Bomberman MAX

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Bomberman MAX: Blue Champion
Bomberman MAX: Red Challenger

US (B)

U.S. cover art (Blue)
US. (R)

U.S. cover art (Red)
JP (B)

Japanese cover art (Blue)
JP (R)

Japanese cover art (Red)
Developer(s): Hudson Soft
Publisher(s): JP: Hudson Soft
NA: Vatical Entertainment
Platform(s): Game Boy Color
Release date(s): JP: December 17, 1999
NA: May 14, 2000
Genre(s): Action, maze, strategy
Mode(s): Single player

Bomberman MAX: Blue Champion (ボンバーマンMAX 光の勇者 bonbāman makkusu hikari no yūsha, Bomberman MAX: Light Hero) and Bomberman MAX: Red Challenger (ボンバーマンMAX 闇の戦士 bonbāman makkusu yami no senshi, Bomberman MAX: Dark Soldier) are video games developed by Hudson Soft for the Game Boy Color.



MAX challenges Bomberman to a race.

Japanese manual:




Japanese manual (English translation):

In a certain part of outer space, there were 5 planets that each evolved differently. On the machine planet Future Star, a suspicious shadow crept up, and the computer Brain, which controlled the planet, began to behave recklessly. Lights shot out from Future Star, and one-by-one the other planets became mechanized......

Dr. Ein of Bomber Base learned of this, and sent an order to Bomberman and MAX. "Investigate the source of this incident, and rescue the Charaboms that live on each planet!!"

Is it Bomberman who will save the universe in crisis, or is it MAX?[1]

U.S. manual:

Five planets circle a solar system in a far away galaxy. On each planet lives a different species, each with its own special history and culture. One of these planets, the Machine Planet Future Star, is a mechanized world, controlled by a giant computer called Brain. One day, a mysterious virus infected Brain. The berserk computer shot powerful energy waves to the other planets, transforming all existing life on the surrounding worlds into machines.

From a far away interstellar research outpost, Dr. Ein tracked Brain's malfunction and dispatched Bomberman and MAX to shut down the renegade computer and save the unique Charabom creatures living on the planets.

Friendly rivals, Bomberman and MAX now race to see who can finish this dangerous mission first.[2]

Normal Game

The Normal Game plays in the traditional Bomberman format, in a top-down view with maps comprised of grids of hard blocks and scattered soft blocks. Each world contains a number of areas. In each area, Dr. Ein will provide a clear condition. Fulfilling this goal will cause a number of exits to appear. Red exits lead to areas the player has already completed, while blue exits lead to new areas the player has not yet completed. All areas in a world are chained together in a maze. The player's goal is to navigate to one of three boss areas and defeat the boss in order to move on to the next world.[2]

The player will lose a life if their character is hit by an enemy character or explosion, or if time runs out (time alotted varies depending on the area). If the player runs out of lives, the game is over. The player is then shown their completion rate, judged by the number of areas they have cleared, and given a chance to save the game. Two save files may be kept simultaneously.[2]


The five worlds.

There are five worlds in the game:

Pitch Areas

In each version of Bomberman MAX, there are certain areas that do not appear in both games. Using the "Pitch Area" option on the title screen, two players, each with their own Game Boy Color and different copy of the game (Red or Blue), may use the infrared sensors on their Game Boy Colors to send and receive Pitch Areas. The areas will then be added to their respective world's map. This is the only way to achieve 100% completion and reach the final ending scene.[2]

There are four Pitch Areas per world, for a total of 20 Pitch Areas in each game (40 between both games).[3]


Charaboms are introduced for the first time in Bomberman MAX. In certain areas, the clear condition is to hit a cage with an explosion, releasing a Charabom. The player character must then touch the Charabom to obtain it and open the exit. Some Charaboms may also be obtained in Hidden Areas or other events, while others must be combined.[2]

By using the "Merge" option on the Battle Game menu, two players, each with a separate Game Boy Color and a different copy of the game (one Red, one Blue), certain Charaboms may be combined to form new Charaboms. The connection is made using the infrared sensors on the Game Boy Colors. Both players will receive the new Charabom. Combined Charaboms cannot be obtained in any other legitimate manner.[2]

During the Normal Game, the player may use the start button to access the Charabom menu and select a Charabom. The currently selected Charabom will receive any Food items the player obtains during gameplay. These items boost the Charaboms stats.

Charaboms may be used in the Battle Game.

Please see the List of Charaboms in Bomberman MAX for more information.

Remote Control (Hidden Areas)

Stepping on a tile to a Hidden Area.

In certain areas, the clear condition is to step upon a special tile in order to enter a Hidden Area. Once the player character is standing on the tile, the game will instruct the player to point a remote control at the Game Boy Color's infrared sensor. Upon doing so, the player will be taken to a random Hidden Area, where they may gain items or Charaboms.[2]

Please see the List of Hidden Areas in Bomberman MAX for more information.


The following items can be found in both the Story Mode and Battle Mode:[1][2]

Battle Game

In the Battle Game, each player chooses one of their Charaboms to compete. They must then choose three different attack strategies, in the order they wish for them to be executed. Each attack strategy involves an Attack command, Defend command, and Special command, the latter which relies on the Charabom's element.

