Bomberman 64 marks the leap from 2D to 3D in the Bomberman series. A departure from its 2D predecessors, Bomberman 64 is a platformer game, putting you in control of the familiar white Bomberman. Rather than just blowing up bad guys until the stage unlocks, players have to use their bomb placement as a means to advance stages and blast things to complete objectives. For those players looking for an experience similar to the Super Bomberman titles, the multiplayer battle mode is a nod to the older installments.
In Bomberman 64, Bomberman, with the help of a mysterious helper named Sirius, must prevent the evil Altair from conquering Bomber Planet. Altair travels from planet to planet, draining the energy from the planet to power his ultimate weapon, the Omni Cube. Bomberman must progress through four worlds previously conquered by Altair, which are now attached to his mobile base, before taking on Altair himself in his Black Fortress.
Bomberman 64 maintains many similar elements from the original games. Bomberman can place bombs or kick them in a straight line. He can also hold and throw bombs, and charge them up to give them a larger explosion area. You cannot jump, but you can "bomb jump," which involves placing a bomb below a ledge and falling down on it. This will bounce you back up, and allow you to get across gaps. Bombs can also be stacked on top of each other, which can be used in conjunction with the bomb jump to traverse high-up chasms.
There are several powerups that can be found in each level, all of which have been seen in other Bomberman titles.
- Extra Bombs: Allows you to have an additional bomb active
- Extra Range: Expands the (spherical) range of the bomb explosions
- Remote Bombs: Lets you place bombs that only explode when triggered by you
- Super Bombs: Increases your bombs' explosive power so they can destroy through more materials.
At the onset of the game, players can choose any of the four different worlds to explore, each having multiple levels where players must use Bomberman's abilities to solve puzzles and clear obstacles as they make their way to the next zone. In the middle of each world, there will be a sub-boss fight which plays out like older Bomberman titles. At the end of each world, players will be confronted with a unique boss. After the four initial worlds have been cleared, the final world is unlocked.
In every level there are five gold cards that the player can collect. They can be found in secret areas, or by accomplishing certain goals in each level. In boss fights, they are earned by damaging the boss in specific ways. For players going the extra mile and discovering every gold card (100 total), they will be presented with a secret, hidden world after the black fortress. Beating this level will earn them the true ending.
Bomberman 64 has four world that can be played in any order, a "final" world that can only be reached after finishing the original four, and a secret world that is unlocked if the player finds all 100 gold cards. Each world has a sub-boss, which is usually one of Altair's minions, and a final boss.
Worlds and Bosses
- Green Gardens: The simplest world, and is intended to be the first played. In the first level of this world serves as a tutorial, with Sirius explaining how the game is played. He also appears as the sub-boss of this world.
- Blue Mountain: A water-based world, which is otherwise fairly similar to Green Gardens. Artemis is the sub-boss for this world.
- Red Mountain: A lava-based world. Orion is the sub-boss, who escapes when Bomberman defeats him. The final boss is a mobile suit-like machine called Hades, which is being controlled by Orion.
- White Glacier: A snow and ice-based world with Regulus as the sub-boss. Regulus, like Orion, escapes after the fight.
- Black Fortress: The final non-secret world, home to Altair. Upon being defeated by Bomberman, Regulus returns to save Altair, and Bomber Planet is saved.
- Rainbow Palace: The true final world, reachable after earning all 100 gold cards. It is revealed the Sirius is the actual enemy, and he is the final boss of this world.
This game was fairly well received by critics and consumers, and was considered to be a solid transition from 2D into 3D for the Bomberman franchise. Bomberman 64 opened the doors for two more sequels on the Nintendo 64: Bomberman Hero and Bomberman 64: The Second Attack.