SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom is a video game released in 2003 and based on SpongeBob SquarePants. The game features an original storyline in which the player defends Bikini Bottom from an invasion of robots created by Plankton. Three distinct versions of the game exist:
Battle for Bikini Bottom received mixed or average reviews upon release, but it was a commercial success. The console versions of The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie game, released one year after this game, share the same developer, gameplay elements, and various graphics from Battle for Bikini Bottom, leading people to consider the Movie game as a spiritual successor.
Mr. Krabs and Mermaid Man are the only two characters who are not voiced by their original actors, Clancy Brown and Ernest Borgnine, and are instead both voiced by Joe Whyte.
The game's credits misspelled the names of both Rodger Bumpass (as "Roger Bumpass") and Brad Abrell (as "Brad Arbell").
Karen Plankton appears throughout the Chum Bucket without any spoken lines. Several incidental fish models also appear as non-speaking background characters.
All versions of the game share the same basic plot. Inside the Chum Bucket, Plankton comes up with another plan to steal the Krabby Patty formula from the Krusty Krab. He builds a machine called the Duplicatotron 3000 and uses it to create an army of robots, which he plans to use to destroy the Krusty Krab and succeed in his long-time goal. Although the plan goes smoothly at first, the robots start to rebel against Plankton, at which point Plankton realizes his fatal error: he forgot to set the "Obey Plankton" switch to "Obey." As a result, the robots lock Plankton out of the Chum Bucket and start to go on a rampage to destroy Bikini Bottom.
Meanwhile, in SpongeBob's house, SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick Star play with their toy robots to pass the time. SpongeBob wishes for robot friends to play with, and the next morning, he finds Bikini Bottom under attack by an army of robots. Believing that the rampage is his own fault due to his "wish," SpongeBob sets out to clean up his mess and help his friends, including Plankton, without realizing that Plankton caused the invasion.
The console version of Battle for Bikini Bottom is a 3D platformer developed by Heavy Iron Studios and released on the PlayStation 2, GameCube, and Xbox.
Jump/Double Jump: Jump by pressing the jump button, or press it twice to double jump.
Bubble Spin: Spins while waving his bubble wand. This can hit enemies and objects in any direction.
Bubble Bash: Launches upwards with a bubble Viking helmet towards mid-air robots or tikis.
Bubble Bounce: While airborne, grows bubble feet and slams on top of enemies or tikis underneath.
Bubble Bowl: SpongeBob blows a bubble and throws it forward in the fashion of a bowling ball. The longer the player holds the button, the faster it will be. Unlocked after beating Robo-Sandy.
Cruise Bubble: SpongeBob launches a controllable bubble torpedo that destroys any robot(s) or tiki(s) that come in contact with it, including stone tikis. Unlocked after beating Robo-Patrick.
SpongeBall: The only power-up based move, SpongeBob transforms into a ball and can do nothing but roll around, but is much faster. Press the jump button to return to normal SpongeBob.
Sneak: SpongeBob can sneak around by moving slowly, sneaking past the Sleepy-Time robot, Shhh Tikis, and crossing fragile platforms.
Jump/Double Jump: Jump by pressing the jump button, or press it twice to double jump.
Belly attack: Patrick throws out his belly, hitting robots and tikis directly in front of him with it.
Throw: Can pick up a Throw Fruit (watermelon), Freezy Fruit (actually a chunk of ice), tiki, or robot and throw it. In order to throw a robot, he needs to stun it with the body slam move.
Body slam: While in the air, Patrick can plummet directly downward to destroy things beneath him, sending out a small shock wave.
Jump/Double Jump: Jump by pressing the jump button, or press it twice to double jump.
Karate: Does a chop while on the ground and a kick while in the air.
Lasso: Can use it to tie up and destroy a far-away robot or tiki.
Glide: After doing a double jump, Sandy can use her lasso as a helicopter to reach farther distances.
Texas Trailer Hitches: Can swing on mid-air, Texas-shaped hooks with her lasso to go even farther distances than with the glide.
