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Video Game: Bomberman
aka: Bomber Man

Bomberman, Bomberman
Mass destruction across the land.
Makes a bomb, any size.
And he's yours, to customize.
Look out! Here comes the Bomberman!

To put it plainly and simply, the Bomberman series is about a deceptively cute-looking robot guy in a white helmet who can produce an endless supply of bombs, and use them to destroy things. Originally, his M.O. was to escape from a bricks-and-mortar dungeon where everything was trying to kill him, but his quest has since evolved into one of saving the galaxy from another race of rogue bombers.

Since its creation by Hudson Soft back in the mid-1980s, it's become almost synonymous with multiplayer madness, as up to four, eight, or even TEN (Saturn Bomberman) players can compete against each other and blow each other up. The Bomber's legacy (not the Blue one, BTW) lives on even to this day, as his games have been ported to almost every platform imaginable.

Since Hudson Soft was bought out by Konami, Bomberman has been virtually unheard of, as the most recent Bomberman project for the 3DS has been cancelled.

The individual games' pages need more tropes.

Games in this franchise include:

Anime in this franchise includes:


The original Bomberman game provides examples of:

  • Character Name and the Noun Phrase: Eric and the Floaters, the ZX Spectrum version of Bomberman. Thank goodness this name didn't catch on; amongst other things, it would have meant that the hero's name is "Eric", which is far less cool than "Bomberman". And the "floaters" are presumably the balloon enemies, but just try and NOT think of the potential toilet humor.
  • Contemptible Cover: The U.S. release for the first TurboGrafx Bomberman had this as its cover.
  • Continuity Reboot: Bomberman for TurboGrafx-16, which gave us the Bomberman we now know and love.
  • Expy: Bomberman himself is based on the enemies from NES version of Lode Runner, appearance-wise. The game acknowledges it at the end of the first NES game; and in the latest remakes by Hudson, the enemies resemble Bomberman even more.
  • Graphics-Induced Super-Deformed: As seen in the box art. Then it was adapted as a default version, and the original one didn't see the light again until Act Zero.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: The NES Bomberman. Firewalking buff meant you could endlessly chain your bombs to wipe out the entire level and never lose a life again.
  • Pinocchio Syndrome: The original "plot" was Bomberman's quest to escape the bomb factory, thereby becoming human.
  • Poorly Disguised Pilot/Fully Absorbed Finale - kinda... more of a Very Well Disguised And Absorbed Prequel. At the end of the original Bomberman, he becomes human — particularly the protagonist from Lode Runner.

The overall franchise provides examples of:

  • The Anime of the Game: Bomberman B-Daman Bakugaiden, which was only cosmetically based on the games, and Bomberman Jetters, which was a much more faithful adaptation of the games.
  • Arc Number: 5656. Entering it as a password in the various 16-bit Bomberman games almost always had an effect, though what it did varied depending on the game.
  • Badass Adorable: Bomberman himself is a very good example, especially since his face looks like (n n) whenever he's happy.
  • BFB: As if Bomberman's bombs weren't big enough, he can pump them up to jumbo size in Bomberman 64 and The Second Attack! while holding them. This is actually required to kill some enemies — not from the bigger explosion, but by crushing them with the Pumped-Up Bomb.
    • Saturn Bomberman's intro sequence is notable for including some truly gigantic bombs being thrown at Bomberman that are several times his size. This doesn't stop him from grabbing and flinging one back to his assailants, but overshooting and having it fall into a volcano. Cue Mass "Oh, Crap!" over the next few seconds as the camera zooms out, the planet starts bulging, and then turns into a planet-sized Cartoon Bomb before exploding.
    • Bomberman can do this in Generation and Jetters as well. It's nerfed from the N64 games in that he's only ever allowed to have one Big Bomb deployed at a time, but it's still one of the more important techniques in his arsenal.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Thunder Bomber from Bomberman Online and Bomberman Jetters has a rather impressive pair of eyebrows.
  • Boss Game: Bomberman Quest.
  • Boss-Only Level: Common in most of the 3D games.
  • Brain in a Jar: Bagular at the end of Super Bomberman 3. He continues like this in Super Bomberman 4. He gets his body back in Bomberman Hero.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Max in Bomberman Tournament.
    • Nitros in Bomberman Hero
  • Captain Ersatz: Almost every major character in Bomberman Hero is a Captain Ersatz to a Star Wars character. For instance:
    • Millian: Leia;
    • Bagular: Darth Vader
    • Pibot: R2-D2
    • Pommy is an expy to both Kirby and Pikachu.
  • Cartoon Bomb: The main character's Weapon of Choice.
  • Cheerful Child: Bomberman; he is even called Cheerful White in the Land series.
  • Collision Damage: 2D games kill you on contact with enemies. Bomberman 64 and its sequel tend to just stun you for a few seconds instead if you walk into them instead of killing you outright (it depended on the enemy), but the stun could easily be long enough for the enemy to deal a killing blow. Bomberman Hero, Generation, and Jetters, however, played this trope completely straight.
  • Combining Mecha: The Five Bad Bombers from Super Bomberman 3 enter into/become a large mecha for Bagular to ride after entering a vortex.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard
  • Continuing Is Painful: When you die, you lose all your powerups. Some versions only reduce bomb count and explosion size, but the other major powerups are lost.
    • Bomberman 64: The Second Attack! gives you three continues that preserve your powerups, averting this trope nicely.
  • Convection Schmonvection: Red Mountain in Bomberman 64 and Nature Planet Neverland in Bomberman 64: The Second Attack!. Bomberman Hero plays with it a bit for the first couple of levels near lava, where you must enter cooling capsules to refill your health as you gradually take damage from the heat. However, it's still played completely straight in Hades Crater.
  • Cursed with Awesome: The Skull item will sometimes give you almost uncontrollable speed and fast fused bombs, as "diseases".
  • Crossover: Wario Blast for the Game Boy (which is actually a dolled-up localization of Bomberman GB).
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory: Double-tapping the bomb button in Bomberman 64 or The Second Attack! does a stationary Bomb Kick. The very same action in Bomberman Generation's Battle Mode or Saturn Bomberman will Line Bomb instead (unless you change the configuration for the latter to one specific setting that puts Line Bomb on Z instead of C).
  • Dark Chick: Artemis (of the Masked Trio) in Bomberman 64, Natia (of the Devils of Garaden) from Bomberman Hero, Beauty Bomber (of the Crush Bombers) in Bomberman Generation, and Mermaid Bomber (of the Elemental Bombers) in Bomberman Online and Bomberman Jetters, among several other examples. Not much of a surprise, considering that each game tends to have its own Quirky Miniboss Squad.
  • Darker and Edgier: Bomberman: Act Zero, a prime example of how this trope can be misused.
