Pro tip: manipulating when the letters for E-X-T-E-N-D appear in Bubble Bobble

If you play Bubble Bobble enough, you might begin to suspect that the collectible items that appear are essentially random.

But you'd be wrong.

Some of the more useful items are the bubbles that hold the letters that spell the word EXTEND. To get them, all you have to do is encase a lot of enemies in bubbles and maneuver them so that they all pop at the same time.

If you popped enough, when the next stage starts you'll notice that the lettered bubbles start pouring in!

In fact, you get two less than the number of enemies that you popped at once (pop 3 enemies, get 1 bubble; pop 5, get 3 bubbles; etc.)

And this works on every version of Bubble Bobble that I tried it on.

Pro tip: Warping to World 6, 7, or 8 without using the vine in Super Mario Bros.

It's pretty well known that in the original Super Mario Bros. game that you can warp from World 4-2 to either 6, 7, or 8 by using a hidden Vine, but what you might not know is that there's another way.

Toward the beginning of the level, you have all these blocks making a path. What you want to do is to scroll one of the columns halfway off the screen so that when you go back to break them, they make a 1/2 block-width column.

If you duck-jump into this column and then stand up, Mario will start to slide toward the right.

If you start walking to the right just as he gets to the edge of the screen, it'll start to scroll. You're going to want to stay as far to the right as possible (which is kind of tough, since you can't really see what's coming). You might want to back up a little bit so you can see stuff like that moving platform across the first pit.

An alternate method would involve making the Vine appear here, scrolling so that the block that sprouted it scrolls halfway off the screen and then trying to jump on it. Done right, you'll be teleported to the far right of the screen. Done wrong, though, and you risk getting Mario stuck until the time runs out.

Make your way to the third pipe and enter it

If you were far enough over, you will be whisked away to the Warp Zone instead of the bonus room you would be expecting!


Pro tip: customizing Lolo 2's controls

In the Adventure of Lolo games, the controls are pretty simple: Press A to use your magic shot, and press B to use your PW item.

But in the second game, if you go to the password screen and enter the password "CSTM"

Which kind of looks like the word "CuSToM", you get whisked away to a config screen

Where you can customize the controls to your heart's content.

Not that there's a lot of customization to do.

Pro tip: Seeing the end of Rockin' Kats any time you want

Rockin' Kats isn't really that tough of a game, especially when you can refill your HP any time you want. But, you still have to play through the game to see the ending, which could take a while.

Or, you could go to the password entry screen and put in this password:

Which will take you directly to the (rather silly) ending sequence.

Which is great if you're borrowing the game and don't quite make it to the end before you have to take it back.

Pro tip: Playing Stage 0 in Bomberman

If you go to Bomberman's continue screen and put in 'BA' over and over again until you run out of room

You will be whisked away to Stage 0!

Which you might logically assume is going to be easier than the already pretty easy Stage 1. But you'd be way wrong.

It's actually significantly tougher.

Good luck!

Pro tip: unlimited lives in T&C 2: Thrilla's Surfari

In T&C 2, you have to take a gorilla that's riding on a skateboard or surfboard across a bunch of levels. Problem is that he's unusually fragile, so you're going to see this a lot.

But don't despair!

You can simply go to the title screen and press this sequence of buttons:

Left, Up, Right, Up, Right, Down, A

Which will put unlimited lives at your disposal.

So now you can wipe out as often as you like!

And, trust me, you're going to be wiping out a lot.

Pro tip: fighting Kickle Cubicle's first boss any time you want

Kickle Cubicle is kind of a weird game, there's really no getting around that. You kick cubes of ice around a playfield to gather powerups and defeat enemies (hence the name).

But let's say for a moment, that you held down the Down arrow on Controller 1 before you turned the game on. You'd be greeted with a solid-colored screen.

From there, if you press either Left, Up, or Right on Controller 2, a battle with the first boss of the game starts!

Which is actually pretty easy to overcome.

Once you've beaten it, the game starts, at stage 1.

So why would you want to do that? To test your mettle against the first boss? To practice the boss battles?

I dunno, but I'm sure you can find a reason.

Pro tip: shell dodging Super Mario Bros. 3

In Super Mario Bros. 3, you come across tons of shelled enemies, which you can pick up and carry around. Throw them at question blocks, and they reveal their contents for you.

But, if you take your favorite shell up to a block, and get real close to it (without touching it)

And then let go of your shell, it'll hit the block, and then bounce back toward you

but it'll sail right through you without causing any damage!

And you might be saying "So what? I could just throw the shell at the block from further away and achieve basically the same thing." And you'd be right, you could do that. But this way, you don't have to dodge anything when it ricochets off your target.

Pro tip: retaining your Options in Life Force

In the Gradius series of games (which Life Force is one of), you get these things called Options, which are kind of like little invincible drone ships that follow you everywhere.

But, lose concentration for a moment, and your ship explodes, costing you all your powerups. But you might notice that your Options just kind of slowly drift off to the rear edge of the screen.

Which means all you have to do is to swoop in and grab them, and you can immediately double or triple your firepower again!

Which will come in handy during some of those boss fights.

Pro tip: more free money in Faxanadu

At the very beginning of Faxanadu, the King gives you some money to start your quest to save everyone.

So you go out, buy some provisions, and get to work. But, if you spend all 1500 of your golds (so you have none left), you can go back to the King and he'll give you some more

Making it real easy to stock up on stuff at the beginning.

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