Superman (arcade game)

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Superman arcade flyer.png
Director(s)Toshiyuki Nishimura
Designer(s)Hidehiro Fujiwara
Composer(s)Masahiko Takaki
Kazuyuki Ōnui
Shizuo Aizawa
Takami Asano
Genre(s)Beat 'em up, shoot 'em up
Mode(s)Up to 2 players, simultaneous
Arcade systemX System
SoundZ80; YM2610
DisplayHorizontally oriented

Superman is an arcade beat 'em up/shoot 'em up released by Taito in 1988. It is based on the character Superman by DC Comics. The player assumes the role of Superman, who must fight through five levels to make the world safe from the evil Emperor Zaas. The game can be played by up to two players simultaneously, with the second player taking control of a palette-swapped version of Superman.


Superman faces a boss during the vertically scrolling part of game's first level.

The player takes control of Superman, who must fight through five levels to make the world safe from the evil Emperor Zaas who is quite possibly an alternate take on Brainiac. The first player takes control of the traditional blue Superman, while the second player takes control of a red Superman with a grey cape.[1] The title starts out in Metropolis before going to San Francisco, Las Vegas and Washington, D.C. Superman is able to punch, kick and fly. He can also use a projectile "Sonic Blast" attack when the player holds down then releases the punch button. There are also objects in the levels he can throw and/or break. Some of these objects release blue crystals that can restore Superman's energy, yellow crystals that allow the player to throw one projectile attack without charging or red crystals in flying stages that defeat all the enemies on the screen.[2] The first four levels have three-parts - a side-scrolling part, followed by a vertically scrolling flying part and a final side-scrolling shooter part where Superman uses heat vision instead of kicking and can destroy or dodge obstacles such as rocks. Each part has a boss at the end. The final level, the main boss' spaceship, adds a side-scrolling shooting section to the beginning and an extra final boss fight at the end. Throughout much of the game the "Superman Main Theme" and "Can You Read My Mind" from the Superman films play until the fifth round, where the compositions are completely original.

Second player[edit]

The second player's Superman is identical to the first player's blue Superman, except for the color scheme. Whereas the first player controls Superman in his traditional color scheme at the time (blue tights with a red cape, pants and boots), the second Superman wears red tights with grey cape, pants and boots. The presence of this alternate Superman is never explained in the game and is only intended as a co-operative gameplay mechanic. The color scheme for the second Superman is highly suggestive of Captain Marvel, particularly due to the red bodysuit, yellow and grey chest emblem and grey cape. A red Superman appears in an imaginary story in Superman (vol. 1) #162 titled "The Amazing Story of Superman-Red and Superman-Blue!".[1][3] Unused sprites from the game show what may be an alternate, female second player created for the game.[4]


  1. ^ a b "The Killer List of Videogames: Superman". Retrieved July 19, 2006.
  2. ^ "Arcade Flyers: Superman". Retrieved July 19, 2006.
  3. ^ "Legion of Super-Heroes". Retrieved July 20, 2006.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "Scrollboss: Comic based game sprites". Retrieved July 20, 2006.