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FAQ by Poln

Version: 1.24 | Updated: 11/27/00

Puzzle Bobble/Bust-A-Move FAQ  v1.24
Hi there, this is Poln.  I've decided to take over this FAQ with Carl Chavez's 
help since C. Chavez has other things that he needs to take care of.  I (as 
myself) and/or We (the general audience) thought that his website and e-mail
address was down for good.. Nope, it did not.  After almost a year of the 
unknown, his site came up.  However, when he changed his website, hardly
anybody knows where the new site is until Chavez call up one of the search 
sites and requested the change.  He then e-mail me telling me his site was 
changed, NOT gone.  He game me permission to continue updating this FAQ as 

You can e-mail C. Chavez or Poln (at the address below) for questions 
regarding this game, but _still_ the best advice is to go to the arcade(s) 
(that have this game) at a community college or university and ask around.  
They can help you get better at it.  You can also take the time and watch the 
monitor as it will show you how to play (which is common on many if not all of
the games made by Tatio).  This FAQ is just to give you details of the game 
and a helping hand (scoring, techniques, rules, etc).

*Why did I say cc or univ?  Because (in my experience), there are people who
played that game a lot and may help you with this game.  You can still go to 
other arcades that has it as well.  For home systems, check your game manual.
Thank you for your time.  Enjoy reading this FAQ.  Have Fun!

the best way to complete round X). THAT WOULD BE IT. IF YOU E-MAIL ME ABOUT 


                        Bust a Move/Puzzle Bobble FAQ v1.1 / v1.24

        Compiled by Poln (psu19257@odin.pdx.edu) and
                    Carl Chavez (foregone@bubandbob.org) 

        Authored by:

                Carl Chavez (foregone@bubandbob.com)
                Tiri (anastos@Informatik.TU-Muenchen.DE)
                Rick Banghart (banghar4@studentb.msu.edu)
                Matt Tom (dethwish@mit.edu)

               Bonus points added by Poln (psu19257@odin.pdx.edu)
               + added stuff on game rules and other stuff that
                 careful eyes could catch.
               + added bonus section

               + added setting for 2 player
                 best of 3 or 5
               + Carl Chavez's e-mail and site has been changed

               + Poln's website changed

Please e-mail corrections to foregone@bubandbob.com *or* 

This FAQ is also available at:

The Bub and Bob Page at http://www.bubandbob.com/puzzlebobble
Gamefaq's at http://www.gamefaqs.com
or at this site http://i.am/poln

Please use this method of acquisition if possible instead of requesting the 
FAQ through e-mail.

*** This FAQ is extremely long ***.

There are two other files which may include all the information you need:

        Bust-A-Move MiniFAQ
        Bust-A-Move Levels FAQ

Both files may be acquired from

Tiri (anastos@Informatik.TU-Muenchen.DE) or http://www.bubandbob.com

Again, I emphasize that the WWW page should be used as a primary source
instead of e-mail.


launcher - the wooden catapult thing Bub and Bob use
pair - a pair of similar colors next to each other
triple - when three bubbles are put together and pop
quad - four bubbles popped together
quint - five bubbles popped together
hanging - connecting a bubble to a pair because there's no better place
to put it, in the hope that you can pop the pair and drop the extra
bubble with it


Q: What are the controls?
A: The obvious controls are: Left turns the launcher left, right turns
the launcher right, and fire fires. :)
Less obvious, though, is that up centers the launcher, and down will bring
it further in the direction it is pointing. Holding it down will do
nothing if it is centered. (Banghart)

Q: How quickly does the screen drop?
A: It depends on how many colors are on the screen. If all eight colors are
on the playfield, the screen drops after a certain number of bubbles
("b") have been fired from the launcher. For each missing color, the
screen drops every b-missing colors bubbles. So if only red, green and
blue are on the screen (like round 13), the screen will drop every b-3
bubbles. Also, after a certain amount of bubbles have been fired the
level will drop anyway. This is easily observed on levels like 13 which
seems to drop after every fired bubble if you take too many shots to
finish it.

