Bomb Jack

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Bomb Jack
Developer(s) Tehkan
Publisher(s) Tehkan
Designer(s) Michitaka Tsuruta, Kazutoshi Ueda
Platform(s) Arcade
Release date(s) 1984
Genre(s) Platform game
Mode(s) Single player, 2-player alternating
Cabinet Upright/Table-Top
Display Standard resolution raster

Bomb Jack (ボンジャック Bon Jakku?) is an arcade platform game that was released in 1984 by Tehkan (known today as Tecmo).[1] It was followed by two official sequels, the console and computer title Mighty Bomb Jack, and the arcade game Bomb Jack Twin.

Plot and gameplay[edit]

The player controls Jack, a superhero who can leap and glide. Someone has planted 24 bombs at famous tourist sites (the Sphinx and Great Pyramids, the Acropolis, Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, and two cityscapes resembling Miami Beach and Hollywood, which appear only as screen backgrounds rather than unique game locations). Jack must fly around the screen to collect the bombs. Each screen uses a different configuration of platforms upon which Jack may run and jump. Eventually, the levels reoccur a number of times with increasing difficulty.

Bomb Jack's arcade version

Jack "defuses" the bombs by simply touching them. As soon as he has touched the first, he triggers a sequence in which another bomb's fuse lights up, and so on. A player can score a bonus in each round by touching 20 or more bombs in the correct lit-fuse sequence. Jack may also defuse an unlit bomb by touching it, but this impedes his opportunity to score the bonus for that screen. It also delays the appearance of the game's bonuses and power-ups.

Bomb Bonuses are triggered when Jack touches the first of 24 onscreen bombs. It is possible to collect the remaining bombs in fuse order, the maximum being 23 (the top score possible on a level). Expert players would combine this with X5 'b's for the largest multiplier score available.

The lit fuses have no strategic purpose other than the bonus; a lit bomb left unattended does not explode, although the onscreen enemies become faster the longer Jack is flying around and they eventually start to follow him at speed. At this point, new enemies appear in the form of flying saucers, that 'lock on' to Jack and are difficult to avoid.

Enemies such as birds, mummies, turtles, and orbs float around the screen, making Jack lose a life if he touches them. Collecting bombs will increase the bonus meter at the top of the screen (collecting lit bombs increases it more). When the meter is completely filled up, a circular bouncing "P" appears, and when collected, it will turn all the enemies into bonus coins for a short period during which Jack may collect them. Other similar bonuses are the B (Bonus) which increases the score multiplier (up to 5x), the E (Extra) which gives an extra life, and the rare S (Special), which awards a free game. The Twin Galaxies highest scores for Bomb Jack on the MAME (arcade) platform are 73,378,560 on marathon settings, and 4,888,740 on tournament settings (5 lives only), achieved by Paul Kearns of London.


Bomb Jack was ported to various home computer systems from 1985 to 2009. A Java ME version was published on 2003.

Background music[edit]

Bomb Jack's Round 1 music is the ending song from the Japanese animated cartoon series Spoon Obasan (Mrs. Pepper Pot), sung by Mari Iijima. Round 2 was set to the music of the Beatles' Lady Madonna, which had been licensed by Tehkan[citation needed]. When the game was re-released on the Tecmo Classic Arcade compilation for Xbox, the music from Mighty Bomb Jack for the NES was used, due to the music licensing issues.[citation needed] The Commodore 64 version used Jean-Michel Jarre's Magnetic Fields Part II.


Bomb Jack II was a licensed follow-up developed for 8-bit home computers by the European games publisher Elite Systems. Bomb Jack Twin was a platforming arcade game that was released in 1993 by NMK. 2 players could play at the same time.


  1. ^ "Bomb Jack". The International Arcade Museum. Retrieved 5 Oct 2013. 

External links[edit]