Simply, Arkanoid was an extension of Atari’s 1976 hit game Breakout, through adding different layouts, types of level, a backstory and power-ups.
The player controlled a spaceship called Vaus, which acted as the paddle element of the game. Like Breakout, the games rules were simple, with a brick disappearing when hit by a ball and when all the bricks had gone a new level would start. Multiple variations such as bricks that had to be hit multiple times, flying enemy ships and power-up capsules were added into the gameplay. There was 33 rounds in total, which is where the player would have faced the antagonist of the game – DOH. This level was notoriously harder than the others as there was no continue screen on the final round.
The game proved popular amongst critics and players alike. Even winning a Silver Award for being one of the best arcade games of 1986 by Japanese Gamest Awards.
Bubble Bobble (1986)
Taito’s Bubble Bobble looked at the story of two brothers Bubby and Bobby, whose girlfriends were kidnapped by the evil Barron Von Blubba and who then turned the brothers into bubble dragons named Blub and Blob.
The game was a platformer wherein two players could play as the two brothers. Within each level the player was expected to destroy a certain number of enemies by trapping them in a bubble and then subsequently popping them. From this, the enemy turned into a food item which would give the player a power up. Another method was to defeat multiple enemies at the same time which would cause more powerful items to appear.
Special bubbles appeared in the classic such as bubbles that encased letters, if popped to spell out the word ‘extend’ an extra life was awarded to the player who achieved this and both players would advance to the next level in the game play.
A life could be lost if contact was made with an enemy. Enemies could also be made ‘angry’ where they would chase after the character if the bubble they were trapped in had popped itself.
The game was made up of 100 levels and on the 100th the player would face a boss. This would have led to multiple endings with the game as it was one of the first games to feature an ending depending on what had happened within a game.
The endings consisted of:
Single Player Ending: The game ended with a message which read ‘Come back here with a friend’.
Two Player Ending 1: The brothers were transformed back into their human forms and reunited with their girlfriends. A code was also present which could unlock ‘Super Mode’ which was a harder and faster version of the two player game.
Super Mode: The Super Drunk was revealed to be the brothers parents, who were then transformed back into their human form and reunited with their parents and girlfriends.