Remember..if the ball goes over the line, game is over (unless you want to
continue).  If you wish to continue, you'll get started with a line that will 
help you to where you want the ball to go.  The drawback is when you start to 
where you left off, the score resets to zero (0).  so there's a give and take 
here.  You can determine how close to the line is by the music.  As the balls 
get closer to the line, the music plays faster.  Of course, it will go slower 
when the balls drop and you have a big space available (like a big gap).

Q: How is scoring calculated when more than three bubbles of the same color
   are popped?
A: Each bubble is worth 10 points. A triple is worth 30 points, a quad is 40, 

Q: How is scoring calculated when multiple bubbles drop?
A: The first bubble is 20, and each additional bubble scores double. Thus:
        Bubbles dropped         Score
                1               20
                2               40
                3               80
                4               160
                5               320
                6               640
                7               1280
                8               2560
                9               5120
                10              10240
                11              20480
                12              40960
                13              81920
                14              163840
                15              327680
                16              655360
                17 or more      1310720

Q: What are some good techniques?
A: Here are some -

1. To figure out how a bubble will bounce, look at the background.
On some levels, you can count how many squares over and up a ball will go by
looking at the slope of the arrow. On others rounds, it may be zigzags
or diamonds. Look at the angle of the zigzag vs. angle of launcher to
figure out where the bubble will go.

2. If you're getting consecutive similarly-colored bubbles, try to leave
space so that you can pop more than three at once. This becomes critical
when only two colors are left, the ceiling is really low and making a
triple would actually hurt you. Example: (R - red G - green)

ceiling ------
        RR  G
                        <this much space left
R ready   R loaded      <-this level is where the launcher is

In this situation, launching the R to finish the triple would kill you
because the next R would have to be cleared in another triple. Place the
R next to the G like so: RR RG. The next R goes between the others to
finish, unless the next ready bubble is also R. In that case, put the R here:

        RR RG
R or G ready, R loaded

If R is ready, then pop the vertical pair. That would mean that if the
next ready bubble is again R, you can try to do the 4-bubble pop again,
but if the next ready bubble is G, you can pop all five at once! That
would leave only G on the screen, so you can just make a triple G.

3. If you're trying to make a long stem, you want to make a pair as soon
as possible at the top of the stem. That way, it becomes easier to rescue
yourself from a mistake. For further safety, you may want to organize a
stem this way (or a variant):

        |       B B           |
        |        W            |
        |       W R Y B       |
        |        more bubbles |

With this particular arrangement, you can easily hit either the B or W
bubbles to drop the stem. You don't have to hope for one color; rather,
your odds of getting the correct color are much improved.

NOTE:  At times, you'll be thinking, "Where should I put this ball, especially
in tough situations?" Basicly, you have approximately 10 seconds to release a 
ball in play.  The computer will warn you how much time left at 5 seconds 
before the ball has to be released.  It will show "hurry-up" as well as the 
time remaining.  If you don't release the ball within a certain amount of 
time, it will be released for you.

Q: Why the hell are you making so many bank shots?
A: People in the M.I.T. arcade sometimes laugh at me for making what they
call "gratuitous bank shots." The reason I do this is a principle I call
surface area. Sometimes the bank shot gives you more freedom for error.
For instance, on level 4, the two towers, once one of them is dropped,
what's easier? In my opinion, the bank shot off the far wall is easier
than sending it straight up. On a similar note (decision making), if
the surface area is relatively small, and missing can totally screw you
over (read: kill you), maybe that's not the best idea. (Tom)

Q: There's only two colors left. Can I still get a big score?
A: Yes! Try this:

        1 1
           2 1 2 1 2 2
            2 1 2 1
                   2 2
            2 1 2 1 1

Just cut out the lower row at the 'x' if things get tight. This
configuration is useful on levels like 2, 5, 7, 15, 18 or 22. I haven't
gotten a million yet with this technique yet, but I've gotten close
(163k). (Chavez)

Q: How did you get that ball to slide into place? It looked like it was
going to stick to a bubble, but it went into the space. When I try to
do that, it sticks to the bubble!
A:Another trick is to create a "guide" for a really tough shot. For
instance, on the double-hourglass levels, once the center bottom area is
cleared out, whole triangles can be taken out like this:

Y W     Y W W   Y W W   Y W W   Y W W
G       G       G G     G G
Y W     Y W     Y W     Y W G
G       G       G       G

The first white shot up there guides that green into the hole. The second
green drops the whole thing. Then bank shots can take out the other
hourglass. (Tom)

Q: What are the rules for a 2-player game?
A: Each time 4 or more bubbles are popped, every bubble after the first 3
is added to the stack in between the two playfields. When bubbles are dropped,
all dropped bubbles plus the stacked bubbles are added to the opposing
player's playfield. The color of the stacked or dropped bubbles may not be
the same color of the bubbles which appear on the opposing player's playfield.

