Rainbow Islands: The Story of Bubble Bobble 2 is a 1987 arcade game developed and published by Taito. The arcade version was licensed to Romstar for North American manufacturing and distribution. The game is subtitled 'The Story of Bubble Bobble 2' and is the sequel to Taito's hit game Bubble Bobble from the previous year. It is the second of four arcade games in the Bubble Bobble series (followed by Bubble Symphony and Bubble Memories, but itself has two direct sequels: Parasol Stars and Bubble Bobble Part 2). The game was ported for numerous home computers and game consoles.
The main characters are Bubblun and Bobblun, the protagonists of Bubble Bobble (known as 'Bub and Bob' in the western releases). However, in this game they appear in their human forms as 'Bubby' and 'Bobby', as opposed to the 'bubble dragons' of the first game (following on from the first game's true ending). Also unlike the first game, players must now 'alternate' (i.e., take turns), with player one as Bubby (green shirt), and player 2 as Bobby (blue shirt) (the same color scheme as in the first game).
Following the events of Bubble Bobble, Bubby and Bobby set out to defeat the 'Dark Shadow' and rescue the Rainbow Islands. The Dark Shadow is the entity responsible for the events in Bubble Bobble. The game is set on a chain of ten islands, each one with a different theme. Each island provides four rounds of game-play, and once these are complete the player moves to the next island in the chain. In each round the player must get to the top before the sea level rises and kills them. The islands get progressively more difficult, with enemies moving much faster on the later ones. These are depicted on a map screen before the start of each island.
Players can release rainbows that act as weapons, makeshift platforms, and item collectors. Slinging rainbows damages any enemies and acquires any items that the rainbows come in contact with. When jumped upon, they fall down, beating any enemies below them, and releasing a damage field above them. Collecting power-ups increases the player's speed, the speed of the rainbows and how many are spawned. If players take too long in a level, water will start to rise up from the bottom of the stage, and will kill the player character if it rises above his head.
Like Bubble Bobble before it, the game has multiple endings. To get the 'True and Happy' ending the player must find and complete the three secret islands (although most consumer versions of the game completely lack the secret islands because of budget constraints). These islands are not visible until all 7 big diamonds are collected. To get a big diamond, the player must collect seven different-colored small diamonds on the island and finish the round. The small diamonds are found by destroying enemies by dropping a rainbow on them from above or destroying them with various special items. After collecting the small diamonds, a word 'NICE' appears. If the small diamonds are collected in the correct order, the player will get to a secret room at the end of each island, which contains a permanent power up. The color of the small diamonds depends on where the fallen enemies land, so the player can somewhat determine which diamond colors will drop.
The scoring system also has secrets, which allow vastly higher scores to be achieved than normal.
Rainbow Islands Extra Version is a modified version of Rainbow Islands; the game is exactly the same except the stages' enemies and bosses appear in a different order (much like Bubble Bobble's Super Mode). Rainbow Islands Extra was released in limited quantities in the arcade. The game was also included as a mode in the Sega Mega Drive version of Rainbow Islands.
You can control this game easily by using the keyboard of your PC (see the table next to the game). However, for maximum gaming enjoyment, we strongly recommend using a USB gamepad that you simply plug into the USB port of your computer. If you do not have a gamepad, buy a suitable USB controller in Amazon or in some of your favorite online stores.
Available online emulators:
4 different online emulators are available for Rainbow Islands. These emulators differ not only in the technology they use to emulate old games, but also in support of various game controllers, multiplayer mode, mobile phone touchscreen, emulation speed, absence or presence of embedded ads and in many other parameters. For
maximum gaming enjoyment, it's important to choose the right emulator, because on each PC and in different Internet browsers, the individual emulators behave differently. The basic
features of each emulator available for this game Rainbow Islands are summarized in the following table: