Virtual Bomberman

information

Title

バーチャル ボンバーマン / Virtual Bomberman

Console

Virtual Boy

Genre

Traditional

Players

1

Developer

Hudson

Publisher

n/a

Releases

n/a

Credit where credit is due: The editors and contributors at Planet Virtual Boy are the real stars here, archiving rare materials that would otherwise have been impossible to find - and translating them, to boot! This page is little more than an amalgamation of various pages and references from their site and forums.

Virtual Bomberman appears to have been first revealed in Weekly Famitsu on August 1995, announcing it as an upcoming title with no known release date.

The game was displayed in Hudson's booth at Famicom Space World (ファミコンスペースワールド, also referred to as Shoshinkai / 初心会) in November 1995. Flyers with additional game information were available, and are the source of most information on this page. The flyers announced the release date as February 29 1996, though all magazine coverage even into early 1996 listed the release date as "to be confirmed." Of the twenty Virtual Boy titles displayed at Space World, only four saw release; Virtual Bomberman was not among them.

Despite magazine coverage as late as April 1996, the Virtual Boy was quietly discontinued in all regions by that point, and the game was cancelled without fanfare.
The game didn't vanish without a trace, however - the Bomberman keshi series of collectible figurines produced a toy and several menko of God Bomber among its 1995 lineup, and a number of gameplay features and thematic elements found their way into Bomberman World on PlayStation in 1998.

from Space World 1995 flyer

After saving Bomber Nebula in the previous game, Bomberman wants to take a brief rest. However, his wish is in vain, for the mysterious warrior, God Bomber, now suddenly appears! Is he friend or foe?
God Bomber, accompanied by the ultimate machine-beast god, challenges Bomberman to a fight, but he does so with eyes that are so deeply sad, and it is not clear as to why. [...] The start of a battle has begun once again!

A traditional top-down Bomberman game. The HUD implies you would have had to collect keys and/or crystals (they look like crystals in the flyer but orbs in the magazines!) to open the exit; no source goes into detail on the game's objective.
Sprites and background elements would appear three-dimensional thanks to the Virtual Boy's stereoscopic view; the level design would apparently have made use of height and depth, including vertical traps and multiple tiers of platform, though this is not depicted in any screenshot. [src: flyer] Magazines commented on the increased emphasis on puzzle-solving, though this is always in reference to the secret exits; see "rival battles" below. [src: Marukatsu Super Famicom issue 14, Jugemu Magazine issue 12]

The game was to contain five worlds; a jungle stage appears in many screenshots, and a single screenshot seen only in the Space World flyers shows a rocky cavern. It's unknown what the other themes were. [src: flyer]
Each world would have had their own rideable creature, each with two unique abilities. Apparently the Virtual Boy's second D-Pad would have been used to operate certain abilities. [src: flyer] These creatures later found a home in Bomberman World with only minor changes.

All stages would have secret exits that led to one-on-one rival battles with God Bomber, playing out like a Battle Game match. [src: flyer] The flyers don't elaborate on how you'd access these areas, but one screenshot shows God Bomber hovering over a waterfall, perhaps indicating where the passage would be. [src: Dengeki Super Famicom No. 14]
Eyecatches would be displayed after completing a stage, similar to those after defeating a boss in Bomberman '93. It's unknown if they were intended to tell the story or just for the fun of it. [src: Dengeki Super Famicom No. 14]

Besides the main campaign there would be a Challenge Mode, where players could choose a 2-minute or 5-minute mode and try to earn a high score from collecting bonuses and defeating baddies, and receive a ranking based on that score. The description matches Bomberman World's Challenge Mode to a T.
Nno mention was ever made of any multi-player features, and given how the Virtual Boy's 2-player link-up cable was never released, it's unlikely it was ever considered.



(raw scans can be found on MEGA)

An A4 flyer with a fold-out interior. As of this writing, the only visual record of the game's showing in Space World 1995. This was also the first announcement of a release date: February 29th 1996. Translation is sourced from Benjamin Stevens.

