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Puzzle Bobble 2X

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Title Screen

Puzzle Bobble 2X

Developer: NJK Techno
Publisher: Taito
Platform: Arcade (Taito F3 Hardware)
Released in JP: December 1995

CharacterIcon.png This game has unused playable characters.
DevTextIcon.png This game has hidden development-related text.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.

A holiday themed version of Puzzle Bobble 2 with MORE and HARDER levels.

Character Select

Much like Puzzle Bobble 2, it's possible to select the playable character in both Puzzle and VS CPU modes when holding specific button combinations at the map screen.
You can even input them between rounds this time around, which wasn't possible in that game.

The button combinations were changed around between 2 and 2X -- notably, every character has a code assigned to it now.

Note that a few of the codes require holding B (the second button), which makes a few characters unselectable since the routine that handles the character select explicitly filters it out.
Put the following code in MAME's pbobble2x.xml cheat file and activate it to disable this restriction.

<cheat desc="Enable Second Button in Character Select codes">
    <script state="on">
    <script state="run">
    <script state="off">

There's no such restriction in the Saturn port, making every character selectable there without cheating. The codes themselves were all changed though.

VS CPU Stage Character ID Character Name Code
Practice 1 000C Gaago 1P + A + Down
Practice 2 000D Kajaku 1P + A + Left + Down
Normal 1 0000 Monsta 1P + Up
Normal 2 0001 Packy 1P + Up + Right
Normal 3 0002 Woolen 1P + Right
Normal 4 0003 Picard 1P + Right + Down
Normal 5 0004 Garaniyo 1P + Down
Normal 6 0005 Chun-Chun 1P + Left + Down
Normal 7 0006 Kligan 1P + B + Left
Normal 8 0007 Maita 1P + Up + Left
Normal 9 0008 Dorabo 1P + A + Up
Normal 10 0009 Chokkinta 1P + A + Up + Right
Normal 11 000A Mecha Bubblen 1P + A + B + Right
Normal 12 000B Drunk 1P + A + Right + Down

These remaining characters are not part of the normal VS CPU cast:

Character ID Character Name Code Notes
Bust-a-Move Again Player FFFE (-2) Hands 1P + A + Left Uses a cannon, unlike in Puzzle Bobble 2.
Bust-a-Move Again CPU 000F Computer 1P + A + Up + Left Uses a cannon. Sound effects are different compared to Bust-a-Move Again.

As a side effect of how the VS CPU roster is implemented, technically he can be fought as an opponent by cheating.

N/A FFFD (-3) Sketch Bubblun 1P + A Uses Bub/Bob's sound effects and palette depending on player. Character ID invalid in Puzzle Bobble 2.

In the Saturn version, this character is internally named "BUG", presumably standing for "Bub Genga".

N/A FFFC (-4) Rabbit 1P Start + B See below.

Worth noting that a few character IDs have negative values. Without exception, they are assigned to characters who aren't considered opponents in VS CPU mode. This pattern extends to Bub, whose character ID is 0xFFFF (-1).

Unused Rabbit Character

Banished to somewhere over the rainbow, his only escape is collecting the seven Rainbow Gems in order 7 (seven!) times. Not even Sonic Advance 2 was this harsh!

A pink rabbit/hedgehog hybrid that's very definitely not inspired by some other famous blue fellow.

This is the only character that's unavailable through normal means, as he's not an opponent in VS CPU mode and the code to play as him (1P Start + B) requires pressing the B button, which is filtered out by the character select routine.

Notably, he actually appears in Puzzle Bobble 2's title screen and in the VS CPU Hard Ending, strongly suggesting he was meant to be fought as an opponent (presumably on the third Practice Round, which pits you against a duplicate Monsta), but the character wasn't implemented at all in that game.
Here, he received the character ID 0xFFFC (-4), which tells that by this point, they scrapped the idea of treating him as an opponent.

Like about everything else, he made his way to the Saturn port, where he's even normally selectable this time. In that version he's internally named "SNC", showing that Taito knew what they were doing.

Error Handler

Can't use the force this time.

Much like the other Puzzle Bobble games on the Taito F3, this screen appears whenever the game crashes.

Unused Region Settings

Since the game was never released outside Japan, these region settings are unused.

US Region

When the game region is set to US, the game behaves like Bust-a-Move Again, a leftover from Puzzle Bobble 2.

Other than the missing US-specific music, this mode clearly wasn't updated as:

  • The title screen wasn't changed at all.
  • There are some palette errors, like with the miscolored cannon pointer machinery.
  • Puzzle Bobble characters can still be seen in some screens.
  • The game crashes after the Merry Christmas/Happy New Year demos end.
  • Test Mode settings are slightly broken. Play Price can't be selected: the cursor goes over an invisible option instead.

World Region

When the region is set to World, the game plays normally, except with English text. All of the newly added Japanese text was properly translated.

Developer Text

A list of internal sound names can be found fragmented on various ROM chips.

RIM          CLAP         CAB*S        TIMB         KICK         SNARE*1      SNARE*2      CLOSE       
OPEN         CRUSH        RIDE         TOM*MID      WHITE NOISE  CASTANET     QUIK         BONGO       
AGOGO        SYNTH BD     SYNTH SD     TB*TYPE-A    TB*TYPE-B    KICK         SNARE        CHUN*HI     
CHUN*LOW     TOM*MID      FINKPLOYD    SCRACH       STEEL        SQUARE       BANG         OBOE        
SCRACH       STEEL        HUMAN        HARP         PIZZ2        WOODY        SAW          SQUARE      
DOSUN        HYPER DOSUN  SAYO 1       SAYO 2       SNAKE 1      SNAKE 2      DORA 1       DORA 2      
ICE          MAITA 1      MAITA 2      BLUE   LASER DARIUS       COOL         DRK 1        DRK  2      
GAGO         QI QI        PAO          BUN          CHA          DOKAAN       POPPIN       SYNTH HORN  
BELL PF      READY        GO           KOKEE        OUT          DON          BAB*OCHI     TIME        
SNAKE*01     POKO         MAWARU       KAITEN       DANCE*RESO   QUAKE        DENKI*1      WB*01       
RUNNING      JUMP         ASHI         HASAMI       KANI         BAB          BOX*OPEN     BIYOYON     
SUGOROKU     MONSTA       POINT*1      POINT*2      RIGHT*UP     EYE          SESSHOKU     COIN        
SHOOT        BOUND        AWA*HAKI     CHAKUCHI     RAM*CHAN     BALL*UP      KIERU        OCHIRU      
DR WARN      COM 1        COM 2        COM 3        STAR         BOW          HAKKEI       JANRU       
BOWAWA 2     HODAI*IDO S  EXPLO        URURU 2      GAGO 1       GAGO 2       YAN 1        YAN 2       
BONYOON 2    HODAI*STOP   BUB 1        BUB 2        BUB 3        BUB 4        VOICE*4      VOICE*5     
VOICE*6      VOICE*7      BONYOON      S BANG       KUBI         JAKIIN       CHUN 1       CHUN 2      
SPARK        MABUSI       NEKO 1       NFKO 2       CHOKI 1      YAN 1        CHOKI 2      YAN 2