Neo Bomberman


In-game artwork (Battle Mode)

In-game artwork (Normal Mode)

(see the story section for the story scene artwork)

Cabinet artwork

Cropped from the cabinet materials. None of the artwork has been touched up in any way, so quality is low and there's bits of text and whatnot visible on some of the images.

This music was recorded using Kawaks' built-in jukebox and sound record functions.

Title Screen

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How To Play

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Choose the game mode!

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Stage 1

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Stage 2

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Stage 3

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Stage 4

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Stage 5

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Hurry Up!

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Boss 1, 2 & 4

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Boss 3

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Final Boss

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Stage Clear! 1

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Stage Clear! 2

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Stage Clear! 3

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Stage Clear! 4

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Bagura intro

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Story intro

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Story scene

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Staff Roll

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Battle 1 & 4

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Battle 2 & 3

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Draw Game!

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Staff Roll (Battle)

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A New Intruder!

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Game Over

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[unknown / unused 1]

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[unknown / unused 2]

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Japanese - American
Upon booting up, the Japanese version features an English screen about where the game can be legally distributed. The American version includes a Winners Don't Use Drugs message instead.

Japanese - American
The Japanese version uses vertical text for the mode buttons, and can display a description of both on the same screen. The English/European version uses graphical icons, and displays the description of what mode is currently highlighted.

You can experiment with some of the unused levels and objects mentioned below using these Kawaks savestates and cheats; pop the "neobombe.dat" file in the "cheats/" directory, and remove the descriptions from the savestates and place them in the appropriate directory. They have been tested working on WinKawaks 1.59.

Debugging features

A variety of debug functions remain in the game, including a level select, sound test, and debug monitor. You can read more and how to access them over at The Cutting Room Floor Wiki and Sudden Desu. The level select menu functions like so:

The final option looks like a list of curses for the Skull Item, though changing it doesn't appear to do anything.

Unused stages (Normal Game)

The internal level select has 8 stages in every world, even though worlds 1 and 2 have less than that! The missing stages are fully functional, and I can only assume were skipped to make the game progress faster.


Torisan, Uneune, Charge x 2, Bakucha
Bomb Up x 2, Power Glove, Fireproof Vest

Bomb Up x 2, Fire Up, Power Glove x 2, Fireproof Suit


Paperman x 2, Ah x 3
Speed Up, Penetration Bomb, Fireproof Vest, Cage

Bomb Up, Fire Up, Speed Up, Penetration Bomb, Fireproof Suit, Cage


Ugyo, Pukyu, Baketama x 4
Fire Up, Remote Control, Power Glove

Fire Up x 2, Remote Control x 2, Power Glove x 2

The first boss has an entirely unused attack phase, which can be accessed by locking the world and stage values and then defeating the boss; after the cutscene it will return to the boss arena as it begins this new phase.
The boss stomps the ground and falls through a hole, and peeks through with its hands clinging to two of the corners. It repositions its hands periodically, which are the only weak spot. A green cyclops enemy will appear to hound the player, as the boss otherwise has no attacks in this phase; the enemy will respawn in a new location once it's defeated. After 3 hits, the boss will lose grip and fall through the hole, awarding 1600 points.

The visual effect clearly hasn't been completed, as the boss sprite will show through the arena floor, and its hands are missing chunks of sprite when clinging to the higher edge.

Unused arenas (Battle Game)

The Battle Game has an entirely unused arena, internally classified as Stage 2; it's skipped over by default in the level select, and if forced to display its icon will claim it's already been completed.

It uses the tileset of Normal Game's World 3 and features a conveyor belt that carries players and bombs around the arena - a stage hazard that, shockingly, is otherwise absent from the game!
It functions as it should, though the conveyor belt suffers a graphical glitch where the individual tiles won't display until a bomb has detonated on top of it. Aside from the AI opponents being reluctant to use them, that's the only reason I can imagine this stage getting scrapped.
The maps below have been edited to show the conveyor belts; they are otherwise invisible or hidden beneath soft blocks.

Area 1: The conveyor belt moves in a clockwise loop.

Area 2: There are two separate conveyor belts on the top and bottom; they both travel to their respective edges of the map and then meet in the middle, moving towards the centre of the arena.

Stage 4 is the only battle arena to not repeat maps during its single-player tournament, but increasing the level value shows there's another five map variants that go totally unseen!

Match 6
All arrows point to the centre of the map.

Match 7
The outer arrows point to the corners of the arena; the inner arrows bounce back and forth in a loop.

Match 8
A simple counter-clockwise loop in the centre.

Match 9
The arrows form four groups of circles; clockwise on the left and bottom, counter-clockwise on the right and top.

Match 10
Arrows point to the centre, where they bounce up and down in a loop.

The single-player battle game tournament has five matches per arena before it's completed, but increasing the level value reveals additional AI opponent lineups:

The coloured Bombermen are seemingly hard-coded that way, unlike the first match which changes colour if the player is already using White Bomber. The game never displays "-9" or "-10" anywhere, so that's likely why it resets to "-1" for match 9 and beyond. Setting the value to match 11 or higher will loop to the first opponent lineup.