新たなる遭遇…
暗闇のなかから
突如浮かび上がった一つの影。
敵か、味方か、
その哀しげな眼ざしは、
何を語ろうとしているのか…

'96年2月29日発売
希望小売価格5,800円(税別)

A new encounter...
A shadowy form suddenly
emerges from the darkness.
This friend, or foe,
who looks seemingly sad,
what does he want to tell you?...

Expected Release: February 29, 1996
Suggested Retail Price: 5,800 Yen (Excluding Tax)

敵か味方か、漆黒の闇に立ちはだかる、紫の影…

●頼もしいお助けキャラがさらに充実!
●ゴッドボンバーと一騎討ち
●細かいキャラまで立体に見える!
●NEWモード「チャレンジモード」とは!?

各ステージでボンバーマンをサポートする5つのキャラ達
前作にあったお助けキャラ(ボンバーマン3でのルーイ)のシステムを踏襲し、今回は、各ステージに1体づつ、計5体(生物3体+アーマー2体)のお助けキャラが登場します。特に、バーチャルボーイ独自の「ダブル十字キー」を活かした、アーマー系の操作性を吟味し、ゲーム性の追及に一役かっています。また、各キャラの特殊攻撃にも、3D視差を利用した迫力あるものに仕上がっています。

突如現われたゴッドボンバーとは何者!
ストーリー

前作でボンバー星雲を救い、束の間の休息をとろうとしていたボンハーマン。しかし、その願いも空しく、俄に出現した謎の戦士ゴットボンバー。敵か味方か?究極の機獣神を従えて戦いを挑むゴッドボンバーではあったが、その瞳はひどく悲しいほど深く,そして何故だかとても澄んでいた。いくつかの謎を残こしながらも今、またもや戦いの火ぶたは切って落とされた。

1ステージ毎にゴッドボンバーと一騎討ちだ!!
今度のバトルは、前回までのものと異なるシステムを採用しました。そのシステムとは、(1ステージ終了毎に、ボスキャラであるゴッドボンバーと対戦することができる)というものです。
つまり、ノーマルゲームとバトルゲームがミックスされたシステムになっています。この画面はステージに現われる、あるポイント入るとバトルステージに移動できるという、いわば「隠れステージ」風の構成になっていますが、それがいつどこに現われるかはまだ秘密です。怪しい場所は必ずチェックしましょう。

バーチャルボーイならではの立体感にあっと驚く!
『バーチャルボンバーマン』はバーチャルボーイの特性(視差を利用して立体感を出す)をフルに活用し、ステージや背景はもちろん、画面内を動き回る各キャラクターさえも、立体視できるようになっています。これにより2階構造、谷底など凹凸のあるステージや、落下物、上下移動するトラップなど、臨場感溢れるステージ構成で「ボンバーマン」のゲーム性を追及しています。また、今回特筆すべき点は、主人公「ボンバーマン」のアクションや表情のバリエーションが十数種類にも増えた点です。画面の中の「ボンバーマン」は、動き回るだけでなく、驚き・喜び・飛び跳ねることにより、ユーザーにとってより身近な存在となることでしょう。

キミのボンバー度は?チャレンジモードに挑戦だ!
ボンバーマンシリーズ初登場のモードがこの「チャレンジモード」です。このモードは、特定されたステージを、限られた時間内にクリアし、その条件内で獲得した得点・敵の数・ボーナスなどによって、プレイヤーのレベルを認定するモードです。モードには「2分モード」と「5分モード」があり、得点や倒した敵の数によって「ボンバーレベル」(「さるぼん」~「かみぼん」まで)が認定されます。これは、はっきりいってハマること間違いナシです。

※画面はすべて開発中のものです。

This purple shadowy form, looming in deep black darkness, is he friend or foe? ...

●Your trustworthy character even more enhanced!
●One-on-one battles with God Bomber!
●Detailed characters that look three-dimensional!
●A new mode, "Challenge Mode"!?

Bomberman is supported in each stage by 1 of 5 characters
Following the system of help characters that was in the previous game (the Louies in Bomberman 3), this time 5 help characters in total (3 biological ones + 2 armors) will come into play, one character at a time in each stage. In particular, making use of the Virtual Boy's original dual control pads as well as testing the usability of the armor system will contribute to the pursuit of the game. Also, certain impactful things that make use of the 3-D parallax are already finished, even the special attacks of each character!