Golden Spatula: The player has to earn Golden Spatulas by completing tasks, which will allow them to go to other parts of Bikini Bottom.
Shiny Objects: Shiny Objects are used as currency. SpongeBob can use them to purchase Golden Spatulas or to gain access to some off-limit areas. The player can carry up to 99,999 Shiny Objects.
Underwear: Every time the player takes damage, they'll lose a pair of underwear; losing them all will return the player to the last checkpoint. Golden Underwear increases the player's maximum underwear; all three Golden Underwear can be found in the Bikini Bottom hub.
SpongeBall: If the player walks SpongeBob to a SpongeBall icon, he will roll into a ball and become SpongeBall SquarePants.
Throw Fruit: Throw Fruits are found throughout the world and look like watermelons! Patrick can use them to destroy robots and tikis, and he can use them to hit far away objects. They appeared as soccer balls during development.
Freezy Fruit: Patrick can throw these chunks of ice onto goo to freeze it for a few seconds, allowing him to walk on it.
Texas Trailer Hitches: These can be found floating in mid-air. Sandy can use her lasso to attach herself to these and launch herself over large gaps, or even move rapidly from one end of a level to the other.
Clams: The player must collect enough Shiny Objects to pay clams to open up additional gameplay areas.
Taxi Stands: These take the player to new levels once they have collected enough Golden Spatulas.
Bus Stops: These stops can be used to switch between playing SpongeBob, Patrick, and Sandy.
Patrick's socks: Patrick's socks have been stolen by the menacing robots. Return Patrick's socks to him, and he will reward SpongeBob with Golden Spatulas. There are 80 total in the game.
Information Signs: These signs give the player helpful tips along the adventure.
Level Items: Items such as steering wheels in Downtown Bikini Bottom, artwork in Rock Bottom, etc. are specific to their levels and must be returned to the character requesting them in exchange for a Golden Spatula.
SpongeBob's sundae: This power-up was completely cut from the game. It would have allowed the player to run faster and destroy Stone Tikis with any attack.
Wood Tiki: A wooden tiki with chattering teeth. These are the most common Tikis in the game, and the easiest to break open.
Floating Tiki: Unlike other Tikis, these Tikis float around. Patrick's Throw moves come in handy when trying to open one of these. SpongeBob can also use his Bubble Bash to open them. The player can also use Floating Tikis as platforms to jump on.
Shhh Tiki: Shhhs are the shyest Tikis of the bunch. Using their big ears, these Tikis hide when someone approaches, only reappearing when the coast is clear. SpongeBob is the only character that can sneak up on them by moving slowly, but they can also be opened from a distance.
Thunder Tiki: An angry-looking Tiki that explodes a few seconds after the player touches it. This explosion destroys surrounding Tikis and reduces the health of the player if nearby.
Stone Tiki: Constructed of solid rock, the stoic Stone Tiki is impervious to most attacks. Only a Thunder Tiki or SpongeBob's Cruise Bubble can break a Stone Tiki.
Xbox and GameCube: Y, Y, Y, Y, X, Y, X, Y, Y, Y, Y, Y
PlayStation 2: Square, Square, Square, Square, Square, Circle, Square, Circle, Square, Circle, Square, Circle
Xbox and GameCube: Y, Y, Y, Y, Y, X, Y, X, Y, X, Y, X
Like any video game, the console versions of Battle for Bikini Bottom feature a number of glitches, bugs, and exploits. Speedrunners take advantage of some of these to go through the game faster. The player can always revert these by restarting the game or the console, or sometimes by using the pause menu to teleport to a Golden Spatula.
The player may hear a bunch of random sounds from the game when pausing the game, collecting Shiny Objects, or collecting a Golden Spatula, particularly after the player has visited the SpongeBall Arena a certain number of times. The player must restart the system to stop this glitch from occurring.
The music is glitched on all three slides in Sand Mountain. At the beginning of the Guppy Mound slide, the "Downtown Bikini Bottom" theme plays instead of the slide theme; the music changes to the slide theme at a specific point on Guppy Mound. When the player reaches the end of the Flounder Hill and Sand Mountain slides, the slide theme will continue to play when it should normally stop.
