Friday, February 10, 2017

Manual Stimulation: Bubble Bobble (Famicom Disk System, Limited Edition)

A few weeks ago, I published a post about the manual that came with copies of Bubble Bobble bought from Japanese Famicom Disk Writer kiosks back in the late 1980s. (I also published a post filled with photos of that version's packaging.)

The booklet you see here was stuffed inside of an adorable plastic pencil case along with a copy of Bubble Bobble's surprisingly adept Famicom port. I refer to that release as a "limited edition" in the headline above, although I have to admit I'm not entirely sure it actually was limited in quantity.

Regardless, it helps differentiate this Bubble Bobble package from the previously mentioned Famicom Disk Writer one, so I'm sticking with it unless otherwise corrected.

At any rate, this Bubble Bobble Famicom instruction manual is similar to its Disk Writer counterpart with two major exceptions: the former is a lot larger than the latter (in fact, it's probably the biggest Famicom manual I've seen to date) and it's also in full color rather than in just pink and green.

The size of the Bubble Bobble Limited Edition's booklet is to blame for this post featuring single-page scans rather than double-page ones, by the way. My scanner just isn't big enough for me to capture entire spreads, so I was forced to go with what you'll encounter throughout this write-up.

In the end, some of you may consider that to be the preferred option, as it allows you to focus on the beauty that is this particular version of the Bubble Bobble Famicom manual.

And it is pretty darn beautiful, wouldn't you agree? OK, so the first few pages aren't mind-blowingly amazing or anything like that, but they're still packed with both big and small details that make them decidedly appealing--or at least that's how I think of them.

Take the adorable little illustrations that can be seen above and below. If you can't quite make them out, click on the scan in question and you'll be able to take a much closer look.

My favorite components, though, are the more substantial pieces of art, like the massive Super Drunk--or Super-Drunk as the back of this booklet proclaims--situated in the lower-right corner of the following page.

Here's one of the only examples of a manual spread (that sounds kind of dirty) that looks a bit weird split in half. Sorry about that.

Thankfully, this particular spread probably won't be all that interesting to most folks, as it simply explains the various aspects of a typical Bubble Bobble Famicom screen.

This next pair of scans (above and below) also obviously were split up--especially since, when joined together again, the Japanese text along the top edge lets readers know they're about to learn a little something about Bubble Bobble's cast of characters.

Do you have a favorite when it comes to Bubble Bobble's enemies, by the way? I've always had a soft spot for the smaller Drunk myself. (OK, that sounds a little off as well.)

As great as all of the above is, these next few pages are my favorites of this Bubble Bobble Famicom manual.

Of course, who doesn't love illustrations of food items and drinks and crowns and jewelry?

I'm especially fond of the previous page, thanks to the fact that it offers up drawings of a doughnut, some French fries, an ice cream cone, a martini, a pickle and a sundae, among other things.

The item-centric spreads continue almost until the manual's final page.

In fact, only the last two pages return readers' attention to something other than Bubble Bobble's (admittedly mesmerizing) collectible items.

The one above offers players a bit of advice regarding the game's first six stages. Or maybe it just describes said stages?

Honestly, I'm not sure, so if anyone has a better grasp of the Japanese language than I do, please feel free to chime in and let me and others know what's said about Bubble Bobble's initial levels in this scan.

As for the final page of the Bubble Bobble Limited Edition's instruction manual? It explains the many error messages someone may encounter as they play this Famicom Disk System game.

Last, but not least, we have the back cover of this magnificent booklet. The best part of it, in the opinion of yours truly: the text at the top (above the Sukar-Monsuta) that says, "cars cards no item gut you no me cutter!!"

Your guess is as good as mine as to what that's supposed to mean.

See also: my 'Manual Simulation' and 'Nice Package!' posts about the Famicom Disk Writer release of Bubble Bobble

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