FAQ - Guide for Buster Brothers Collection

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Buster Bros Collection FAQ,  v1.1
by Graham Fredrick

If you would like to contribute  anything, or correct something, 
please e-mail me at:

[email protected]
[email protected]

You should find the latest updates of this FAQ at:




PART 1 - Buster Brothers


This is the earliest game in the series, and it shows.  Small things like the
unforgiving hit detection and the inability to jump off of ladders make this
one a little more difficult than the others.  The level designs can be 
devious (especially Leningrad part 3 and board 50), but 1-Ups are fairly easy
to win.  Plus you gotta love those intermission scenes.


If you haven't noticed already, the Power Wire and Vulcan Gun are more like
tools than powerups, and both can actually hurt more than help.  If you miss
a bubble when you shoot a Power Wire, it will stay on the screen for about 5
seconds, rendering you wireless.  The Vulcan Gun almost causes more problems
than it solves.  I only usually pick it up if there is a time stopper near by.
Otherwise, you'll get lots of small bubbles bouncing ALL over the place, and
the Gun is possibly the worst weapon against the small bubbles, since they
must be overhead when you shoot.

This leaves the Double Wire as the weapon of choice, and it is definitely 
versatile.  The only problem I find with it is the temptaion to keep shooting
at the smaller bubbles when I should be getting out of harm's way instead.

Dynamite can be deadly, but if you already have a shield, it's probably a 
good idea to get it anyways, since more shield items will likely appear from 
the big bubbles bursting, and hopefully some time-stoppers or slow downs.
If you're planning to win the round 'fairly', always try to get rid of the 
smallest bubbles first, as they pose the biggest threat to you (low bounce).

Powerups will stay on the screen for about 15 seconds, allowing you plenty of 
time to run over and pick them up.  Or box you in, as the case may be with

Ladders can act as temporary safe spots, since you can hide just under the top 
of the platform and still be able to shoot through.  This can be very helpful
in some stages (Emerald Temple, Kenya).

If you observe the Hermit Crabs in some levels, you will notice them going 
around the invisible blocks.  Chances are there is a good powerup there.  You
can also use the gun to quickly find out if there are any hidden blocks, but
you won't be able to destroy them with the gun.

1-Ups are hidden in various stages, and are usually easy to get.  They can be
found by breaking all the blocks in:

Stage 5
Stage 12

More will be updated (if there are more).  I have no idea if there are any 
1-ups in the Antarctic level with *TONS* of blocks, but I will check...

One ups are also given at specific point intervals, as well:

9,000,000 (Yeah right!)

Some levels are '1-Up prone'.  That means that bursting bubbles in these
levels may give you a 1-Up:




Finishing the game is rather easy, but getting a good score is the mark of a
master Buster.  One thing to remember is that when you consecutively pop 
bubbles of the same size, you'll get bonus points.  This may not seem like
a big deal, but it all adds up.  For example, you can get 20,000+ points (the
first 1-up points award) from beating the first board by popping the bubbles
in order.  The score follows a specific method:
(Size goes from smallest to largest)

     | # of previous
     | popped bubbles
     | of the same size
Size |  0  |  1  |  2  |  3  |
 1   | 200 | 400 | 800 | 1600|
 2   | 150 | 300 | 600 | 1200|
 3   | 100 | 200 | 400 | 800 |
 4   |  50 | 100 | 200 | 400 |

Other objects will also give points when destroyed:

Hermit Crab     50 
Humming Bird   150
Lobster        200
Owl            200
Eagle          500
Mech         10000

(I'm not sure if there are specific conditions that make the 
mech appear or not)

Power-Ups      100
Blocks         500

Time Bonus:

If you didn't lose a life on the level, Time remaining * 100
The multiplier is reduced if you do lose a life, but I haven't figured
out the exact amount yet.  Also, if you did lose a life, winning the board
quickly is not as important since you will not get as many points.  Take
this time to recoup by blasting enemies and blocks, and collecting power ups.

Food Bonus:

All boards give a food bonus after a certain number of 'pops' have occured.
Generally, the higher the board number, the more points you'll get.  Try not 
to shoot the food, as you'll lose points.