At the carnival in Goo Lagoon, if the player jumps onto the slide using the nearby tents rather than the slide's entrance, the slide theme won't play. Instead, the regular Goo Lagoon theme will continue playing.
Invisible/Tan SpongeBob: In Squidward's dream, if the player uses the Cruise Bubble while standing on an orange note, SpongeBob will turn invisible when he falls. After respawning, SpongeBob's entire body will appear tan. This can be fixed by firing another Cruise Bubble if SpongeBob is standing on a safe area.
Bungee Visual Glitch: If the player stays on a bungee jump for long enough, SpongeBob's model will start to deform. The most common result is SpongeBob's eyes clipping through his body.
Camera Glitch: Like many 3D platformers of this time period, if the player stands next to a standing NPC and turns/zooms the camera, they can glitch the camera into the NPC's model.
Out of Bounds
A glitch exists that allows the player to disable Hans and explore all of the Bikini Bottom hub area without fighting either Robo-Patrick or Robo-Sandy. The player needs to have auto-save enabled and enter the out-of-bounds sand while calling the taxi for Jellyfish Fields at the same time. After the second time doing this, the player will enter Jellyfish Fields. They can go straight forward and jump off the cliff below the waterfall to grab the Golden Spatula that normally requires the bungee. If the player grabs the spatula, then, while falling into the goo, they can pause the game and teleport to Bikini Bottom to keep their ability to go out-of-bounds. If the save icon appears at the bottom of the screen, they can now bypass the boss gates in Bikini Bottom and explore the entire hub. Note that, with this glitch, the player still needs to earn 75 Golden Spatulas to fight SpongeBot SteelPants; they also can't learn the Bubble Bowl or Cruise Bubble without Bubble Buddy teaching them after defeating the first two bosses. Click here for a video guide on this glitch.
In Jellyfish Caves, a Floating Tiki is located near the first bus stop. The player can jump onto the sign next to the bus stop, double-jump off of the sign to land on the tiki, and double-jump off of the tiki to land in the plain desert to escape the map. This is made easier with SpongeBob by using his Spin Attack in the final double-jump to make him jump further. At some point, there is a dimensional edge; if the player jumps off of it, they will fall for a very long time before Hans grabs the player and respawns them.
At Spork Mountain in Jellyfish Fields, after defeating King Jellyfish, the player can jump off of the slide at a specific point to land on a path outside of the map boundary. The player can then walk down that path to eventually reach 2D sprites of SpongeBob's, Squidward's, and Patrick's houses. The player can explore this area until certain points where Hans will grab the player and respawn them at the top of the slide.
In the Flying Dutchman's Graveyard, when the player comes across the first Chuck, if they stand on the moving platform when Chuck hits them, the player has a chance to be knocked into the goo and phase through it. They cannot move, but they can use the control stick to make the sky move around.
At the Kelp Vines, if the player activates the checkpoint and falls, as soon as Hans lets go at the checkpoint but before SpongeBob regains movement, the player can perform a Bubble Bowl that will launch SpongeBob into the middle of the forest without Hans picking him up. Double-jumping during this launch will double the distance and the player will be too far to walk to anything. In this state, SpongeBob can turn around and walk underneath the vines. Interestingly, a Thunder Tiki and Stone Tiki can be found along the way.
If the player dies in Goo Lagoon, goes to SpongeBob's Dream, and falls down in the hub section, the skybox will disappear and the player will fall forever.
In Jellyfish Fields, there is a glitched Stone Tiki that will be unbreakable (this is very rare, though).
In the Flying Dutchman's Graveyard, there is a glitched Wooden Tiki where, if the player destroys the five other tikis it is in a group with and uses the Bubble Bowl from the right distance, the player will be able to walk through it and it will become indestructible. It will stay in one position, and it won't chatter its teeth or stare at the player the way it should; instead, it has no animations.