Once each player has chosen three attack strategies, they may initiate the battle by linking their Game Boy Colors using the infrared sensors on the devices. The battle then plays out on each screen. A player wins if their Charabom fully depletes the other Charabom's HP, or if their Charabom has more HP than the opponent by the end of the match.[2]

Attack Strategies

Name Japanese Order
Attack&Defend! せめたらまもれ!? Attack defend! MAX Charabom Attack.pngMAX Charabom Defend.pngMAX Charabom Special.png
First Attack! せんてひっしょう!? First move certain victory! MAX Charabom Attack.pngMAX Charabom Special.pngMAX Charabom Defend.png
First Defense! まもりがいちばん!? Number one defense! MAX Charabom Defend.pngMAX Charabom Attack.pngMAX Charabom Special.png
Super Finish! しあげはばっちり!? Perfect finish! MAX Charabom Defend.pngMAX Charabom Special.pngMAX Charabom Attack.png
Get Wild! はでにいこうぜ!? Let's get flashy! MAX Charabom Special.pngMAX Charabom Attack.pngMAX Charabom Defend.png
Great Moves! わざがひかるぜ!? Shining technique! MAX Charabom Special.pngMAX Charabom Defend.pngMAX Charabom Attack.png

CPU Battle

While the Battle Game is designed for two human players, it is possible to play against a computer opponent. At the tactics confirmation screen, before choosing "Selected", the player must input the following code: up, down, select, start, down, up, start, select, up, down, A button. A selection sound will play on the penultimate button press, and the A button will confirm the tactics setup and initiate the battle. The game will then present an opponent Charabom with a computer-decided set of attack strategies.[4] Battles fought against the CPU do not award "wins" to Charaboms' counters, and if the opponent's Charabom is "won", it will not actually be obtained.

Limited Versions

Two other, limited edition versions of Bomberman MAX were also released through contests held exclusively in Japan.

Bomberman MAX Ain

Bomberman MAX Ain (Ain Version) (ボンバーマンMAX Ain(アインバージョン) “bonbāman makkusu ain (ain bājon)) was a limited edition that could only be obtained by entering a drawing held as part of a campaign for Pentel ("Ain" being the name of some of their pen products). Entry forms were included in Ain pen core replacements, along with an entry sticker, which could be placed on a postcard and mailed to Pentel in order to enter the lottery. Each pen core replacement also contained one of six "Mini Mascots" (ミニマスコット minimaskotto), small figures of Pommy, Red Bomber, White Bomber, MAX, Black Bomber, and Louie. 5,000 winners would receive a Premium Set of all six Mini Mascots plus two exclusive figures (Blue Bomber and Yellow Bomber), while 2,000 winners would receive Bomberman MAX Ain. This contest ran from May to July 31, 2000.[5]

In this version of the game, Bomberman is the player character, and all 40 Pitch Areas are available; thus, version-exclusive Charaboms are all available, and it is possible to reach the 100% ending without needing to connect to another version of the game. Additionally, the title screen is modified to read "Ain Version", an additional splash screen advetising Pentel Ain appears after the Hudson Soft splash screen, and on the "Stage Clear" screen that displays after Bomberman defeats a boss character, "Pentel" is displayed, and Bomberman is seen holding an Ain core replacement package.

Bomberman MAX Complete Data Version

Bomberman MAX Complete Data Version (ボンバーマンMAX 完全データバージョン bonbāman makkusu kanzen dēta bājon) was a limited version of the game that could be won through a campaign exclusive to Japan involving Baku Bomberman 2. The campaign was roughly entitled "Bakubon 2 Solution Campaign" (爆ボン2解く得キャンペーン bakubon 2 tokutoku kyanpēn) When clearing the game with the Good Ending, 12 characters would appear on screen. Players could write these characters onto a postcard, cut out the "Bakubon 2 Application Coupon"? 爆ボン2解く得応募券 and paste it onto the postcard, and send it to the provided address with appropriate title? ボンバーマン事務局ボンバーマン爆ボン2解く得係 to enter the lottery. 150 winners received four prizes, including a Game Boy Color, limited staff t-shirt, project member certificate, and a copy of this version of Bomberman MAX. The contest began with the release of Baku Bomberman 2 and ended on January 15, 2000.[6]

In this version of the game, the player character is MAX, and stages and data for all Charaboms across the Red and Blue versions are included.[6] The title screen is modified to read "Complete Data Version" in Japanese. Little else is currently known about this version of the game. ? Please contact us if you have further information (with sources)


  • This game marks the first appearance of MAX.
  • The map navigation system in Bomberman MAX derives from the earlier title Super Bomberman 5.
  • A large number of enemy characters in the game are imported from Super Bomberman 4.
  • On the title screen, entering the code right, left, right, right, left, left, right, left, right, left, left, right, A button will bring up a Sound Test menu screen.[4]
  • The Bomberman MAX: Dark Soldier (Japanese) logo was later referenced in the Bombergirl event "Freshman Grey's Determination! Seriousness! Growing Up!! MAX Gacha", which introduced the MAX-inspired character Grey into the game.


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  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 ボンバーマンMAX 光の勇者 取扱説明書, CGB-A8BJ-JPN, Hudson Soft, 1999, pp. 4, 22-23.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Bomberman MAX Blue Champion Instruction Booklet, CGB-A8BE-USA, Vatical Entertainment, 2000, pp. 2, 6-11, 20-25, 27, 29-34.
  3. Bomberman MAX Light Hero Dark Soldier Official Guidebook. ISBN4-09-102835-7, Shogakukan, 2000, p. 9.
  4. 4.0 4.1 コロコロコミック No.264, Shogakukan, April 2000, p. 828.
  5. シャープペン用替芯『Ain』でボンバーマングッズをプレゼント!, Famitsu, 5/10/2000. Accessed 2/23/2019.
  6. 6.0 6.1 ボンバーマンキャンペーン徳情報, NUS-NBVJ-JPN, Hudson Soft, 1999. Flyer included with Baku Bomberman 2.