The American Virtual Console manual can be downloaded from Nintendo's server.
page 5, "The Story"
The Omni Cube absorbs various kinds of energy that exists in the universe. It provides this energy to its owner. When a man called Altair got the Omni Cube in his hands, his insane ambition began...
Planet Bomber was a peaceful planet that had never experienced danger. Suddenly, Altair's huge ship arrived and initiated its attack. Bomberman was stunned as there was nothing he could do to stop the huge craft. Then, Sirius, a mysterious helper appeared in front of him...
Listening to Sirius's advise [sic], Bomberman began his journey to destroy the bases of Altair's allies. What is waiting for Bomberman? Who is Sirius, the mysterious helper? Unless Bomberman destroys the enemies, there will be no peace on Planet Bomber. This is the beginning of Bomberman's battle.
Credit goes to the Baku Bomberman Data Collection for most of the Japanese transcriptions.
A swarm of birds flee from Blue Resort as a shadow looms over the town. A troop of Reds descend, followed by Capella, who gives the order for them to advance.
Aboard the Black City, the Omni Cube begins to flash. Blue orbs of energy drain from Blue Resort's earth and float skyward...
... and are absorbed into the Omni Cube's core. Capella returns.
|Great job! Well, we certainly cleaned up this planet! What's our next target?
The projector displays their next destination: Planet Bomber. The Black City and its four anchors descend...
... and hovers above a small town. Bomberman witnesses this from a cliffside when it begins firing lasers at the land below.
The town's occupants try to flee, but are wiped out with the rest of the town.
Bomberman tries to make his move, but is stunned by the arrival of a flying figure, Sirius.
Do you plan to defeat them?
Because of the force field,
But, if you destroy the 4 anchors to
...it's asking too much to have you go
Sirius jets off, and Bomberman follows after him.
Now, let's see how strong you've
...better than expected. Keep
Let me tell you something about the
He drains a planet's energy to power the
From the way he takes his time extracting
Such an operation doesn't require that
Altair has 3 subordinates named,
Do you wonder why Altair wants to steal the planet's energy,
and destroy the people of this planet?
|...Not bad. I underestimated you. However, you've upset me. Prepare to meet your fate.
From now on, Altair's troopers
You will encounter enemies with projectile
Bomberman battles Altair, who fuses with Vega to make himself stronger. Bomberman emerges victorious, and Regulus appears to fly his leader to safety.
Sirius drops Bomberman off at the cliffside.
|Well done, Bomberman. Altair got away, but that can't be helped.
To be honest, I'm a little disappointed in you. I'll probably
never see you again. Take care of yourself.
During Regulus and Altair's retreat, Sirius flies in and knocks them out of the air. Altair lands on the platform and drops the Omni Cube, which Sirius absorbs the power from.
It's been a while, Altair. Now that
Sirius punches Altair into the air and fires a massive blast from his shoulder cannons, utterly disintegrating Altair. Sirius turns to Bomberman.
|Bomberman, you've worked out
better than I had expected. Thanks
for helping me regain my power!
With my power back, I have nothing to
You've out-lived your usefulness, you're
Sirius grabs the Omni Cube and leaves the Black City, ascending to the Rainbow Palace.
After this event, all previous exchanges with Sirius in the stages are replaced with a threat.
|It's useless for you to oppose me.
Lie down quietly and meet your
This is the only stage after the reveal to have a unique replacement.
|Target confirmed. Commencing
sampling. Target termination
Damage level over 90% ...unable
to execute program. Reporting
back on the sampling data.
Using the power of the Omni Cube, Sirius creates a stellar arena to battle Bomberman in, granting him greater powers.
Bomberman defeats him, but Sirius charges his shoulder cannons to open fire. Regulus knocks Sirius aside and destroys the Omni Cube, returning the three of them to the Rainbow Palace chamber.
Huh? What a joke! Hey, Bomb!!
Bomberman and Regulus team up to destroy Sirius. His death causes tremors to shake the Rainbow Palace, so Regulus grabs Bomberman and flies him out.
The Rainbow Palace falls onto the Black City, destroying them both. Regulus returns Bomberman to the cliffside on Planet Bomber.
The 4 of us were barely able to
Yet you were able to defeat him. I must
Someday, you and I will settle this.
Regulus leaves. Bomberman celebrates his victory with the wildlife and fellow Bombermen.
Hudson's promotional site that's split into "volumes" - the first three are ripe with early footage, showing a different HUD.
Nintendo's official page for the game, with information, tips and maps.
