ReMix: Bubble Bobble "Bubble Dragon" 4:43

By 7bit Hero

Artist Links
Arranging the music of 2 songs...

"Bonus Music", "Main Theme"

Primary Game: Bubble Bobble (Taito, 1986, ARC), music by Tadashi Kimijima

Posted 2014-03-18, evaluated by djpretzel

The first full year of OCR's existence was rife with Bubble Bobble mixes... Some of those have since been removed for being little more than the original with drum loops on top; four remain, two are sibling mixes, one's a hip-hop jam, and we don't talk about the other one. My point being, it's been over THIRTEEN YEARS since we've posted an arrangement of that uplifting, saccharin main theme, and it's about damn time the drought was ended. "7bit Hero" are a band made up of indie game devs out of Brisbane, Australia, and let me be 110% clear:

This isn't just a ReMix of Bubble Bobble. It's THE ReMix of Bubble Bobble.

No bullshit, I'm floored; I didn't even think this melody could lend itself to such a treatment, but thanks to brilliant lyrics, great vocals, and the PERFECT tweaks to the chord progression of the chorus, this bitpop mix takes a familiar theme and KEEPS it familiar while totally re-purposing it at the same time. It's just damn smart work; from the "carry on... take me home" refrain that opens things up and later reprises/layers to the spot-on chip textures to the E-X-T-E-N-D chant that itself gets layered with cheerleader-style shouts... well, it's just really, really, really good. It's in that weird space of art/music where it's just better than it almost has a RIGHT to be, where you're kinda scratching your head wondering how the hell it even HAPPENED. The track reminds me of Zero Division's "Cover Your Light" Deflektor mix in its pitch-perfect re-envisioning of a classic VGM theme as a vocal/band track, and the pop aesthetic recalls some of AkumajoBelmont's work, but this is definitely an original.

Before I go any further, watch the music video. Now.

IGN released an article on the track yesterday; big thanks to MusicHunter for bringing this to our attention on our forums, and Larry for following up with the group. 7bit Hero are Hans van Vliet, Phil Evans, and Richie Young. Hans (aka "Hunz") did the video, and as an interesting side note, was also in the Hellven netlabel with virt, mv, Andrew Sega, and other insanely-talented demoscene & MOD artists, way back when. So I guess we shouldn't be TOO surprised that this mix is as hot as it is; they write:

"Bubble Dragon" is a tribute tune to the classic game Bubble Bobble. We've taken the original melody that we've all come to either love or loathe and added sparkly depth through small melodic changes, lyrics and chanting E-X-T-E-N-D!

Responding to a fan's request, 7bit Hero went on a journey to unfold the secrets within the classic game. It combines 3 of the game's themes and attaches vocals and lyrics to them while shifting the chord structures around underneath to create a different tone and mood. It lead to this lament that although sounds super light and bubbly has this confronting realness that only truly unfolds when viewed with the DIY video clip.

The fully animated clip uses the original sprites and supports the idea that playing video games can be a part in helping us cope with the craziness that is this world. The video also creates a metaphor "your world is the game" by leaving fragments of the Bubble Bobble universe around the main character which give him strength.

Don't be a bubble dragon. Break the curse that silences you and burst out in love to those that hold on to hurt.

We really believe that game music / demo scene music deserve a place in what is considered the "norm". We have some more remixes similar to this that we'll bring out later this year and we'll be sure to put it out to you guys as well. THANK YOU for the awesome hug into your incredible community. It means the world to us!

I love these guys. I've been highly reluctant to embrace the word "bromance," but... yeah. I'm really psyched to see what else they've got in store, but even if this was the ONLY VGM ARRANGEMENT they EVER MADE, it would still have a warm, dedicated place in my heart, and stand out as a superlative example of the type of creative interpretation that motivates me to keep running this site. Bravo, gentlemen, and please... carry on!


Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2015-12-05 17:13:25

At the end, when the chanting, the "carry oooon" backing vocals and the main chorus comes together it's just so immensely satisfying. Not only because the different melodies complement each other so well, but especially because before that point we've only heard those melodies in other contexts. It's amazing how they tackled such a simple source in such a complicated and amazing way!!

on 2014-04-05 02:44:13

I really love this, but I'm really upset that this isn't a Double Dragon Bubble Bobble Crossover. I was lied to by the title.

Amayirot Akago
on 2014-03-29 04:11:59

This instantly became one of my favorite tracks from this site. Simply glorious.

on 2014-03-28 22:56:26

Aw, sad video. :c

Enjoyable mix! :)

I like the lyrics from 0:10 to 1:20... which is most of the lyrics. XD

on 2014-03-24 11:15:25

Ouch. That was right in the feels. I feel sorry for the little guy. But really, what a fantastic song!

Now excuse me, I need to kill some invisible onion-wielding ninja's. I can't see through that strange stuff that comes out of my eyes...

on 2014-03-19 11:24:58

Fantastic track all around. The music video made me tear up. ;_;

on 2014-03-19 09:22:18

When MusicHunter brought this up and I saw it, I had it on repeat for a good while. This is a great ReMix for Bubble Bobble, and it's nice to hear a more poppy style of arrangement for this song, since it's often made to be super upbeat and sugary, aside from the "twins" that DJP mentioned. There's probably several things that folks can like or not like about this ReMix depending on your taste since there is a lot going on, vocally and musically, but it's definitely worth the listening experience for the imagery, game-specific lyrics, the actual music itself and of course the video that goes with it. Not my favorite take on Bubble Bobble, but it's insanely close and I can really respect this ReMix. Totally downloading.

on 2014-03-19 01:17:09

Sounds like a pop song. Except it's good. :

on 2014-03-18 22:37:22

I don't normally comment on the remixes; I usually just download and enjoy them without question. This might be my first one in 15 years actually.

