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Bomberman Hero, the second Nintendo 64 installment of the Bomberman series was released in August 1998. Hero changes several core gameplay mechanics, such as introducing jumping, a life meter, new modes (such as copter, submarine, and flying missions) and a more classic approach to the platform genre in terms of level design. The story centers on rescuing Princess Millian and stopping the evil Garadan Empire from taking over Planet Bomber and several others.


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Runs on the Japanese version:

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0:49:29 by Kevin LaLonde, done in 22 segments.

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Author's comments:

Big thanks to marshmallow for doing the original run to give me the idea of doing this, and a great big thanks to Kirkq for working on the TAS (watch it when it's completed, it will be awesome) and showing many of the routes and shortcuts I used for the first three worlds.
I went back and forth between doing this run or not since when I started I was not that great and what would seem like an easy segment would take me many, many tries, but as I kept going it got easier and easier for me. I wanted to do a 100% run at first but I decided that would just drive me insane, so I decided to improve the current run. By including extra segmentation I figured there was a lot of room for improvement, especially considering the fact that segmenting restores health but gets rid of all power-ups. It's not something obvious from watching the previous run because it stops at the end of a planet each time, but moving planets does not automatically restore health as can be seen in this run when a few segments span planets. By doing this I was able to go all out on bosses while taking a couple hits and using some shortcuts that involve taking damage.
The run is broken up into 22 total segments, so I'll go down each one and break them up by level:


Segment 1 starts you off on Bomber Planet, which for some reason or another looks exactly like Bomberman's head. Seems a little vain to me to have a planet shaped like you...
I actually had to redo this segment after the run was finished (notice the file in the bottom right on the last level) because there was a little skip in the recording that cut a second out of Sky Room, and upon coming back this segment was much easier for me than it was the first time.

Battle Room:
Anyways, the first level is Battle Room, which is very easy and straightforward. The only tricky piece of this level is the trampoline jump because you have to land in the very back corner to make it to the platform without having to grab the ledge.

Hyper Room:
Another easy level with one tricky part: the bomb throw to get through the wall at the beginning can give you problems because if you go too soon you'll run into your own explosion, and sometimes Bomberman doesn't want to make it through the hole and his giant head will get stuck for a few seconds. That didn't happen this time around and the level went smoothly.

Secret Room:
This has the first use of a technique very prevalant in this run (which was revealed to me by Kirkq) which is that laying a bomb in midair will increase your momentum to as if you have a run. When I go into the fan to get the second crystal I lay a bomb on the way down and you can see I instantly go faster in the direction toward the next crystal. I do jump a bit far back on that jet though.

Sky Room:
Not much to say here, but the jump from the conveyor to the little tower is pretty nifty.


Segment 2 takes the first four levels out of Area 2 and shows the first use of one of the new little machines Bomberman attaches to himself: the Bomber Marine. Note: Bomber Marine levels are boring as hell.

Blue Cave:
This might just be the easiest level in the game.

Hole Lake:
This is the first underwater level, and I shoot a few things for lack of anything else to do, but it's pretty straightforward. I run into the crab to go through him so I don't have to spend the time to kill him.

Red Cave:
There's a nice shortcut on this level to grab on to the ledge and pull up to avoid the majority of the stage, so naturally I take it.

Dark Wood:
Another level skipping shortcut, and the developers made this one too obvious. Unless you want 100%, did they think people would play this level through?


This segment introduces Nitros and has a couple of little insignificant levels of mild difficulty. Enjoy it, or don't, because the choice is always yours.

Dragon Road:
I get a 2! This level is kinda tricky because of the jumps inbetween the arms of the Geodudes (at least that's what I call them, don't they look like that?) and avoiding the diving knives.

Vs. Nitros:
This is the first of 5 annihilations of Nitros, the off Bomberman. He follows a horribly predictable pattern of running and jumping to where you are after taking a hit, so I wait until he is coming towards me and jump and lay a bomb, so as soon as his invincibility wears off he takes the hit. He is defeated with the maximum time remaining of 8220.

Clown Valley:
Another level with a large shortcut. Jumping around the wall allows me to skip the entire back half of level and finish with only coming into contact with one evil clown and even he is swiftly avoided.


Segment 4 finishes up Bomber Planet and ends with the first boss, Endol: some sort of electric catfish creature. The levels before it aren't too easy either.

Great Rock:
I love how smooth this level looks when done correctly, though it is very easy to be shot by one of the robot fireball things (I'll just call them fire shooters for now on because they appear so often and they cause so many problems) or miss a jump.

Fog Route:
This is one of the most difficult shortcuts in the game. Normally you would have to blow up the two bombs, grab the remote and allow the little plane to take a 3-5 second cutscene to destroy the wall, but with a very precise jump you can make it around without wasting any of that time. The jump to the bottom is pretty cool too.

Vs. Endol:
You will notice I take a couple hits on Endol. These are actually on purpose, because when you take a hit Endol laughs. His laughing animation cuts off his invincibility, allowing me to hit him earlier than before. He doesn't even get time to shoot at me in his second phase and is defeated with an even 8000 remaining on the clock.

After every boss there is a bonus stage that is not required, so I pause and exit each one. By SNES instinct I still want to call it start-select.


Segment 5 begins Primus Planet with a couple short levels. I really wanted to combine segment 5 and 6, but the randomness of Bubble Hole and Erars Lake made that too difficuly for me, so I split it like this. I had to redo this segment at the end because I used the outdated strategy on Groog Hills.