        Ex: Player 1 pops a row of five red bubbles. Two bubbles are stored
        on the bubble stack. Player 1 then pops a row of three blue bubbles
        to which a black and green bubble are connected. The black and green
        bubbles are added to Player 2's playfield, plus two more bubbles.

If you win, all the bubbles will be dropped and a blue "WON" will flash
on your side.  On the other side, if you lose, all bubbles turned black
and a red "LOST" will appear on your side.  After that, it will go back
to the round that you left off.  But remember, if you lose, your score
will be erased.

In some arcades, when you do a 2-player game, there is the best of 3 or 5 
game. Means that if you lose, you have a chance to catch-up in your win 
column.  If you win, you'll need to win the 2nd or 3rd set in order to 
win the match.  It is indicated by a diamoned.  When he/she wins the match,
then it will go back to where it left off.   

Q: How is the bubble stack in a two-player game read?
A: A yellow bubble represents one bubble, and a red bubble represents five.

Q: What are the names of the dinosaurs?
A: The green one is Bub, and the blue one is Bob.

Q: But there are two green dinosaurs working together! And two blue!
A: Hmmm, you have a point.

Q:  How does the bonus points determined?
A:  Bonus points are awarded based on how fast you completed, NOT accuracy...
well it may play a part. The faster you clear the round, the more extra points
that you get.  The first 5 seconds awarded at 50,000 points, then at 6 sec. at
49,160, 7 sec at 48,320 and it goes down to 64 sec. at 440 points.  After 65
seconds or greater, you will get NO Bonus.  Don't worry about the bonus every
time, just try to clear the stage as best as you can.

Here is the chart..

Time you completed          Points Awarded
0-5 sec.                    50,000
6 sec.                      49,160
7 sec.                      48,320
8 sec.                      47,480
9 sec.                      46,640
10 sec.                     45,800
11 sec.                     44,960
.                           .
.                           .
15 sec.                     41,600
.                           .
.                           .
.                           .
30 sec.                     29,000
.                           .
.                           .
40 sec.                     20,600
.                           .
.                           .
45 sec.                     16,400
.                           .
.                           .
60 sec.                      3,860
.                           .
.                           .
64 sec.                        440
65+ seconds or greater      NO BONUS

*I cleared the round in 0 sec before.  Usually done in Round 2 if the first
ball is black.  The 0 sec is possible if you did this in less than .5 sec.  
You can get the idea on how much the bonus points is possible.  I did not list 
all of them here (that takes too long), but you can do the math or an estimate 
on how much bonus points you may possibly get with how many seconds it took 
for you to finish.  Please....don't worry about the bonus points, just clear 
the round as best as you can.  This is just FYI.



Q: What is the strategy on round <X>? And how can I get lots of points?
A: Here are strategies for certain levels. If a level strategy is
missing, please submit one! Nicknames of levels are appreciated, too.


8: There are several strategies for beating this level. These are the
ones that have been submitted:

Pairs, pairs, pairs. I always make sure that the colors are  paired
before I pop 'em. This way I rarely get stuck with a bubble that
can't go anywhere. Whenever I can, I try to make sure that I am
eliminating a triple that exposes an unpaired color. Because I form
pairs, it becomes easy to cope with the times when the same color appears
again and again because I can pop 4 or 5 of the same bubble at once. The
pairs technique also helps me to avoid having to hang unpaired bubbles
off a pair so that it would drop when I popped the pair. I hate 'hanging'
because it decreases the amount of space a fired bubble can manuever in.

