Posted on January 4, 2019
Bomberman, sometimes referred to as White Bomberman, is the main protagonist of the Bomberman series. He is the primary representative of the Bomberman people, who became the dominant inhabitants of Planet Bomber. Like every other Bombermen, he has the ability to generate bombs. There are many incarnations of him represented in the different games of the series, which do not usually keep a consistent description of the character. He is often saving his home planet, the galaxy, or even the universe from disaster.
He is also nicknamed Shiro Bom, which has been translated as “White Bomber” starting with the GameCube games and localized as “Cheerful White” in the English releases of the Bomberman Land series. Occasionally, this is further shortened to simply “Shiro” in the Japanese versions.
In the home computer game Bomber Man (1983) and its second edition 3-D Bomberman (1984), “Bomber Man” (as his name was originally parsed) was depicted as a human with overalls, a visible mouth, hair, and a white hat with a red feather. In the Famicom/NES Bomber Man (1985), the hat was swapped with a helmet and antenna, and he was given a blue suit with white and pink limbs. He also had a white horizontal stripe on his back, which was replaced with a black belt in subsequent appearances. This is actually a palette swap of the enemies seen in the 1984 Hudson Soft port of Lode Runner, but this appearance has more or less remained constant in the series.
The background given in the console game begins with the eponymous character having grown tired of making bombs in an unnamed underground empire and deciding to escape after hearing a rumor that a robot can become human. The ending features the miraculous transformation into his “Runner” identity which serves as a prequel to the 1983 Lode Runner, also suggesting that the story involved the recurring Bungeling Empire from early Brøderbund products. As Lode Runner, he is a famous Galactic Commando tasked with evading the empire’s guards and reclaiming stolen gold, and in the 1985 direct sequel Lode Runner’s Rescue, his daughter Alexandra has to save him after his capture. Both franchises have since mostly moved in separate directions, but loose references remain in later titles.
In the TurboGrafx-16 game, Dr. Mitsumori uses Bomberman as the model for subsequent lifelike Bomberman robots, and the time period is stated to be sometime in the future (specified to be the late 21st century in the arcade game). In Bomberman ’93, he is shown to be a “Bomber Cop” detective who upholds the peace of the galaxy, and Bomberman ’94establishes the main setting as Planet Bomber rather than Earth. Saturn Bomberman introduces a benevolent human scientist named Dr. Ein, who takes an advisory role in certain missions. Bomberman Hero introduces Bomber Base, a headquarters on Planet Bomber where he trains diligently. More recently, the Bomberman Jetters video game (a follow-up of sorts to Bomberman Generation) names his organization the Jetters, but that might only be pertinent to the Jettersanime.
Bomberman’s arch-nemeses are Bagura and Mujoe, and his rivals include his friend Max and foe Regulus. His original enemy was Black Bomberman, but he reformed after the two allied in Super Bomberman.