Bubble Bobble (C64) - Essential "continue play fix" released


One of the most played games of all time. Bubble Bobble has infuriated and thrilled us in equal measure on the C64 since its release around this time of the year 1987. Its appeal captures all age groups, and the fun is doubled with a brother, sister or friend to play in two player mode.  And today you lucky C64 gamers have a new reason to play this awesome port of the classic Taito arcade game.


While Stephen Ruddy and Software Creations did a fine job porting the arcade original, one thing always annoyed me about the home computer versions.  If you were playing in 1 Player mode, and you lost all your lives, instead of being given the option to use one of your 9 credits, you'd be immediately taken to the game over screen. In two player mode, this wasn't so bad because so long as 1 player was alive, you could press fire to contine. However in 1 player mode, to successfully use a Credit, the game was programmed to look for a fire button press, at a specifc time shortly after your death animation begins. This was infuriating, because as well as having to compete with the fast and furious bubble bursting action on screen, you had to be aware of your lives left, and be ready to hold down the fire button as soon as you got hit on your last life.  This would often mean you would see a game over screen despite having 5 or 6 credits left, and reaching level 50. 


Finally however this major grievance with the game's coding has been resolved, thanks to the author of Doc Cosmos and Retro Twitch streamer: @Shallan50k.  Now when you lose your last life, you will always be shown the Game over message whilst on the game screen, and a message in the top of the game UI will say PROCEED and countdown from 10 to 0.  Giving the player ample time to press fire and continue, using a credit, or choose to end the game and save a high score.  Whilst seeminly a very minor change to the original, the impact on the gamer is huge.  You are no longer forced to cheat or grind away at a 1CC victory in 1 player mode (although I know some people have done this!) you can use the credits the game gives you to begin with and get deep into the "Cave of Monsters" without the fear of a Game over for not hitting the precise timing required to use a credit.



The patched version of Bubble Bobble codnamed: Bubble Bobble Shimmer is up now on CSDB. It has no obnoxious loaders, no infinite lives cheats, and is simply a modified version of the pure Bubble Bobble original file with the Contine game fix added into the source code and recompiled.

Links:

As well as coding a C64 game and teaching viewers to learn assembly language live on Twitch and through Patreon.. Shallan50k holds a weekly C64 game dissection stream on Thursaday nights (UK timezone). It was in last night's game dissection stream, looking at Bubble Bobble, that Shallan and viewers were able to properly fix the painful Continue Game system in Bubble Bobble, and share the results for everyone to enjoy.   

UPDATE:  Last night on my Twitch stream we discovered that levels from 41 are broken in this verison, so a fix is being worked on.  The link to the download will be fixed and updated here ASAP.

UPDATE: Fix is now ready and available from the Link above

Posted by @hayesmaker64

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