Cherries (Tangerines?) 500   )
Lime (Lemon?)        1,000   )  Mt. Fuji 
Banana               2,000   )
Orange               3,000    }
Watermelon           4,000    } Mt. Keirin
Pineapple            5,000    }
Grapes               6,000   )
Apple                7,000   )  Emerald Temple
Strawberry           8,000   )
Melon                9,000    }
Cucumber            10,000    } Angkor Watt
Eggplant            12,000    }
Tomato              14,000   )
Green Tomato (?)    16,000   )  Australia
Carrot              18,000   )
Corn                20,000    }
Green Pepper        22,000    } Taj Mahal
Radish              24,000    }
Mushroom            26,000   )
String Bean         28,000   )  Leningrad
Burger              30,000   )
Hot Dog             33,000    }
Hot Dog #2          36,000    } Paris
Donut               39,000    }
Chicken             42,000   )
Fries               45,000   )  London
Shrimp Sushi (?)    48,000   )
Cake                50,000    } Barcelona

From here on, you will always get a 50,000 pt. Cake in the level (although 
most levels have another Food Bonus hidden.  Destinations after Barcelona

New York
Easter Island


My personal best score for the normal set up (1 player, no continues, 3 lives, 
start at level 1, normal speed) in tour mode is:

1,700,020 - Level 36



Usually in Buster Brothers, I lose a life on one board and then move on.  If
you have problems beating a specific board, please tell me and we can discuss
it.  Although, if anyone has a surefire way to beat the final level... 



This is the game that made me buy this CD.  I instantly got hooked on this
game after playing it in the arcade.  The game has improved control over the
previous version, and adds more variety into the gameplay: the Panic mode and
the different bubble types.  Panic mode is brain meltdown city, and the extra
bubbles (high bouncing, hexagonal, flashing) made the game more complex.  The
only thing that was scaled back was the number of monsters (3), but I'm not
losing any sleep over that.  The hit detection is a little more generous than
in the first game, plus you can now jump off of ladders.


One thing you may notice is that the Power Wire and Vulcan Gun are both more
helpful.  If you miss a shot with the Wire, you can tap the fire button again
to speed up the 're-load'.  The Vulcan Gun now shoots 4 bullets at a time, 
which makes for a wider shot.  

There are 4 different bubble types in this game, and it's important to know
just how they behave.  First, you have the normal bubbles which behave more
or less the same as in Buster Brothers.  Then you have the high bouncing
bubbles, which bounce about 2 times higher than the normal bubbles.  You can
tell them appart by what shade they are; the darker ones are normal while the
lighter ones are high-bouncers.  Next are the Hexagonal bubbles (can they
really be called bubbles?) which seem to defy gravity.  They bounce around 
like golf balls, and are the biggest threats when you are in tunnels or on a
high platform.  When you pop them, the pieces always fly upwards.  Finally, 
there are the flashing bubbles which split into 4 pieces instead of 2.  When
fighting these, try to take out the smaller normal bubbles first.  This keeps
the number of bubbles on the screen low.

Powerups now only stay on the screen for about 5 seconds, so you won't be 
cornered as much this time by powerups that you don't want to collect.

Always try to take out the Gyao's (formations of 4 birds) as you will get 
a load of points, and a powerup from the red Gyao.  These powerups are
always the same on the levels that they appear, and are sometimes important
for your survival.

1-Ups can be found in:

Stage 1-6 - Destroy all blocks in the column 3rd from the left side of
the screen,

Stage 1-12 - Destroy the left side of the pit 2nd from the right.

Stage 2-19 - Climb the ladder, go to the far left side of the screen, and
shoot.  Catch the 1-Up before it falls down into the gap.

And, you still get 1-Ups for certain point levels:


1-Ups are likely to be found from bubbles in:



Press Down and X when selecting Tour Mode.



