Superman 64

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Superman64box 2446.jpg

Superman (or The New Superman Adventures Aventures [sic]), unofficially referred to as Superman 64, is a video game based on Superman the Animated Series and released by Titus Software on May 31, 1999 on the Nintendo 64. It is notorious for the negative reception it received from critics and is considered one of the worst games of all time.

Lex Luthor creates a virtual version of Metropolis and then succeeds in trapping Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen and Professor Emil Hamilton within it. Superman is forced to enter the virtual world, then to fly through a series of rings and destroy cars. He also has to complete puzzle obstacles in order to save his friends and stop Lex Luthor. Other villains Superman battles in the game include Parasite and Brainiac.

The player assumes the role of Superman and is challenged to complete puzzle obstacles throughout the game; usually levels contain similar challenges. In many levels, Superman flies through a series of rings within a time limit (unless the player chooses to play the game on an easy difficulty; the rings then disappear but the timer remains the same). The "virtual Metropolis" is filled with what the developers called "Kryptonite fog" (which was actually the game's inability to render anything more than 10 feet away without being choppier than it already is), supposedly there to slow him down. Other levels feature Superman moving through buildings fighting various enemies and going out of his way to protect the virtual world's inhabitants. Oh and every ring-based level is a Timed Mission too.

Not to be confused with a similarly titled game for Commodore 64.

Tropes used in Superman 64 include:
  • All There in the Manual: After a fashion. By default, your only hint of a storyline is the single intro screen you see when you start up the game. However, there's a menu option in the pause screen that gives you an extra paragraph of text, and the game came bundled with a comic book that explained the game's backstory in much more detail.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The ring levels allow you miss a few of the rings (equal to the number of rings that are gold). Also if you fail a challenge after a ring level, you normally have to play the ring level again, but if you've already cleared the ring level 3 times, you can keep retrying the challenge indefinitely.
  • Big Bad: Lex Luthor, who somehow manages to make Darkseid a subordinate.
  • Charm Person: The "reprogrammation" (which is French for "reprogramming") ability. This takes a problematic turn, since you're ultimately required to kill every enemy to advance, including the one you just converted.

"We're on the same side now!"

  • Cowardly Boss: Brainiac in stage 4.
  • Damsel in Distress: Lois Lane.
  • Fission Mailed: It's possible to make it so that Lex Wins, and then proceed into the next part of the stage. An example can be seen here (around 27:50).
  • Flying Brick: Superman, and he sure controls like one too.
  • From Bad to Worse:
    • The game is notorious for its unbelievable abuse of Pass Through the Rings, but that only covers the odd number levels, or "Ride Stages". What follows afterwords is a set of ridiculously cramped buildings with simply painful fighting mechanics.
    • Think the ring stages are bad now? Wait until you get to the ten minute long one. The most of the ten minutes are necessary long one.
    • Then there are ring stages where you fly around and literally loop back to where you started from. No, you can't just fly into the last ring either, you have to do it the old fashioned way.
    • Starting in the second ride stage, the rings actually start moving. And they eventually move in rapid but small circles, making it even harder to fly through them.
  • Funny Background Event: Done unintentionally. Cutscenes use the game's engine. As Superman flies out a window into the city, and the screen fades to black, you can see him crash into the textured wall that depicts the skyline.
  • James Bondage: Jimmy Olsen and Professor Emil Hamilton.
  • Kaizo Trap:
    • Under certain circumstances, you can still be killed in the "Superman Wins" end-of-level screen.
    • You can also die in the cutscenes. If you're in a room with Kryptonite, your health will keep draining. And draining. Until Lex wins.
  • Let's Play: An LP by Proton Jon is in progress, and can be found right here.
  • Made of Explodium: Pretty much everything in the game. Including innocent boxes!
  • Nintendo Hard: Not much of a surprise given how sloppy the game is...
  • Number of the Beast: The total number of rings in Ride Stage 2 is 616. But this is likley a coincidense.
  • Obvious Beta:
    • There are so many glitches in this game that despite its notoriety, no comprehensive list of them even exists.
    • Even worse, there's footage on Youtube of an actual beta of the game. And it's actually, if arguably, better than the release product. The producer of Superman 64 primarily blamed it on the licensors digging their hands messily in the development of the game, and that apparently, a massive amount of the code and assets had to be redone mere months, if not weeks, before release.
  • Pass Through the Rings: The "Ride Stage" odd number levels of the game. Believe it or not, these are the tolerable parts of the game.
  • Sequence Breaking: Thanks to the glitches in the game, some stages are possible to beat very quickly by skipping most of the levels.
  • Skippable Boss: It is possible to clear the LexCorp stage by ignoring Brainiac and go straight to reading all the notes on Luthor's desk.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Proton Jon suggests this is why Mala is included.
  • Super Title 64 Advance: Despite the game being simply called Superman (or The New Superman Adventures Aventures [sic]), it quickly became known as Superman 64 to distinguish it from other Superman games.
  • Timed Mission:
    • The ride stages are notorious, as are the mini-games between ring tunnels. The first mini-mission has a tight timelimit, which is barely enough time to react. There is also a timed mission where no timer is displayed, where you have to use super breath on three tornadoes.
    • Every single Maze level has a timed section as well; usually a timed puzzle on top of that.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Exploiting a certain glitch allows you to punch Mala. Endlessly.
  • A Winner Is You
  • Xanatos Gambit: Even if you beat Lex, he's still in the real world. LEX WINS.