Who is this God Bomber who has suddenly appeared?!
- Story -

After saving Bomber Nebula in the previous game, Bomberman wants to take a brief rest. However, his wish is in vain, for the mysterious warrior, God Bomber, now suddenly appears! Is he friend or foe? God Bomber, accompanied by the ultimate machine-beast god, challenges Bomberman to a fight, but he does so with eyes that are so deeply sad, and it is not clear as to why. And now, even though several mysteries remain to be solved, the start of a battle has begun once again!

Have a one-on-one battle with God Bomber in every stage!!
This time, the battles have adopted a system different from the previous games. The system is: At the end of every stage, it is possible to play against God Bomber, a boss character.
In other words, the normal game and the battle game have become a combined system. It's said you can go to the battle screen when you enter a certain spot that appears within the stage. This battle area is set up as a "hidden stage," so to speak, but where or when its entrance appears is still a secret. If you see a suspicious location, be sure to check it out!

You'll be amazed by the 3-D effect unique to the Virtual Boy!
"Virtual Bomberman" takes full advantage of the Virtual Boy's characteristics (it produces a 3-D effect using parallax), so that you can have a stereoscopic view of each character moving around on the screen as well as the stages and backgrounds. For the game of "Bomberman," this allows us to pursue creating immersive stage components, like traps that move up and down and falling objects, as well as stages with unevenness, such as the bottom of a valley and a two-story structure. In addition, a notable point this time is that the number of variations of the hero Bomberman's facial expressions and actions has increased to over a dozen. The Bomberman on the screen won't just move around but will come to be a more familiar presence to the user by jumping up and down, showing surprise and joy, etc.

What is your Bomber Level? Let's try the Challenge Mode!
The mode making its first appearance in the Bomberman series is the "Challenge Mode." This mode certifies the level of the player by bonuses, number of enemies, score obtained within the conditions, clearing a particular stage within the limited amount of time, etc. Here, there is a "2-Minute Mode" and a "5-Minute Mode," and the player's "Bomber Level" (ranging from "Monkey Bomber" to "God Bomber") becomes certified by the score obtained and the number of enemies defeated. The Challenge Mode is, quite frankly, clearly addictive!

*All of the game's screens are currently under development.

ステージ1
ディーボ
特殊能カ
ジャンプ:
ブロックをジャンプして飛び越える。
溜めジャンプ: 真上にジャンプし、着地したときの振動で、画面上の爆弾を爆破したり,敵の動きを止めたりできる。

ステージ2
リック
特殊能カ
ダッシュ:
高速移動できる障害物に当たるまで止まれない。
溜めダッシュ: ダッシュより高速に移動し、ソフトブロックを破壊することができる。

ステージ3
ロックオンアーマー
特殊能カ
ロックオンボム:
カーソルで敵をロックオンし、爆弾を命中、爆破させる。
ロックオンフルボム: 発射された爆弾の炎が,MAX状態で爆発する。

ステージ4
にゃんじろう
特殊能カ
ボム吐き出し:
:現在所持している爆弾を、一気に扇状に発射する。
ボム上空吐き出し: :現在所持している爆弾を、一気に上空に発射する。発射された爆弾は、吐き出した場所を中心に円形に着地し、爆発する。

ステージ5
ランチャアーマー
特殊能カ
2遍ボム発射:
前方に爆弾を2つ同時に発射し、着弾と同時に爆発する。
溜め2遍ボム発射: 前方に爆弾を4つ同時に発射し、着弾と同時に爆発する。

ボンバーマン
明るく元気いっぱいで、正義感のかたまりだが、負けず嫌いで無鉄砲なのがタマに傷。前作では「プロフェッサーバグラー」の魔の手からボンバー星雲を救う大活躍を見せる。その休息を取ろうとしていたのも束の間、俄に出現した「ゴッドボンバー」。幾つかの謎を残しながらも今、新たな戦いの火蓋は切っておとされたのだった。

Stage 1
Deebo
Special Abilities
Jump:
Makes you jump and leap over blocks.
Charge Jump: Makes you jump straight up and causes a vibration when you land, which blows up the bombs on the screen and which can stop the enemies' movements.