Points are a lot easier to come by in this game, but point awarded 1-Ups
aren't as plentiful.

     | # of previous
     | popped bubbles
     | of the same size
Size |  0  |  1  |  2  |  3  |
 1   | 400 | 800 | 1600| 3200|
 2   | 300 | 600 | 1200| 2400|
 3   | 200 | 400 | 800 | 1600|
 4   | 100 | 200 | 400 | 800 |
 5   |  50 | 100 | 200 | 400 |

For the high-bouncing bubbles:

     | # of previous
     | popped bubbles
     | of the same size
Size |  0  |  1  |  2  |  3  |
 1   | 300 | 600 | 1200| 2400|
 2   | 200 | 400 | 800 | 1600|
 3   | 100 | 200 | 400 | 800 |
 4   | 50  | 100 | 200 | 400 |

Actually, I'm not sure if there is a Size 4 High-Bouncer, so I just
predicted the amounts.  I'm really in doubt if there are Size 5 ones.

Other Objects:

Blocks   500
Spike    500
Gyao     500
Mech   1,000  (not sure on this one)

Note:  If you hit a Dragon, it will stumble.  If you kick it while it is
stunned, it will explode.  If you can time the explosion to bust a bubble,
you'll get 5,000 points.  Otherwise, you won't recieve any points at all.

When you clear Asia, you'll get 10,000 points for each location you clear;
Europe gives you 30,000 per location.  When you beat level 40, you'll get
1,000,000 points, plus 10,000 times the number of stages *you* won.  In 1P
this doesn't matter, but in 2P each round is won by the player who Busted
the most bubbles.

Time Bonus:

When you clear a level, wether you lose a life or not, you'll get a Time
Bonus of 100 points times the remaining time.  Therefore, clearing the
stage quickly is important, but getting rid of Blocks (like in level 6)
will be more profitable.

Food Bonus:

Follows a similar pattern as in the previous game:

Melon Slice            500  )  Hong Kong
Strawberry           1,000   }
Grapes               2,000   } Java
Half Melon           3,000   }
Banana               4,000  )
Pineapple            5,000  )  Silk Road
Apple                6,000  )
Orange               7,000   }
Watermelon           8,000   } Himarayas :)
Lemon                9,000   }
Pomegranate (?)     10,000  )
Cherries            12,000  )  Istanbul
Tomato              14,000  )
Corn                16,000   }
Green Pepper        18,000   } Germany
Striped Candy       20,000   }
Fudgesicle          22,000  )
Lollipop            24,000  )  Venice
Cookie              26,000   }
Pancakes            28,000   } Spain
Cake                30,000   }
Chocolate Sub       32,000  )
Shake               34,000  )  France
Ice Cream           36,000  )
English Muffin (?)  38,000   }
Striped Candy #2    40,000   } London Tower
Fudgesicle #2       42,000   }
Lollipop #2         50,000  )
Fudgesicle #2       55,000  )  Canada
Burger #2           60,000  )
Cake #2             70,000   }
Ice Cream #2        80,000   } The Wild West
English Muffin #2   90,000   }
Cookie #2          100,000  )
Shake #2           100,000  )  The Ruins of Maya
French Bread Pizza 100,000   }
Big Hunka Meat     100,000   } Brazil
Hot Dog            100,000   }
Frosted Donut      100,000  )
Sushi (?)             1-up  )  The Carribean


I usually follow a couple of guidelines when playing Panic Mode:

Destroy smallest bubbles first.
Leave the small 'time' bubbles alone until you need them.
Always shoot the Time bubble instead of the Clear bubble, you'll get much
more points by actually destroying the bubbles on your own.

If you press down, you'll speed up the release of the bubbles and get a 500
point bonus.  Usually, this is not worth the trouble it causes.

When the screen is completely filled with bubbles and no more are entering 
the board, try shooting at the largest bubble.  It might split into just one
bubble of the smaller size, instead of two.


Panic Mode:

326,450 - Level 47

Tour Mode:

3,027,650 - Level 3-37



I haven't had much problems with these boards, but be sure to mail me if you
do.  Some tricky levels:

2-24 - Usually I destroy the middle block first, which allows access to the
corner blocks and the shields within.

3-39 - Take out the Hexagonal blocks first, and make sure you pick up shields!
If you can make it safely to the far right side, shoot your gun and take the
Unicorn (Shield, from U.N. Force?) to make life easier.

3-40 - Destroy the invisible block, but DON'T pick up the Dynamite.  Then 
destroy the Size 5 bubble so that only one Size 4 bubble goes to your side.



