Posted on June 21st, 2010 5 comments
“You play a man who is trapped inside a maze. Place your time bombs wisely to defeat the balloon monsters. If the balloon monsters get caught up in an exploding time bomb, they will pop and disappear. Defeat all the monsters on the screen to proceed to the next stage. You can break down weaker walls with your time bombs. These walls can hide treasures and exit doors. Pick up treasure to receive bonus points. Go through an exit to proceed to the next stage. If you accidentally blow up a treasure or exit, four monsters will come out and attack (only once per stage). Move up, down, left and right with the cursor keys and press Space to set a bomb.”
So go the Japanese instructions for Bomber Man (爆弾男) — not the PC Engine or Super NES version, not even the 1986 NES classic, but the very first Bomber Man (two words), released on cassette tape for the NEC PC-8801 in mid-1983.
While not a massive sensation — the Japanese PC community was pretty small back then, after all — it was successful enough to get ported to nearly every other computer format in Japan the following year. Hudson also signed a deal with Sinclair Research to release a port for the ZX Spectrum in Europe titled Eric and the Floaters — technically, the first overseas Bomberman release.
The above video shows off the 1984 MSX port, as well as a 3D version released by Hudson not long thereafter. The 3D game is, frankly, terrifying. Resident Evil could stand to learn a thing or two from it. I think I’m going to have nightmares.