Dream Smashers – Bub

dream-smashers-bub

One of the most recognizable series of the Arcade era of gaming, Bubble Bobble is one of Taito’s (now owned by Square-Enix) flagship franchises. The first game has been ported to practically every single platform of its time, including the Famicom Disk System, the NES and the Game Boy. Like other gaming mascots of the era, the pair of Bubble Dragons got their own library of spin-offs, most notable being Puzzle Bobble (Also known as Bust-A-Move) another enormous hit across multiple platforms, including the SNES, the N64, the GameCube, the Wii and the 3DS, making this old-fashioned series one of the most familiar to a broad audience of gamers. This classic appeal would make the series hero, Bub, an interesting choice for getting into Smash as the second Square-Enix representative.

Who is Bub?

bub97

Bub is one of two kids that were transformed into Bubble Dragons by the spell of a wizard called (get this): “Super Drunk”, who under the control of the maligned Baron Von Bubbla also kidnaped their girlfriends. So, in order to rescue them, Bub – and his brother Bob – had to clear the 100 stages of the Cavern of Monsters, catching their enemies with a barrage of bubbles that they can shoot from their mouths. After that adventure, both kids, now in their human forms, had to save their homeland, the Rainbow Islands, from an evil army of minions. This time around, the boys had to climb to the top of every stage by shooting rainbow bridges. In their third adventure, the stakes had never been higher, as both kids had to save whole planets from the clutches of an army of monsters, and they did this only armed with a Parasol. Not bad for a couple of cutesy, chubby kids.

back

Importance to Gaming History

As stated before, the “Bobble” franchise has been one of the hallmarks of the Arcade era of videogames, and a clear example that games don’t need to be highly complex to be fun and successful. So, thanks to clever game design, Bub has appeared on almost every gaming platform from his inception to the present. A Puzzle Bobble game is available for smart devices, and the original Bubble Bobble is one of the 30 games slated to be included on the NES Classic Edition.

But don’t let the cute and friendly appearance of those games fool you, as they also are part of the “Nintendo Hard Hall of fame”, being easy to pick up casually but stepping up the challenge in the a blink of an eye, making them a well known challenge for retro hardcore gamers.

How will he play?

sprites

Sprites by TheAnvil, alts by Nantendo

Bub could have a colorful set of skins based on his companions, like Bob (light blue), Bub’s girlfriend Peb (Yellow), Bob’s girlfriend Pab (Pink), Bub’s cousin Bubu (Red-Orange) and his Grandpa (Light purple); and two based on his enemies, like Develon (Black and red) and their arch nemesis, the ghostly Baron Von Bubbla (White and pink).

Now for some statistics:

  • Can he crawl: No
  • Can he wall jump: Yes
  • How many jumps do he has: 2
  • Is there any exclusive abilities he has*: Yes, He could jump over his own bubbles ,like in his games.
  • Weight Class: D (a little chubby for his small size)
  • Height Class: D
  • Speed Class: C (D at walking, C at running, and B on the air), He is also Slippery on the ground, and have a good Jump height.
  • Is he mirrored when he faces left: Yes

*i.e. Peach’s float

(for a more detailed look at the stats check this link here)

Archetype: Sniper – Trapper (with Semi grappler points)

(for a more detailed explanation about the Archetype definitions please take a look of this link here)

Bub is a small and nimble character with average speed, so he has to rely on a big diversity of projectiles and stage control to accomplish his mission: Trapping his foes inside bubbles and keep them away until he can set up his relatively strong grab game.

Bubbles would be his principal mean of create a short lasting wall between him and his foes, as the bubbles could shield him from middle range attacks, but their low damage output and almost nonexistent knockback would make him frail at close combat, unless he uses a big charged bubble to trap his aggressors. Also, those bubbles can remain on the battlefield for some seconds, enabling Bub to jump on top of them, aiding him to gain height on the battlefield.

The rainbow bridge has two functions, the first one is a chargeable projectile that travels on a straight line the more it’s charged, dealing more damage with the start at its tip. The other function of this projectile is to become a short step platform, giving Bub a kind of “third jump” if he hops on the top of it.   

His parasol also has two functions, the first is to capture enemy projectiles, in order to send them back to them in the form of a fast bubble, the more projectiles he catches, the stronger the bubble. It also works as his grab move.

