"Bub & Bob"
Bubble Bobble is a 1986 platform arcade game developed and published by Taito. It was distributed in the United States by Romstar, and in Europe by Electrocoin. Players control Bub and Bob, two dragons that set out to save their girlfriends from a world known as the Cave of Monsters. In each level, Bub and Bob must defeat each enemy present by trapping them in bubbles and popping, who turn into bonus items when they hit the ground. There are 100 levels total, each becoming progressively more difficult.
Bubble Bobble was designed by Fukio "MTJ" Mitsuji. When he joined Taito in 1986, he felt that Taito's game output was of mediocre quality. In response, he decided to make a game that was fun to play and could rejuvenate the company's presence in the industry. Mitsuji hoped his game would appeal to women, specifically couples that visited arcades. As such, he decided to make Bubble Bobble focus largely on its two player co-operative mode. He made bubbles the core mechanic as he thought they would be a fun element that girls would enjoy.
Bubble Bobble became one of Taito's biggest arcade successes, and is credited with inspiring the creation of many similar screen-clear platform games that followed. It was acclaimed by critics for its character design, memorable soundtrack, gameplay, and multiplayer, and is often listed among the greatest games of all time. Bubble Bobble was followed by a long list of sequels and successors for multiple platforms; one of these, Puzzle Bobble, has become successful in its own right and spawned its own line of sequels.