Groog Hills:
Before I (and marshmallow) would jump through the water after the warp to get to the finish island. However, just running around normally ends up being faster. The weird bomb jump out of the warp is to avoid hitting the remote.

Bubble Hole:
Getting the bubbles to cooperate is the difficult part of this level, as they move in random directions making some of the jumps (especially the one into the warp) impossible. I have a small slip at the end of the level, but went with it because of the cooperation I got with the rest of the level.


This segment has another boring water level, as well as a couple easier levels afterward. Waterway can be tough, but Rockin Road is very easy.

Erars Lake:
The toughest part of this level would be the giant stingray and finishing it off without being blown back too much. I'm unable to do the TAS method of not being blown back at all, but I don't lose much time at all being blown back just once.

There is a small shortcut here by jumping off a box and missing a portion of the level. I try to take a lot of time running in the water to be sped up.

Rockin Road:
There's not much to say about this level. The little bomb drop is to keep momentum after going over a small ledge and I hit the door as soon as its invicibility wears off.


Segment 7 is very short, but there is a tricky shortcut in the first level making it difficult.

Water Pool:
The shortcut here skips having to activate the platform, which requires a kicked bomb and is slow to come down. I also happen to pick up an Adok Bomb here because it just so conveniently happens to be on the way.

Warp Room:
I make a small error by jumping too early off the teleporter in the second room, getting a slow start there, but that's very small.


This segment begins with a very difficult level, destroys Nitros again, and plays a couple of fun levels. It also introduces the Bomber Copter, the second of four Bomber machines. Let's watch, shall we?

Dark Prison:
Big thanks to Kirkq on this level's route, I never would have thought of this (especially the bomb drop onto the switch) path that works so well. It was hard as hell, but it looks great.

Vs. Nitros:
If you watched the first Nitros fight you might as well skip this one, it looks the same with the exception of a small hit I take that loses no time.

Killer Gate:
I get to kill stuff! Finally! To open the door you have to blow up all ten submarines, and I think I do a pretty good job. I do the little circles to keep my momentum while the invincibility to wear off and I grab the firepower so I can cut more corners on my bomb drops.

Spiral Tower:
This is a really easy level, just hold right and jump for the most part. Well, that's not all of it, but the point is that it's not hard.


Another very difficult segment, since Snake Route is very hard as well as fighting Baruda. His random movement patterns can be annoying and lead to not being able to hit him in a timely manner. It moves on to the third planet as well, Kanatia.

Snake Route:
There's a lot of tricky jumps in this level. Even the first jump you have to time the run forward or you will hit the spikes. I don't know how to describe how many tries this took, and I still had a little blip on the first rail. I pick up the bomb and firepower so the Baruda fight is a little easier.

Vs. Baruda:
This bird... I swear, I hate this thing. He moves around and makes it very hard to hit. I take a couple hits, but I plan to take some damage because it allows me to go faster when I'm not being cautious.

Hades Crater:
With good aim there is no reason to elevate at all, so the level is a steady descent to the exit.

Magma Lake:
This is a level that is very easy to take hits if you aren't careful, specifically the spike balloon things at the beginning and the fire snakes that go across the bridge.

==SEGMENT 10==

There is another big shortcut in the segment that I found from Kirkq, but I believe ZAR discovered it, so thanks to him as well.

Magma Dam:
I take a bit of a running start to make sure I can get the jump, though that wastes a little bit of time. The shortcut is cool though.

Crysta Hole:
There is no way to immediately get up to the second spike bottom platform, so I just have to wait in my little cave until it comes.

Death Temple:
This is a pretty simple level, with the exception of the shortcut jump from past the revolving heads... revolving heads sounds kinda weird doesn't it?

===SEGMENT 11===

This is not a segment I like, these two levels are obnoxious. Death Road is just annoying and Float Zone is slow. Thank you, segmenting restoring health!

Death Road:
I get shot by the fire shooter, but it's okay because if I hadn't I was going to purposely get hit by the skull bomb to not have to wait for the explosion, like I do in the next hallway.

Float Zone:
This is an interesting concept, but didn't turn out to be as fun as it would seem. I take hits at the end to get me out of the bubble and to avoid having to throw another bomb.

==SEGMENT 12==

This segment contains the aqua levels, so naturally it includes another awful Bomber Marine level. This one took a while because it has one of the two difficult Nitros fights (the ones with the towers) at the end of the segment.

Aqua Tank:
The shortcut at the beginning is pretty nice. I have a slow jump near the fire shooter, but I have to wait on the upcoming platform anyway so it doesn't make a difference.

Aqua Way:
It was a good while before I learned that you could go inside that shark. I'd think it would kill you, or more realistically, how is there a closed space when it is a skeleton shark? Absense of reality aside, it's faster to go through the shark, and I pick up a bomb and firepower. I would have liked to go for more points but I often would hit a ledge or run into my own explosion when I did, so I played it safe.

Vs. Nitros:
I miss my bomb throw at Nitros, I waited too long, but I lived with the mistake due to the difficulty of pulling off the tower destruction. After that he went down smoothly like he always tends to do.

==SEGMENT 13==

I hate this segment, and it shows: while I don't lose any time from it, the end looks very ugly. You'll see what I mean. The other thing is that the majority of the time is spent on a small square slowly drifting on a line. It's long and slow, two things that don't mesh well with speedrunning.

