Video Game / Super Bomberman

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Super Bomberman is a series of Bomberman games released in the early-to-mid 90's for the Super Famicom/NES. The first two games were released internationally, the third was released in Japan and Europe only, and the fourth and fifth games were Japan-exclusive.

The games make use of the classic gameplay formula: the stages are laid out in a grid pattern with enemies and destructible blocks. When all of the enemies have been defeated, the exit will open and the player can progress to the next stage. Some games instead require you to activate/destroy switches to open the exit. Super Bomberman 5 also gives several branching paths, and it is possible to reach the (good) ending without seeing 3/4s of the game.

The first Super Bomberman was one of the first SNES games to allow four-player multiplayer, which required the use of a Multitap device. It was largely through these games that Bomberman became synonymous with frenetic multiplayer. The third through fifth games upped this to five players.

In 2017 it was announced that the series would finally be seeing its first new entry in two decades, Super Bomberman R for the Nintendo Switch.

Games in this series are:

  • Super Bomberman (1993)
  • Super Bomberman 2 (1994)
  • Super Bomberman 3 (1995) - No US release
  • Super Bomberman 4 (1996) - Japan only
  • Super Bomberman 5 (1997) - Japan only
  • Super Bomberman R (2017)

These games provide examples of:

  • Action Bomb: In many of the games there are enemies that are essentially hovering bombs with eyes. Occasionally they would plop themselves onto the ground and shoot out fire in four directions to emulate an explosion without destroying themselves. Other enemies (including other bomb monsters) aren't immune to their flames, so they might end up accidentally killing enemies for you, though you aren't awarded any points for the kill(s).
  • 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.
  • Bad Future: Akuukan (Japanese: 亜空間, literally 'hyperspace'), the final area of Super Bomberman 4 - the penultimate area is Choumirai (Japanese: 超未来, literally 'super future'), which is a Good Future.
  • Brain in a Jar: Buggler at the end of Super Bomberman 3. He continues like this in Super Bomberman 4. He's shown getting a new body in Bomberman Hero.
  • Bubblegloop Swamp: Mori Mori Star / Swamp Attack in Super Bomberman 3.
  • Chain Reaction Destruction: Bosses in Super Bomberman. Somehow it explodes in thin air around them too.
  • Collision Damage: Enemies kill you on contact.
  • Combining Mecha: In Super Bomberman 3, the Five Dastardly Bombers enter into/become a large mecha for Buggler to ride after entering a vortex.
  • Cosplay: An item in 4's tenth battle stage costumes your Bomberman into either Honey or Kotetsu.
  • Cursed with Awesome: The 2nd phase of the final boss in Super Bomberman has the two villains in a hovering vehicle tossing out Skull items all over the stage. Their intent is for you to accidentally collect them and kill yourself because the Skulls' effects caused you to mess up while fighting the boss. However, getting a Skull does give you a hefty amount of points, so if you can deal with their effects, you can collect them to gain enough points for some extra lives.
  • Cyberspace: Planet Brainwave in Super Bomberman R.
  • Delayed Explosion: The "dud" bombs in Super Bomberman. Rarely, bombs would fizzle out partway through their fuses and not explode when they were supposed to. If they weren't set off by something else, the bombs would eventually reset themselves with a longer fuse before finally exploding.
  • Destroyable Items: Practically all games.
  • Double Knockout: Mass-mutual KOs are common in multiplayer, due to the hectic pace of battle.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The series isn't internally consistent with its primary setting. In particular, Super Bomberman 3 is the first named appearance of Bomber Nebula, yet it still depicts Earth (despite the game it was based on debuting Planet Bomber). By Super Bomberman 5, Planet Bomber was given a new appearance and suddenly replaced Earth as Bomberman's home.
  • Eternal Engine: Many. Brain Bomber's spaceship (also to a lesser extent Plasma Bomber's) in Super Bomberman 2. The Clockwork Terrain in Zone 5 of Super Bomberman 5. Also, Planet Technopolis in R.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Different dinosaurs 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.
  • Expy:
    • Four of the World Bombers from Super Bomberman 3 could be this to the World Bombers from Super Bomberman: Panic Bomber W:
      • Raster-Bomber: Mexican Bomber
      • Metal-Bomber: Metal Bomber (?)
      • Bom-Gunman: Bomber Kid
      • Animal-Bomber: Bomber Uhho
    • The appearance of the Green Bomber in R resembles the design used for the White Bomber in Bomberman Jetters.
  • Fake Difficulty: 5-1 (actually the only stage in 5-X) in the first game. A chain of fights against Mecha Bombers, it will PROBABLY kill you at least once. Not by anything the bombers do, necessarily, but by virtue of running out of time without any time pickups to be had. Kiss your Remote Bombs goodbye, and it's not even your fault. Probably.
  • Five-Bad Band: The Five Dastardly Bombers:
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: The final boss of Super Bomberman 2 is some sort of unexplained, floating, parasite alien thing with one eye.
  • Guest Fighter: Super R invites Vic Viper, Simon Belmont, and Pyramid Head as DLC.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Black Bomberman had spent three games before as the antagonist, but by Super Bomberman he's gone through this.
    • Plasma Bomber almost did in Super Bomberman 2.
  • Landfill Beyond the Stars: Planet Scrapheap in SB R.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Achi Achi Star / Firestorm in Super Bomberman 3.