The most recent of the three games, Buster Buddies also was one of the rarest.
Despite its low circulation, it has many improvements over the previous
version, while losing the diverse types of bubbles in the process.  The 4
characters add to the already high replay value by allowing 4 different ways
to combat the levels.  They all animate nicely, in pre-CG rendered plastic
splendor.  Plus, I think this game has the hardest level layouts.  One very
fortunate thing about the characters is that the hit detection is *EXTREMELY*
generous.  I've seen bubbles pass through characters' hats (which makes sense)
without them losing a life.


There is no single best weapon in this game, as the Power Wire (and the Gun!)
have both been improved dramatically.  The Power Wire now shoots faster than
the normal wire, and can be shot again immediately after attaching to a
platform.  The Gun now has a timer (presumably so you don't have to lose if
a bubble is inside blocks) and spreads out in three huge bullets.

Although we lost the Hexagonal, High-Bouncing, and Flashing bubbles, we now
have a very useful Bomb bubble.  One touch from a weapon will send explosions
to the side, hopfeully wiping out an entire big sized bubble.

Powerups stay on the screen for about 10 seconds now, so you have a little 
more time than in the previous game.  Note that this time can be reset for
objects on top of one-layer bricks, since you can bounce the item around using
your harpoon.  

The dynamite can be harder to avoid, now that it is oversized.  Of course, if
you are Pink you have nothing to worry about.

1-Ups are still found in various stages (and usually in pretty obvious spots).  
Unfortunately, the only one I can remember is:

Stage 50

Point Awarded 1-Ups:


Since the characters require slightly different strategies, I will cover them

Don Pacos - The Most Wanted:

Chances are that this character is the easiest to use in the beginning, since
he starts out with the Double Harpoon, an easy weapon to use.  What is not 
apparent is that he is also the slowest character.  He's not so slow that he's
useless, but you will notice a difference if the other player is using Pink.

In Panic Mode, Don Pacos behaves more or less like the Busters in the previous

Captain Hog - The Greatest Pirate:

If you're more concerned with survival than attaining a high score, Captain
Hog is for you.  He starts each round with a double Power wire, strong and
fast enough to get you out of any jam.  However, using the weapon is like
cutting into a steak with a chainsaw: overkill.  Chances are that you won't be
able to get high bubble bonuses unless you are very, very careful.  Or else,
pick up dynamite.  If you pop a bubble *EXACTLY* in the middle, you'll break
the bubble in half and the other part of the harpoon won't split the other

In Panic Mode, you might survive for a long time but will have a harder time
getting a good score (for the level) and getting the Clear Bonus might be

Pink Leopold - Mr. Dandy Lightfingers:

Mr. What?  Despite the stupid catch copy, Pink is one of the most unique 
characters.  He starts out with a comparatively weak weapon, the single 
harpoon.  But if you've played the first two games before, this shouldn't
cause any problems.  His greatest strength is that enemies, dynamite, and icy
floors don't affect him at all.  Also, he is the fastest of the four.  This 
makes him a great choice for Normal mode, but puts him at a slight 
disadvantage in Panic mode.

Speaking of Panic Mode, he really suffers with only that one gun.  However,
his speed almost equalizes the lost gun.

Shiela the Thief - The Queen of Thieves:

Also a very unique character, Shiela starts with a V-Harpoon, which shoots
two simultaneous wires at diagonal angles.  While she can get at some awkward
spots that other weapons can't, the V-Harpoon takes a little practice to 
get used to.  It is probably the hardest weapon to keep under control.  It 
seems that Shiela pauses quite after firing; you'll have to be careful not to
rely on rapid firing with her.

Panic Mode is quite different when you use Shiela.  You can no longer shoot at
the last moment to take out a bubble intent on pounding your head; likewise,
the Clear Bonus can be difficult to win.


Press Down and X when choosing 'Normal' mode.


To get 10 extra (hard!) levels, press X on both controllers when selecting
'Normal' mode.