As mentioned above, try to keep one of every color exposed.
Attack the middle, and try to undermine rather than use a triple on the
left and right bubbles of the third row. This is especially true when all
you have on the left side is that purple hanging from a red hanging from
a purple. Slip a purple between the other two and the red falls. Attack
the purples in the corners from the outside. That first one should be up
against the wall, and the second one better hit it. If you go inside with
that purple, sometimes the computer will give you the wrong colors and
you'll end up trapping a blue or yellow in the middle. (Tiri)

9: (Orange Road) This can sometimes be nervewracking. If that left
overhang gets a little too close, one way of getting that million is to
kill it and dump random bubbles in the big cavity in the middle. Use that
line of orange on the left side as a target to finish the level. (Tom)

12: (Christmas Tree) Try working at the middle so the board looks
like an upside-down V, then pop off the arms. Whenever possible, attempt
bounce shots, aimed at the top of the tree, with red and green bubbles.

15: The most important thing to remember is that a shot to the tops of
any of the three stems is impossible. Attack the middle stalk so you can
get better aiming angles, or attack one of the sides so that you can get
better deflections.

16: It looks like round 8, but it is a bit harder because similar colors
are more spread out, thus making quads or quints harder. Attack that
yellow on the right from the outside. (Tiri)
  update.. In other words, try to use a similar strategy in round 8.   
  Always try to have the color exposed or use pairs.
17: There are only four colors, so the ceiling will drop a bit faster on
this one. Try to hollow out the sides of the bubble masses so that you
can pop the top of a mass all at once. (Chavez)

24: Like 17, but there's only one mass of bubbles instead of two. The
ceiling drops a bit faster than 17's also. Erode the bottom of the mass,
but use deflection shots to pop the side pairs whenever possible so you
can eventually drop many bubbles at once. (Chavez)

26: Try to use the same method as in Round 8 and/or 16.


Q: How do I get lots of points? And what do the levels look like?
A: Thanks to Tiri, Bust-A-Move players now have ASCII diagrams of all the
levels, and an aid to getting huge points!


               PUZZLE BOBBLE STAGES and their MILLIONS  v1.0
                        Anastos "Tiri" Sotiris


The stages marked with 2xM and 3xM (2, 3 Millions) are confirmed. So if
you have lots of nerves,  a little bit of luck and get all the possible
millions till stage 30, you should have a hiscore of appr. 30.000.000 (my
personal is currently at 25.152.280, stage 27 with 4 Millions missed).

Good Luck...

        a-d: colours; usually these are "attack spots" for a Million
          X: balls, where you should find an "attack spot" for a Million
          O: ball of any colour
    [1-3]xM: indicates how many "Millions" in the current stage are possible
    survive: don't try any Millions, just survive

Note: You usually have to "unhang" one "attack spot" (e.g. Lvl3, Lvl10, Lvl5)

01: 1xM easy        02: 1xM easy        03: 2xM easy         04: 1xM
_______________     _______________     _______________      _______________
|a a b b c c d d|   |      a a      |   |O             O|    |  a a     b b  |
| a a b b c c d |   |       O       |   | a O O O O O b |    |   O       O   |
|O O O O O O O O|   |      O        |   |O             O|    |  O       O    |
| O O O O O O O |   |       O       |   | a O O O O O b |    |   O       O   |
|               |   |      O        |   |      O        |    |  O       O    |
|               |   |       O       |   |       O       |    |   O       O   |
|               |   |      O        |   |      O        |    |  O       O    |
|               |   |       O       |   |               |    |   O       O   |
|               |   |               |   |               |    |               |
|               |   |               |   |               |    |               |
|_______________|   |_______________|   |_______________|    |_______________|
|______(|)______|   |______(|)______|   |______(|)______|    |______(|)______|
    4 colours           6 colours           5 colours            5 colours

05: 1xM risky        06: survive         07: 1xM              08: survive
_______________     _______________     _______________      _______________
|  O   O   O   O|   |O O O O O O O O|   |      X X      |    |O O O O O O O O|
| O   O   d   b |   | O   O   O   O |   |     X X X     |    | O O O O O O O |
|O   O   O   O  |   |  O O O O O O  |   |      X X      |    |O O O O O O O O|
|   O   O   O   |   |   O   O   O   |   |   O O   O O   |    | O O O O O O O |
|  O   O   O    |   |  O O O O O O  |   |  O O O O O O  |    |               |
|     c   O     |   | O   O   O   O |   |   O O   O O   |    |               |
|        a      |   |O O O O O O O O|   |               |    |               |
|               |   |               |   |               |    |               |
|               |   |               |   |               |    |               |
|               |   |               |   |               |    |               |
|_______________|   |_______________|   |_______________|    |_______________|
|______(|)______|   |______(|)______|   |______(|)______|    |______(|)______|
    6 colours           6 colours           6 colours            5 colours

