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Video Game / Bomberman Hero

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Bomberman Hero is a 1998 installment in the Bomberman franchise for the Nintendo 64, and the second Bomberman game on the console after Bomberman 64.

The game follows our hero on a mission to rescue Princess Millian from the evil Garaden Empire. He is assisted occasionally by plucky robot companion Pibot, Ridiculously Cute Critter Louie, and a quartet of new vehicles as he explores six planets, some familiar and some brand new. So yes, the story is just Bomberman meets Star Wars.

Hero, unlike most Bomberman games, is a straightforward action Platform Game, and it is one of the few Bomberman games that allows the titular hero to jump freely. This is partially due to the game originally being planned as a new addition to the Bonk series, until it was decided the game should be focused on Bomberman.

This game provides examples of:

  • Actionized Sequel: Bomberman can jump, his bombs explode immediately upon touching enemies instead of just being timed explosions, there is only one puzzle in the entire game (and it's easy), and emphasis is placed on ranged combat.
  • Advertised Extra:
    • The Bomber Slider is actually used in a measly two levels, one of which can be skipped entirely. Very underused in comparison to the Bomber Jet and the Bomber Marine. The Bomber Copter at least gets to be used in a boss fight. Considering how handling vehicles tends to be, this can hardly be called a bad thing.
    • Despite being shown on the cover, Black Bomberman only shows up three times: in the last training level, a later level to blow up a wall and open the path for you, and finally in the Golden Ending congratulating White Bomberman.
  • Big Bad: Evil Bomber is the acting ruler of the Garaden Empire who masterminds the kidnapping of Princess Millian and the plot to resurrect Emperor Bagular, all to get revenge on Bomberman for defeating him prior.
  • Bonus Stage: Has one after each of the first 4 bosses, in the form of simple timed areas with gems, power-ups and 1-ups to grab.
  • Boss-Only Level: All the bosses in the game are fought in their own self-contained arena stages.
  • Boss Rush: The last planet of the standard game, Garaden Star, is a Boss-Only Level bonanza where Bomberman has to confront alternate versions of all the bosses in the game up to that point (including a "Best-of" final match with Nitros halfway through) before he confronts Bagular in a Sequential Boss fight in the star's last stage.
  • Build Like an Egyptian: Several levels on Kanatia.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Nitros. He snaps out of it after your final battle with him.
  • Captain Ersatz: Almost every major character in Bomberman Hero is a Captain Ersatz to a Star Wars character.
  • Cat Girl: Natia. With weird hair, too... and a GIGANTIC head.
  • Chasing Your Tail: The Sphinx-like Bolban has an armored front and a vulnerable tail. In the second battle, both his frontal shield and his breath weapon are disabled, but his missiles are harder to avoid because you're fighting him in an underwater tunnel.
  • Circling Birdies: When Bomberman loses all of his health and he loses a life, he has stars circling around his head before he falls on his back and dies. he also has swirling swirls for eyes too.
  • Cognizant Limbs: Bagular's final form has two force field generators on his arms protecting his head. Destroy both his arms, and his head becomes vulnerable.
  • Continuing is Painful: Deaths are actually mostly merciful in this game, as only single powerups are lost after each death. This game actually inverts this trope, because what really hurts is turning off the game (or getting a Game Over): power-ups and health expansions are not saved when you quit, so the next time you start the game, you have to collect everything all over again. This isn't an issue in the JP version.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: Played with 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.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: The Salt Bombs. They're the only bombs effective on the slug enemies, but they're useless on everything else. They can't even destroy crates.
    • The Ice Bombs are used to freeze certain enemies to create platforms, but that's it.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: Every boss except Nitros, Natia, and Evil Bomber dies in a massive explosion.
  • Die Laughing: After enough hits, Baruda laughs...then explodes.
  • Difficulty by Region: Certain bosses take less hits in the JP version, in addition pretty much every level has a much lower par score requirement for a 5, not necessitating collecting every single item in the level. You can also collect an item in a level and leave immediately but still keep it, useful if you just need a flame up or full health and know where to find one quickly. In addition, health expansions and collected gems are remembered after the game ends or is shut off, leaving a bit of mystery as to why that is not saved in the international version.
  • Dolled-Up Installment: Bomberman Hero was originally going to be a new Bonk game, but at some point or another, the staff decided it'd have more mass appeal as a Bomberman game. Sure explains why it's a mainstream 3D platformer where Bomberman can actually jump on his own.
  • The Dragon: Natia has more presence in the story than the other bosses (save for Nitros), and in fact is the one who realizes the Garaden Empire's Evil Plan of ressurecting Bagular. She's also the last of the Four Devils to be fought, both in the main game and the Boss Rush at Garaden.
  • Dual Boss: Both fights with Nadia have you confronting her and a friend of hers. In the first fight in Mazone Star, you fight her and Cronus together, and the second fight with her at the end of the Boss Rush in Garaden Star pits you against two Nadias.