Scoring is basically the same as in Super Buster Brothers:

     | # of previous
     | popped bubbles
     | of the same size
Size |  0  |  1  |  2  |  3  |
 1   | 400 | 800 | 1600| 3200|
 2   | 300 | 600 | 1200| 2400|
 3   | 200 | 400 | 800 | 1600|
 4   | 100 | 200 | 400 | 800 |
 5   | 100 | 200 | 400 | 800 |

I'm not sure if th Size 5 scores are correct.  Bomb bubbles yield 100 points.
Destroying a Clear bubble when it is the last remaining bubble will net you a
whopping 50,000 points.

Other Stuff:

Powerups  100
Blocks    100 per segment (time to really rack up the points!)
Coins     100 - 1,000 (increasing order)

Killing enemies will not give you any points; you also don't get any Time 
Bonus points.  

Food Bonus:

Each Stage gives a Food Bonus of 1,000 times the Stage number.  If anyone
can verify any of these foods, please contact me.

Apple                      1,000 )
Donuts                     2,000 )   Rousseau
Salad                      3,000  }
Yellow Drink (?)           4,000  }  Orient #1
Sundae                     5,000  }
Banana Split               6,000 )
Candies                    7,000 )   Hokusai
Dango (?)                  8,000 )
Margarita (?)              9,000  }
Cake                      10,000  }  Van Gogh
Cheese                    11,000  }
Spaghetti (?)             12,000 )
Curry Rice                13,000 )   Monet
French Toast & Butter (?) 14,000 )
Turkey                    15,000  }
Onigiri (?)               16,000  }  Millet
Pizza                     17,000  }
Sashimi (?)               18,000 )
Omelete (?)               19,000 )   "Mask of Tutankhamen"
Burger                    20,000 )
Eggs & Sausage            21,000  }
Sundae #2                 22,000  }  Lauterec
Tarts (?)                 23,000  }
Chicken & Gravy (?)       24,000 )
Bundt Cake (?)            25,000 )   Orient #2
Miso Soup (?)             26,000 )
Bread (Cheese Log?)       27,000  }
Green Apple               28,000  }  Renoir
Plain French Toast        29,000  }
Tangerine                 30,000 )
Tangerine & Slices        31,000 )   Modigliani
Cherries                  32,000 )
Ice Cream Cone            33,000  }
Grapes                    34,000  }  Rodin
Bananas                   35,000  }
Limes                     36,000 )
Strawberries              37,000 )   Botticelli
Peach                     38,000 )
Watermelon                39,000  }  
Lemon                     40,000  }  Diego Velazquez
Salad #2                  41,000  }
Ice Cream Cone #2         42,000 )
Donuts #2                 43,000 )   "Statue of Moses"
Miso Soup #2              44,000 )
Corn                      45,000  }
Banana Split #2           46,000  }  Leonardo da Vinci
Candies #2                47,000  }
Dango #2                  48,000 )   Sharaku
Margarita #2              49,000 )   
Cake #2                   50,000  }  Michaelangelo (???)

As a side note, shooting food doesn't seem to lower the points.


Use the same tactics as you did in the other game's Panic Mode, but make
adaptations to your character as necessary.

Every 10th level, the progression of bubbles will stop and a Clear bubble
will enter the field.  This Clear bubble will not turn into a Time Stop, 
unlike in the previous Panic Mode.  If you can destroy the remaining bubbles
before you pop the Clear, you'll get the 50,000 points, a big incentive when
you consider that an average 10 levels will get you 100,000 points (more or


Panic Mode:

895,400 - Level 63 - Don Pacos
732,200 - Level 57 - Captain Hog
600,000 - Level 39 - Pink Leopold
483,200 - Level 40 - Shiela the Thief

Tour Mode:

2,447,900 Level 38 - Captain Hog
1,874,500 Level 34 - Pink Leopold
1,180,400 Level 24 - Don Pacos
  951,300 Level 19 - Shiela the Thief



Can you guess what level I have trouble with? :) 

Level 11 - Seemingly innocent, you just have to use the gun powerup to take
out the big bubbles.  Except if you leave one small bubble, it will dance 
around on the floor and lower platforms, creating a nasty trap that usually
only a Power Wire can defuse.  And on top of this, the time limit is too low.
Oh well, time to practice...


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