Hard Coaster:
You like my little moving to the music? That's all I could think of to make the wait not completely boring. I'd say it went pretty well though.

Dark Maze:
Could they have made this level any shorter? Just like Dark Wood... maybe Dark is a keyword for "incredibly short level". Who knows...

Death Coaster:
Do you see what I mean? At the top I am jumping around trying to kill the slugs on the right side, and not only do I not hit a one of them I get hit by two little floating guys. However, like I said before, there is no lost time.

==SEGMENT 14==

This is a deceptively hard segment, as where the first level pretty slow and easy it is much harder than it looks. Not to mention the Bolban fight which goes well despite the knocks I take. It also moves onto Mazone, perhaps my favorite planet. Unimportant trivia: not including the credits this is the longest segment of the run.

Move Stone:
This is perhaps the most uncreative name for a level I have ever heard. "What should we call the level where you have to move the stones? "Um... Move Stone?" Seriously, nothing better? Anyways, worth noting is that the first rock is very hard to place correctly. If you are off one pixel to the left or right it isn't going in that hole. It was meant to be pushed against the wall but this way I only need two pushes instead of three. Also, the fire shooters must be destroyed or else they will get me while slowly pushing the rocks. I have a couple of little movement blips too, that doesn't look so good.

Vs. Bolban:
As bad as this may look, this is very close to my fastest time, since the end went very well and he rarely cooperates. I still can't believe I actually got petrified though.

Hopper Land:
What exactly is Louie? A giant rabbit/kangaroo breed? I have no clue. But his level is easy, so that's a plus for him.

Perhaps this level was meant to be named Jungle Falls but there wasn't enough room? Level names in this game are strange. Something about this level doesn't look great to me, but I can't pinpoint what it is. Maybe I'm just being paranoid.

==SEGMENT 15==

Segment 15 contains a couple of icy levels, and I like them. I wish they would have put the ice bomb in more than just one level.

Cool Cave:
I think this level went very smoothly. I grab onto one edge that was unnecessary, but because I had to wait for the Kabuto to evolve (when small they remind me of Kabuto and big they look like Kabutops... why do I have Pokemon on the brain?) it doesn't waste time.

I basically spend this whole level jumping around everything you were supposed to wait on or destroy. It makes it go very quick.

==SEGMENT 16==

Big shortcut alert! Pay attention to this one, as it gains a lot of time on the old run with this. It also contains the first and only instance of my favorite machine, the Bomber Slider. It is pretty much a playaround level, so I enjoy it.

Storm Valley:
Big thanks to Kirkq again for mentioning you could avoid the screws. I have to take my time to align myself but it is a very difficult jump on console. I also tried to find a way to get up the first cliff without having to kill B. Locker (DK64 reference) but there was no way I could find.

Snow Circuit:
Moving side to side does not seem to affect speed if you do not turn too sharply or spin, so I decide to collect a few points. I really wanted that yellow gem though, it would've given me a 4.

==SEGMENT 17==

I like this segment a lot. It has the only instance of the final machine, the Bomber Jet, which is very fun to play. There is also another beating of Nitros and a level full of miniature shortcuts.

Heaven Sky:
I go all out on shooting for this one and get myself a 4. Along the way I pick up 3 bomb upgrades and firepower to help with the boss fight, which went bizarrely well. Normally after a couple hits he will use his arms and guard himself inbetween damage, but this time he didn't do it at all. Not once. No complaining by me though, that made this fight go a lot faster. I also pick up a second Adok bomb for the hell of it.

Eye Snake:
This is a hard level because of the amount of jumping over corners and the fact that you can't see a shadow on the rainbow floor. I bomb the knife because it is very difficult to avoid being hit by him, and with the boss fight I got I didn't want to take the risk.

Vs. Nitros:
Nothing happened. Really. He died at 8220 again.

==SEGMENT 18==

This trio of levels is rather strange as you start in a little entrance hall to get to the rooms. Each room has its own gimmick as to make it unique, and you must collect the disk to exit the level. Coincidentally it also goes from the one I like the most to the one I like the least.

Air Room:
As long as you can make it to the moving platform while it's on the way up you are in good shape. The rest is pretty simple.

Zero G Room:
Obnoxious level, you move so slowly at reduced gravity. The strategy is to reduced the amount of times you have to jump, as that slows you down the most.

Mirror Room:
You can jump across the beginning part on that little stump but it's a very difficult jump and not one I want to attempt on the last level of the segment. It's not a bad tradeoff though, and the level goes pretty easily. This is the last platforming level in the game, as the final 8 levels are all boss fights. After the level ends you are normally meant to jump onto the platform in the middle and it warps you out, but start-select does the same thing and it is faster.

==SEGMENT 19==

The last four segments all contain two boss fights a piece, and this particular one ends Mazone and introduces Garaden, which contains a revamped battle against all of the previous bosses and the final boss Bagular.

Vs. Natia:
Before fighing Catwoman you have to destroy her robot spider-ish thing Cronos. I take a couple of hits, but I do on all bosses and he goes down quickly. Now normally Catwoman will come down in a somewhat random position and try to whip you or throw knives at you, but with this strategy I came up with makes her appear in the exact spot every time, a spot which is conveniently a standing bomb throw away. I miss the timing once, but still end with my best ever time.

