( Robo Warrior )
Game Cover
©1987 Hudson Soft
Release: 1987-08-07 (¥5500)
Cartridge HFC-BX
Action/Puzzle game

American Version
Released in America as

European Version
Released in Europe as
Bomber King (aka Robo Warrior) is an action/puzzle game by Hudson Soft that can be best described as a conceptual spin-off of the venerable Bomberman. The prosperous planet Altile (aka 'Altair') has remained at peace for centuries, but in 2036 AD, a mysterious and extra-dimensional entity invaded the peaceful world and turned it into a barren wasteland. The player takes control of Naito (aka 'Night', 'Z-type Earth Defence' or 'ZED'), an android sent to stop the invasion and keep aliens from taking over the planet. Naito must explore eight large areas on Altile, all subdivided into several zones called 'Periods'. Each period only requires the player to find a key and an exit door in order to successfully complete it. However, they are conveniently hidden from view and this is where the weapon system comes into play. The robot is equipped with bombs and a blaster gun - although the latter is rather limited and mainly used to take down enemies, the powerful bombs explode after a short period of time and are designed to clear parts of the playfield (such as bushes or pillars), thus revealing hidden items (such as the key). But, of course, there is a catch and Night instantly receives extensive damage if he gets caught within a bomb's blast radius. Bombs also come in limited quantities and the player needs to constantly refill his bomb bag by either killing enemies or by revealing special icons hidden within the playfield. Additionally, the android comes with a limited amount of batteries - each battery provides a small amount of energy which gradually, and inexorably, depletes. Thankfully, Naito can use or store a myriad of items - Standard items (such as Bombs, Extra Energy, Score Items or Keys) are instantly activated, whereas Select Items (such as Energy Tanks, Missiles, Super Speed, Candles/Lamps, Super Bombs) must be manually activated in the inventory screen (available by pressing select). Although the goal of each Period is to locate a key and the exit door, some levels feature different challenges, item shops, treasure rooms and a multitude of other secrets.
Non-direct relation : Bomberman (Pce-Hu)
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Bomber King Bomber King was first released for the Famicom (version tested here) and for the Japanese MSX (1988). The game was later released to the North American market by Jaleco under the title 'Robo Warrior' - this localized version is slightly easier, thanks to a more balanced health/energy system (bombs, for instance, inflict less damage). A sequel called Bomber King Scenario 2 was then released in 1991 for the Gameboy in Japan - however, Hudson Soft wasn't apparently involved in the game's development at all, and this sequel was entirely done by SunSoft. Additionally, SunSoft released the game in the west, but they linked it to another of their popular release - Blaster Master. Bomber King Scenario 2 was thus re-branded in the west as Blaster Master Boy (in United States) and Blaster Master Jr. (in Europe).

Takeaki Kunimoto composed the original music of Bomber King. He also known for writing the soundtrack for other Hudson Soft classics, such as Hector '87, Challenger, Star Soldier, Momotaro Densetsu or Kato-chan & Ken-chan (Hector '87 main theme does indeed share a close resemblance with Bomber King's). Interestingly, the Japanese version of Bomber King includes a Karaoke mode. After the player visits any of the Item Shops in the game, a new option called Theme Song appears on the title screen, right below Continue. This new option starts Bomber King's main theme song and displays Japanese sing-along lyrics! Here is the original text and a rough translation:

1.緑の大地は はるかな夢
  希望の光を その身に受けて
  豊かなアルタイルを とり戻すまで
  ゆく手をはばむ者は そは何者ぞ
  傷ついた 制御コンピュータ
  はるかに遠い 夢を抱きつつ
  GO for break out
  GO for break out
  駆け抜けろ 駆け破れ ナイト

2.輝きなくした この惑星(ほし)に
  最後の望みを 灯すため
  閉ざしたその扉は 大地の底に
  システムプログラムに 起動をかけて
  よみがえる 制御コンピュータ
  緑が戻る 青きアルタイル
  GO for break out
  GO for break out
  駆け抜けろ 駆け破れ ナイト
1. The green Earth is now a distant dream
    But there is a glimmer of hope
    To help restore Altair to its former beauty
    Someone is here to face the enemy
    The control computer is down
    what a distant dream
    GO for break out
    GO for break out
    This is the corridor
    Run through it, Night!

2. The planet has lost all of its brightness
    Light the last remnant of hope
    A closed door deep inside the Earth
    Reboot the system program
    Revive the control computer
    Restore color to Altair
    GO for break out
    GO for break out
    This is the corridor
    Run through it, Night!

This option was, of course, completely removed from the American and European versions of the game. The song can be found in the Hudson Premium Audio Collection music CD released in 2007 (which includes both a sung and instrumental versions). Additionally, Woodsoft's Super Takahashi compilation CD released in 2003 also included a remixed version (but without lyrics).

Bomber King - Ultra Series Vol.1 Bomber King was released as the first episode of an Ultra Series (超シリーズ) - it is not really clear as to why Hudson Soft decided to create such series though. The second volume was Faxanadu (released in 1987) and the third, and final one, was Momotaro Densetsu (1987).