09: 1xM             10: 3xM             11: 1xM              12: survive
_______________     _______________     _______________      _______________
|a a a a a a a a|   |O             O|   |      X X      |    |      O O      |
| a           a |   | a O O O O O b |   |     X X X     |    |     O O O     |
|a     O O O O O|   |O             O|   |    O X X O    |    |    O O O O    |
| a       O O O |   | a O O O O O b |   |   O O O O O   |    |   O O O O O   |
|a           O O|   |O             O|   |    O O O O    |    |  O O O O O O  |
| O O           |   | a O O O O O b |   |     O O O     |    | O O O O O O O |
|O O O O        |   |               |   |      O O      |    |O O O O O O O O|
| O O O O O     |   |               |   |       O       |    |               |
|               |   |               |   |               |    |               |
|               |   |               |   |               |    |               |
|_______________|   |_______________|   |_______________|    |_______________|
|______(|)______|   |______(|)______|   |______(|)______|    |______(|)______|
    7 colours           7 colours           8 colours            3 colours

13: 2xM (2nd hard)  14: 1xM             15: survive          16: survive
_______________     _______________     _______________      _______________
|a a b O O b a a|   |O   O     O   O|   |a a   b b   c c|    |O O O O O O O O|
| O a b O b a O |   | O   O   O O O |   | O     O     O |    | O O O O O O O |
|O O a b b a O O|   |  O   O O   O  |   |O     O     O  |    |O O O O O O O O|
| O O a b a O O |   | O O       O   |   | O     O     O |    | O O O O O O O |
|O O O a a O O O|   |O   O O O O   O|   |O     O     O  |    |               |
| O O O a O O O |   | a           O |   | O     O     O |    |               |
|O O O O O O O O|   |  O O O O O O  |   |O     O     O  |    |               |
|               |   |               |   | O     O     O |    |               |
|               |   |               |   |               |    |               |
|               |   |               |   |               |    |               |
|_______________|   |_______________|   |_______________|    |_______________|
|______(|)______|   |______(|)______|   |______(|)______|    |______(|)______|
    8 colours           7 colours           8 colours            7 colours

17: survive         18: 1xM             19: survive          20: survive
 _______________     _______________     _______________      _______________
|O O O     O O O|   |        a      |   |O O O O O O O O|    |O   O     O   O|
| O O       O O |   |       a       |   | O O O   O O O |    | O   O   O   O |
|O O O     O O O|   |  O     a   O  |   |  O O     O O  |    |O     O O     O|
| O O       O O |   | O     a     O |   |   O       O   |    | O   O O O   O |
|O O O     O O O|   |  O     a   O  |   |  O O     O O  |    |O     O O     O|
|               |   |   O   a   O   |   | O O O   O O O |    | O   O   O   O |
|               |   |    O O O O    |   |O O O O O O O O|    |O   O     O   O|
|               |   |               |   |               |    | O           O |
|               |   |               |   |               |    |               |
|               |   |               |   |               |    |               |
|_______________|   |_______________|   |_______________|    |_______________|
|______(|)______|   |______(|)______|   |______(|)______|    |______(|)______|
    4 colours           7 colours           3 colours            7 colours

21: survive         22: 3xM (3rd hard)  23: 2xM (2nd risky)  24: survive
_______________     _______________     _______________      _______________
|O O O O O O O O|   |c c c c c c c c|   |      b O      |    |O O O O        |
| O O O   O O O |   | b             |   |     a b c     |    | O O O         |
|  O O     O O  |   |  O O O O O O O|   |    O a c O    |    |O O O O        |
|   O       O   |   |   a           |   |   O O   O O   |    | O O O         |
|  O O     O O  |   |    O O O O O O|   |  O O     O O  |    |O O O O        |
| O O O   O O O |   |     O         |   | O O       O O |    | O O O         |
|O O O O O O O O|   |      O O O O O|   |O O         O O|    |               |
|               |   |               |   | O           O |    |               |
|               |   |               |   |               |    |               |
|               |   |               |   |               |    |               |
|_______________|   |_______________|   |_______________|    |_______________|
|______(|)______|   |______(|)______|   |______(|)______|    |______(|)______|
    4 colours           6 colours           7 colours            7 colours

