Bubba'n'Stix A500 25th Anniversary: 2019 Level 2 DLC (A fanfiction/art by a fan).
Back in 1993 when Team Bubba was working on Bubba’n’Stix, they had planned to make more levels than the five we got when the game was released (Some dare utter the number of seven, but in my honest opinion they’re crazy). They had also planned to make the levels a bit bigger. And obviously, with all this, players would have been blessed with new traps, new comical devices, new aliens and new animations for Bubba and Stix. and new ridiculous sounds. (I think Bubba'n'Stix' sound effects are incredible).
Truly, it’s the same story with every video game. The developers work with their hearts, they have a lot of ideas but a game cannot cost a fortune and cannot take too much time before release especially when it’s an Amiga 500 game in 1994. Or something like that. I’m just trying to introduce my topic.
And so, sprites and ideas were put aside forever. Until suddenly, Team Bubba decided that “F*** off, why not finishing this game, it was awesome” and its four members started to work on it together again. Thanks to internet, they didn’t even need to… scratch that. They even gathered in person instead of using that fakery that is internet.
And so, Bubba’n’Stix is about to be given an unofficial DLC (Team Bubba does not own the copyright for their game, I believe its Core Design -> Square Enix that does) made by the original cast of designers, programmers and graphists.
This DLC will consist in two more levels and a few new paths for ancient ones. One of the new levels is accessible by finishing Level 2 differently, using a new exit. Team Bubba nicely made it available as some sort of demo for their upcoming new take on this masterpiece of a game. Because why not ?
And so, let’s dive into the thing for a few minutes of 2019 gameplay of Bubba’n’Stix: the 2019 Amiga 500 DLC.
Stage 2. If you take a look at the giant screen of the main floor of the spaceship, you’ll notice that two more floors have appeared. Of course, we’re going to teleport there immediately.
Unfortunately, the teleporter refuses to send us to these new beauties.
The second idea is the right one, getting captured by Waldo quickly sends us in a new cell. In which we recognise immediately the napping alien off the forest level. His offspring too is napping. Throwing Stix at the napper makes him move, just like in the first level. He thus sluggishly crawls and presses the button that which opens the exit trapdoor. Sticking Stix in the wall triggers the movement of the platforms. The problem here is that the baby can utter a very high pitched snore that annoys the adult who moves away and releases the button, closing the trapdoor, and everything has to be done again. It’s a bit random but it only asks from the player to be quick.
Once the trapdoor reached, Bubba is expelled to an unknown part of an unknown floor. Happiness.
It’s really not hard to understand what’s going on with the “carpet alien” in the cell next to the one in which Bubba was imprisoned. It has to be released and pushed into the hole in the wall. And of course, there already are unreachable bonuses.
Anyway. Going right, where things get serious. One of the elements introduced in these new floors are force fields. Here, the problem lies with the fact that the switch that commands them, will turn them on or off together (that which can be seen on the little screen under).
It’s very likely that the player will just find it not worth it to turn off the force field as it will free a bunch of these orange pests, the thing is, with these tentacular monsters that can move from the floor to the ceiling, it’s very easy to flip the switch by mistake.
Next “screen” introduces you to another new feature: an elevator. To call the elevator Bubba needs to wait for the colours to match on the machine that can been seen on his left. Pressing the button at improper times on this specific floor will sometimes call Waldo who will send Bubba to a cell.
If Bubba carries on to the right, he’ll discover that multiples force fields are closing the way off. Three of them can be switched off, but the fourth one remains activated. Other levers to manipulate the force fields are visible in a narrow path under next to a trapdoor.
So, Bubba takes the elevator and eventually reaches: a second main floor. The strangely shaped lights above the elevator door can become green, red or blue according to where the elevator is going.
And Bubba thought he would only have to reach the new red pedals.
But the sole one that the player doesn’t need to press in order to access the new exit, is the one with the tiny ball that eats a plant and turns off an electric floor. (In case It's not clear, I'm talking about something off the original game here)
He is now facing a decision as there are multiple paths available: checking the last floor that is reachable with the elevator, exploring left, using the teleporter to visit the new top floor, as that one is thus the penultimate one.
Bubba takes the elevator in order to check the “blue level.” In the main room, the annoying buzz that triggers a failure to push the elevator button at the right time triggers the appearance of an alien from the little cave on the platform above that shouts at Bubba.
He can throw random things sometimes, like the bird of the first level.
And so, the "Blue level."
There isn’t much to see here. It’s just a small room where a few bonuses are stocked. There’s already been several mysterious trapdoors since the beginning of the level and here’s another one. And of course, there's a life for Bubba, but it’s inaccessible.
Let’s now use go back to the teleporter and go and check the mysterious last floor.
Bang Vazoom Woush ! Top Floor and its new symbol. And new things on the right. A trap on the floor ! A little orange monster but blue.
Bubba rushes right even though this tunnel looks tricky, the giant screen indicated that there was a red pedal in that direction. Obviously these orange aliens are threatening. Bubba kills the first one and enter the passage. Something is going to happen…
Well, things went for the worst. Bubba was trapped in some sort of washing device. The robotic hand hit him with the brush and the shower directed its spurt towards him when he approached, making him lose one hitpoint ! The path was blocked anyway. The little orange monsters are difficult to hit in a crouching position, the battle was fierce but… the blue one is invincible.
The little showering guy stopped his nonsense just before Bubba died (He was expelled in a pipe). I’m sure that with six hitpoints it’s doable if quite difficult.
(A few tries and a game over later)
We’ll leave the top floor for the moment and explore the left of the penultimate one.
It’s always nice when your character stands on the edge of the abyss and the gameplay doesn’t allow you to see whether he can jump or not, or in this case where he’s going to land as Bubba cannot lose hitpoints by falling. Let’s jump then.
And of course.
Bubba finds himself stuck in a pit. As there are fans and barrels, we know that we’re going to use a bubble. But there are many interesting things going on here. First, Bubba cannot climb back from where he came from because the green bubble explodes too soon.
Then, there’s a mysterious pathway on the bottom left of the room.
Also, sticking Stix in the wall on the left ledge only triggers the opening of the trapdoor which delivers a bonus alien. The green goo would prevent Bubba from jumping high enough to climb on the wooden stick anyway.
The trapdoor sends you here that which allows Bubba to go back to the teleporter:
The sole available path is the top left corridor where a pedal is waiting for Bubba to step on it. It activates the three fans. And a little orange alien is ready to attack.
While progressing in the corridor, Bubba comes across a floor force field, and an alien that he can free from his cell. Also, there’s a ceiling rail and trapdoors on the floor.
Finally, the sense behind all this is revealed: A food dispensor in the shape of a crane.
The little blue sucker will attack you with it. The crane needs to be struck three times before his control do not respond anymore and you can override and use it yourself.
Also, beware the orange alien in his cell, he wants to shake your hand and will make you lose hitpoints if you don't jump when passing in front of him.
To control the crane Bubba simply needs to activate the lever for left/right movements and the button for up/down ones. The lights indicate where the crane is, there are only four possible spots.
If Bubba feeds the orange alien, he won't try to shake his hand anymore.
More important, the purplish guy of the first cell can be fed to.
Anyway, it’s time to use the “carpet alien” that I talked about when Bubba was expelled from the cell.
Rolling him out on the electric floor allows Bubba to jump above that one obviously by reducing the distance to the other side but also by giving him a boost that allows Bubba to catch the rail. Don't worry Red carpet alien is fine.
Just after this impressive jump we find an open trapdoor. I don’t know where it sends Bubba.
Now, things are going to get a bit complicated.
First, Bubba is going to find a button that randomly opens and closes trapdoors.
And there’s also a forcefield switch.
None of this is useful for now, Bubba resumes his climbing and finds a pedal. The tentacular alien is easy to avoid.
The pedal triggers the “closing of the ledge.”
The problem is that the next platform is unaccessible. Bubba lands on the pedal and triggers the “reopening” of the ledge. Well, let’s not pretend we haven’t guessed what we’re supposed to do here: Get the tentacular monster to the switch.
It’s actually hard to do without losing some health and the worst part is that the alien will carry on turning the switch on and off that which is problematic.
Flipping the switch triggers the deployment of three platforms.
Here’s where you wanna be at:
And here's where you don't want to be:
Bubba can still turn the switch off himself and then the only thing left to do is to walk back to the crane so that the game reset the alien’s position and everything has to be done again.
Once the prison is reached, it’s time to free another weirdo. This time a hairy ball with long legs.
The puzzle consists in having this little creature sucked in the right trapdoor. The little alien walks around and makes a babbling noise like he's talking to himself. Bubba pushes him in the hole. The fan has to be activated before the alien flips the switch otherwise he will flip it again when drawn to the gap by the draft.
If our little friend is swallowed by the wrong trapdoor, he'll be send back into his prison cell and the operation will have to be performed again. There's only one right trapdoor and it's randomly decided at the beginning of the level.
