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Bomber Man 83: Eric and the Floaters

Hack of Bomberman


This ROMhack is a demake, restoring the earlier artwork and characters from the 1983 and 1984 MSX games. The player character is once again Eric, in his suspenders and hat. The different enemies are now all variations on the Floater enemies, with the different faces the Floaters had originally.

Most people first encountered Hudson Soft’s Bomberman in his 1985 NES/Famicom game. But there was an earlier, forgotten version of Bomber Man for home computers in 1983. The MSX and ZX Spectrum versions were localized in Europe as Eric and the Floaters, due to concerns over the title of the game being associated with terrorism. This was followed by a first-person sequel, 3D Bomberman, in 1984.

These versions looked very different, with 1-bit sprites. Eric is a man in suspenders and a feathered hat. There is only one enemy, a balloon who has several different facial expressions, and will become agitated and unpredictable. Exits can be destroyed, causing four more enemies to appear. The game is endless.

For the NES/Famicom, Bomberman was redesigned to resemble an enemy from Hudson’s popular Famicom/NES version of Lode Runner. In NES Bomberman’s ending, he transforms into the Mario-inspired Lode Runner character, with a plug for that game.

The NES Bomberman -apparently coded in one 72-hour session- has some gameplay differences from the 1983 Bomber Man, but it’s certainly an iteration on the same game.

The character graphics are nearly unchanged from MSX, albeit with some tweaks. Walking animations for Eric and the Floaters are three frames here instead of two, so there’s some extra animation. Death scenes are one frame shorter. Eric has slightly less colors, and the Floaters have more, with white eye/teeth highlights and a dark outline.

The exits and rare collectible treasures are from the MSX games. The font is the 1983 font, and the fancy new title screen is based closely on 1984’s 3D Bomberman.

You play a man who is trapped inside a maze. Place your time bombs wisely to defeat the balloon monsters. If the balloon monsters get caught up in an exploding time bomb, they will pop and disappear. Don’t let them get you, and don’t blow yourself up. You can break down weaker walls with your time bombs. These walls can hide treasures and exit doors. Pick up treasure to receive bonus points. Defeat all the monsters on the screen and find the exit to proceed to the next stage.

ROM / ISO Information:

  • Database match: Bomberman (Japan)
  • Database: No-Intro: Nintendo Entertainment System (v. 20210216-231042)
  • File SHA-1: B5BCCA95DD7EA0FF6F3882E809C560052C212A24
  • File CRC32: 90E10DDD
  • ROM SHA-1: 0B8A4BBB08D63D44AE4894D741CCC9F3779CB2BB
  • ROM CRC32: F2FC8212




ContributorType of contributionListed credit
Garrett GilchristGraphicsGraphics and hacking

User Review Information

A Nice Tribute to Bomber Man's Humble Beginnings

Reviewed By: Bubbabyte on 15 May 2022

I’ve never played the original Eric and the Floaters, and although I’m not a die-hard Bomber Man fan, I still quite enjoy the series. This hack sets out to recreate the original 1983 Bomber Man experience, and succeeds in doing so in a tasteful and faithful way. The screenshots basically tell you everything you need to know, and you probably can already tell by looking at them if this is your cup of tea or not. So if this IS your cup of tea, then do yourself a favor and download this hack right away! One last thing: although Bomber Man 2 is an original release for the NES and thus never used this graphical style, I’d still love to see it get an Eric and the Floaters facelift as well, as I think playing battle mode with this artstyle would be neat. Make it happen!

Version 1.0 Recommended - Yes

User Reviews
A Nice Tribute to Bomber Man's Humble BeginningsBubbabyte15 May 20221.0Yes