Bomb Jack was released in October 1984.
The original idea for Bomb Jack was conceived by Michitaka Tsuruta, lead designer for Guzzler and Solomon's Key, under the supervision of Kazutoshi Ueda, the genius behind Mr. Do, Lady Bug and other Universal coin-ops.
Curiously enough, the infamous Sphinx in the opening round was not rendered by the graphic designer of the game, but by Tsukasa Masuko, the sound designer. Tsuruta-san recalls how roles in Japanese development teams were quite interchangeable, in those early years.
Round 1 music is the ending song from the Japanese animated cartoon series 'Spoon Oba-san', sung by the ultra-popular Mari Ijima (Lynn Minmay's voice in Macross). The anime was aired in 1983... at that time, Bomb Jack development was just starting : something more than a coincidence, then.
Round 2 features the music of 'Lady Madonna', by The Beatles. Tsuruta-san, recalls that rights were paid for the licensed music at the time; still, later ports (PS2 and Xbox) come with a replaced soundtrack (mostly the Vs. Mighty Bomb Jack score).
"Bomb Jack II
" has nothing really to do with Tekhan or Tecmo : it was developed by British Elite Systems for European home computers only, in an attempt to follow the huge success of the Bomb Jack coin-op conversion. They basically bought the license for the name, and then proceeded to create a mediocre maze game.
Giauco Bondavalli holds the official record for this game with 20,010,960 points on November 3, 1984.
Alfa Records released a limited-edition soundtrack album for this game (Tecmo Game Music - 28XA-95) on 25/09/1986.