This is a backup gleaned from the Internet Archive. All pages and images are present, and the hyperlinks have been left untouched - trying to access any of the Nintendo.com links won't take you anywhere, obviously.
[...] the single-player mode is pretty improved over past games now that it's made the leap to 3D. But the multiplayer mode has gone through a few changes as well, and therein lies the rub. [...] The multiplayer mode is... sort of fun, though it's certainly lost all the addictive charm that so positively defined the series. And sadly, because of that, the game just doesn't seem like Bomberman anymore.
Published January 21st 1998, reviewed by Joe Fielder. Awarded 4.6 out of 10.
What will keep gamers riveted are the exploration elements, and the incrementally difficult gameplay. Gamers will have to spend quite a bit of time attempting to cross chasms with either small or large bombs, trip certain levers, or search out those hidden diamonds.
[...] The unusual bomb bridging and tower-building techniques stand out as bizarre and strangely unique, and honestly can be said to be innovative and create additions that bring Bomberman 64 firmly into the age of 3D platforming.
Published December 2nd 1997, reviewed by Doug Perry. Awarded 7.6 out of 10.
Broadcast on public access in Maryland around December 1997.
George Woods criticises everything from Bomberman's movement speed to the lack of multi-player levels.
Broadcast on Channel4 in the UK on November 19th 1997. Richard Pitt compliments the new crystal-defending dynamic in the Team Battle multi-player mode, while Rob Wood thinks little of the single-player mode. Awarded 65%.
Footage from user DynamiteHeaddy on YouTube.
Magazines are sorted by publication date.
Dated May 1997, an excitable preview that expresses great promise in the new 3D stylings of the upcoming game. The game looks relatively final, though the HUD uses different graphics.
Dated August 1997. Another preview, showing off Black City and some extremely preliminary battle stages, including a recreation of the NES arena that would go unused. Credit to oldgamemags.com for the scans.
Dated September 1997. A preview with a bunch of screenshots featuring the old unused heads-up-display. Scan from the Internet Archive.
Dated November 1997. Features an overview of the game with exclusive concept art of the levels, as well as an interview with director Hitoshi Okuno (奥野仁) and game designer Koji Innami (印南好司). Scans can be found at RetroMags and the Internet Archive.
ディレクター / Director
奥野仁さん / Hitoshi Okuno
『爆ボン』全ディレクションを担当。ヒゲが渋いナイスガイ。『爆ボン』ぞいちばん見てほしいところは 「やっぱいパズル部分ですね。自分でもテストプレイしていて、解けたときはかなりエキサイトしま した」 とのこ と。 ちなみに対戦の腕前はそこそこといったところ(笑)。本誌編集部との対戦では、ほぼ互角の勝負で し た。ぜひま た、 対戦して くださいね。
The man in charge of Baku Bomberman's direction. A nice man with a dapper moustache. What he wants players to savour most is the puzzle elements. "I was thrilled when I solved a puzzle even while play-testing. Oh, let them know I'm great at the battle game too. (laughs)" In the match against the magazine staff, we were almost equally matched. We look forward to our next bout.
ゲームデザイン / Game Designer
印南好司さん / Koji Innami
世界観や大まかなマップレイアウ卜から、 こまかい仕掛けの数々まてを担当。編はどうですかというに質問に 「しばらくボンバーマンは見たくないんですが、 少したつとやりたく なるのかもしれませんね」 だって。
Responsible for many elements, among them the visual design, rough map layouts and other important details. When asked for his thoughts on the finished game, he says, "I don't want to look at Bomberman for a while, but in time maybe I'll come around to it again."
Because Hudson have to fiddle, that's why. They can't leave well enough alone. They have to 'improve' each new version, tweaking and twiddling and nipping and tucking, just to show that they're paying their programmers to do stuff rather than just sit around drinking coffee for six months before porting the code for the last Bomberman game straight onto a new platform.
Dated 6th November 1997, reviewer Andy McDermott gives an eventually-positive review of the Japanese game (awarding it 81%) after griping about the poorly-explained controls and Hudson actually changing things a little. The nerve of it!
The magazine didn't quite fit in my scanner bed, and I had to stitch together several scans to get the full page, leaving some ugly errors on a few pages. For convenience sake, here's a transcription of the review.
So don't be taken in. Although it looks like Bomberman and feels like Bomberman, it doesn't take long to realise that so much of what rightfully earned Bomberman's colossal status is foolishly missing. This is - sigh - the kind of 64-bit sequel we could do without.
