Bomberman Story


Manual artwork

Click to enlarge. Cropped from the Japanese manual; untouched.

The Neutopia connection

Neutopia II (credit to the Video Game Museum for the screenshot)

At the end of Neutopia II is a message reading "TO BE CONTINUED, 199X NEUTOPIA III".
This proposed third instalment never came to be. There are rumours that Bomberman Story is the final evolution of what was once Neutopia III. As far as I'm aware, there's no official statement saying such a game was in development, but the games certainly share a lot of assets!

Sadly, only one staff member worked on both games: Shigeki Fujiwara directed both Neutopia II and Bomberman Story, though he's had a hand in quite a few Bomberman games anyway. Keita Hoshi, the musician for Neutopia II, is credited under the special thanks; he produced music and sound effects for a few other Bomberman titles.

Big thanks to Duke Serkol and Plasma Captain of the Bomberman Board for actually researching this stuff!

Neutopia enemies

There are lots and lots of shared enemies between the games, most of which bear the same look, name and behaviour. Images and behaviour study were gleaned from the "THAT'S_ENTERTAINMENT_NEUTOPIA" code.

Neutopia locations

It's implied that Planet Phantarion, the setting of Bomberman Story, is where the Neutopia games took place.
Cheers to Chris Covell for ripping all the maps from the Neutopia games!

Neutopia II - Bomberman Story (click to enlarge)

The biggest giveaway is how Story's entire underwater segment (spanning BigOcean, PttyBase and Beluga) is a near-exact lift from Neutopia II, only adjusting its proportions, cave entrances and other small changes to accomodate Story's screen.

Neutopia II

The ice area inspires a number of sections from Story's Snow Zone - Epsilon shares a similar design to the town, with the igloos and the walls surrounding it, and Plasma Bomber's base features the same two-tower style construction, complete with walkways between them.

[more to come after further investigation / when I can be bothered!]
[also, other Bomberman games share elements from Neutopia, right? Oh, no, now I have to look into them too!]

Pretty Bomber's base

The map of PttyBase is shaped after the manji (卍), a religious symbol of luck and good fortune.

Japanese - English
(click to enlarge)

The English version adds additional Activision-related copyright and company screens when the game is booted up; tripling the time it takes to gain control.

Japanese - English
Different logos.
The Japanese version features a more dynamic entry of its logo: the two halves of the logo ("Bomberman" and "Story") slide in from both sides of the screen before meeting, then the screen flashes white as the white Max emblem spins onto the "O", glinting as it connects.
In the English version the title simply slides in from the left and that's that.

A lot of the locations, items and Karabons were renamed in the English version, largely due to space issues. Comparison list to come when I've got them all!

These are loaded into the graphics data during Battle Mode. They would have be used when a player died, but the heads on the HUD remain unchanged after a player is killed. So they're not used at all. How about that.

The cloud enemy first found in the Desert Sector looks like it would've split a third time.

The options of a debug menu can be seen if you open up the ROM with a hex editor; it can be found at offset 00225758. The Cutting Room Floor Wiki claims this is still accessible if you muck about with emulator codes, but I'm such an incompetent ninny that I haven't been able to test it personally yet.
Screenshots can be found on this page!
page last modified: 23/05/2012