25: survive         26: survive         27: 1xM (risky)      28: survive
_______________     _______________     _______________      _______________
|a             b|   |O O O O O O O O|   |a a a     a a a|    |O O O O O O O  |
| a           b |   | O O O O O O O |   |     a   a     |    | O O O O O O   |
|  O O O O O O  |   |O O O O O O O O|   |    O O O O    |    |  O O O O O    |
|   O       O   |   | O O O O O O O |   |   O   O   O   |    |   O O O O     |
|  O O O O O O  |   |               |   |    O O O O    |    |    O O O      |
|   O       O   |   |               |   |     O O O     |    |     O O       |
|  O O O O O O  |   |               |   |  O O O O O O  |    |      O        |
|               |   |               |   |               |    |               |
|               |   |               |   |               |    |               |
|               |   |               |   |               |    |               |
|_______________|   |_______________|   |_______________|    |_______________|
|______(|)______|   |______(|)______|   |______(|)______|    |______(|)______|
    7 colours           8 colours           6 colours            6 colours

29: 1xM (risky)     30: survive
_______________     _______________
|    a     a    |   |O   O   O   O  |
|     a   a     |   | O   O   O   O |
|      a a      |   |O   O   O   O  |
|   O O a O O   |   | O   O   O   O |
|  O O     O O  |   |O   O   O   O  |
| O   O O O   O |   | O   O   O   O |
|O     O O     O|   |O   O   O   O  |
|               |   |               |
|               |   |               |
|               |   |               |
|_______________|   |_______________|
|______(|)______|   |______(|)______|
    7 colours           8 colours


Q: What is the ending to the 1-player game?
A: Spoiler follows:

The dinosaurs go home with their catapult, leaving behind a pile of depressed
bad guys. The camera pans to the stars which are displayed in levels 25-27.
Credits scroll, then contest information is displayed for a T-Shirt drawing.
Unfortunately, the contest ended 28 Feb 95. Many people are pissed,
having beaten the game after March...:(



6 April 95 - v0.1       - first release

14 April 95 - v0.2      - first contributions sent in
                        - round order fixed (I hope)

21 April 95 - v1.0      - first full version
                        - strategy guide revamped
                        - ASCII diagrams by Tiri added

30 March 96 - v1.1      - e-mail address for Chavez changed

6 February 98 - v1.15   - added bonus section. 

26 March 98 - v1.20     - added 2P settings [best of 3 or 5] 
                          If your local arcade has this option.

6 July 98 - v1.22       - Carl Chavez's e-mail and website has been changed

8 August 98 - v1.23C   - Poln's website/e-mail changed.  
                       - Minor fixes.  

20 November 2000 v1.24 - Fixed Strategy Section
                           Possible final update

- - - - - - - - -
Thanks to:

        Game Space - Seattle, WA - Bust-a-Move level 6
        University of Washington Game Room (HUB) - Seattle, WA -
                Bust-a-Move level 6
        U-Ave Pool Hall - Seattle, WA - Bust-a-Move level unknown
        Funplex - Seattle, WA - Bust-a-Move level 6

c. 1998-2000

---"anti-mag" copyright declaration, v1.1---

Copyright 1995, 1998-2000 by Carl Chavez and aforementioned contributors. 
This document may not be reprinted or reproduced for sale or profit without 
permission from ALL contributors. This document may be freely distributed 
via hard copy, WWW link, or other electronic means, but all writers retain 
their copyrights. Other restrictions may apply.

--translation for the lay person:
You can print this or send it to your friends for free, but don't sell copies 
of it at the arcade or at school! And don't print it in your commercial 
magazine. This FAQ cannot be put in a commerical and/or profitable website so 
don't ask.

This "anti-mag" work may be freely copied and used by all FAQ writers to
avoid copyright infringement by any publication. It is hoped that it is
legally binding (if you're a lawyer, help me out here!).

EGM has changed its name to a different one, but the legal notice will 
*still* apply.


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