Hudson, you have messed up.
Dated November 1997, awarded 50%. The quotes above quite aptly summarise Zy Nicholson's opinion. An abridged version of this review was later reprinted in issue 11's pack-in booklet, The Nintendo 64 Companion; see ONM Remembered.
Dated November 1997. A quick overview of the Japanese game before its proper review in issue 64. Despite the hype, the crew are disappointed by the change in design. Credit to oldgamemags.com for the scans.
Dated December 1997, Ivan Cordon awards the game an 8.5 out of 10. Scan from Retro Scans.
You can't go wrong with Bomberman - even the Saturn version is fun. But for once, Bomberman's Story mode holds more excitement than the multiplayer bombing, giving the game more depth.
Dated December 1997, reviewer Scary Larry is all about the story mode but grumbles upon the analogue controls and zoomed-out Battle mode. The individual scores average to 4.125 out of 5. Scan from the Internet Archive.
Dated December 1997, another of Nintendo Power's hard-to-describe multi-page features - part information, part game guide and part advertisement. Reviewed a few pages afterward.
Hudson did a good job with the mechanics and design, but breaks little new ground from the 16-bit games. Fans of previous Bomberman games should enjoy it, and there will be plenty of new fans who will discover Bomberman for the first time.
Reviewed by Dan, Erich, Sonja and Terry. Awarded 7 out of 10.
Dated December 1997. An advertisement for the game.
The game in its own right is quite good, it's just that it's not what we expect from a Bomberman title. We all want the same maze levels, and the cool multi-player matches. What we've received is a muscle-flexing exercise showing what the N64 can achieve. The main disappointment is the multi-player mode. It no longer keeps you in front of the screen for hours. You now play it for ten minutes and move on. In short, the essence of Bomberman has been lost.
Dated January 1998, this is mostly an overview of the Japanese release, though Shaun White offers his opinion at the end of it. A reasonably positive look at the game (awarded 80%), though the loss of the classic multi-player soils it for him.
BOMBERMAN 64: 73%
What's it about: Blow up blocks in 3D world. Kill baddies with short fuse.
What you'll like: Great end of level guardians. Looks ace and will challenge.
One player: Looks cool, big bosses and great graphics - idea's good. Camera angles dodgy.
Multiplayer: Disappointing. Lacks fun and speed of earlier versions. Do it yourself.
What we think: Could be better. First timer'll be happy, fans'll feel let down.
Dated June 1998, this excerpt comes from the Total Test, brief sum-ups of all games reviewed so far by the magazine.
BOMBERMAN 64: Blow stuff up in 3D world. Not a patch on the original. 68%.
This extra-brief review appeared in all subsequent editions of Total Test after the format was shrunk to squeeze in more games per page.
The adventure mode does take a while to get into, but once you do, you'll be bombing away like there's no tomorrow! (Which there probably wouldn't be if you went running around lobbing high-explosives.)
Dated 2nd January 1998, Roy Kimber takes a gander at the PAL version of the game. Now that the crew actually understand the instructions, it's scored 5% higher than the Japanese release (now awarded 86%).
BAKU BOMBERMAN: Bomberman hits the third dimension, and the multi-player game suffers as a result. However, the one-player game is improved dramatically, being a clever and enthralling mix of puzzles, action and big explosions! 81%
This quote comes from the "Nindex", a list of all games reviewed.
OH THE disappointment. It's like going out on a blind-date with a girl who you've been told looks like Jo Guest, only to find out that they actually meant Jo Brand.
Dated February 1998, Paul Noel and the crew express disappointment over the revamped multi-player mode and befuddlement over the new direction of the single-player game.
The second set of scans are of a two-page ad for the game.
Oh dear. Perhaps the biggest disappointment of the year comes in the shape of Hudson's newly 3D Bomberman 64. The one-player mode was never the series' strong point and now it's just a tedious rambling affair devoid of any excitement at all. Worse, the multi-player game has been completely spoilt, with proceedings often becoming impossibly confusing. Another pile of averageness from Hudson.
Have a gander at Zy's review in N64/8 for the low down on how to play Bomberman and the bits to look out for. (If there are any).
BOMBERMAN 64: The original video game urban terrorist. Run around dropping bombs in the path of your fellow man. Bomberman returns in an all new N64 outing. The usual multi player mayhem joins a 3D Mario-style adventure game. Good graphics, but I'm afraid the gameplay of the original seems to have fizzled along the way. 73%.