Vs. Endol (2):
It is a very easy second battle, just bomb and jump attack, repeat until death. I hit my goal time of 8000 and call it a segment.

==SEGMENT 20==

Ugh, I hate second Cronos. Luckily when starting from power-on, beating Baruda in one try, and going straight to Cronos he would follow the same pattern every time. It didn't make him that much easier.

Vs. Baruda (2):
I much prefer this to having to fight the awful bird in the Copter. I had a close call running to edge and having to grab the edge, but I got the hit at the time I wanted it. I think this is the maximum score I can get, at least with this strategy.

Vs. Cronos:
Like I mentioned before, I was well aware of his pattern before the fight started. The goal was to beat him in three rounds, with meant in two out of three rounds I had to manage three hits. He starts in the middle and gets out of the lava, making the three hits easy. He has a false entrance in the middle and appears in the top-left corner and shoots a laser, and I can't quite get the third hit. The third round in the adjacent corner I thought I wouldn't make it after missing the first throw but I barely make it before he disappears into the lava. Fun fact: this was the first time I ever beat him in three rounds.

==SEGMENT 21==

This segment contains the worst idea ever: an underwater boss battle. Why? It's an easy strategy, but the Marine's torpedos are so horribly inaccurate it makes the battle more random than it needs to be. It also lets me get myself shot a couple times.

Vs. Nitros (5?!):
Of course there is also another thrashing of Nitros. Now, I don't know why he took one less hit than he normally does, but everytime I did it from power-up he took one less hit. Once again, like the Heaven Sky fight, I'm not complaining. I also get myself electrocuted for the hell of it because I'm going to get fully healed anyway.

Vs. Bolban (2):
When defeating Nitros, he gives you a gift of full health, full bombs, and full firepower. Without that this battle would be awful. The goal was 7000+, and I made it easily, even with having difficulty guiding the damn torpedo while moving backwards.

==SEGMENT 22==

The final segment... I don't like it. I'll let the video speak for itself... and my comments. They speak too.

Vs. Natia (2):
Catwoman brought her sister to the fight, but neither of them put up a fight. Of all of the things to hurt me, a Mini-Cronos and my own explosion. However I post my second best ever time, a 8510.

Vs. Bagular:
The final battle. It is long, and it is kind of random. So I think I do well. Here's how it went: I start with a slight pause, because if I charge automatically he will teleport immediately. I follow him well, and this is the best time I've ever gotten to this point in time. In the TV phase, I begin with a jump bomb because there's a chance I will get lucky and get an instant hit, which happens twice. I also never use more than three bombs, which is good for not being able to instantly tell which is the correct TV. On the final phase I do well until having trouble hitting the laser arm on the sixth hit, wasting some time there. I manage it a little after it begins to shoot and then whittle down the last hits of the game. I'm well above my 2000+ goal, and I call it a game.

The ending:
Did you know there were other characters in this game? If you only watched this speedrun and didn't play the game, you might not have. Pibot and Princess Millian are worthless. That's all about you need to know about them. You can watch the mulitcolored Bombermen jumping at a bad frame rate as the video ends.

All in all, I think this is an underrated game. It's fun, and going for 5s on every level could keep you occupied for some time. However, if someone was to beat this I doubt I'd try to take it back. I'm think I'm ready to put it away. Until the next time, this ends this time. I hope you enjoyed it, or if you didn't, I hope you really didn't and it ruined your day, because that's what you get for not enjoying it.

Japanese version Single-segment: 0:44:01 by 'PvtCb'.

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Author's comments:

Major shoutouts to Kirkq and Yashichi for getting me into Bomberman Hero in the first place and their advice and competition which pushed this game to be so low. Without them this run wouldn't have happened.

Some quick notes about mechanics and speed tech:

Bomberman only has 2 jump heights and 2 movement speeds possible without the use of a conveyor or water channel. You can't accelerate to your max speed while in midair unless you drop a bomb. Bomberman's turning radius is very tight but if you try to instantly turn he'll do a skid which wastes time; I let up on the control stick or avoid turning 180° to prevent this. In midair you can swerve and pirouette all over the place. These tight air controls make possible several skips.

Ejection of collision hitboxes is weird in this game. There are some places where if you grab a ledge Bomberman will instantly be ejected several pixels if something is in his way. You can create these situations by dropping a bomb while falling off a ledge. Called bomb boosting, your hitbox changes in midair to extend behind you during the drop animation so you get shoved a few pixels forward by pushing against the ledge behind you. This ejection also exists during the Marine and Jet sections. The same pixel pushing can be created by pushing into a surface; you get a boost once you pass over or under the edge of the surface you're leaning against.

Animations are on a priority list. You can interrupt a low priority animation with a high priority one, both Bomberman's and enemies'. During the stagger backwards and air bomb drop animations, Bomberman preserves his downwards speed. This means that if you move downwards and perform one of these animations, you'll instantly return to your terminal velocity if you fall off a ledge as long as Bomberman is still in the animation. Once the stagger backwards animation finishes your downwards speed is reset. For enemies, the animation priorities are mostly used to reset invulnerability frames or lock an enemy into place.

Now for the run itself.

Planet Bomber has some of the best levels in the game. A number of them are hard but almost all are fun to play. It's on these early levels that I think that the speedrun really shines.

