Lost In Translation/Puzzle Bobble

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This page is a stub for arcade games that are part of the Lost In Translation series using information based on MAME (version 0.113u2).
For an example of preferred content and layout please refer to Out Run or The Ninja Warriors.

Puzzle Bobble
Puzzle Bobble title screen.
Manufacturer Taito Corporation
Released 1994
8-way Joystick
3 Button(s)
Main CPU 68000 (@ 12.000 MHz)
Z80 (@ 4.000 MHz)
Sound CPU Mono
YM2610B (@ 8.000 MHz)
Raster (Horizontal)
320 x 224 pixels
60.00 Hz
4,096 Palette colours
Screens 1
ROM Info 6 ROMs
2,752,512 bytes (2.63 MiB)
MAME ID pbobble

About The Game

Puzzle Bobble, as its name implies, is an arcade video puzzle game.

The first in the hugely successful puzzle series from Taito, Puzzle Bobble is a game for 1 or 2 players in which the aim is to clear each play area of the coloured bubbles that litter it. This is achieved by firing bubbles up the screen - with the angle of trajectory dictated by the player - at the clusters of static coloured bubbles that litter each play area. The aim is to forms chains of like-coloured bubbles, thus making them disappear. At regular intervals, the bubbles will drop one row down the screen, making life more difficult for the players. The game is over when the bubbles reach the very bottom of the play area.

In the 1-player game there are thirty rounds to complete, whereas in the 2-player Vs. mode, the winner is the player who clears their play area first. The addictive yet straightforward game-play mechanic ensured that the "Puzzle Bobble" games would be the most successful of their genre since Russian programmer, Alexey Pajitnov's legendary "Tetris" was unleashed upon the gaming world in the late 1980s.


Released in June 1994.

The game was originally called "Bubble Buster". The Bubble Buster title screen is buried in the game itself.

This game is known in US as "Bust-A-Move".

This game was re-released 6 months later (December 1994) on the SNK Neo-Geo MVS hardware as "Puzzle Bobble [MVS]".

As well as typically cute Japanese animation (the characters from "Bubble Bobble" operate the cannon) and music, the game's mechanics and level design were beautifully balanced, and the game was terrifically successful at the arcades, spawning several sequels (see Series section for more information). It is unusual in being popular with women and girls.

If you look closely at the bubbles, you'll notice that the enemies from "Bubble Bobble" are trapped inside; a different enemy for each different coloured bubble. The following chart shows which enemies are trapped in which colour bubble :

Colour of bubble Bubble Bobble enemy inside
Blue Zen-Chan
Yellow Pulpul
Red Invader
Green Drunk
Purple Monsta
Orange Banebou
Black Hidegonsu
White Mighta

The game forbids the initials 'SEX' on the high score table. If you try, it gets changed to 'AAA'.

During the credits you can see one of the constellations form the image of a fish, that fish is a boss from the "Darius" series; also made by Taito.

Stepehn Krogman holds the official records for this game with 13,874,390 points (difficulty 6) on 06/11/2004.

Zuntata Records released a limited-edition soundtrack album for this game (Puzzle Bobble Variety - ZTTL-0009) on 28/03/1997.


Pop bubbles of the same colour, each bubble is worth 10 points. When dropping bubbles, the first bubble is 20, and each additional bubble scores double, thus:

Bubbles dropped Points
1 20
2 40
3 80
4 160
5 320
6 640
7 1,280
8 2,560
9 5,120
10 10,240
11 20,480
12 40,960
13 81,920
14 163,840
15 327,680
16 655,360
17 or more 1,310,720

Bonus points are awarded based on how fast you completed the stage.

Seconds Points
0-5 50,000
6 49,160
7 48,320
8 47,480
9 46,640
10 45,800
64 440

Tips and tricks

There is a special bonus of a million points on rounds 9 and 13. This is achieved by linking up a number of ORANGE bubbles on round 9 and BLUE bubbles on round 13.


  1. Puzzle Bobble (1994)
    Puzzle Bobble [MVS] (1994)
  2. Puzzle Bobble 2 (1995)
    Puzzle Bobble 2 [MVS] (1999)
    Puzzle Bobble 2X (1995)
  3. Puzzle Bobble 3 (1996)
  4. Puzzle Bobble 4 (1997)
  5. Super Puzzle Bobble (1999)
  6. Azumanga Daioh Puzzle Bobble (2002)
  7. Super Puzzle Bobble 2 (2002, Sony PlayStation 2)
  8. Super Puzzle Bobble All-Stars (2003, Nintendo GameCube)
  9. Puzzle Bobble Vs. (2003, Nokia N-Gage)
  10. Ultra Bust-a-Move (2004, Microsoft XBOX)
  11. Puzzle Bobble Pocket (2005, Sony PSP)
  12. Puzzle Bobble DS (2005, Nintendo DS)


Game Designer
Seiichi Nakakuki
Programmer & Game Designer
Programmer & System Designer
Programmer & Play Designer
Character & Game Designer
Kazuhiro Kinoshita
Character Designers
Komai Ryota
Miwa Kamiya
Music Composed By
Kazuko Umino
Yasuko Yamada
Sound Effects
Hideki Takahagi
Sound Soft
Naoto Yagishita
Sound Producer
Hiroshige Tonomura
Hiroyasu Nagai (Super Star Nagai)
T. Yoshiba
M. Osaka
Nobuaki Kuroki
Y. Onogi
Masaki Yagi
T. Saito
G Rox
H. Kato
K. Tajima

Cabinet and Artwork


Nintendo Super Famicom (1995)
SNK Neo-Geo CD (1995)
Panasonic 3DO (1995)
Sega Game Gear (1995, "Bust-A-Move")
Nintendo Game Boy (1998, "Puzzle Bobble GB")
SNK Neo-Geo Pocket (1999, Puzzle Bobble Mini")
Bandai WonderSwan (1999)
PC [MS Windows 95, CD-ROM] (1996)
SNK Neo-Geo Arcade (1994)

Soundtrack Releases

Album Name Catalogue No. Released Publisher Comments
Puzzle Bobble Variety ZTTL-0009[1] 1997-03-28 Zuntata Records CD version.
ZUNTATA LIVE 1998 "güten Talk" from the earth ~AUDIO FILE~ ZTTL-0031[2] 1998-10-21 Zuntata Records 2 CD version.
ZUNTATA LIVE 1998 "güten Talk" from the earth ~VISUAL FILE~ N/A[3] 1998-11-10 Zuntata Records Released on VHS.
ZUNTATA HISTORY L'ab-normal 2nd ZTTL-0039[4] 1999-04-01 Zuntata Records CD version.
PUZZLE BOBBLE • GEKIRINDAN etc. ~Welcome to the Karuland~ PCCB-00196[5] 1995-11-17 Pony Canyon/Scitron CD version.

Sound Comparison

Platform Song Titles Sound Source
Arcade "Title Demo" "Let's Go To Pao Pao Island! (BGM1)" "Forest In April (BGM2)" "Clear" "Continue" "Ending" "Game Over" M1 v0.7.8a6


The contents of this page are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
The sources used include MAME (version 0.113u2) and history.dat (revision 1.28 - 2008-10-18).
Please see http://www.arcade-history.com for credits.