N64 Magazine: 50%
64 Magazine: 81%
Official Nintendo Magazine: 80%
Total 64 Magazine: 75%
Dated April 1998, this text comes from The Ultimate Guide to N64 Gaming, a list of summarised reviews from old issues. Scores from other UK Nintendo magazines are included at the bottom.
Issue 9: REVIEWER Roy Kimber
THEN: "Cunning puzzles... the multiplayer mode is ace... excellent." 86%
NOW: The multiplayer mode is so not ace! Fortunately, the main game holds up quite well as a platform puzzler. 80%
On the SNES, the multi-player game made this a classic. On the N64 the battle mode is a profound flop, but the on-eplayer game almost compensates. Mario-style landscapes present puzzles to be solved - not by running and jumping, but with careful placement of bombs! It's a game that grows on you, but it'll never have the appeal of its 16-bit ancestor. 80%
Dated 18th June 1998. The first quote comes from the "Son of Retro Rockets" feature, where reviews from previous issues were revisited and how their opinions had changed since then. The second quote comes from the Nindex.
Release date unknown. Despite taking a while to adapt to the Battle mode's 3D perspective, reviewer Himaru ultimately praises the game's new look and style. Awarded an 81% score. Scans from Retro Scans.
The idea of Bomberman appearing on the N64 was almost too much to bear. My memories of the little tyke go way back to the year 1992, when I persuaded a certain Justin Calvert (as he was known back then) to buy a game called Dyna Blaster for his Amiga. It was a great buy: the hours we spent blowing the living daylights out of each other don't bear thinking about. So when Bomberman 64 came into the office I was expecting great things. But no, it wasn't to be. By changing an unbeatable formula, Hudson have upset the balance of Bomberman by transporting him into a 3D world.
Gone are the blocks, the inventive levels and the tactics needed to be successful at this game. What we are left with is a mad scramble, the result of which is determined by luck more than anything else. I'm afraid this comes nowhere near the perfection of the old SNES incarnation. Bomberman 64 is one of the biggest let-downs of the year.
ISSUE NINE SCORE: 75%
Date unknown, reviewer unknown. This quick sum-up is part of the Reviews Round-Up, summarising reviews from past issues (I don't have issue 9).
"One of the biggest let-downs of the year" gets a 75% score. Video game journalism, folks!
The hero of Planet Bomber and our mute protagonist. After Altair's Black City starts wrecking the cities, he's beckoned into action by Sirius to fight back.
Named after the star Sirius.
Named after the star Regulus.
Because of the Nintendo 64's variable emulation accuracy, I want to talk about plug-ins for a bit!
The game's official resolution is 320x240 with black borders; outside of this section, those borders have been cropped out. For the most part the angrylion's RDP with OpenGL 1.5 is used for all screenshots, though if I couldn't bear the speed, Glide64 is the fallback.
This game (and plenty of other Nintendo 64 titles for that matter) has been trouble for emulators for the longest time; most plugins would render a majority of the game as a solid black screen!
Jabo's Direct3D8 graphic plugin was the best it got for a long time, blacking out on certain screens and not rendering fade-outs, but Glide64 Final is the most ideal option. The entire game can be played from start to finish with no blackouts, though it may suffer a bit of slowdown when lots of objects or transparencies are used, particularly in Battle Mode.
(angrylion's RDP with OpenGL 1.5)
For total visual accuracy, angrylion's RDP with OpenGL 1.5 graphic plugin paired with the Static Interpreter RSP plugin are what you want. It appears totally accurate to the original Nintendo 64 hardware... but it's also frighteningly slow. We're talking single-digit frames-per-second unless you have a beefy machine!
The one possible quibble with this plugin is it applies a visual grain to the entire screen, probably an artifact from its fog system that most other plugins interpet as a black screen.
(angrylion's RDP with OpenGL 1.5)
Most plugins have transparency issues; the easiest way to test this is look at the goal gems in Green Garden. This also impacts visual effects like the fusion between Altair and Vega or the battle against Master.
The sharp aliased edges in the angrylion plugin only apply to screenshots; the emulator applies a light blur to mask it like on N64 hardware.
(angrylion's RDP with OpenGL 1.5)
The 'dissolve' effect only appears to work consistently with the angrylion plugin; otherwise Altair will just vanish in his death scene, instead of vapourising.
Glide64 is one image behind whenever the game uses a 'screenshot' - the intro and credits sequence demonstrate this easily. Bighead's N64 Multiple Game Configuration List claims this is a Project64 issue, and can be remedied in Glide64's options.