Battle Room:
After the intro at Bomber Base it's off to a simple level with an easy bomb boost followed by a fairly precise jump on the edge of the trampoline to skip grabbing a ledge. The last robot is random where he spawns and occasionally he'll charge directly into your path requiring you to jump over him.

Hyper Room:
I follow the conveyor for additional movement speed up the slope then lob a bomb at the edge of the breakable gray wall so I can squeeze past the explosion before it hits me. From there it's a quick jaunt to the exit, a major change over the US version which has to walk around for the alternative exit to Secret Room.

Heavy Room:
This is a good example of exploiting level geometry to go fast. I run on top of a narrow window to skip a platforming section then do two bomb boosts to the generator. At the generator, I throw a bomb while sliding off the ledge then toss one while jumping to remove the shield wall. Air bomb drops on the trampolines keep Bomberman's speed.

Sky Room:
Ignore the switches that stop the conveyors; it's faster to just jump around the moving belts. If you're quick, you can get to the tuning forks while they're out of your way and jump to the next platform. The dancing red enemies at the end of the level spawn in random positions, so it's a challenge to get past them before the yellow pillar lowers back into the water.

Blue Cave:
The easiest level in the game which I spectacularly lost time on with a humiliating ledge grab while jumping over a gap. The crab at the end of the level moves in a random direction; if he moves left you can walk past him and save frames.

Hole Lake:
The first of the Marine levels. There's no penalty for moving around besides some very minor lag so exploiting corner boosting to its fullest. For some reason the giant enemy crab at the end of the level lives in a larger cave in the JP version, making it possible to just swim over him to the exit.

Red Cave:
Neat skip in this level made possible by the game's abundant air control.

Dark Woods:
You can skip grabbing the ledge after jumping from the stump if you angle and timing are perfect. It's a jump full of swag.

Dragon Road:
Besides jumping in between the arms of the Geodudes there's not much to this level.

Nitros 1:
The first of 5 fights. I hit him with a toss at the start of the fight then lock him into jumping on my bombs which explode as soon as his invulnerability frames wear off for 3 hits. For the last hit, I do two special things. The first is getting almost exactly 2 tiles away from him with a power tile in between him and Bomberman; the second is hitting him while he's in the air. The distance sets up a skid which lets Nitros jump earlier and the aerial hit knocks him on his back, skipping a lengthy animation of him falling down, spinning his head, and then teleporting away.

Clown Valley:
I drop a bomb at the start to gain speed. There's a trick which skips jumping up to the platform holding the Adok Bomb which you can make without a ledge grab, though unfortunately I did not get it in this run.

Great Rock:
One of the more technical levels of the game, Great Rock has a number of precise jumps and throws. At the end of the level, if you grab the ledge at the right position you can squeeze past the fireball launcher without getting hit.

Fog Route:
Some momentum tricks here and there in a fairly straightforward level. You can jump around the wall that Black Bomber shoots down but because of an invisible barrier the jump and subsequent turn to grab a ledge are both frame perfect. I consider it downright suicidal to attempt the trick in single segment runs and only go for it if I'm at least 7 seconds behind.

I get hit after each time I damage him in the first phase as this resets his invulnerability frames due to him laughing. Bosses have 55% of the health of their English counterparts in the Japanese version; additionally, Endol's electric breath attack is slower, has less range, and doesn't chase after you. Can you see why I like this version better?

Overall Planet Bomber was nearly flawless. Sub 7:50 RTA reset is a fantastic time.

Primus is a mixed bag of levels. There are a couple of technical levels that are a blast (please kill me for that pun) to practice, a few where you're running in straight lines with almost no time to save, and some with RNG that can cause you to hemorrhage time.

Grogg Hills:
You're meant to use your rolling bomb attack (done by holding B) on an ice flower to freeze the lake and let you walk to the exit, but you can just jump to it.

Bubble Hole:
The bomb throw I do to the bubbles destroys them long enough to use the teleport at the bottom of the hole without getting hit; the bomb boost I do is to preserve my downwards momentum so I land a few frames faster. There's some randomness on the level at the end with the final set of bubbles. If they go to the left I can't make the jump to the ledge without grabbing it which gives the paint drop enemies enough time to combine into a purple paint drop, and since he is larger skirting past him to the exit becomes much harder.

Erars Lake:
Corner boosting and a manta fight. Big manta pushes you back but not while he's recovering from being hit. I got tapped by the bubble at the end of the level which is an incredibly embarrassing mistake but only cost a second or so.

Use the water channel to go forwards faster. There's a whole other section to the level but you can just jump over a gap. It's possible to make the jump to the platform with the dancing black bean men but it's frame and angle perfect.

Rock n' Road:
The dice are completely random. I lose some time veering out of the first one's way. The last hit against the door I jump to throw because it lets me walk underneath the resulting explosion.

Water Pool:

Warp Room: The thing that matters most in this level is reaching and activating the switch as fast as possible. Besides avoiding the barrel dude, this level is straightforward and hard to lose time on.

Dark Prison: Very technical level that has some tricky jumps. The jump I do around the cell that held the 4th key crystal is fairly precise and saves a few seconds over waking around.

Nitros 2:
Second verse, same as the first! A little bit louder but a whole lot worse! I missed the skid because I'm a bad kid.

Killer Gate:
This level is the first time we see the Bomber Copter. To open the exit, you have to destroy all the submarines. I keep my movement straight except when weaving out of the way of missiles and look at my score counter to make sure that a sub actually was destroyed. Along the way I pick up an easy firepower. I juke around the final turret to exit the level which skips having to destroy him.