Unused objects

Each sprite object has 80 bytes dedicated to it, ranging from its X and Y position coordinates, its palette, and, of course, its object ID. Changing the object ID will swap it for something else, allowing unused objects to be found -- or, more commonly, just crash the game. It's not an efficient process!
The games appears to treat object IDs as 'states' - there's no one object ID for a playable Bomberman, but over a dozen, all for various actions like walking, throwing bombs, dying, etc. I don't know if this is a quirk is common among all Neo Geo titles, or just Neo Bomberman in particular.

The easiest way to find these values is to use Cheat Engine and, during either Normal or Battle game, search for the 1-byte hex value "35". Pause the game while White Bomber is moving, and search for "36" - if it's narrowed to one address, that should be White Bomber's object ID. You can hopefully extrapolate from there, it's not a fine-tuned process!

Replacing the object ID for a hard block (7B) will spawn one of the following unused items:

ID 2C is a fully-functioning Heart item: collecting it will allow the player to survive one attack. It only protects the player, though; steeds will still die in one hit.

ID 30 is a points item that changes sprite and score value in every world. In World 1 it's a cake worth 3000 points, in World 3 it's an ice cream worth 5000 points, and in World 4 it's a burger worth 10000 points! The cake and burger load the wrong palettes by default, and there doesn't appear to a palette that fits loaded during gameplay.

A sizeable portion of the enemy IDs are dedicated to enemy Bombermen, including the special characters from battle game. They typically walk slowly and aimlessly around the arena, placing bombs to destroy soft blocks and soft blocks. Cat Bomber will use her dash attack, but they otherwise do not use items or special abilities. They cannot be harmed by other enemies or even their own bombs, only the player's. They aren't worth points (and any enemies they defeat don't count towards your score), but they drop 2 Bomb Ups, a Fire Up and Speed Up when defeated.

Swapping out the cage in 4-8 with ID 3C will spawn two Pretty Bombers flying in circles above the arena! Probably not the intended result, but this is probably the first part of events followed up by IDs 64 and 5D.

Replacing the object ID for the final boss spawns objects seemingly related to the "true ending" alluded to in the promotional materials!

ID 5D is a curious one - all the helper characters stand on the borders of the screen, with Pretty Bomber on Torisan in the centre. She lays a heart bombs and flies off-screen as it detonates, whiting out the screen before fading in in a brightly-coloured background palette. One would assume this is to do with the "true ending" alluded to in the promotional materials.

ID 5F depicts Bomberman burned black and smoking, before running off-screen with a happy expression.

ID 64 has Pretty Bomber entering from the right; likely the lead-in to ID 5D. This ID loads her correct colours.

[there's got to be a more efficient, less crash-y way of investigating object IDs!]

Unused graphics

These graphics were found using Kawaks' tile viewer (the coordinates indicate where to find them) and the Neo-Geo Graphic Tool Suite; unless otherwise stated, all palettes are placeholders. Thanks to Plasma Captain for making a number of these discoveries.

258: Preliminary level tiles and a small Bomberman sprite. Likely used for early testing.

1393: An early draft of the world 3 background tiles; shown here is a preliminary version of the side walls, with the final rendition on the right for comparison.
Neo Bomberman stores multiple copies of its background tiles through its graphics data, all seemingly different 'drafts' at various points in the game's development. Most are identical, which some have minor differences, be it a different tile layout or actual changes to the graphics. There's too many to document for now!

2033: A large Bomberman, seemingly an alternate background graphic for the high score screen. It's repeated at F3880 as well.

2336: A large animated bomb. An early intro graphic? A single frame also appears later at 345C80.

2865: A wide "Bomberman" logo. It's repeated at 37FC80.

8161: The Heart item panel; see unused objects.

8257: A 1Up item panel! Now that's just being generous.

8320: A preliminary Bomberman sprite in a different art style.

8937: A Louie! This familiar critter has full animations to be a playable steed, but never shows up in the game. There are a couple of possible palettes loaded during gameplay, but none in the iconic green; this one is edited from one that was close enough. More graphics for it appear at 11225 and 37401.

11289: Alternate egg graphics complete with hatching animations; the first is clearly styled after the one used in Bomberman '94. The middle and right versions are found at 26329 and 27385 respectively.

11369: Early character icons! These were likely for an early character select / ranking screen, and depict a very different character roster. Each character has expressions for neutral, success and failure; in the final the in-game sprites are used on the character select, and expressionless mugshots on the scoreboard.
Atomic Bomber and Cat Bomber have two sets of sprites; Atomic either with or without pupils, and Cat Bomber with different eye designs. Hayate Bomber is missing his red headband and has ordinary eyes rather than blank eyes.
Alongside Pretty Bomber, there is a samurai (named Samurai Bomber, see 51609) who is not seen in the final. The bottom-right Bomberman is possibly Gold Bomber, depicted in his cape and otherwise-unseen shoulderpads.

