Following the long-established and often-imitated Mickey/Goofy/Donald Duck model of personalities for teams of animated characters, Bubbles most closely parallels Goofy. She takes on the role of simple and misunderstood but still good-natured member of the Powerpuff Girls, often relied upon for comic relief.

Bubbles demonstrates many of the qualities often found in the youngest child of a family, although her age relative to her sisters, Buttercup and Blossom, is never mentioned in the cartoon. She is repeatedly called upon to prove herself and her powers among her sisters and often seeks praise from the girls' father figure, Professor Utonium.

In "Bubblevicious," an Emmy-nominated episode of The Powerpuff Girls, Bubbles is impressed with Buttercup's violent antics in the Professor's training facility. She fails to defeat a lower-intensity routine and is heartbroken by her sisters' and the professor's attempts to calm her. She sneaks down to the training computer in the middle of the night and sets the simulation on 11. After a near-loss, she manages to beat the program before her family turns off the simulator and declares Bubbles as hardcore -- despite her fear of sleeping with the light off.

Bubbles fears and interests are frequently used as a foil for the plotline of any given episode. Like many children, she is afraid of the dark and the evils it can hide -- like the Boogy Man (see episode "Boogie Frights," and its Star Wars parody). She loves to color with crayons, sometimes to the point of distraction from her superhero responsibilities ("The Bare Facts", another Emmy-nominated episode). These quirks often lead to comments from other characters (and audience members!) along the lines of, "Oh, isn't she cute?"

Outside of the cartoon, Bubbles is the winner of Cartoon Network's Powerpuff Popularity Contest in which the audience voted for their favorite member of the Powerpuff Girls via the Cartoon Network website (interestingly enough, the CN website can be reached at, despite being claimed in commercials as not the best place for Powerpuff Girls on the Internet). The announcement was made after three nights of Powerpuff marathon, each night featuring episodes which focused on one of the girls.

Bubbles was an old arcade game released by Williams back in 1982.

In Bubbles you control a cartoon soap bubble inside a large sink. The object of the game is clean out the sink. You can safely scrub away ants, grease, and crumbs all the time. But sponges, roaches, brushes, and razor blades are deadly to a small bubble. Don't worry too much though, because your bubble grows in size as he swallows uo the dirt in the sink. When he gets big enough he will be able to hit brushes and sponges (but still not razors).

The roaches are a different problem, to defeat them you must have the broom. To get the broom you must wait until the cleaning lady comes out of the drain, and then run into the broom that she carries (without hitting her). Once you have the broom, it can be used against the roaches, but be careful, only the broom itself hurts them, their touch is still deadly to your bubble.

Eventually the drain (which is in the center of the sink), will flash green. That signals the end of the round, but it isn't over until you manage to go down the drain. After you make it down the drain you will get bonus points (based on the size of the bubble), and then move on to the next round.

Never kill every enemy on a screen, doing so forfeits both your bonus points, and causes you to lose a life at the end of the round.

Hardware Information

Bubbles runs on the Williams Classic platform which also runs Defender, Robotron 2084, Stargate, Splat!, Sinistar, and Joust. All seven of these games use nearly identical PCB boards, and several people have successfully rigged Joust or Robotron boardsets to run all seven titles at once (only the Joust or Robotron 2084 boards can run all the games, successfully) . The game itself runs on two processors, an M6809 (at 1 Mhz), and an M6808 (at .895 Mhz). These processors, along with 12 game ROMs, a sound ROM, and 24 4116 RAM chips (2k each for a total of 48k of RAM, 38k of which is used for the screen buffer), are spread out among a set of four PCBs (printed circuit boards).

Bubbles was available in two different upright cabinets, a standard wooden one, and the more uncommon plastic DuraMold cabinet. A mini (or cabaret) cabinet, and a cocktail. All five different varieties are pretty rare. On top of their being five different cabinets, there were also two different ROM revisions (the "Red" and "Blue" revisions). Making a grand total of ten different Bubbles machines.

The standard upright is in a dark blue cabinet (which is identical to one of the alternate Robotron 2084 cabinets). It is decorated with painted sideart of a bunch of bubbles coming up from a drain. The marquee matches the design of the sideart perfectly (a "Bubbles" logo on a dark blue background, some of them also showed the main character, but many of them did not). The control panel features an 8-Way optical joystick that has an incredible feel, but is prone to breakage. A standard 8-Way stick can be substituted, but good luck finding one with a sky blue ball on top (which is what this game has).

The DuraMold cabinet was a round cabinet made completely out of thick plastic. This was an experiment in making an indestructible arcade cabinet that would last forever. There were a few other DuraMold games made, but Bubbles was the most common one by far. The DuraMold Bubbles was a big blue plastic cylinder with no sideart. It had a curved marquee on top that had the same graphics as the standard upright. The control panel had the same joystick that the upright model used, but the graphics on it were more detailed (cartoon images of characters from the game, as opposed to a simple design).

The cabaret and cocktail models were identical in design to their Robotron 2084 counterparts. Both of these had very limited production runs, chances are good that you will never see either one of them out in the real world.


The world record high score for Bubbles was set in 1984 by Joe Malasarte, he managed to score 1,365,970 at an official competition. This score has never been broken on an actual machine (emulation is not valid for a world record attempt).

This title was designed to be a fun, non-violent, "clean" game, so the design team of Python Angelo and John Kotlarik came up with the idea of a game based on cleaning, which was then implemented by programmer Tim Murphy. The results were certainly better than all the old Atari 2600 games based on tooth decay.

Where to play

If you are looking to play Bubbles then you have several options. The game has been ported to several modern console and computer systems inside of a "Williams Classics" package, usually along with Joust and Robotron 2084. You can also play the original versions on several emulators such as MAME, CAGE, and Retrocade. If all that is too much trouble, then you can try a Shockwave version online, it is located at That link also allows you to legally buy several Williams ROMs in a package for a decent price (if you buy the package, ignore their crappy Shockwave emulator, and use MAME instead, and know that you paid for your games legally).

If you are looking for a real Bubbles machine you have quite a search on your hands. This is one of the rarest of the "Classic" Williams' games, and it appears that many of them have been backwards converted into Joust or Robotron 2084 machines by collectors, and many of their boardsets were used to repair those titles as well.

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