Spiral Tower:
Hold up-right and jump over spikes. Very easy level.

Snake Route:
Nine times out of ten I go for the most ballsy strats possible on this level and pull this level off perfectly, but every now and then I get screwed over by either being bad or enemy placement. This was one of those times. You have to pick up 4 key crystals to exit the level, but the last one is on a moving platform that operates on a cycle. If you go full out you can make an early cycle and jump off for the last crystal but it only saves time if you jump off the platform before it starts moving towards the crystal. Making the cycle requires such tricks as running on the railings, jumping over corners, kicking a bomb at an off-screen switch (which is much more difficult than it sounds as the bomb has a nasty habit of rolling into the rails and exploding), and jumping off the platform with the 3rd crystal. Even though I got hit by the dunce cap tomato dude I still managed to make the cycle because everything else was on point but I only saved a few frames at most. At least the level looks cool.

I have nothing positive to say about this boss. He constantly flies around and hitting him with your bombs while not blowing yourself up is a real challenge. If you hold B until 9870 on the timer then rise, you'll always trigger him diving, but from there the fight is a struggle to manipulate this slippery bird near a corner and staying low enough that your bombs can hit him but not so low that you get caught in the blast. I was a bit too high in this fight and missed one salvo of bombs, losing about 4 seconds in the process.

Primus had a few issues but this run was one of the very few times I've reset before 17 minutes RTA timing, but most of that was due to the strength of my Bomber.

Kanatia is the slow reset point of the run. There's a lot of autoscroller or otherwise awful levels peppered with those that have complex tricks that can destroy a run.

Hades Crater:
You don't need to do anything on this level besides fall and drop bombs at the right spots. Even the exit doesn't let you leave the level until you've fallen way below it because of an odd hitbox. Any time lost here is more indicative of my reset and mashing speed after Baruda than anything else.

Magma Lake:
There's lots of jumping over lava here to cut corners. It's a simple level besides having to worry about your health if you've messed up too hard on Baruda.

Magma Dam:
This is probably the hardest level in the run, and there's a good reason why. It's full of bomb boosts, worrying about your health, tight angles and jumping over lava in order to jump past one enemy who routinely spawns in a much worse position than he did in this run, and a demanding trick that lets you leave through the alternative exit without having to destroy the dams. Creatively named Magma Dam Jump, this is the single hardest thing I always attempt in my runs. You do a precise jump and midair turn to throw yourself at the lava stream near the top, and if you've done it correctly you bounce over it. If I get I get it first try I consider the run to be alive and fully on pace to be completed; if I miss it's a reset because I've lost at least seven seconds and health I need for a later level. Further confounding this trick is a rare and different form that's frame perfect on the jump and mid-air turn as well as angle perfect that bounces you first off the top of the lava and then directly into the exit and saves a second, but I can count the number of times I've gotten it that way on my hands. At the bottom, if you pull out a bomb after you recover you get instantly ejected forwards and save a fraction of a second exiting the level but I forgot to do this.

Crystal Hole:
Going fast after the first couple of feet of the level doesn't actually matter because you have to wait for the platform to lower enough for you to get on. It operates on a trigger cycle, with the trigger being close to the start of the level. Being not bad lets you get to the final ledge without grabbing it.

Death Temple:
Bomberman goes to jail for terrorism but quickly escapes. At least I think that's what happens. My Japanese is pretty bad. I try to time the kick and run to the exit so that I just barely don't touch the door as it opens so that I keep my speed. I skip an entire section of the level after the Easter Island heads by making a fairly easy jump. It's possible to make the jump from the stone head platform but it's precise enough from having to land on the platform, not falling off, and not getting hit by the grey funny ear long faces that I consider the trick being TAS or segmented only. Doing something that risky right after Magma Dam is downright stupid.

Death Road:
One of those ‘walk in a straight line' levels, but with way more weaving around clock soldiers and bomb boosting. I messed up my throw against the grey blocks in the first area by destroying the one to the right of the one I wanted to blow up but I was able to recover well.

Float Zone:
This is unironically one of the best levels in the speedrun. Despite being slow as hell it's exceedingly technical, is set up minutes in advance because of your health, and requires quick decision making based on enemy patterns. I'm going to go into a bit of extra detail on this level because I do genuinely love it. I start off with a bomb boost and head to a token that puts a bubble around Bomberman and makes him slowly rise into the air. I walk into the bubble token so that I don't gain the extra height from being on top of it when it's acquired, then rise to the ceiling where I move in a precise pattern so that I land right on the top of the next token as the bubble disappears from wearing off from as low as a height as possible. On the next floor I look for a yellow tinker toy man in the top-right corner to pop my bubble and get me on the ground earlier than it wearing off, but since he wasn't near me it was faster to just wait over the next token. I land on top of it then head to the next floor, lining my shadow up with the edge of the hole in the floor so that I seamlessly can go to the next floor without touching the ceiling. On the next floor, I look for a yellow Styrofoam ball robot to pop by bubble because except in the absolute worst case scenario of both weird molecule dudes being in the bottom right it's faster for them to run into you and burn a health than it is to wait for the bubble to wear off. I hit the switch in the top left to open the ceiling then pop myself on the spikes of the toggle platform. I get up, toggle that platform, and throw a bomb to an off-screen switch to open the exit, then grab the ledge of the exit and pull myself in. Despite solid execution I still lost time on this level because of RNG.