    • Bomberman 64: The Second Attack! is also this to a lesser extent.
  • Dead Character Walking: In most of the newer Bomberman games, there's usually an option to allow defeated players to harass the living ones by riding around the edge of the stage in a hovering vehicle and throwing bombs at them. In some of the games, managing to directly kill one of the players this way could also revive you and let you resume playing normally, hopefully not getting killed in turn by the same player who you just offed.
  • Destroyable Items: Practically all games in the series. In some games, only good items can be destroyed by accident — the Skull just gets blasted across the arena!
    • In some games, destroying a powerup results in a swarm of enemies!
  • Dolled-Up Installment: Wario Blast was originally Bomberman GB in Japan. Wario was added when it was ported, making it a Dolled Up Intercontinuity Crossover.
  • Double Knockout: Mass-mutual KOs are common in multiplayer, due to the hectic pace of battle.
  • Elemental Powers: Done liberally in The Second Attack, Generation, and Jetters.
  • Enemy Mine: Bomberman and Regulus.
    • Bomberman and Max in the Jetters game, due to Max's nature in the anime the game was based on.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Saturn Bomberman. They're adorable and give you a ride, along with a charging or jumping ability. Also Bomberman Fantasy Race, where they're an optional alternative to the rooeys. Different dinosaurs also show up early on in Super Bomberman 4 as generic enemies... until you blow them up and they turn back into eggs. The first one you walk over hatches back into the same dinosaur and gives you a ride, while any extra ones follow you around like Yoshi eggs.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Let's see, Mooks, fish, kid mice holding balloons, pandas, walking bombs, dragons, dinosaurs (unless they hatch from giant eggs when you walk over them), snowmen, giant spiders, tornadoes, a mystical sorcerer, a male sphinx, a crazy cat, GIANT robots, and many other things, on top of your own bombs and the villains...
  • Evil Laugh: Bagular in Hero, Rukifellth and Zoniha in The Second Attack!, Sirius in Bomberman 64.
    • Thunder Bomber has a decent one when using his special attack in Bomberman Online, and he has a hilariously narmy one in Bomberman Jetters.
  • Evil Twin: Black Bomber.
  • Five-Bad Band: The Five Dastardly Bombers:
  • Heel-Face Turn: Black Bomber. Originally the antagonist in Bomberman II up through about Bomberman '93. After that, he's portrayed as a sidekick, companion, and perhaps rival to White Bomber when Max isn't taking that role instead, to the point where he's the second player character in co-op.
    • Plasma Bomber almost did in Super Bomberman 2.
    • Regulus (a.k.a. Bulzeeb) twice, though his latter appearance portrays him more as a neutral rival than an enemy.
  • High Heel Face Revolving Door: Pretty Bomber. She is either one of the bad guys in the main gamesnote , or one of the good guys in the spin-offs.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The player can very easily do this if (s)he's not paying attention, especially in multiplayer. You're probably lying if you say you haven't blown yourself up at least once.
  • Humongous Mecha: Several robotic bosses fall into this trope.
    • Special attention goes to Constructor X, who qualifies for Super Robot-hood with:
      • A Drill Rocket Punch.
      • Drill hand opening up to reveal a Laser Blade which, when swung, spontaneously causes explosions for no apparent reason (other than it's cool).
      • Calling Out Attacks. Some of them are almost incomprehensible, but the fact still stands.
      • It's formed by two talking construction vehicles who are brothers or have pilots that are brothers. The combination sequence reeks of Super Robot.
  • 100% Completion: The N64 and GameCube games, most notably.
  • Idle Animation: Can be seen more easily in Super Bomberman 3's battle mode when riding a Rooey or otherwise.
    • Bomberman Max 2 also has them, with each Charabom having their own animation.
  • Intercontinuity Crossover:
  • Kangaroos Represent Australia: Started showing up with Bomberman '94/Mega Bomberman and have practically become a mainstay since then. They're even more adorable and also give you a ride, and for whatever reason, hatch from giant eggs.
  • Large Ham: Mujoe (especially him), Machbom, Thunder Bomber, Gold Bomber, and Constructor X.
  • Light Is Not Good: The final boss of Bomberman 64.