I also don't normally get into the remixes with singing and/or lyrics. Not to point fingers or discourage anyone, because it is something that CAN be done well, but most remixes from that category never quite seem to compare with the all-instrumental releases, at least to me they don't. Not sure if it's the often very amateur sounding vocals, or that the lyrics are often not quite as inspired or impactful as the backing track, but whatever. It's all good; just not all my cup of tea.

However, this is amazing. The lyrics are rather straightforward (though I couldn't decipher them without the video holding my hand through them), but they work well, and the vocals/production is top notch.

Consider the bar raised, singing remixers!

on 2014-03-18 21:24:20

Seriously? I missed these guys at PAX Aus (despite being there, had to go before the concert started), and I was annoyed at missing Armcannon? Local talent represent!

I can't describe what the song makes me think. Like DJP pointed out, it's somewhat similar to AkumajoBelmont, with "For You" immediately jumping into my mind, but for two reasons. Yes, the aesthetic is very similar, but Robbie is from Sydney. These guys are from Brisbane. I'm from Melbourne. It's the pronunciation and accent in the vocals that adds to it, and I LOVE IT. If I manage to score tickets to PAX Aus again (won tickets for the Pokemon Nationals), then I'll stick around if they're playing there. Or if Armcannon is, since I ain't missing out on any more live VGM and Remixes.

on 2014-03-18 20:52:52

I can't remember who this makes me think of. This is very professional sounding in it's production and it's composition. If it weren't for this lyrics this could be a sort of mainstream song. Not saying I don't like the lyrics cause I do. A lot :)

Thanks for posting this. This is crazy good and I'll probably be showing this off to people as I show off OCR from now on : D

on 2014-03-18 19:18:34

Personally didn't like much. The vid is great, and is better than the song, which fetishes the game too much in it's lyrics. I think it's somewhat presumptious to call this 'the' remix. It's a remix, and a good one, but not one that matches my tastes.

Would be nice to hear an instrumental version.

on 2014-03-18 18:34:48

Holy crap. That video almost made me tear up on the first watch, and succeeded in the second. I think it's because it speaks to me on several levels and what happens in the video kinda hit me... Right in the feels, ya know? Not saying what happens because everyone should see the video without spoilers of any sort.

The song itself was the perfect accompaniment to the video too, and I'm glad to see another great track like this on the site. And I can't wait to hear more from 7bit Hero.

Hopefully not all their songs will almost make me cry though :tomatoface:

on 2014-03-18 16:42:22

Loved the video and I'm really happy to see the song on OCR. It really deserves all the attention it can get. I can't stop listening to it.

Soul Splint
on 2014-03-18 13:08:00

Awesome to see this on OCR; the video was nothing short of amazing.

Sources Arranged (2 Songs)

Primary Game:
Bubble Bobble (Taito, 1986, ARC)
Music by Tadashi Kimijima
"Bonus Music"
"Main Theme"

Tags (1)

Lyrics > Lyrics: Original

File Information

8,039,819 bytes

(Carry on. Take me home! Carry on.)

Up above my tiny head a platform stares at me.
Droids above and I can move, it's so surreal to see.
And just like that they start to move, I shout but bubbles fire.
It's clear to me they want me gone, so I'll match their desire.

I'm a cursed boy. Bubble dragon.
Crush and destroy by popping them
and I will eat all fruit and spell extend.
Crush those that stole my girlfriend.

I'm a cursed boy. Bubble dragon.
Crush and destroy by popping them
and I will eat all fruit and spell extend.
Crush those that stole my girlfriend.

(Carry on. Take me home! Carry on.)

Umbrellas teleport my heart and bring me close to you.
I just know you left your pink necklace to help me battle through.
Silver and golden doors are what keep me sane
A reminder my love's never died. O-M-G, a candy cane.

I'm a cursed boy. Bubble dragon.
Crush and destroy by popping them
and I will eat all fruit and spell extend.
Crush those that stole my girlfriend.

I'm a cursed boy. Bubble dragon.
Crush and destroy by popping them
and I will eat all fruit and spell extend.
Crush those that stole my girlfriend.

I'm a cursed boy.
(Carry on. Take me home! Carry on.)

Now it is the beginning of a fantastic story.
Let us make a journey to the cave of monsters.
Good luck!

e - x - t - e - n - d
e - x - t - e - n - d
e - x - t - e - n - d
e - x - t - e - n - d

E - X - T - E - N - D (E - X - T - E - N - D)
E - X - T - E - N - D (E - X - T - E - N - D)
E - X - T - E - N - D (E - X - T - E - N - D)
E - X - T - E - N - D (E - X - T - E - N - D)

I'm a cursed boy. (Carry on)
Bubble dragon. (Take me home!)
Crush and destroy (Carry on)
by popping them.

I'm a cursed boy. (Carry on)
Bubble dragon. (Take me home!)
Crush and destroy (Carry on)
by popping them.

I'm a cursed boy...


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