FAQ - Guide for Bust-A-Move 3

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    The Puzzle Bobble 3 FAQ v0.11

Created by Otto Chan ([email protected]), with a little help from
Carl Chavez ([email protected]).

"http://www.taito.co.jp/tg/PB3/TG.HTM": Taito's Puzzle Bobble 3 Page

The above address now has a heck lot of screen shots of the japanese
version of the game, plus a description of the characters, I strongly
recommend taking a peek of these pics first before reading this, it might
help to explain some of the odd additions to the game...

The latest version of this FAQ may always be found at the Bub and
Bob Page: http://www.bubandbob.com.


The game now allows you to choose different characters like in Super
Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo/X.  There are 8 characters to choose from, each
has different attack patterns or abilities in vs games.  In 1p puzzle
mode, they look pretty much the same to me. :)  But each character has
a unique ending for puzzle mode.

Here's the list of characters and their known abilities/pattern.

   1. Our beloved Bub! Launches random coloured bubbles at opponent.

   2. Girl with green hair dressed like a joker. "Chinkulu" launches Rainbow 
      bubbles at opponent. Yes, just Rainbow bubbles, nothing more.

   3. Short (kinda like SD actually) girl with green hair. "Pulichio" launches
      Yellow, Green, and Blue bubbles at opponent.

   4. Ryu-like character. "Musashi" Random coloured bubbles like Bob? (verify)

   5. Girl with huge mouth and pink hair :) "Malissa" launches Red, Blue, and 
      Purple bubbles at opponent.

   6. Looks like a witch with long purple hair. "Luna Luna" launches random 
      colour bubbles if attack is only 1 - 3 bubbles.  Launches 2 inert blocks
      and the remaining be random coloured bubbles if attack is worth 4 to 5 
      bubbles. Launches 2 inert blocks, one gem bubble, and the remaining will
      be random coloured bubbles if attack is 6 or more bubbles.

   7. Female card dealer at a casino?? "Jack" - Unknown attack pattern. (I 
      could have hers and the witch's attack pattern mixed up)

   8. "Sonic Blast Man" - Unknown attack pattern. Sometimes when he's doing 
      his "superpunch" pose, and you make an attack at that very instance, the
      attack seems to be much more powerful (Double? Triple?)

   Plus 2 computer controlled players that you'll face only in Human vs
   computer mode:


5 special bubbles/blocks:

1 - A "Rainbow" bubble - I have never seen these available at the
launcher for you to fire, but are always in place already in the level
design.  When you pop some bubbles around them, they do funny things:

_____               _____
% % G               % G
 B G         ---->   B

-(G)-               -(B)-

For example, we have 2 greens and two Rainbow bubbles ("%"), with a blue
right under it. A green is at the catapult - you shoot the green and pop
a trio. Here's the fun - the Rainbow attached to the greens that just got
popped will turn green. So in a nutshell, if you pop bubbles with the
colour X, any Rainbow bobbles directly attached to the poping ones will
turn to colour X.

They also tend to spontaneously explode - something I have yet to
investigate, but here's one scenario on a WIDE level:

1)  G % % % % % % % % % % %  - initially, 2 rows of Rainbows and 2 red
       % % % % % % % % % %     below. A red will be launched into the
              R R *            * spot to pop a trio.

2)  G % % % % % % % % % % %  - the trio is popped and the 4 %'s will turn
       % % % R R R R % % %     red.

3)  G % % % % % % % % % % %  - then the fun begins - the four red's popped
       % % %         % % %     automatically!

4)  G % % % R R R R R % % %  - as a result, the neighboring %'s turn red
       % % R         R % %     again!

5)  G % % R           R % %  - those reds pop once more, change the rainbow
       % R             R %     bubbles, then everything is quiet. (Note the
                               left and right branches are both connected
                               to the top.

2 - a "Gem" bubble.  It's the same one used in PB2/BAMA, looks like
a bubble with lightning inside.  When you hit it with a yellow bubble,
all the yellow bubbles on the screen and the gem bubble disappears.
When you shoot it with a red, the red goes away... etc.

3 - a "Metal" bubble/ball.  The same one from PB2/BAMA again.  Looks like a
black bowling ball.  When fired, it destroys any bubble it touches until
the metal bubble hits the ceiling.