11745: A variant of the battle scoreboard viewscreen with a placeholder Bomberman to show what it should look like.

12017: Two Japanese fonts found in the middle of the main menu graphics. The game uses a larger, outlined font instead.

12384: Several Bombermen, a Louie with a paintcan, and a glob of paint. They look to be part of a menu screen.

22913: Samurai Bomber! These measly eight sprites are all that remain of the original character, buried within Kotetsu's sprite sets; it's likely he took Samurai's place in the final roster. The riding frames sport a standard bobble, while the standing frames (found at 23289) feature a chonmage ponytail the same colour as his helmet, though it's missing on the right-facing sprite.

25017: An unfinished set of menu graphics for a Bomberman pulling a giant lever? It's possible the rest of its graphics were overwritten by Honey's sprites, which come before it.

25305: Text saying "PRESS B BUTTON" and "NO ABILITY", found among the name tags for the character select screen. The game displays "-SPECIAL-" under an appropriate character, and has no in-game tutorial on how to activate the abilities.

25561: Two types of animated arrow tiles, likely intended as battle mode hazards; the arrows seen in battle stage 4 are non-animated. The conveyor belt tiles only seen in the unused battle arena are also found here.

26425: The pogo stick-riding boss of world 3 has an unused preliminary design buried in the graphics data (final version on right for comparison). The final version uses an overlay for the 3D glasses which this version lacks, making it tricky to apply an appropriate palette. It is otherwise complete with the same amount of animation as the final version.

27641: Lumped with the enemy graphics and fitting their sprite layout is this: some kind of needle-nosed, googly-eyed hover pod? It looks to have an animation where its pointy nose lights up and retracts - a projectile? Only the up, left and right-facing sprites remain; its down-facing sprites appear to be overwritten by White Bomberman's battle victory sprite.

31773: Early drafts of Cat Bomber's design are strewn about her ordinary sprites. The first one fits perfectly with her ordinary palette, while the others do not, requiring estimated placeholders.

37209: A stage select icon for the unused battle arena.

39673: Atomic Bomber's victory icon using the finalised style seen in-game, though he's missing his pupils.

42137: A variant of the Kumoss enemy in world 3, only with grey tentacles instead of yellow.

42201: The Paperman enemy from world 1 has four extra frames of animation for missing one of its four limbs. An unused damage animation?

43449: The first boss with a teary expression. Only seen in its unused attack phase; see unused stages.

45305: The Grunt enemy from world 4 has variants of its walking animation with a wide-eyed expression, as well as an unfinished standing frame. It was probably replaced by the all-purpose panic animation for all directions; the top and right-facing animations were likely overwritten by it.

45910: Another unused logo.

46809: The background elements seen on the sides of world 2 have full sets of animation, but are totally static in-game.

47321: Pretty Bomber, Torisan and a burnt Bomberman. Likely intended as a cutscene after her rescue; this would be the only time Pretty Bomber would appear in-game, and not in an illustrated cutscene.

47673: Three unused points items - see unused objects.

47993: The Hudson Group logo, seen in the demo of Saturn Bomberman. This game uses the familiar Hudson bee.

49305: A large image of Atomic Bomber, using a preliminary character design. This sprite is located near the stadium interior used for the Battle Mode victory screen. What that implies is beyond me.

50457: Icons for arrows facing eight directions, A, B and a plus sign.

50745: A variety of different takes to the point value sprites.

51161: Bomberman with a variety of cheering animations. This is one of the few Bomberman sprites to be fully assembled (the head and body are normally separated with their own palettes); I assume it was intended as decoration for a menu or battle arena sidelines.

51609: Small Japanese name tags for the battle mode characters. No matter the region, the character select is always in English. It appears to be based on the prototype icons seen above, as it has tags for "Samurai" (サムライ) and "Pretty" (プリティ).

72921: A large pause graphic. Likely intended for the console mode; the game uses the small 8x8 font used for the character select, though that mode as a whole is arguably unused since the game never saw an official AES release.

73177: This font is used for the "continue" text upon losing all your lives, but also features every other letter of the alphabet, although they aren't used.

73433: "START" in the stage title card font. Likely intended for battle mode.

Unused audio

In addition, there are a couple of unused music tracks in the game, found using the Kawaks jukebox.
0722 is a short, downbeat song that loops at the 15 second mark.
0734 is a short ditty that sounds like it belongs at the end of a Battle Mode match or a Continue countdown.
The game's music seems to be utilised rather clumsily at times - there are a number of tracks that are heard for only a very brief instance before it goes to a new screen.

Sound effects can be accessed using the sound test, spanning 20 to B1:
The female announcer announces "Kick" and "Throwing" for the Bomb Kick and Power Glove items, but has three additional voice clips: 4C ("Power up!"), 4E ("Dokuro!" / Skull), and 4B ("Louie!") The player character will exclaim upon collecting a Skull/Dokuro item, and all other items use a generic sound effect.

Screenshots can be found on this page!
page last modified: 18/11/2019