Stage 2
Rick
Special Abilities
Dash:
Makes you move at high speed, and you cannot stop until you hit an obstacle.
Charge Dash: Makes you move faster than the dash and allows you to break soft blocks.

Stage 3
Lock-On Armor
Special Abilities
Lock-On Bomb:
Locks onto an enemy with a cursor; then hits the enemy with a bomb that detonates on impact.
Full-Range Lock-On Bomb: The explosion of the bomb that is launched extends to the maximum range.

Stage 4
Nyanjirou
Special Abilities
Bomb Discharge:
Launches the bombs that you currently possess in a fan shape all at once.
Sky-High Bomb Discharge: Launches the bombs that you currently possess into the sky all at once. The bombs that are launched land in a circle around the place where they were discharged and explode on impact.

Stage 5
Launcher Armor
Special Abilities
Double Bomb Launch:
Simultaneously launches two bombs forward, which explode on impact at the same time.
Charged Double Bomb Launch: Simultaneously launches four bombs forward, which explode on impact at the same time.

Bomberman
He's brightly energetic and has a firm sense of justice, but he's a sore loser and tends to be reckless. In the previous game, he showed great effort in saving Bomber Nebula from the dark-magic hands of "Professor Bagular." After this, he was going to take a brief rest, but then suddenly "God Bomber" appeared. And now, while several mysteries remain, the start of a new battle has begun!

ボンバーマンが活躍する3Dの世界を、一足先にお見せしよう!
バーチャルオープニングシネマ

新ハード「バーチャルボーイ」にボンバーマンがいよいよ登場!「バーチャルボーイ」ならではの立体感のあるキャラクターと、奥行きのあるマップ構成で、ボンバーワールドは、さらなる拡がりを見せています。
ここで「バーチャルボンバーマン」のオープニングデモ画面をご紹介します。画面写真の見方は右の図をご参考ください。

1 平和な地球に忍び寄る怪しい影…
2 その名も「ゴッドボンバー」。
3 その正体は、敵か味方か…
4 また、何の目的でこの地球にやってきたのか。
5 立ち上がれ!我らがボンバーマン
6 「平和を乱そうとするものは…」
7 「誰であっても許さないソ!」
8 またここに新たな戦いの火蓋が…
9 切って落とされようとしている…
10 新たな真実との遭遇を求めて…

Let's show you the 3-D world, in which Bomberman plays an active part, a little early!
Virtual Opening Cinema

Bomberman is finally making his appearance on the new hardware, Virtual Boy! Bomber World has seen further expansion in its map setups that now have depth and in its characters that now have three-dimensional appearances, both of which are unique to the Virtual Boy.
Here, let's introduce the opening demo screen of "Virtual Bomberman." To learn how to view the screenshots in 3-D, please refer to the illustration at right.

1 A suspicious shadowy figure draws near to peaceful Earth...
2 His name is "God Bomber."
3 What's his true identity, friend or foe? ...
4 Also, for what purpose did he come to the Earth?
5 Our Bomberman takes action!
6 "Do you want to disturb the peace?..."
7 "I won't let anyone do that!"
8 Here again, the fires of a new battle...
9 are about to be let loose...
10 in pursuit of encountering new truth...

Planet Virtual Boy (English)

The most comprehensive source of Virtual Boy information online, containing rare screenshots, magazine scans and even the Space World flyer; this game would've been a mystery to me were it not for this site! All magazine entries below link to this site's respective page for them.

Weekly Famitsu (ファミコン通信, issue 349)

新ボンバーマンただいま参上!

『ボンバーマン』シリーズ最新作がバーチャルボーイに登場。今回のは、ボンバーマンが乗ることで特殊能力を発揮する新しい乗り物が5種類も用意されているのだ。また、新アイテムも多数登場するのでいままで以上にハマること確実! バトルを存分に楽しもう。

translation (by Benjamin Stevens)

A new Bomberman is now here!