Teaser text copied from the American version:
You're Zed Half man, Half Cyborg. The one-man battalion with a human heart and a computer's brain.
Can you blast your way alone through 27 battle zones to liberate the desperate people of the planet Atile from the evil invader Xur? Xur has sized the weather control station; it's bitter cold, and the people have fled underground. He knows you've landed. No turning back. You must recover an arsenal of 12 different weapons and 6 powers hidden on Altile. Mageton bombs, life vests, hyper missiles, super boots, cross-fires, super bombs, energy capsules, life pods, power balls... Master each to save yourself from a continuing barrage of 20 deadly enemies. Wisps, Wanes, Tracers, Strinkers, Skraugs, the Globula, Gholem, Viripides, They're mean, they;re ugly and they're after you. Flying. Dive bombing. Writhing. Grabbing. Find the keys, or you're locked in a battle zone forever. Find the hidden chalice and be saved from eternal doom. Hit the switch. This is war.

Game Staff (Copied from the end credits) :

This story is
known as
Legend of Altile
The planet
far from
the Earth

Original Story
Hiroshi Ohta

Produced by
Hudson Soft
M9 Team

Hiroshi Ohta

Game Designer
Tokuhiro Takemori

Toshiyuki Sasagawa
Hiroyuki Okada

Character Designer
T. Yamamoto
Kouji Matsuura
Tomomi Wajima
Mio Kuwabara
Music Composer
Uhei Inoh
Kinoko Kunimoto

Sound Designer
Toshiaki Takimoto

Development Adviser
Kenji Nakashima
Toshiharu Ura

Special Thanks for
Lu Iwabuchi
Happy Matsunaga

Thanks For Playing
See You Again!


Japanese Guidebook
Japanese Guidebook
Japanese Adventure Book
Japanese Adventure Book


Bomber King manual Bomber King commercial
Click on picture to enlarge

Bomber King is a very difficult game, and some levels require the player to fulfil special conditions which are often virtually impossible to figure out. So here are some tips to help you out with that.

Inventory Screen
Press select to open the inventory screen and activate items, such as extra-batteries, candles and lamps.

The player's energy constantly depletes during gameplay, but there are a couple of tips that might improve your success rate. Firtly, you can store and use energy tanks from your inventory. Secondly, the android regains all his energy at the end of a level, so don't waste an energy tank before you leave a period.

Bomber King - Award Medals Item Shops
Each period ends with a store. However, the store's primary currency are actually Award Medals, items shaped like cans and hidden throughout the game.

Statue Rooms (most periods)
Some blocks stand out more than others (especially in the uppermost wall), and can be bombed. They usually give access to small treasure rooms featuring stone statues. Although most of them contain items, some odd ones seal off the remaining statues and prevent the player from finding any new items!

Bomber King - Power Pools Power pools (1-1, 4-1, 8-1)
Small power pools are hidden in the game and double all the items in the player's inventory. To access them, just bomb one of the surrounding blocks multiple times.
Bomber King - Chalice Looping levels (1-1, 3-1, 5-1, 6-2, 6-3, 7-1)
These levels indefinitely loop and you must first find a chalice to lift this dastardly curse.

Dark levels (2-2, 4-2, 6-3, 8-2)
These levels are pitch black and you must use the candle or the lamp from your inventory in order to find your way around. Lamps truly are the hardest items to find in the game and they can light an entire level indefinitely (unlike the candle which creates a light circle around the player for a short period of time).

Bomber King - staircases Staircases (most periods)
Various staircases are hidden throughout the game and give access to underground tunnels packed with items. However, you have to use the candle or the lamps from your inventory in order to find your way around.

Breakable blocks (most periods)
If the way is blocked, don't forget that some wall blocks are breakable and can be bombed. Some breakable blocks stand out from the rest, but they don't later in the game and they often have be bombed multiple times!

Bosses (3-3, 5-3, 6-4, 7-3, 7-5, 8-4, 8-5)
Boss encounters! Don't forget that your energy doesn't drain during boss battles.

Bomber King - Water Water (4-1, 4-2, 6-1)
You will need the waterproof item (symbolized by a lifebuoy) to cross the various bodies of water featured in these levels.

Add your Pov here !

I was rather excited about Bomber King - I'm a huge fan of Bomberman and I was looking forward to trying out this unlikely spin off. And the first time I played Bomber King, I instantly loved the music, the game's overall setup and the atmosphere (although bombs have a bad habit to kill you more often than your enemies). The bulk of the game is a combination of exploration and action that certainly adds a nice twist to the Bomberman formula. However, after a few minutes, you realize that there is something inherently wrong with Bomber King... the first level just loops round & round, your energy eventually reaches zero and you die. What? After another equally unsuccessful attempt, you start reading the instruction manual and realize that things are not as straightforward as you may think... for instance, in the first stage, you have to find a chalice in order to prevent the level to loop indefinitely... This feels absurdly random to me, and this is where the game completely falls apart in my opinion. Your energy also constantly decreases and you have a finite amount of bombs, both penalizing exploration initiatives which are at the core of the gameplay! These flaws are present throughout the entire game and make the whole experience more frustrating than fun. Bomber King seems to belong to this group of Famicom games with impossible to solve puzzles (based more on luck than anything else) that require the purchase of a guidebook. An adventure-style Bomberman would have been great, but in reality Bomber King is just a missed opportunity and it falls to the same curse that plagued other games such as Milon's Secret Castle. Such a crying shame... Bomber King is definitively a love-it or hate-it kind of deal.

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