Bub, like on his games, has an average speed on the ground, but with nice mobility on the air, thanks to his light weight, and the extra jumps that he could get from the bubble bounce and rainbow stepping. You may think that this gives him great recovery options, but he will need them, as these same attributes make him easy to launch off stage.

Finally, his regular recovery move will be “Bust-a-Bub” working like the bubble launcher from Puzzle Bubble, as Bub gets inside a bubble and a Bubble launcher appears to launch him in the air. This technique has a lot of vertical range and it’s capable of being aimed, but you’ll have to aim it quickly! The launcher will continue to fall after being deployed.

Kirby Hat: Kirby would get a hat based on the upper half of Bub head, and the ability to shoot Elemental bubbles.imagen1
Series Symbol: Bub’s Series Symbol combines the two “B” from Bubble Bobble in the style seen on their games title card surrounded by a bubble foam based on the borders of their actual Puzzle Bobble title card

sin-titulo-1

Now let’s explore his whole moveset in detail.

Move Name & Action

Description

Neutral animations

Entrance:

Bub enters the stage inside of a Bubble. 
ll      entrada2

Idle:

Bub looks jolly standing still, waving his tail up and down.

t

Idle 2:

Bub looks jolly as he moves his feets in a carefree manner, like dancing in place

ggg

Walk cycle:

Bub waddles slowly, looking to his sides as watching the stage

tt

Running animation

Bub runs in a jumpy way, he has low traction, feeling slippery on the ground.

run

Jump / Second Jump

Bub squats quickly, then jumps with his arms open to his sides, to keep his balance. For his second jump he rolls forward or backwards depending on the input

dd

Falling Animations

Bub flutter his arms (just cosmetical) to fall slowly, for is fast fall he just will keep his arms folded to his chest. And his Free fall will make him roll backwards on the air.

flutter    falla    b

Damage

Bub’s damage animations are funny and over the top

w      damage

Sleep

Falls over his back and snores

snore

Broken shield / Dizzy

Falls over after spinning comically. As he is “round” him falling over won’t change his hitboxes that much.

dam2

Ground Neutrals

Neutral/Jabs:
Normal Bubble
Bub shoots up to six bubbles straightforward four to five Bub-lengths. Those bubbles can’t trap enemies, only dealing a small amount of damage and almost no knockback.

bubbles

F-Tilt:
Normal Bubble
Bub can shoot the same Normal bubbles while running.
Up-Tilt: Bub does a quick headbutt that can pop bubbles.

gg

D-Tilt: Bub pops a bubble on the ground. This could cause his enemies to trip over.
Dash Attack: Bub trips over and rolls 3 bodies.  
Edge attack: flips himself over and hits with his tail.
Floor Attack: Gets up flailing his arms.
Smash Attacks
Forward Smash:
Big Bubble
Bub charges and shoots a Big Bubble that can trap enemies, The bubble itself doesn’t deal knockback, but it can remain floating on the stage, working as a trap.

big-bubble

Bub can bounce on them (only twice).

v   c

Up Smash Bub makes a Rainbow Bridge over himself, the Star have a sweet spot
Down Smash Bub Spins between one and three times, hitting low with his tail
Aerials
N-air Bub can shoot normal bubbles on the air

ataque

F-air Bub makes a fast front flip with a small rainbow effect and start  on the top of his tail, marking the sweet spot. Can semi-spike  
B-air Bub quickly pops a no-ranged medium size bubble while looking backwards
U-air Bub spins and hits up multiple times with his head spikes

upair

D-air:
Big Bubble
Bub can Charge a Big Bubble and shoot it downwards, it can ricochets upwards if it touches the floor.

bubblejump

Bub can bounce on it.

Grabs
Grab: Bub uses his parasol with a “shovel like” swing to catch his enemy

parasolstar

Pummel: The enemy is poked from below with the parasol
F-throw: Bub can walk with the enemy on top of the parasol, then follow up with other throws. the forward version is launching them in a Semi-Spike.

parapala

B-throw: Bub shakes his parasol backwards, plowing his enemy behind him, launching it backwards
U-throw Bub Spins on the ground, drilling his enemies with the parasol before launching them upwards
D-throw Bub Slams the parasol in front of him, making his enemy bounce on the floor
Special and custom moves
Neutral Special 1:  Elemental Bubble Bub shoots one of three Elemental Bubbles. They each bear different attributes when they are popped, which occurs upon touching an enemy, a projectile or after three seconds have passed. The bubbles follow a pattern: Water-Fire-Lightning.