4 - an "Inert" block.  The same used in PB2/BAMA, yet, again.  Looks like an
orange octagon, can only be dropped or destroyed by a metal bubble.  When
these go past the bottom border of the screen, they simply drop off, but
won't kill you like when a normal bubble goes past the bottom border.

5 - a "Stablizer" block.  This acts as the "ceiling" in PB1 and PB2.  Any
bubbles linked to it will behave like bubbles linked to a ceiling in the
previous games.  For example, we could have scenarios like these...
(# is used to symbolize the Stablizer block)

     - the actual ceiling

# G  - the only way to drop the blues is to pop the greens and the
 G     stage is cleared.

     - the actual ceiling
 R   - here we have more bubbles above the stablizer block as well! Even
# G    after we pop the greens...


 R   - ...these bubbles are still attached to this block and thus is
#      "stable", we'll have to pop the reds to clear this stage.


1p game: puzzle mode and vs computer mode

Puzzle: 3 difficulties - Practice, Normal, and (verify) Hard?
        In practice, you're limited to XX number of stages. (unsure)
        In normal, your character start at a branch of letters much
        like the way PB2 puzzle mode works. (See diagram)

  D   E   F  And so on and so forth.  Each "letter" contains more than
   \ / \ /   one stage, actually about 5 or so. After you've completed
    B   C    each "set" of puzzles, you select a direction and choose
     \ /     a new "player" to play the next "set".

First of all, the stone slab that acts as the ceiling is now gone from the
game, replaced by the "Stablizer" blocks.  On a single screen level, when
the screen drops, you only sees the bubbles coming down on you along with
the stablizer blocks with nothing above it (see diagram).
_______    _______
# # # #
 G B R  -> # # # # -> etc...
            G B R
-------    -------

Some levels are "longer" than it seems and a progress indicator is right
next to the level display. I've only seen these with "normal width" levels,
and most of the "wide" levels are only single screened. On these levels,
you'll only be seeing "part" of the level, as the screen drops, the
existing bubbles drop by one row and an additional row of bubbles are
displayed at the top row... Here's an illustration:

#     #
 B W Y      #     #
B Y R Y      B W Y      #     #
 P O G      B Y R Y      B W Y
_______     _______     _______  _
R R R R      P O G      B Y R Y  | This
 G G G      R R R R      P O G   | is
         ->  G G G   -> R R R R  | what
                         G G G   | you
                                 | see
-------     -------     -------  -

So what happens when the bubble you shoot hits the ceiling? Well... it
bounces back!  The ceiling now behaves just like the side walls provided
there's absolutely nothing above the ceiling! The bubble now bounces off
the side walls and the ceiling and will stop only if it hits another
bubble/block.  When it's reflected off the ceiling and go straight down
to the bottom border it simply disappears and the next bubble in queue
can be launched. Useful when you wanna ditch useless bubbles if you have
that kind of space in the middle.

Here's an illustration of that:

1.         2.         3.         4.         1. Green is on the launcher
_______    _______    _______    _______    2. It hits the ceiling...
              G                             3. ...comes back down...
#     #    #  :  #    #     #    #     #    4. off the screen and gone!
 R   B  ->  R : B  ->  R : B  ->  R   B        Now you can fire the next one.
R     B    R     B    R  :  B    R     B
--(G)--    --(|)--    --(|)--    --(R)--
R          R          R          B

As I said before, bubbles don't always bounce back off the ceiling, here's
a scenario where it'll appear to be stuck to the ceiling.

#     #    #     #   Here the purple sticks to the top because there's
 R G B      R G B    actually bubbles above the ceiling - you just don't
R G B Y    R G B Y   see them. Usually you know a level only truly ends when
_______    _______   you can see the stablizer blocks, but even those
     Y      P   Y    to appear in different locations of the level as they
      G ->       G   get harder.
     B          B

--(P)--    --(|)--

1p vs Computer mode: Dunno much about this, I suspect it uses a system
similar to SPF2T/X's where you choose one character and fight off the
other 9.  Or it could be the good ol' Bob against everyone storyline
like in PB2.  But I think they want the gamers to use different characters
and different strategies, so maybe the first system is more likely...


2p vs Mode
The rules are pretty much the same as in PB2/PB. Except for the character
specific attack patterns and bonuses/penalties.


Thanks to:
Mairah O'Callahan
Reed Salazar Ballesteros ([email protected])
Victor Greulich ([email protected])

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