Bub and Bob
Bah, Rainbow Islands was just the Mario-looking successor to the true classic, Bubble Bobble.
I know you played this. Admit it, darn you! Or at least you coveted it from afar as I did, watching my little sister Chloe play it and waiting till she fell asleep to sneak into her room to worship it’s vivid iridescent rays - or as close as you can get with just 4096 colors! Rainbow Islands is one of the most successful …
Or maybe not. It's all subjective.
They have a Puzzle Bobble machine at the Musee Mecanique in San Francisco — as it turns out I can still complete the thing on a single credit. I'd be surprised if I could do anything like that on Bubble Bobble, especially with that Space Invaders level. As for Rainbow Islands, I've just never been a fan, even though we had the Spectrum version back in the day.
Whilst I enjoyed Rainbow Islands, it wasn't even close to competing with the king of all arcade games... Bubble Bobble.
I remember playing that game addictively in the 80's, found another guy who was about as good as me and we played together to get all the bonus's and records.
I still occasionally play it on my MAME install along with other classics like the Mr Do series.
I never really played this in the arcades (much preferred to throw my hard-earned 10ps into Bubble Bobble) but discovered it many years later on MacMAME and had a strange several month addiction to it. Not played it for years though but I think I might dig it out again. Classic game!
Bubble Bobble is probably the first time I worked togeather with my sister towards a common goal, up until we purchased Bubble Bobble (all 99 levels and then loop to level 1 if I remember correctly) for our 464 it was all fighting over who played Harrier Attack, Rolland goes digging, Rolland in the caves, 180, Manic Minor... or out home brewed favourites Zombie Maze (Keyed in by my dad from a 464 programming book).
"Go on admit it"? This has always been a game I've credited as an all-time favourite.
Obviously I've not played it for aeons but I remember that a lot of the fun I had came from what felt like emergent gameplay: capturing a row of monsters in a triple rainbow which you've baited to your position whilst simultaneously using those rainbows to climb to the next platform was a joy.
Review Chucky Egg next please :)
Yes - I remember there were lots of secret ways to get bonus items and power-ups. It was actually a pretty hardcore game despite the looks.
I pumped even more time into Bubble Bobble in the arcade. Me and my friend could easily get to level 95+ each on 1 credit playing doubles. However I think Rainbow Islands was a better game.
But for true cutesy-platformer-with-hardcore-gameplay you should be looking at The New Zealand Story or Wardner.
Wonder Boy in Monster Land was pretty good too :)
But not of playing the game, as I do. What I do remember is reading an article in a games magazine written by Andrew Braybrook of Paradroid and Uridium fame. He did the Amiga port of Rainbow Islands and in his article described how he handled compressing and decompressing the level data. This was my first introduction to the mysteries of compression routines and actually helped kick off my love of programming and resulted in a bit of a career shift.
So it's Rainbow Islands' fault I do this stuff for a living.
Rainbow Island, the game FULL of hidden secrets. Like to get to the hidden rooms at the end of the level, you had to collect the 7 coloured Gems in Rainbow order (Red,Orange,Yellow,Green,Blue,Indigo,Violet). Collect them in any other order = only 1 extra life.
Might of been tricky, if you didn't realise that a gem would always drop if you break a rainbow over a creeps head and the colour of the gem was determined by the position on the screen (Red far left, Violet far right). Then once in the secret room, there was a code at the top of the screen which was another secret you could enter in the title screen (using joystick/fire button) to unlock bonuses like starting with double rainbows. Finally the number of items you could pick up, including a lot of rare items made each game unique / special.
Rainbow island, what an awesome platform game. :)
I had this on the spectrum. It was a great game, but I remember it being more or less impossible to complete. I think even if you defeated the final boss you still didn't really win unless you had collected all the randomly dropped diamonds in every world. You were always just praying that the next monster you killed dropped that damn red one you needed, or cursing because you missed getting the white one by seconds or because it fell off the bottom of the screen...
It's not random - the diamond colour depends on where it lands - I had perfected getting the first 5 crystals in colour order on the first level making it pretty easy to get the last two and get the shoes during the end boss fight. (No secret rooms on the Speccy version but much the same effect).
Like yourself I also bought it on budget for the Spectrum. I remember playing it all day once when I was off school for some reason. Certainly made good use of the Spectrum's limited colour ability.
This game helped me destroy three joysticks, almost destroyed a monitor, and helped teach my neighbour's kids the finer points of swearing through the open window of my bedroom. Graftgold did SUCH a good conversion job on the Amiga, and when I finally have the funds, a copy of the original arcade PCB will be mine!
As much as I enjoyed Bubble Bobble and Parasol Stars, this one will always be the one which holds a special place in my heart.
This and New Zealand Story will always hold a special place in the world of gaming. Cute as you like, and often swearingly, controller-throwingly difficult, but mega-satisfying and always worth a revisit. Now, where's that emulator, it's time to see how this plays with the 360 controller...
The biggest disappointment for me in this game was the fact that when I finally got round to picking up the Taito Legends PC CD which had this, Bubble Bobble and 20-odd other games from the golden era of Taito... they changed the music, presumably because Somewhere Over the Rainbow is copyrighted and they didn't want to pay to renew the licence.
This was my favourite arcade game of my youth, mainly because it was fantastic value for money once you got any good at it (over an hour for 10p!)
If you got all diamonds on each of the first 7 levels it opened up another 3 (sets) of levels.
Also if you collected all the diamonds in colour order (not easy) on a set of levels you got a secret door in the big baddy room which had a permanent power up in it (fast run, double rainbow, quick rainbow etc)
Favourite level...difficult to say, definitely not the arkanoid level though, that was a pain in the neck.
I blame the breakup with my 1st girlfriend on Bubble Bobble and Rainbow Islands, Thanks Andrew Braybrook, great arcade conversion.
Is it me, or is it ironic that Amiga is Spanish for girlfriend?
Coat please, the one with the 512K wedge of cheese memory expansion in the pocket (with RTC)
...and have more fond memories of Bubble Bobble than this one, but it was still a great game.
Bubble Bobble holds a special place for me for being the first coin-op I came across that let you enter secret codes on the machine before you even started playing :)
They don't make platformers like they used to: Wardner (as mentioned above), Karnov, Psychic 5, Tumblepop, Snow Bros, Wonder Boy In Monster Land, New Zealand Story et al.
Ok - Bubble Bobble - two cute dinosaurs who surround enemies with bubbles that makes them turn into cakes, fruit or other assorted goodies....
Rainbow Islands - rainbows as your weapons....
RodLand - you stabbed the cute things with a giant lance and smashed them into the ground several times until they turned into cakes and sweeties! Much more fun way to kill cute badguys :D
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