Rainbow Islands: The Story of Bubble Bobble 2
|Rainbow Islands: The Story of Bubble Bobble 2|
|Mode(s)||Up to 2 players, alternating turns|
|Arcade system||Main CPUs: 68000, Z80|
|Sound||Sound CPU: YM2151|
|Display||Raster, 320 x 224 (horizontal), 60 Hz, Palette Colors 8192|
Rainbow Islands (レインボーアイランド?) is a 1987 arcade game developed and published by Taito. The arcade version was licensed to Romstar for North American manufacturing and distribution. The game is subtitled "The Story of Bubble Bobble 2" and is the sequel to Taito's hit game Bubble Bobble from the previous year. It is the second of four arcade games in the Bubble Bobble series (followed by Bubble Symphony and Bubble Memories, but itself has two direct sequels: Parasol Stars and Bubble Bobble Part 2). The game was ported for numerous home computers and game consoles.
The main characters are Bubblun and Bobblun, the protagonists of Bubble Bobble (known as "Bub and Bob" in the western releases). However, in this game they appear in their human forms as "Bubby" and "Bobby", as opposed to the "bubble dragons" of the first game (following on from the first game's true ending). Also unlike the first game, players must now "alternate" (i.e., take turns), with player one as Bubby (green shirt), and player 2 as Bobby (blue shirt) (the same color scheme as in the first game).
Following the events of Bubble Bobble, Bubby and Bobby set out to defeat the "Dark Shadow" and rescuing the Rainbow Islands. The Dark Shadow is the entity responsible for the events in Bubble Bobble. The game is set on a chain of ten islands, each one with a different theme. Each island provides four rounds of game-play, and once these are complete the player moves to the next island in the chain. In each round the player must get to the top before the sea level rises and kills them. The islands get progressively more difficult, with enemies moving much faster on the later ones. These are depicted on a map screen before the start of each island. Like Bubble Bobble before it, the game has muliptle endings. To get the "True and Happy" ending you have to be able to find and complete the three secret islands. These islands are not visible until all 7 big diamonds are collected. To get a big diamond, the player must collect seven different-colored small diamonds on the island and finish the round. The small diamonds are found by destroying enemies by dropping a rainbow on them from above or destroying them with various special items. After collecting the small diamonds, a word "NICE" will appear. Most consumer versions of the game completely lack the secret islands. If the small diamonds are collected in the correct order, you will get to a secret room at the end of each island, which in turn gives you a permanent power up.
Players can release rainbows that act as both weapons against the enemies and as a makeshift platform. By jumping on them, they fall down beating any enemies below it. Collecting power-ups increases the player's speed, the speed of the rainbows and how many are spawned. If players take too long in a level, water will start to rise up from the bottom of the stage.
One of the features which sets this game apart from many others (and has no doubt been responsible for the game's popularity) is its 'hidden depths'. While initially appearing to be quite a simple game, Rainbow Islands in fact has a vast number of secrets for the player to discover, including secret levels, secret power-ups and riddles. Because of these elements, completing the game properly requires a large amount of dedication from the player. The scoring system also has secrets, which allow vastly higher scores to be achieved than normal.
Rainbow Islands Extra Version is a modified version of Rainbow Islands; the game is exactly the same except the stages' enemies and bosses appear in a different order (much like Bubble Bobble's Super Mode). Rainbow Islands Extra was released in limited quantities in the arcade. The game was also included as a mode in the Sega Mega Drive version of Rainbow Islands.
Rainbow Islands has been converted to the following home computer and video game console platforms:
- Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum and Amstrad CPC (1989, Graftgold/Ocean)
- Amiga and Atari ST (1990, Graftgold/Ocean) (converted by Andrew Braybrook)
- Sega Mega Drive (1990, Aisystem Tokyo/Taito) (released as Rainbow Islands Extra)
- NES (1991) (Taito - US/Japan) (Ocean - GBR/ITA/AUS) (Ocean - Europe)(The European version is different from the original Japanese and North American versions)
- Sega Master System (1993) (Taito)(European version contains bad glitch resetting the game after Level 7, preventing player from reaching Level 8 and seeing the ending. This is fixed in the Brazil version) The box art also bizarrely titles the game as "Rainbow Islands: Story of The Bubble Bobble 2".
- PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16 (1993, Interchannel)
- PC, Sega Saturn and PlayStation (1996, Graftgold/Acclaim) (released as Bubble Bobble also featuring Rainbow Islands, optionally plays with improved graphics)
- WonderSwan (2000, Bandai) (released as Rainbow Islands: Putty's Party)
- Game Boy Color (2001)
- PC, PlayStation 2 and Xbox (2005, Empire Interactive/Sega) (released as part of Taito Legends)
- Mobile (2005, Taito) (released as mobile version for various handsets)
- Xbox Live Arcade (2009, Taito) (released with updated "2.5D" graphics)
Over the Rainbow theme
The original arcade game contained in-game music reminiscent of the song "Over the Rainbow" from The Wizard of Oz. This song was included in the Japanese Mega Drive, PC Engine and Famicom releases of the game, as well at the Ocean Software home Computer ports (Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Amiga and Atari ST)
However, in later console versions of the game (Master System, NES, Saturn, PS1, and the Japanese Taito Memories and international Taito Legends collections), aside from part of the chorus, the in-game music was changed so as not to infringe copyright.
The Spectrum version of the game was number 1 in the UK sales chart from May to June 1990 at the time of release. It was re-released at a budget price, and was number 1 again from October 1992 to March 1993. It was awarded 94% in the April 1990 issue of Your Sinclair and was placed at number 8 in the "Your Sinclair official top 100". In issue 93 of the same magazine, the readers voted it the 2nd best game of all time. It was also awarded 94% score in Crash. The readers of Crash voted Rainbow Islands the #1 game of all time in December 1991.
The Amiga version of Rainbow Islands was the first game to make #1 on Amiga Power's annual All Time Top 100 list, and held the spot for years until losing to Sensible Soccer, which retained the title for the rest of the magazine's run.
The Mega Drive version was the 9th best game of all time, according to Mega magazine's "Mega Top 100 Carts". MegaTech magazine said it was "virtually arcade perfect, with only flickery sprites letting the side down".
Gazza's Superstar Soccer
|UK number-one Spectrum game
The European version of the Sega Master System port contains a bad glitch that crashes the game after Level 7, sending the player back to the title screen. If the level select code is used to access Level 8, the same glitch occurs at the end of that level completely preventing the player from seeing the ending. The Brazilian version has fixed this glitch.
The European version of the NES port, developed by Ocean, is more faithful to the Arcade version, whereas the Japanese and North American versions have original level designs and story intermissions.
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- Rainbow Islands: The Story of Bubble Bobble 2 at the Killer List of Videogames
- Rainbow Islands: The Story of Bubble Bobble 2 at MobyGames
- Rainbow Islands: The Story of Bubble Bobble 2 at Arcade History.com
- Rainbow Islands guide at StrategyWiki
- Rainbow Islands Info Pages a detailed and comprehensive collection of information about the game
- The Arcade Flyer Archive the game's official flyer
- Rainbow Islands Nintendo GBA (Unfinished)