Superman (Arcade)
200x100 GFX Company: Taito
Genre: Beat-em-up, Shooter
Released: USA: 1988
From the game's EU flyer
AT LAST, OUR SUPER HERO, SUPERMAN, COMES TO THE STAGE OF THE VIDEO GAME WORLD! HE WILL FIGHT AGAINST ALIENS IN ORDER TO FRUSTRATE THE AMBITIONS OF THE EMPEROR "ZAAS" WHO SCHEMES THE CONQUEST OF THE EARTH!
USING STRONG PUNCHES AND KICKS AND EXCITING SONIC BLASTS AND HEAT VISIONS, THIS FAST-PACED GAME IS FULL OF THE CHARACTERISTIC ENERGY ONLY SUPERMAN CAN POSSESS.
Well, to be accurate, it is a characteristic energy that only two Supermans can posses, because there is also a second red, yellow and white palette-swapped Superman with a color scheme that makes him look a bit like Captain Marvel (the SHAZAM! version). Of course, that may not have been the original plan, but more on that later. Superman can fly effortlessly, punch and kick, but holding the punch button down charges up a Sonic Punch which does more damage and fires a projectile.

Most of the rounds, except for the final round, start with a horizontal beat-em-up, then switches to a vertical auto-scrolling beat-em-up and ends with a horizontal shooter section with the Supermen (or Supermans) using heat-vision and the charged-up Sonic Blast punches (years before Taito made their own Sonic Blast Man) to fight through obstacles and take on a shooter-like boss aircraft.

Taito put a lot of effort into making this game as Superman-ny as possible. From the introduction with Clark Kent striding down an empty hall and ripping off his suit to reveal the Superman uniform to the use of the John Williams score for the then-running Superman series of films (complete with its own copyright notice), many of the famous Superman tropes are in the game. Oddly enough, unless Emperor Zaas and his odd crew are very obscure comic villains who only Taito and Mark Waid know about, the villains seem to be made just for the game.



A long time ago, I was looking through the Superman ROM with a ROM graphic editor (I'm almost sure it was Turaco) and saw something I didn't recognize. I posted the oddly-colored version of the tiles on this site until I checked them out on the tile viewer (F4 button) in MAME32 and found the palette you see here. I have no idea who the woman is and most people making guesses don't know either. Power Girl wasn't popular enough then for her to be a serious option and it's likely that she was another character made just for the game.

One small detail that usually goes unnoticed is that the second player has his own unique lifebar portrait.

Stages (according to the EU flyer)
Stage 1: New York
Stage 2: San Francisco
Stage 3: Las Vegas
Stage 4: Washington
Stage 5: Space Ship
Player Characters:
Superman, Superman 2
Enemy Characters:
Emperor Zaas
Screenshots:
(click to see full size)
Title screen
Round 1
Round 1 boss
ScrollBoss Secton Links:
Sprites - Sprites
Custom Sprites - Sprites based on this game (including player 2 Superman and the mystery woman)
Mini Logos - DC Comics mini-logos
Logos - Logo


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