The latest "Bomberman" game in the series is making its appearance on the Virtual Boy. This time, there are 5 new means of transportation for Bomberman to ride, which have different special abilities. Moreover, since also many new items appear, it's sure to be more addictive than ever before! Enjoy the battle to your heart's content!

Dated August 18/25 1995, the first known record of the game.

Dengeki Super Famicom (電撃スーパーファミコン, No. 14 1995)

立体ボンバーマンついに現る
ご存じ『ボンバーマン』最新作がVBに殴り込み!! VBならではの奥行きのある多層構造マップで、立体的にプレイできるようになった。さらに「ジャンプ」などの特殊能カを持った乗り物が5種類も登場。新たな乗り物、新たなマップの新生『ボンバーマン』、登場が待ち遠しいね。


↑画面の上に見えるのは謎の戦士ゴッドボンバー。幾多のワナをくぐり抜け、彼のもとまでたどり着けるか!?

translation (by Benjamin Stevens)

Three-Dimensional Bomberman Will Finally Appear!
Did you know that the latest "Bomberman" game will be launching on the Virtual Boy?! With a map of a multi-tiered structure, having depth unique to the Virtual Boy, it will now be possible to play three-dimensionally! Moreover, five different means of transportation, each having special abilities, such as "jump," will also be introduced. We can hardly wait for the newly developed "Bomberman," with new maps and new means of transportation, to make its appearance!


↑ The mysterious warrior, God Bomber, can be seen at the top of the screen. Can you get through the numerous traps and reach him?!

Dated September 8 1995.

Marukatsu Super Famicom (マル勝スーパーファミコン, issue 14)

立体空間で白熱のボンバーバトル!
アクションの定番『ボンバーマン』がVBにも登場するぞ! VBならではの多層マップで、戦略性の増したボンバー大炸裂バトルが展開される。今回の宿敵はナゾの戦士「ゴッドボンバー」。各ステージの秘密の入口を見つけてゴッドボンバーを叩きのめそう。ルーイのような乗り物が5種類用意されていて、ロックオン、ダッシュアタック、ボムスプリンクルといった新しい攻撃も加わっている!

translation (by Benjamin Stevens)

Blazing Bomber Battles in a Three-Dimensional Space!
The staple action game, "Bomberman," is also appearing on the Virtual Boy! With multi-tiered maps unique to the Virtual Boy, it is expanded with highly explosive bomber battles requiring even more strategy. The archenemy this time is the mysterious warrior, "God Bomber." Try to find the secret entrance of each stage and then beat God Bomber! Five different means of transportation, much like the Louies, are also available. Plus, new attacks, such as lock-on, dash attack, and bomb sprinkle, are added!

Dated September 8 1995.

Weekly Famitsu (ファミコン通信, issue 363)

Dated December 1 1995. Just another box on the "coming soon" page (translation).

Nintendo Fun Vision (February/March 1996)

A quick nothing-to-report from Shoshinkai '95.

Jugemu Magazine (じゅげむ, issue 12)

爆風に賭ける男バーチャルボーイに登場
爆弾を仕掛けて相手を吹き飛ばす、おなじみ『ボンバーマン』が、バーチャルボーイで登場。今回は、秘密の入りロを見つけてライバルと戦うなど、パズル的な要素もある。他に乗り物に乗って爆弾投下など、盛り上がる演出が沢山だ。

translation (by Benjamin Stevens)

The Man Betting on Bomb Blasts is Appearing on the Virtual Boy
The familiar "Bomberman," who blows away his opponents by setting bombs, is coming to the Virtual Boy. This time, there are puzzle-like elements, such as finding a secret entrance to fight against a rival. There are also plenty of other things to be excited about, such as dropping bombs from the air and riding on various means of transportation.

Dated April 1996.

Tadaima Bomberman Land (Japanese)

Brief coverage on a Bomberman fansite, quickly describing the gameplay. Also says its first proposed release date was December 1995? Where's that sourced from?

TandemShock: 4 Beta Mysteries of Bomberman

An article by Plasma Captain offering thoughts and opinions based on the details described in the flyer.

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page last modified: 18/11/2017