Shiny Object Exploits
Skee-Ball Abuse is a popular exploit in the speedrunning community. If the player can disable Hans, they can align two Stone Tikis at the Goo Lagoon Pier's skee-ball stand in such a way that a Bubble Bowl will get stuck between them. This grants the players thousands of shiny objects in minutes. This glitch is so disruptive that the speedrunning community has split the "Any%" speedrun into a sub-section titled "Any% No SBA".
A simpler and less-effective exploit is as follows: Go to the top of the Lighthouse in Downtown Bikini Bottom and get to the bottom of the arena by destroying the Duplicatotron 1000s along the way. When reaching the bottom, do not destroy the two Duplicatotrons on the platforms with electric barriers below them. instead, jump to the platform with a Chuck next to it. Hide behind the Duplicatotron such that Chuck can't hit the player with its missiles. If the player manages this, all of the enemy robots on the floor will attempt to reach the player but be destroyed by the electric barrier, giving the player Shiny Objects; the Duplicatotrons will spawn more robots, which will try to reach the player, get destroyed by the electric barrier, and so on. The player can stand in place and leave the game running to earn many Shiny Objects this way.
Game Boy Advance Version
The Game Boy Advance version of Battle for Bikini Bottom is a 2D platformer developed by Viarious Visions. It bears similarities to Super Mario games with puzzle mechanics. Players can only play as SpongeBob in this version of the game.
The PC version of Battle for Bikini Bottom is a point-and-click mini-game adventure developed by AWE Games. Players can play as various characters in this version of the game, including SpongeBob and Gary the Snail. The following is the list of mini-games:
Traffic Jam - A game similar to Frogger where the player navigates through a bustling street, avoiding the cars driven by Plankton's robots and collecting items that count towards a goal in order to complete the level.
Manhole Memory - A memory matching game where the player must match together characters from the show as well as robots.
Patrick Trivia - A trivia game where an announcer robot asks SpongeBob trivia questions that he must answer correctly in order to free Patrick from a cage.
Robot Alley - A game in which the player is running down an alley, avoiding or attacking robots with projectiles and collecting items that count towards a goal in order to complete the level.
The Magic Shop - A game in which the player must place the items that they collected from the previous levels in their correct positions inside of a magic shop. The player is hinted as to what belongs where with collections that seem to be missing a piece or an obvious space where something is missing.
Bowling Buddies - A game in which SpongeBob and Patrick go bowling, but with Patrick using SpongeBob as the bowling ball. In the electronic display, whenever events such as strikes, spares, or splits happen, the screen will display a representation of what happened by using robots as replacements for pins.
The console versions of Battle for Bikini Bottom received mixed or average reviews, according to Metacritic. The Official PlayStation Magazine awarded the game 4.5 out of 5. IGN awarded the game a 7.3 out of 10. Despite the average review scores, the console versions of the game won the "Favorite Video Game" award at the 2004 Kids' Choice Awards and sold over 1.25 million copies, enough to be reprinted under the Player's Choice (GameCube), Platinum Hits (Xbox), and Greatest Hits (PlayStation 2) budget labels. The console games maintained a cult following for over a decade, culminating in the release of Battle for Bikini Bottom - Rehydrated in June 2020.
The Game Boy Advance version of Battle for Bikini Bottom sold an estimated 710,000 copies.
The following are walkthroughs that guide players through the game.
SpongeBob SquarePants Battle for Bikini Bottom - Full PlayStation 2 walkthrough
SpongeBob SquarePants Battle for Bikini Bottom - Full GameCube walkthrough
SpongeBob SquarePants Battle for Bikini Bottom - Full Xbox walkthrough
SpongeBob SquarePants Battle for Bikini Bottom - Full Game Boy Advance walkthrough
Game Boy Advance
SpongeBob SquarePants Battle for Bikini Bottom - Full PC walkthrough
All versions of this game are supported by some future devices through backwards compatibility:
The PlayStation 2 version can be played on early PlayStation 3 units.
The GameCube version can be played on various Wii units.
The Xbox version can be played on all Xbox 360 units.