    • At least 2 bosses from The Second Attack!
  • Load-Bearing Boss: Nearly every final boss in the whole franchise.
  • Man on Fire/Infernal Retaliation: One of the skull effects in Bomberman 64 and its sequel set the player on fire, which would force him to use his body to kill off everyone else before the fire killed him.
  • Market-Based Title: Bomberman Tournament is known as Bomberman Story in Japan. It's a more fitting title, since "Tournament" would imply more emphasis on online multiplayer with singleplayer that boils down to "multiplayer with bots". However, this game is more "Bomberman meets The Legend of Zelda with a side of Pokémon" in terms of the singleplayer, not that some people even bother with singleplayer in a Bomberman game.
    • Bomberman 64 can refer to TWO different games. The one we know is known as Baku Bomberman in Japan. The Japanese Bomberman 64 is actually a 2D game that never got exported.
    • Dyna Blaster and Atomic Punk.
    • Eric and the Floaters for the ZX Spectrum.
  • Mercy Invincibility: A very generous amount is given to you at the beginning of every level in the first Super Bomberman game, so much that a trick could be used to take advantage of it. Lay a bomb, and wait for it to explode, then keep tapping the A button to lay more bombs which will immediately explode because they are within an explosion. Walk around the level while doing this and you can get a very nice head start.
    • You are also invincible for a short amount of time after getting hit if you have a heart powerup in many games.
    • Later games have a Life Meter, allowing you to easily take multiple hits and therefore displaying this trope quite prominently.
    • Some games even give you Mercy Invulnerability after taking a hit that merely stuns you as opposed to killing you (most notably Bomberman 64 and Bomberman Max 2). However, the Mercy Invulnerability didn't kick in until after the stun wore off.
  • Mon: The Charaboms/Karabons.
  • Monster Clown: The boss of the second world in Super Bomberman is a giant clown head.
    • A recurring enemy in Bomberman Hero, first appearing in Clown Valley.
  • Mutually Exclusive Powerups: The piercing bombs and the manually thrown bombs.
    • In Neo Bomberman, Piercing and Remote. Using cheats to force these to stack results in invisible bombs.
    • Super Bomberman 5 also has Land Mines and Pursuing Bombs. Even though Pro Action Replay codes could let you combine Piercing and Remote, those other two still won't stack with Remote.
    • Also, if a game has both Bomb Kick and Bomb Walk abilities (again, SB5), they may not be able to overlap either. Justified since both work by walking into the bomb.
    • The first Super Bomberman averts this by letting you have both piercing (colored red instead of having spikes like in later games) and remote bombs at the same time without cheats. They'll just be red remote bombs, and have both powers at once. Remote and red Ultra bombs can be combined in 64 to a similar effect.
    • And of course, you can only ride one Powerup Mount at once (though you can use most of your other powerups while riding them).
    • Bomberman DS has several Mutually Exclusive Powerups as well, such as the Shield, Bomb Punch, and Line Bomb.
  • No Mouth: 90% of the cast lacks any facial features besides eyes.
  • Oh Crap: In the multiplayer modes of Bomberman Generation and Bomberman Jetters, the characters will say some things when they realize they're stuck between bombs, like:
    Oh no!!!
    AAAAHHHHHH!!!
    • In Super Bomberman 3-5, they would yell "Shimatta!" and do special Oh Crap animations when trapped. Saturn Bomberman, Bomberman Tournament, and perhaps others also had special Oh Crap animations.
  • One Bullet at a Time: Without powerups, you can only have one bomb placed on the screen at a time.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: In the early games, getting caught in explosions or colliding with enemies meant instant explodey death. Grabbing the Heart power-up granted you one hit of Mercy Invincibility (although you can pick it up again after it's blasted out of you in some games). Later games just give you a heart-based health meter a'la The Legend of Zelda, complete with Heart Containers either purchased from shops or hidden in the game world.
  • Our Monsters Are Weird: The majority of the franchise' monsters don't make any biological sense. The Hige Hige Bandits might be the most normal enemy they've had.