Aqua Tank:
The bomb throw at the start is a precautionary measure against the eyebrow ball, who occasionally likes to spawn right at the ledge you need to grab. This doesn't waste any time because I have to wait for the moving platform above me to lower to its absolute lowest point before I can grab onto it from the top side. I time my jump to this platform based on an audio cue in the music and a reference point on the wall (this game and it's fairly static camera make these reference points easy to find). From there I get to the top of the level where I can blow up the water tank above me without having to get on the platform the game intends you to throw the bomb from because I have 4 firepower.

Aqua Way:
After a large number of random cutscenes you get eaten by a snake while controlling a submarine because it's faster to travel through his digestive track and out his anus (do snakes even have anuses?) than to go around him. The snake tries to attack you with these white blood cell things so it's tricky to avoid them while going for the corner boosts off his organs. I end up missing one because I was avoiding them.

Nitros 3:
He mixes it up this time with a shield powered by three floating towers. If you hold up rat the start of the fight you line up perfectly to take out one of his towers. The rest is just making sure your throws are good and hitting Nitros as early as possible. If you're insanely fast you can have a bomb explode against his shields as they go down, deal damage to him during that animation, then watch him get damaged again when this animation finishes. This fight is much harder than the previous ones to set up the skid for because of how variable his position is after you take down his shield but I managed to get it.

Hard Coaster:
This is where the game and the speedrun start to take a real nosedive in quality. This level bears the honor of being the only one where playing on the English version is faster because of an extra platform. Most of your time is spent waiting on these platforms and being scared of upcoming tricks. There's very little you can do to speed things up besides making sure you land on the platforms as early as possible so that they start moving sooner; thankfully, there are plenty of reference points to make these tight jumps consistent. On the note of landing on platforms early to make them move, there is one trick at the central area to make the level just slightly faster but if you miss it the run is beyond dead because you've literally lost a whole minute. Instead of getting the key crystal first I head directly to a platform I want to get moving, jump off that, get the crystal, go to the opposite platform (making sure that I short hop onto it or else it'll start moving too late for me to get back on the first platform), then make a leap of faith and pray that my angle is good enough for me to return to the first platform. After that last ride it's a short collectathon to get the remaining crystals and exit the level.

Dark Maze:
This is supposed to be a much longer level but you can skip all of it. The jump from the platform to the exit is deceptively tricky and extremely tight on timing. I time my jump using the music and a reference point on the wall. Even after landing on the absolute very edge of the moving platform and jumping off of it the slugs waiting for you can still end your run if they feel like it. If you have too little health and get hit you'll die and if you get hit as you climb up the ledge and don't immediately jam the control stick perfectly upwards you'll stagger backwards and fall off. You could always wait for the cycle to loop around to make this safer but that's bitch strats.

Mad Coaster:
This is a shorter Hard Coaster with turrets. It's an autoscroller but you can at least get almost all your health back during the first part of it. For some reason, on the JP version the right side of the central structure is a pixel lower than in ENG meaning that you can grab onto it and head to the right side immediately. The jump to the next moving platform ranks highest on my list of things I am unreasonably afraid of in this game, even though I've only lost a single run there. See if you can spot the place where I nearly lost the run!

Move Stone:
The name describes the level very well. You move stones into holes by pushing against them. I went for a pixel-perfect trick at the start of the level called two push, which lets me move the first block into its hole without having to align it against the wall. I didn't get it and while recovering I got hit by the hot sauce shooter like a complete idiot. The rest of the level is fairly self-explanatory pushing, bomb boosting, and throwing bombs at enemies so I don't get hit while pushing. This was actually my first run of the day and I wanted it to be no reset so picked up a heart in case I took a hit on the next boss. This is easily the single greatest thing I regret about this run as it was an unneeded safety strat that cost me 3 seconds, my dignity, and the sub 44:00 RTA timing run. At the end of the level I jump upwards into the portal. I've never actually tested if this saves time but I assume it does. At the very least it looks cool and doesn't waste any time.

He's a magic lion with flak cannons and a force field. In the first phase you can get in an extra hit by leaving an explosion lingering as his force field goes up. During the second phase, if you cross behind his tail a bit after hitting him, he'll never turn around to try and shoot you. Third phase you just hope Bolban doesn't do his stone breath attack because if he does the fight won't end until that animation is finished, even if he's already been killed. I got good luck on that but I had bad throws against the tail so I had to rely on my explosions chaining to hit his tail.

Kanatia was mediocre overall but the important things were all gotten first try and I had enough levels with stellar play that the minor trainwrecks of Float Zone and Move Stone ended up cancelling out.

Mazone is a series of levels with tons of variety, almost all of stellar quality. Your reward for slogging through Kanatia is some of the most fun to play areas in the game.

Hopper Land:
The first of two levels with Louie. He jumps really high. If you fall down a ledge while on him you get pushed forward a few pixels. The route I take maximizes these falls while staying on a straight line.

I skip the nest platforms at the first area of the level as I can just grab the waterfall ledge. I have to jump forwards after pulling myself up so that I don't slide off or get hit by the fish.

