It has been a long while since my previous article on Bomberman beta mysteries, but I’ve finally gotten around to putting together the second article I’d lined out. This time, I’m focusing on odd details in various released games that will likely never have any official explanations. Some of these have become more common knowledge over the years, but I have some information and general thoughts that I’d like to present on them.

Without further ado, let’s begin…

4. Heart Eyes in Super Bomberman 3

This might be the most bizarre entry on this list. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen anybody else mention it since I stumbled upon it myself while peeking into the WRAM of Super Bomberman 3 back in 2009. Essentially, these are unused frames of animation that depict the little “dance” that Bombermen do when they are trapped or stunned by a bomb throw, but Bomberman has heart-shaped eyes instead of his normal, frustrated expression. Here’s what the animation would look like in-game:

Strangely, a third frame depicting Bomberman with his hands up in the air, the same as when he is holding a bomb, has no apparent place in this animation. What’s truly interesting about this, though, is that if you load any other selectable character into the game, they don’t have these heart-eyes animation frames. See below, for a comparison of Bomberman and Bomber Kid:

Note the complete lack of the unused frames in the lower-right corner of Kid’s set.

This indicates to me that the animation was only ever intended to be used in the Normal Game, as only normal White or Black Bomberman are playable there. Where the animation would have been used, however, is a total mystery. My best guess is that Pretty Bomber’s mech, Gamebuku, would have issued some form of charm attack that would stun the player and trigger that specific animation. If we really want to stretch the theory, it’s possible that her mech was something else entirely at an earlier stage in development.

3. The Ominous Door in Bomberman 64

By the end of this December, I will have been ruminating over this creepy thing for a decade, ever since an old friend brought it up. Now, it’s not uncommon for game developers to leave assets in a game when they decide not to use them, and even to simply alter terrain to make cut areas impossible to reach. With that being said, this is just freaky.

As seen in the video, there is a hidden pathway off the edge of a platform in map 2 of “On the Right Track”, the third stage of Red Mountain in Bomberman 64. Apparently, when it was given the axe, a developer simply clipped away the portion of floor that connected the pathway to the main platform and made the rest of it invisible. The problem with this is that a core mechanic in the game is the use of kicking and throwing bombs into positions in order to drop down, bounce across them, and reach new areas. So, not only can players simply drop bombs onto the platform to accidentally discover it, they can also utilize the bomb jumping mechanic to bounce onto the platform. From there, it’s just a matter of repeatedly kicking bombs to figure out where the path leads.

But wait, it gets weirder. Back when this was originally brought to my attention, I decided to rip the VRML from the map and get a better angle of this thing, because it is a unique door model that does not appear anywhere else in the game. For starters, here is a comparison of the height of the door to Bomberman’s height:

Bomberman looks odd here because his model is made of flat textures that always face the camera. Also wow, that door is tall.

The sheer height of this thing is daunting. It’s like almost five Bombermen high. Conversely, though, it’s really skinny. I assume all of this was probably designed for the camera angle, so the door would be more obvious, but it still makes this thing look like it was important somehow. It’s even more ominous when you stare it down from Bomberman’s angle…

Into the maw of the beast.

Something else to note is that the door may have originally had a different texture for its frame, and it was later swapped to the rocky texture to make it blend in with the rest of the mountain and obfuscate it when it was cut from the game. If this was the case, it might have looked more normal when it was in use. But whatever the case may be, the questions of where it lead, what it looked like, and why it was cut remain as some of Bomberman‘s most enduring mysteries. Did it lead to a secret? To an exit? Did it have something to do with that metal pillar Sirius is standing next to? We may never know. The least we can hope for is that, perhaps someday, someone like that person who discovered test and cinematic maps in the game will stumble upon the unused map the door lead to, if such a map still exists. One can hope…

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