The Game Boy Advance version can be played on all Nintendo DS and DS Lite units.
The PC version can be played on any Windows device that can run older Windows programs.
The robots from this game make a cameo in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie video game as garbage, meaning that SpongeBob, Patrick, and Sandy succeeded in defeating them all. This further drives the theory that The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie video game is a sequel to Battle for Bikini Bottom.
Squidward's house features several paintings. The painting on the easel is a cartoon-looking bowl of fruit, which is a reference to the painting from 1599 called Basket of Fruit. There is also a painting to the right of it that is a reference to the "Unsure Squidward" meme image.
When SpongeBob enters the Krusty Krab, if the player looks out the front window, Mr. Krabs is nowhere to be seen despite being seen before standing outside the restaurant. Additionally, a mime, who is absent if the player is outside, can be seen pressing itself against said window. The same is seen at Sandy's treedome, with Patrick and Sandy visible inside, while not present outside the domain.
The maximum amount of shiny objects the player can hold up to is 99,999.
In the PC version of this game, when one of the robots throws a crumpled up piece of paper at Plankton, Plankton says, "You [dolphin chirp] robots!" This is a reference to the episode "Sailor Mouth."
This game has lots of unused content that was never used in the final game that still remains in the game files. In the early trailers, some of the used content can be accessed. On a website called The Cutting Room Floor, there is a page about unused content in Battle For Bikini Bottom that is still in the files. For more information visit the page on TCRF - SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom
The Xbox version has some leftovers from Scooby-Doo! Night of 100 Frights, another game Heavy Iron Studios developed, as Battle for Bikini Bottom was based on the source code for said game.
The PlayStation 2 version of this game would later be bundled with The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie video game in the Happy Squared Double Pack, which was released on March 3, 2009.
When compared to the PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions, the GameCube version has dimmer lighting, a lower frame rate in some of the levels, some details removed, and scaled down textures, due to GameCube discs having less space than PlayStation 2 and Xbox discs.
The PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions also have a fireworks sound play upon acquisition of a golden spatula or sock, whereas the GameCube version does not.
If the player goes into the Rock Bottom Museum for the first time as Sandy instead of SpongeBob, and completes the "Plundering Robots in the Museum" mission as that character, Barnacle Boy will not mention his son.
In the episode "Neptune's Spatula," there is a golden spatula in a museum exhibit, which SpongeBob pulls out with ease. In the game, there are many golden spatulas in the levels, which SpongeBob and friends earn by completing certain tasks. Plus, the stadium where King Neptune and SpongeBob had a cook-off is also where SpongeBob and Patrick fight Robo-Sandy.
In the episode "Plankton!," Plankton offers SpongeBob a golden spatula.
At the Poseidome, when Robo-Sandy appeared, Patrick says his famous "It's a giraffe!" quote from "Bubblestand."
In the treedome section of the game, the player can clearly see that SpongeBob is dehydrated due to him being a sea creature. This also happened in "Tea at the Treedome" and "Squirrel Jokes."
The level 'Mermalair,' is based on the episode "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy III." The mini-boss battle is also a reference to the episode, in which Prawn was released and imprisoned in a similar experience that Man Ray was.
In the episode "Prehibernation Week," SpongeBob and Sandy go to the Industrial Park, in which SpongeBob melted after taking the course. In the game, the Industrial Park is where SpongeBob and Sandy go to fight Robo-Patrick.
In the episode "Club SpongeBob," SpongeBob, Patrick, and Squidward were stranded in a kelp forest. In the game, the same kelp forest serves as a level, but the field wasn't completely covered in kelp. Instead, there are open spaces in the level where the player can explore.
In the episode "Sleepy Time," SpongeBob traverses around the dream realm to visit some of his friends' dreams. The level 'SpongeBob's Dream' is based on the episode, in which SpongeBob has to enter his friends' dreams in order to get Golden Spatulas and to reach Patrick's Dream.