  • Poison Mushroom: The Skull item, which inflicts a random disease to Bomberman, such as reducing blast power to 1 temporarily or giving you, err, bomb diarrhea. (Well, at least that's how its referred to in the ''Mega Bomberman'' booklet.)
    • (Baku) Bomberman 64 featured an "Evil" item, which activated a stage-wide effect potentially affecting all players. Some effects include a tornado, maxing out everyone's bomb count and explosion size, shuffling the positions of all players, and an "evil disco light" that saturated the screen with bright colours, making it hard to see the action.
    • The Geta/Clog sandal item reduces your speed by one level.
  • Pokémon Speak: The Charaboms/Karabons, depending on which game it is. Sometimes they can only say their name or some sort of roar and other times they're perfectly capable of speech, but occasionally throw their name into sentences like a Verbal Tic. In The Second Attack!, Pommy seemed to fit somewhere between these two lines by being a Third-Person Person.
  • Powerup Mount: Louie/Rooey the kangaroo/rabbit thing in some games, dinosaurs or miscellaneous critters in others.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: The "Five Bad Bombers" from Super Bomberman 2, the "Crush Bombers" from Generation, and whatever "_____ Bombers" squad appears in the other games.
    • The 'Four Demons of Garaden' in Bomberman Hero, which were the catfish-esque robot, Endol, the annoying big bird, Baruda, the sphinx-like Bolban, and the lusty catgirl Natia with her pet robo-spider Chronus.
  • Recurring Riff: The gameplay music from the original Bomberman tends to reappear a lot, to the point that people just think of it as "The Bomberman Theme". Possibly a Bootstrapped Theme.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Pommy, first introduced in Bomberman 64: The Second Attack!, and frequently seen thereafter as a Charabom/Karabon. For that matter, just about every Charabom/Karabon.
    • The cute rabbit/kangaroo-like critters Bomberman can ride on from the 3rd Super game and on. The official U.S. name is "Louie"... Or at least that was the name of the one Bomberman got to ride in Bomberman Hero.
    • The dinos in Saturn Bomberman are also quite adorable. Then there's most of the B-Darons in the Bomberman B-Daman Bakugaiden anime/manga Spin-Off, ESPECIALLY Rui-Rui, who causes a lot of Cuteness Proximity reactions. And then gets dumped by some high school girls when they find something even cuter. The Second Attack! has various adorable critters to represent AI players in Battle Mode. And, hell, how about the cute-looking things in each stage that kill you on contact? Let's just say that there's enough of these in the Bomberman franchise to give someone a Cuteness Overload.
  • Rule of Fun
  • Shout-Out: Rather numerously as of late, but also in the past. The opening and intro to Online show Bomberman wearing an orange suit similar to Goku's.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Up until Bomberman 64: The Second Attack!, there were few females.
    • Bomberman 64 has just Artemis (a female sidekick to Altair) and Mantis (a giant spider and the boss of White Glacier), with the latter being tougher than the first (though to be fair to Artemis, she's much tougher than her comrades Regulus and Orion, to the point where she arguably qualifies as an Early Bird Boss or Wake-Up Call Boss). Bomberman Hero goes off with the Damsel in Distress Princess Millian and the token female villain Natia, with Millian being the important part of the plot and Natia being just some big help to the Big Bad.
    • And before the 64 games, the series' female cast was Pretty Bomber and Lady Bomber. The former of the two would go on to fulfill this role by appearing in future Bomberman games as the only female character.
    • In Neo Bomberman, Honey (who appears only in the battle mode) is the only female character, or at least the only obvious one.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Bagular/Buggler/Bagura, the recurring Big Bad.
    • "Charaboms" in Bomberman Max, then "Karabons" in Bomberman Tournament, then back to "Charaboms" in Generation.
    • Louie/Rooey, the kangaroo-like critters you ride. The eventual decision seems to be that the species is named "Rooey", while the specific one that appeared in Bomberman Hero is named "Louie".
  • Spin-Off: The Bomberman Land series, which shifts the focus to bomb-based Mini Games.
    • Another is Bomber King, which was developed by Hudson and then retitled Robo Warrior in North America when Jaleco acquired the publishing rights.
    • Bomberman Wars on the Sega Saturn, which is more of a strategy JRPG.