Once the alien is swallowed by the right trapdoor, it's time for Bubba to go back to the crane to do some alien non-feeding.
He needs to bring a barrel of food to the last spot behind the now shut-down force field and free the purplish alien if it isn’t already done. He opens the can, stirs it a bit and this happens:
Bubba jumps after the little guy who landed safely but painfully, is now standing up and going right. What’s on the left seems quite intriguing though.
It's a machine that seems to move barrels from one part of the ship to another...
...and from time to time a little screaming alien who must have fallen into a pipe too.
Near this machinery, Bubba can go down a few steps onto a shut-down electric floor.
The problem is that, in order to carry on forward, Bubba has to step on a pedal that will turn the electric floors on.
What’s the solution Bubba lovers ?
Well, the barrel conveyor can be shut down and Bubba can thus hit a barrel, climb on it and use it as a means of transportation. Shouldn’t he be electrocuted ? Some will ask. Yes, if he uses the normal metallic purple barrels. The green or red ones are fine though.
The following sequence is rate-R for its extreme violence. The strange green bird that looks like a pokemon seems pretty angry for some reasons* and will charge Bubba relentlessly, causing him to not lose a hitpoint, still it’s quite unpleasant and it pushes Bubba strongly in the opposite direction. Also, he is invincible.
*there’s no pun on Angry Bird here. The creation of an angry alien with stupid wings wasn’t influenced by the famous franchise.
More dangerous, when he gets tired of yapping and attacking, the angry alien can have a coughing fit that ends with the throwing up of a light green acid ball that can cost Bubba a few hitpoints, even more so when it explodes.
The coughing fit can also be triggered by hitting the alien with Stix. To put things simply, it’s better to let the monster bully Bubba while trying not to fall from the platform into the electric floor.
The first pedal is now pressed ! Hurrey ! Let’s now summarize how Bubba gets back to the main room.
First thing, he joins purplish who still looks fascinated. Obviously this is going to be about food.
Long story short, when he feeds in a barrel, purplish alters its content first with a pink enzyme that, amongst less ridiculous things, makes bubbles more resistant. Pink bubbles climb higher than green ones. This will allow Bubba to climb back where he came from. Victory !
Spoiler: this is a mistake.
What Bubba should do is climb back to the “crane corridor” and activate the three mysterious fans while leaving the two at the bottom turned off. And of course jump on another pink bubble.
The glory ! A hidden trapdoor. Can you guess where it'll bring our beloved hero ?
This sequence is pure platforming with moving platforms, treacherous ceilings… the trapdoor sends Bubba back at the start. And finally, finally, sticking Stix into the wall does this :
Bubba can now go back to the tunnel that was blocked by force fields, “red legs” is going to shake things up.
So, the alien is going to move left and right a bit randomly, flipping switches and turning force fields on and off while Bubba fights all the little orange nightmares. An interesting element to notice is that Bubba can himself turn on two force fields that will block “red legs” and make things a lot more manageable.
When putting Stix in the hole, the top trapdoor delivers a health bonus. The other one remains a mystery to this day.
Time to give another shot at the last floor Bubba. Going left this time.
I’m sure you all remember these little rolling suckers. They’re back and just like the angry green flying alien from earlier, they can push you around… in electric devices.
One should be cautious. The way to proceed here, is to trigger the deployment of the electric wall, turn around and hit any little sucker that is coming… or to be cool about it.
Warning: the fourth wall is always deployed at the same time as the second one. Speed won't be the key for that one.
Bubba will find several metallic platforms at the far left of this top floor if the specific switch is still activated.
Little suckers can spring from an underground passage and jump heroically in the air.
Without the “secret” platforms, Bubba can use the motorized skateboard or the electrified wall to reach the platform that is otherwise inaccessible. Obviously, the electrified wall should be jumped on before it becomes electrified.
It’d be a shame not to use these inviting metallic platforms that promise to reward Bubba with a few bonuses. And indeed they do !
This is starting to feel like the end. A drop. A jump on a moving platform… with a trap. A mysterious pedal. Electrified walls and little suckers. A jump into a tunnel.
Have you guessed where this is going ?
Bubba is bypassing the washing alien.
Bubba dropped onto the blue pedal that turned off the electric floor. He thought it was a good thing, but a few minutes later, he understood his mistake: The blue pest weren’t invincible, they could be electrocuted.
He pressed the pedal… and the button opened the trapdoor under the annoying washing alien. What was left now was to go and finally see ! See what lied beyond the doors !
(A few moments later)
Here's the map for this entire section. It still holds a few secrets.