Cool Cave:
This is possibly the most punishing level in the run if you mess anything up as a cycle you are in will get completely messed up. A new mechanic, ice bombs, is introduced on this level. If you throw them at certain enemies they cause them to freeze. The first area of the level is basically free outside of one tight jump where you want to avoid grabbing a ledge, but once you get to the platform climb you're on a fairly tight cycle that doesn't allow for many mistakes. The platform with the second enemy I freeze has the trigger point for the last enemy spawning so I want to land on that as quickly as possible.

Easy level mostly about keeping your angles straight and bomb boosting when you can. Not much to explain here besides a dumb gaffe around the yeti.

Storm Valley:
Louie possesses some magic powers on this level and can jump off invisible walls if he's set up properly. The first one has him jump off the B. Locker from DK64 to gain an extra bit of height while the second one is just about the angle that you jump at. I have no idea why this works but it does and it's fast so I do it.

Snow Circuit:
The first level with the Bomber Slider and boy does it suck. There's no real way to go fast besides a quickstart at the beginning by tilting your stick and spinning and trying to minimize your angle changes and jumps as well as times you fall off a ledge. At the end I swoosh in between the row of enemies like I swoosh into your girl's DMs, saving me a jump that I don't need.

Heaven Sky:
Bomber Jet is a reskinned Bomber Marine with a turbo button. It's pretty sweet. I do the same strats with corner boosting throughout the level. The miniboss is colloquially called Double Dragon and the strat is to avoid his head while wailing on his chest. A few shots and he goes down easily.

Eye Snake:
Everyone calls this level Rainbow Road. It's actually a fairly hard level to speedrun as you have no shadow and your jumps have to be referenced based on the floor texture. The jumps over the gaps are self-explanatory but the trick at the end of the level deserves some extra focus. Using a visual cue, I weave around the angry blue dudes with some jumps, and based on the pattern that the daggers give me, I may continue to weave around them.

Nitros 4:
Easier than 3 to set up the skid for but I missed because I'm awful at video games.

Air Room:
The start of the level places you in a hub and I swear the hardest thing to remember about speedrunning this game is that this area exists. There's a free corner boost on the way to Air Room that I take. Once inside the level my main goal is to go up as quickly as possible. You can use the extra vent that is intended for you to reach the Adok Bomb by hanging on the edge of the air current to push you further upwards, but I flubbed on this multiple times, one time getting off the current entirely, another falling off to quickly and going down an extra level. After picking up the gold CD, which is the key for this level as well as the next two, I exit.

Zero-G Room:
The gimmick with this level is a gravity switch you can toggle that substantially lowers gravity and movement speed. Besides the hard throw to the gravity switch there's little to mention about this level. I want to keep my time in the air to a minimum as it's slower than running. The last bomb drop that I do is to change my midair direction to make it easier to head to the exit.

Mirror Room:
This is the laggiest level in the game, and right at the start of it while the enter level white flash is in my face I have to make a precise jump to the top of a very small pillar and then to a ledge I grab. I make this hard trick but then I mess up an easy gap jump and lose a second. The rest of the level is a series of moderately difficult tricks and then a turn to the exit as you fall. After exiting, it's faster to exit through the menu than it is to go to the center platform in the hub.

The goal of the fight is to knock out the robot as quickly as possible and then deal with the BDSM cat. I choke during this section because I spent a bit too much time and health trying to hit Natia as it saves about a second to destroy the cat's platform before her robot pet dies. After that's done she comes down in random locations, but if you hang out in a corner and if she doesn't whip you off the edge you can rolling bomb her and hit her wherever she lands. On the last hit, if you hit her before she lands she'll die instantly instead of dancing around for a few seconds.

I'm disappointed with how Mazone went. The first half was excellent but the later parts were rife with chokes and time losses.

Garaden is a boss rush aboard the Death Star. Have you noticed that this game is a Star Wars rip-off yet?

Endol 2:
If you're fast you can kill him as he eats a sandwich. This fight went perfectly.

Baruda 2:
Way more fun than his previous incarnation. You can lock him into dives to kill him very quickly.

The two cycle in this fight is entirely dependent on his awful hitbox not screwing you over. I managed to get it this run, which prevented a 10 second time loss. Of interesting note Is that despite this fight being random, he always gives the same pattern after reset and in a speedrun.

Nitros 5:
Nitros pulls out all the stops this time, combining aspects of all his previous fights. I tried to go for the skid on him but it's nearly impossible to get on this fight as he likes to kick you with bombs if you're a certain distance away from him. After the fight he fully restocks my health and powerups because he was secretly my ally all along.

Bolban 2:
One last Marine level. Never move sideways, have good visual cues for when to shoot him, and this fight is easy.

Natia 2:
This fight is butts. I try my absolute hardest to avoid getting hit because I want all the health I can get for the final boss. I played it a bit slow because I was nervous and lost a few seconds because of this. It's possible to stunlock them into never jumping but it requires good luck on where they land.

This final boss is broken up into 3.5 phases. The first I want his to teleport far away so I can hit him twice, but failing that I want to get close to him, hit him, let him dash, then hold a bomb so that he teleports away. The second phase is completely random as there is no way to tell which of the 3 TVs I need to hit; I just need to lob as many bombs as possible and hope for the best. The third phase I want to run clockwise around the boss and hit his arms while avoiding his claw, and for the next part of the phase I just need to avoid his lasers as I hit his center.

Garaden went well enough, but Natia 2 was a major timesink.

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