  • Mercy Invincibility: A very generous amount is given to you at the beginning of every stage 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 stage while doing this and you can get a very nice head start.
    • Super Bomberman 5 also starts you with invincibility, although a much smaller amount. The other three games don't start you with invincibility.
  • Mirror Boss: Mecha Bombers in Super Bomberman, along with other on-foot bomber bosses in the sequels.
  • Mutually Exclusive Powerups: The piercing bombs and the manually thrown 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.
    • 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.
  • My Rules Are Not Your Rules: The final bosses of 1 and 2 are hated for this. Like some enemies in the game, they float to avoid bomb explosions; unlike other enemies in the game, they never come back down. The only way to damage them is to use the Bomb Punch power-up to hit them over the head... which is implying that you, you know, have it and didn't LOSE it from dying. It becomes less of a battle against the boss and more of a battle against the RNG to try and dig up a Bomb Punch from under a destroyable block; the game becomes Unwinnable otherwise. Thankfully all the later Bomberman games didn't use bosses like this.
  • New Work, Recycled Graphics: Super Bomberman 3 and (to a lesser extent) Super Bomberman 4 reuse assets from the TurboGrafx-16 games. Super Bomberman 5 also reuses a lot of graphics from all four previous Super Bomberman games.
  • Nostalgia Level: Super Bomberman 5 has perhaps the most ridiculous execution of this trope with the first four worlds being entire Nostalgia Worlds based on the four preceding games.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Getting caught in explosions or colliding with enemies means instant explodey death. Grabbing the Heart power-up granted you one hit of Mercy Invincibility.
    • Played very straight in R, where there is no Heart power-up.
  • Planet of Hats: One of the series' favorite settings for their story modes is a world where every planet consists of a single biome and/or culture.
  • Planet Spaceship: The setting of Super Bomberman 2, and Bagurā Ship / Battleship in Super Bomberman 3.
  • Power-Up Mount: The Rooi kangaroos in 3 and 5; half of the enemies in 4.
  • Prehistoria: Genshijidai (Japanese: 原始時代, literally 'Primal Age') in Super Bomberman 4.
  • Puzzle Boss: The 2nd phase of the final boss of Super Bomberman has the two villains in a hovering vehicle well above any bomb explosions you try to send their way. To defeat them, you need to use the Punch Glove to lob bombs directly at the vehicle. If you don't have the Punch Glove, the game will give you one if you wait long enough.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: The Five Dastardly Bombers introduced in Super Bomberman 2, the Bomber Shitennou in Super Bomberman 4, and the 8 Kyouaku Bombers in Super Bomberman 5.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: Super Bomberman 4 reuses a few songs from Super Bomberman 3 (such as the multiplayer battle, regular boss and final boss themes).
  • Shifting Sand Land: Sara Sara Star / Pyramid in Super Bomberman 3.
  • Shown Their Work: In an aversion of the franchise's usual fare of Hollywood Science, Super Bomberman R actually shows signs that the developers have done their research: The black hole created by Bagular during the climax may not be the popular idea of a black hole, but it actually resembles one of the many possible looks of real world black holes.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Yuki Yuki Star / Winterland in Super Bomberman 3. Also Planet Lalaland in R.
  • The Smurfette Principle: The only female humanoid characters in the Super Bomberman series consist of Pretty Bomber, Lady Bomber, and Honey. Pretty Bomber would go on in the Bomberman Land series as the only main female.
    • The Dastardly Bomber and the Four Bomber Kings (plus Great Bomber) are the main villain groups in the series. Each consists of four males and one female (Pretty Bomber and Lady Bomber, respectively).
    • Averted in 5 with the Criminal Bombers, who were all male.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": The recurring Big Bad was originally romanized as Buglear in Bomberman '94. In the Super Bomberman 3 PAL manual, he's now referred to as Professor Bugler, and then Professor Buglar in the very next sentence (which happens twice).
  • Super Title 64 Advance
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: The Bomber Shitennou (plus Great Bomber) to the Five Dastardly Bombers in Super Bomberman 4.
    • 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 it attacks Bomberman. It has to be defeated in the same way you defeat the final boss in Super Bomberman.
  • Technicolor Fire: In 2, the Bombs deployed by bombers in Battle mode and their ensuing explosions are colored to match the Bomber's color.
  • Throw Down the Bomblet: Each of the five Dastardly Bombers has his/her own signature bomb(s).
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: The setting of Super Bomberman, and Gendai in Super Bomberman 4.
  • Under the Sea: Buku Buku Star / Deep Sea in Super Bomberman 3.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Bomber Woof from Super Bomberman 5 will take many beginner players by surprise with how tricky navigating around its mines can be.
  • The Wonderland: Zone 5 in Super Bomberman 5, especially the Train Set and Toy Box terrains.
  • Unexpected Character: Super R brings in Pyramid Head, one of the most infamous rapists in gaming history, who originates from a universe that is not so cheery.
  • Wutai: Edojidai in Super Bomberman 4. Planet Timbertree in R also has very Japanese (or at least "Eastern") -esque music and architecture.

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