    • Bomberman B-Daman Bakugaiden, which actually kickstarted the whole B-Daman line of toys.
    • Bomberman Fantasy Race on the PlayStation. As you'd expect, it's more like Mario Kart, except everyone's riding a Rui or dino. Here's some video footage. There's a later Japan-exclusive game called Bomberman Kart and its remake Bomberman Kart DX that's even more shameless about its inspirations.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Title: When the first Bomberman game got released in the US, it got Wario as a playable character. True to his character, the game was renamed to Wario Blast – Featuring Bomberman.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: This speaks for itself.
  • Super Title 64 Advance: Bomberman probably has more examples than any other series (including Mario). Super Bomberman, Mega Bomberman, Neo Bomberman, Saturn Bomberman, Bomberman 64... need I go on? It helps that practically every game console and computer OS has a version of Bomberman released for it (except, sadly, for the latest generation).
  • Super Drowning Skills: This is lampshaded in Bomberman 64: The Second Attack! multiple times in the form of Pommy's taunts to the main character for his inability to swim down to noticeable underwater ruins in Aquanet, as well as his fear of crawling through a pipe filled with running water.
    • Especially irritating in Bomberman Hero, where Mercy Invincibility does not protect Bomberman from losing a block of health from falling in water and then leaping back out... and then it's averted with the Marine Bomber gear in certain levels.
  • Tech Demo Game: Hi-Ten Bomberman. It was developed by Hudson Soft to show off their HD-TV technology (becoming the first HD videogame) and only appeared twice for contests in 1993 and 1994. Supporting up to 10 players, it's credited with inspiring the Sega Saturn version. See YouTube footage of it here.
    • At a 1984 computer show, Hudson used an Amstrad CPC version to demonstrate their new Bee Card (memory card) technology. What a pity that neither game nor card-reader were released.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Again, Altair's robot guardian in Bomberman 64.
    • It even states in the instruction booklet that he is in fact, quite obsessed with overkill.
    • Assault Bomber from Generations seems to love this trope, from his psychotic attack patterns, to his entrance in which he enters the arena in a giant meteor that crashes into the center of the arena then explodes.
    • You fart bombs. There IS no other kind of kill.
  • Throw Down the Bomblet: Bomberman himself, of course, along with numerous other characters.
  • Timed Mission: All of the classic 2D games which don't play like "Bomberman meets The Legend of Zelda" have a timer. If Bomberman doesn't complete the stage in time, he spontaneously dies for no logical reason (except for Bomberman DS, where he's instead besieged by a never-ending stream of Pontans). Averted in all of the 3D games, for the most part.
  • True Final Boss: Sirius in Bomberman 64.
    • In Super Bomberman 2, Plasma Bomber's doomsday device fulfills this role quite surprisingly by killing Plasma Bomber just before he could complete a Heel-Face Turn then attacks Bomberman. (Though it's not a true example, since there are no special conditions that have to be met to face it.)
    • Evil Bomber in Bomberman Hero.
    • Dr. Mechadoc in the Jetters game.
    • In The Second Attack!, the true final boss is God.
    • The Chaos Bomber in Bomberman Quest.
  • Unstable Equilibrium: Most Bomberman games have the "power-up" style of this; if you're good enough to stack up a few good power-ups before dying, you have a much easier game ahead of you.
  • Verbal Tic: Pommy's tendency to add "myu" to sentences.
    • Rukifellth's Evil Laugh might also be a Verbal Tic.
    • The Black Bomber, or Cool Black as he is also known as, says "dude" quite often in the Land games.
  • Whale Egg: The kangaroos/Rooeys hatch out of these in most games as a powerup.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: The special attack of Honey in Neo Bomberman is that she can turn the bombs she has laid into little hearts which bounce around for a short while before exploding. The idea, of course, is to catch the opponent(s) by surprise, but at least half the time she ends up killing herself instead.
  • Worthy Opponent: Regulus in the N64 games. Especially in The Second Attack.
  • Yet Another Stupid Death: One of the first things you should learn is how to not blow yourself up by accident.

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