair (70): 31. October 1991. Archived from the original on 16 August 2006. Retrieved 2006-09-04.
  33. ^ "top 100 speccy Games". Crash (94). December 1991.
  34. ^ "Rules of the Game". Edge. No. 12. September 1994. p. 51.
  35. ^ All-Time Top 100 Games Amiga Power. No. Supplemental. May 1991. p. 4. {{cite magazine}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  36. ^ "The All-Time Top 100 Games: (1) Rainbow Islands". Amiga Power. No. 13. May 1992. pp. 32–5.
  37. ^ "Top 100 Games of All Time" (PDF). GamesMaster (44): 75. July 1996.

External links edit