elec2

Water Bubble: This bubble slowly descents as it reachs its maximum range, and when popped drops a stream of water that can drag enemies downwards (hit on the air) or forward (on the ground) a few bodies with little added knockback and no damage.

water

Fire Bubble: This bubble stays at the same height after reaching its max range, and when popped drop a small fireball that can leave a burning stamp on ground for a few seconds. It deals burning damage if it’s touched on the air.

fire

Lightning Bubble:This bubble slowly raises as it reachs its maximum range When popped shoots a small but fast thunderbolt shaped projectile across the screen, it can stun enemies and deal electrical damage.

elec

Neutral Special 2:  Bubble  Charge Bub can charge shot a big and fast bubble that deals high knockback but it doesn’t trap enemies or have any attribute.

big-bubble

Neutral Special 3: Bubble Launcher Bub brings out the his Bubble launcher to shoot Normal bubbles, it can be aimed any direction except downwards, this bubbles can ricochet on walls

puzz2

Side Special 1: Rainbow Bridge Bub shoots a chargeable Star that has leaves a rainbow trail that last a couple of seconds. This rainbow trail can be used as a platform by anyone. It has 3 levels, from one rainbow up to three. The rainbow itself doesn’t deal damage from above, but when it disappears, it leaves a glittering powder that deals some damage but no knockback

rainbow

Side Special 2: Shooting Star Bub shoots only the Star, in a small arc that covers the same distance and deals the same amount of damage of the second tier charged Rainbow Bridge, but it can’t be charged.
Side Special 3:

Rainbow Ladder

Works similar to the Rainbow Bridge but the three rainbows form a step ladder by going diagonally upward. It deal less damage than the normal move, but it works better as a recovery option.

ladder

Up Special 1:

Bust-A-Bub!

A Bubble Launcher appears as Bub gets inside a bubble to launch him upwards 7-9 bub sizes. This move can be angled and it can ricochet on walls. If Bub uses it while on the air, he will still fall during the aiming animation. After being launched Bub goes through his enemies, dealing more damage at the end of the launch as the bubble pops. after the pop, Bub enters on freefall.

puzzle

Up Special 2:

Launcher on a Hurry

Bub is launched quickly straight up. It goes farther and deals more damage, but if Bub’s bubble touch an enemy, it will pop, leaving bub defenseless (not dealing any damage) during the rest of the launch.
Up Special 3:

Sticky Launcher

Bub is launched in an arc. Enemies can get glued to the bubble surface only damaging them when the bubble pops.
Down Special 1:
Parasol
Bub brings up his parasol, putting it in front of him as a shield, reducing his damage intake from physical attacks. This parasol can catch projectiles inside a bubble. Bub can use down B for a maximum of 4 catches, each time he catches one the bubble gets bigger, increasing in damage by 1.2x + the damage of the item caught. He throws it with B so it replaces the elemental bubble. If it is full then he can also throw it with Down-B

para1

Using it on the air and pressing UP while holding B, will slow Bub fall speed, and cover him from above.

fallb

Down Special 2:
Mirrored Parasol
The parasol can reflect incoming projectiles, dealing 1,5x their damage. It can be angled up to reflect them diagonally upwards

Using it on the air won’t slow bub fall speed, but it can reflect incoming projectiles upwards or downwards

Down Special 3:

Parasol Charge

Bub charges with his parasol in front of him. It can deflect enemy projectiles, and if it hits an enemy, it will semi-spike it.

On the air it falls straight down and can meteor smash.

Final Smash
Final Smash:

Bust-A-Move!

Bub jumps into the foreground of the stage, placing himself at the bottom of the screen,then brings out a Bubble launcher, to shoot five Big bubbles that can catch enemies and take them off the stage.   

p3

Taunts and victory animations
Up Taunt Bub does a happy spinning short hop.

l

Side Taunt Bub does a backflip.

flip

Down Taunt Bub open his mouth and make a Pop sound, then giggles.

plop   ghj

Crowd cheer “Bub! Hurry Up!”

hurry

Victory animation 1 Bub falls slowly from the sky with his parasol.

fallb

Victory animation 2 Bub enters a portal door waving his hand.

salida

Victory animation 3 Bub looks over a treasure chest that opens and spills a lot of food items.

goal-in

Victory Fanfare A retro sounding rendition of the “Stage Clear” fanfare of Puzzle Bobble
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwzdVdPZmqA
Losing Animation Bub claps cheerfully.

