the artistry and psychology of gaming


Rounds 41-50 (Bubble Bobble 2)

Rounds 41-50 (Bubble Bobble 2)

Let us speak of the Cave of Monsters.  Don’t let the generic name fool you, there’s a strange, unique, colorful world within.  Its inhabitants are also unusual, ranging from robots to little wizards that throw extremely durable colorful bottles.  The cave itself has many different areas, but each is sectioned off into a number of colorful chambers.  Each chamber can only be passed if each of its denizens is defeated.  Once the chamber is clear, a large bubble will encapsulate you and bring you down to the next chamber.  Before the chamber has been cleared, however, it is an infinite continuum, meaning that it loops both horizontally and vertically.  Therefore, if you try to drop down to the next level yourself, you’ll drop down through the ceiling of the very same chamber.  Oddly enough, this is sometimes vital to clearing a chamber.

The particular area I’d like to talk about is the underwater section of a seemingly outdoor area of the Cave of Monsters.  The entire ten-chamber section is completely underwater.  Like everywhere in the Cave of Monsters, there are natural currents, but this particular collection of chambers has cascades as well.  No one knows their true composition, but one can infer that they are of a liquid that not only does not mix with water, but is far denser as well.  They are strange in the sense that they sometimes begin and end abruptly.  There are also immobile bubbles throughout the chambers, some of which are rather large.

You begin in Chamber 41, a wondrous area with many large bubbles and several of the aforementioned cascades.  Each cascade has waters of white, pale blue, and pale pink.  One could watch them spill over the pale orange rock formations for hours.  The ground itself is mostly green and leafy, leading one to believe that the strange, colorful liquid is rich in nutrients.  One can also find leafy vines on the undersides of the platforms protruding from the wall.  Chambers 42 and 44 both have complex mazes within them, giving the creatures a way to barricade or elude you.  Chamber 43 has the unusual feature of a glowing liquid, also denser than and unable to mix with water, which rises and falls rhythmically, making motion difficult.  There is also a strangely shaped formation in the middle of it, making flight almost a necessity to complete the task at hand.  Chamber 45 has many colorful cascades, including a large one right down the middle that nearly covers the entire chamber.  This chamber also has an airborne troop carrier, making clearing it quite tricky.

Chambers 46 is a fairly nondescript maze.  Chamber 47 has a strange setup, with many small monsters in a box-like area with staggered platforms, allowing them to sort of “drip” down to the bottom, requiring caution in approaching them.  It also features a pit, which can trap both monsters and explorers.  Chamber 48 is wide open, with only 3 platforms moving back and forth through the air.  Suspended high above everything, though, are two sharp spiked traps, which descend upon hapless victims caught beneath them.  Chamber 49 has a symmetrical layout with dual makeshift ladders leading to the rim of another pit with waterfalls on either side.  Chamber 50 is perhaps the most dangerous of all.  Though it features only three high platforms with cascades, the bottom is inhabited by an indestructible machine, which can both crush you beneath its spiked tires and fire rockets into the air at you.  An adventurer who wishes to reach Chamber 51 must leave the ground quickly and remain alert.

The next nine chambers feature a similar underwater motif, but with gray platforms and light green rock formations, and lack the charm of the above section.  So, while at the bottom of many bodies of water, there is little light, you’ll find a bright, colorful world at the bottom of others, such as this one.  One thing this set of chambers does have in common with the typical deep-water region is its strange wonders.  It has long been difficult for humans and many other land-dwellers to explore the deepest of oceans, due both to the incredible pressure and their inability to extract oxygen from water with their respiratory systems.  Perhaps it is even true that many life forms have migrated there to escape from the outside world of terrestrials.  Whatever the reason, you’ll usually find things completely alien to you hidden beneath the waves, no matter what planet you’re exploring.


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