On the design of SpongeBot SteelPants, he has rocket jets for legs, similar to how SpongeBob blasted off in the water when he was picked as hall monitor in the episode "Hall Monitor." Plus, the first form of Robo-SpongeBob is similar to when SpongeBob puts on his karate gear in various episodes like "Karate Choppers," or "No Weenies Allowed."
Also, SpongeBot's design is sort of like the Design of SpongeTron due with the Jet flames.
When SpongeBot SteelPants is defeated for the first time, Robo-Plankton will repair him into a form similar to when SpongeBob got Anchor Arms in "MuscleBob BuffPants." Also, during the Goo Lagoon scene, the Juice Bar from the same episode is seen.
As SpongeBot SteelPants grows due to Robo-Plankton's repairs, Patrick thinks that he's shrinking. This is a reference to the episodes "Suds" and "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy IV."
If SpongeBob approaches the vending machine in the first parts of the level Rock Bottom, a bus will arrive and then leave again. This is based on SpongeBob's failed attempts to get on the bus in "Rock Bottom."
Upon entering the Rock Bottom Museum, the player can see that the paintings are actually episode frames from various SpongeBob episodes.
If the player falls into a pit or goes to a restricted area long enough, Hans will come out and will take the player out of the danger. Similarly, in the episode "Suds," when SpongeBob (and Patrick) are about to get their treatments, Hans comes out and takes them to their treatments.
Bubble Buddy appears in the game, making this his second appearance since his debut episode.
When SpongeBob encounters Bubble Buddy for the first time, Bubble Buddy says SpongeBob must learn all of his Bubble Moves if he's planning to "travel to the 9th dimension, and defeat the giant monkey man." Patrick practically says exactly the same thing in "Big Pink Loser."
When the player defeats the robots in the Rock Bottom Museum, Bubble Buddy says "I think it's time for a victory screech!" Then, he and SpongeBob do one. This is a reference to "The Algae's Always Greener" and "Club SpongeBob."
When the player returns 10 socks to Patrick, he says "Here's your golden backscratcher," to which SpongeBob replies "Spatula," and Patrick retorts "I don't speak Italian." This line was used in "Wormy." The only difference is that it's said by SpongeBob instead of Patrick.
When the player goes down a slope while playing as SpongeBob, he will go down on his tongue, and Sandy goes down on a clam, just like in the Sand Mountain scene in "Prehibernation Week."
SpongeBob also crashes into a sandman in the episode, just like how the player has to crash into 8 sandmen along the slope to get one of Patrick's socks.
In the episode "Hooky," SpongeBob gets his pants caught on a fishing hook. In some points of the game, SpongeBob can bungee-jump on the fishing hooks, with his pants caught on them of course.
In the episode "Ripped Pants," a woman forgets to put on sunscreen. In the Goo Lagoon scene of this, the robots steal people's sunscreen.
At the end of the Sand Mountain level, Patrick says "I want the warm now!" This is similar to when he said it in the episode "Survival of the Idiots."
In SpongeBob's Pineapple, the player will see the same picture SpongeBob looks at when Squidward comes back from the hospital in "Jellyfishing."
Inside Patrick's Rock, a picture of SpongeBob and Patrick together is seen hanging on the wall, it also appears on the information for the level Rock Bottom to show the player how much artwork the player has collected. This picture was originally seen when SpongeBob snuck into Patrick's house at night in "The Secret Box."
Inside Squidward's house, one of the paintings references Squidward's face after being asked if he's sure that he hates Krabby Patties, which is from the episode "Just One Bite."
When SpongeBob is reading the note on the typewriter, from Mr. Krabs, in his house, the player hears SpongeBob say "And it even smells sweaty, just like him!," this is a reference to when SpongeBob says "Boy Mr. Krabs, you sure are sweaty" in the episode "Arrgh!"
When SpongeBob goes to the Mermalair, and the first that Mermaid Man speaks in the level, he says "Is that the TV repairman?," it is a reference to the "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy" episode when he says "Are they here to fix the TV?"
One of Patrick's randomly said phrases while playing as him is "You broke my heart, now I'm going to break something of yours!" This is a reference to "Valentine's Day."