With this I conclude my presentation of how Bub, the fantastic retro Bubble Dragon, could play in Smash.
I know he isn’t an AAA-List character anymore, but that hasn’t stopped other retro characters from joining the battle, and with his cute, cartoony design and this kind of unique moveset he could fit perfectly in the game.

Also, this moveset was made to commemorate my tenth anniversary with my soon-to-be wife, who is a long-lasting fan of this cute character and his varied antics. I love you, and I hope to be at your side the day Bub gets into Smash!

Thanks you for reading, see you around!

voyager

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10 comments

    1. Thanks! I tried my best to make him look “Mainable”
      I also would main him, as I like projectile based characters, like Megaman.

  1. Fantastic article and really well done, I could definitely see myself playing this character. And that’s not just because Bubble Bobble is one of my favorite games of all time. I really like the references to Rainbow Island and Bust-A-Move, I never played those but it’s a great idea to reference all the series they’ve been in. I do notice that he has an exceptionally good recovery, where all of his specials could be used in some sense to recover. His neutral special is situational, but if he has his jump offstage and the stage has a wall, he could blow a bubble to that wall and bounce on it to reach the stage again. I like the versatility, just felt like pointing it out.

    As I mentioned in the Discord, I did have an idea for how Bub could work in Smash in the back of my mind. Well, two ideas, but since the first one is sorta like yours but less interesting, I’ll axe that for now. The more interesting idea I had was for Bub and Bob to work as a pair, sorta like the Ice Climbers. Co-op was an important thing in Bubble Bobble, so much that you couldn’t get the best ending without it. I thought it’d be cool to see them working together. This might mean a more generic set of standard attacks, but there’s still room for innovation. In general, the playstyle would be built around trapping enemies in bubbles and then popping them for extra damage and/or knockback. If they’re working together, then maybe there could be a system where Bub’s attacks are geared more towards trapping enemies in bubbles, and Bob’s are designed to pop them. Similar to the Ice Climbers, that would put Bub at a disadvantage if Bob gets knocked out, as he’d be able to trap enemies in bubbles but would have to put more percent on opponents to take stocks. I don’t have anything even close to a full moveset worked out, these are just some thoughts I had. Still, great article! I really do hope that Bub makes it into the next Smash game.

    1. Thanks =), Bub (and Bob) have an incredible moveset potential, and yeah, his recovery is that good because he is so nimble in close combat and easy to throw him off stage, something like Meta Knight, but instead of being a close combat character, Bub is a 100% distance fighter.
      Oh… I didn’t think about that with his neutral special, really good idea!

      Yeah, Playing as both at the same time would be great, as only together they can get their “happy end”, but I wrote him alone because of the “Ice Climbers Dilema”
      I wanted to put Bob in as the one operating the Bubble Launcher in his Up-Special, but Nantendo suggested that it would be confusing in a multiplayer match.
      Also, having them with two different emphasis sounds great, I think that Bob would be more suited for trapping (because of his personality), and Bub would be “the one who Pops”. So, without Bob, Bub will have to rely on close combat, giving him a heavy disadvantage.

      Thanks for the comment.

  2. I always thought Bub would be a fun little idea for Smash, so it’s great to see someone really crank out a cool moveset for this cute little guy!

    1. Glad you like the moveset.
      Yeah. Bub was made for Smash, I didn’t need any “mental gymnastics” to give him interesting moves and an unique archetype.

  3. It’s still hard to believe that Bubble Bobble was actually part of Square Enix as I kept believing he’s a Taito character. I really need to get myself reminded for these things…

    Bub for Smash is something I could hardly hear from many fans. I really don’t know if he could be suggested as a secondary Square Enix fighter, while possibilities are for Dragon Quest or Secret of Mana, but having Bub for Smash is quite interesting due to his unique movesets. Staying in his bubble dragon forms and using Rainbow Island, Parasol, and Puzzle Bubble as his move references does look perfectly suited, and I do like to see him in Smash in some form.

    Anyways, great work!

    PS: I’ve also commented the conclusion of your potential roster article. You can try check it out if you have time.

    1. Yeah, being owned by Square Enix really gives him a really hard competition to be in smash. But I tried my best to give him the best possible moveset to make him appealing, and referencing other appearances help a lot to show that he isn’t only a cute dragon, or a knockoff of Yoshi, but a character with hardcore roots and a lot of potential.

      I replied to them it yesterday. thanks for your comments =)

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