  • Dub Name Change: Prime to Primus, Warudosu to Garaden, Pipot to Pibot, Rooi to Louie, Endl to Endol, Baluda to Baruda, Nekia to Natia, Megani to Cronus, Bonbori Star to Bomber Star (Planet Bomber's moon), and Devil Bomber to Evil Bomber.
  • Evil Laugh: Every major boss but Bolban, who roars instead. Also, Bagular. Well, as well as an old cyborg man can do an evil laugh, anyways.
  • Fake Difficulty: Rears its head when the goal is getting a 5 on Waterway, due to that stage hiding an item behind a fake wall that is indistinguishable from any other wall in a game that never has fake walls under any other circumstance.
  • Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress: The animation for falling into a Bottomless Pit is this on every level, with Bomberman flailing about in midair for a couple of seconds before finally plummeting.
  • Guide Dang It!: This game doesn't really tell you that you need to collect all Adok Bombs and/or get 5's on every level (including boss stages) in order to get to the true final level and boss. Not to mention Adok Bombs aren't found in every level meaning you could be searching an entire level only to figure out there aren't any Adok Bombs there.
  • 100% Completion: Getting 5's on every level, and by extension every Gold Medal for each planet, unlocks bonus minigames in the options menu.
  • King Mook: A giant lobster, Geodude, and manta ray each serve as a Mini-Boss.
  • Lethal Lava Planet: Half of Kanatia.
  • Monster Clown: One of the enemies in the fittingly-named Clown Valley. It balances on a ball and throws knives.
  • Musical Nod: The main menu theme is lifted straight from the Famicom/NES Bomberman, although split in half and with the addition of what sounds like a fax machine.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: An early aversion to this in the franchise. Bomberman is given four bars of health at the start, and the player can add up to four additional bars by collecting 200 crystals. That is, until you turn the game off.
  • Our Monsters Are Weird: Thoroughly, even by platform-game standards, or even Bomberman standards for that matter. Just look at Endol, the electric robot catfish monster!
  • Platform Game: One of the few in the franchise.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: The Four Devils of Garaden: the catfish-esque robot, Endol, the annoying big bird, Baruda, the sphinx-like Bolban, and the lusty catgirl Natia with her pet robo-spider Cronus.
  • Recurring Boss: Nitros. For the first three planets, he's fought at the end of the second area, but on Mazone, he's fought at the beginning of the third instead. He is also the middle fight on Garaden, after which point he snaps out of his brainwashing and heals Bomberman.
  • Robot Clown: One of the enemies you can find in Clown Valley is a knife-throwing clown on a rolling ball. As most of the characters in Bomberman are robots, these enemies fit the bill, and are all the more creepy for it.
  • Secret Level: Bomberman Hero has a surprising amount of these, including revisiting a flying and underwater stage on foot as the Golden Bomber (plus a new level), a snowboard race against a snowman enemy, a second collection quest, a few completely new stages on Bomber Star accessed by mashing Start as you boot up the N64, a treasure hunt, and the planet Gossick.
  • Sequential Boss: The fight with Bagular first has Bomberman fight him personally, then he uploads his mind to a computer that then becomes the target with two decoy screens to distract you, and finally said computer attaches itself to a tank with arms; you have to destroy the arms of the tank before you can attack the computer again.
  • Single-Biome Planet: Primus (a swampy/forested planet) and Kanatia (the Lethal Lava Land and Build Like an Egyptian mixture, although there are a couple of crystal cave levels there). However, it appears that Planet Bomber is very Earth-like (with an emphasis on mountains) and Mazone has a small jungle at its equator (considering it was a snowy planet).
  • The Smurfette Principle: Bomberman Hero goes 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.
  • Snowlems: One of the later-game enemies, complete with Cool Shades.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Bagular may be unrecognizable to non-Japanese fans who previously knew him as Buglear/Bagulaa or Bugler/Buglar. The Bagular translation would later be reused in Bomberman Portable, while Super Bomberman R rendered it as Buggler.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Especially irritating, 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.
  • True Final Boss: Devil Bomber/Evil Bomber is the real Final Boss of the game, in a plot twist that comes out of literally nowhere. You cannot fight Devil Bomber/Evil Bomber unless you unlock Gossick Star and its three stages, with Devil Bomber/Evil Bomber fought in a Boss-Only Level in the last stage.
  • Underwater Boss Battle: The rematch with Bolban takes place underwater, using the Bomber Marine.
  • Unexpected Shmup Level: Several levels make use of the Bomber Marine and Bomber Jet, which are specifically designed to turn their levels into this.
  • Unique Enemy: Many enemies get reused eventually, but some are exclusive to a certain level, like the spinning hands in Death Temple and the clowns in Clown Valley.
  • Walking Spoiler: Evil Bomber orchestrated the whole plot.
  • Whip of Dominance: The villainess Natia fights with a whip while also commanding her spider-bot pet Cronus. She also has dominatrix overtones thanks to her skimpy black leather getup.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: Played obnoxiously straight. In fact, the whole plot of the game could be summed up as the Garaden Empire constantly dangling Princess Millian over Bomberman's head as he desperately tries to reach her.