Some kind of red-headed stepchild tries to put the moves on ol' Superman. No dice, weirdo!
A second enemy you will encounter is a burly balding man dressed in a hideous lime-green wife-beater (for some reason the game designers really liked this color; it is everywhere). He is only important because he is a good reference frame to use when assessing Clark / Superman's jumping capabilities. If anything would give away Clark's alter ego it would be that he is capable of jumping over entire buildings at will. Now I don't know anyone who can do this, but if I did, I'd sure suspect him of having at least some super powers. Or I would suspect myself of huffing too much gasoline behind the local Amoco.
In any case, these burly guys are absolutely useless. They jump occasionally, but more often than not they are a good excuse to practice Clark's amazingly freakish jumping skills by simply avoiding them altogether. If you do choose to hit them, you can prepare yourself for the lovely sound that your punches make when they land, which is sort of a white noise "chhht chhht" sound. It's not anything like the sound that actual punches make, but I guess that the programmers didn't want kids thinking that this game was real and going around punching people from large distances. These guys also like to hang out in a building that looks to be filled with left-handed desks. Or maybe it is a factory that produces the desks. They're also out and about in places that look like a park or graveyard or something.
The third main enemy is a creepy monkey-like thing that runs really fast and that is impervious to all attacks except Super Breath II. This thing is tremendously scary. It sort of looks like an adolescent boy who has survived a nuclear holocaust, with scraggly hair and some sort of strange smock-type thing. In any case, it is hard to fight or kill, and because it can also jump very high, the best thing to do when you encounter one of these things is to run away as fast as you can or turn off the game. It's not worth trying to kill them because the Super Breath is difficult to finagle and you don't get anything useful from them anyway. The problem with these guys (besides all of the ones I have just mentioned) is that after you beat the first level, all of the pedophiles in trenchcoats turn into them. Tough luck, now run for your effeminate life. You can find these guys most everywhere in level two and also in a room that is filled with display cases containing what appear to be lobster heads.
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The other enemies in this game are even more bizarre than the main three already mentioned but probably don't deserve their own paragraph. One of them is a tiny purple martial arts-stylin' Chinaman. Calling him "tiny" is really quite an understatement seeing as Clark is about 1/6 the size of the telephone booth he uses to change into his superhero self and the little Chinese guy is about one quarter the size of Clark. If we turned those numbers into real-world size comparisons, Clark would be the size of a four-year old child and the Chinese guy would be the size of the four-year old child's ass. The tiny Chinese guys sure can jump though, so look out. Luckily you can outrun them if you simply walk away from them, so they aren't too hard to avoid.
Another strange enemy is the disturbingly fecal ghost-thing that you have to use your X-ray Vision to see. They come in sets of three and form a line that moves slowly to the top of the screen before disappearing. Spooky music always plays when they are around, so there is really no surprise involved with fighting them. If you are able to keep from laughing at the floating gall stones long enough to convulsively punch them, they are quite easy to kill. Another invisible enemy is a strange sort of flying cat-type thing that spits fireballs. Like the charcoal turds, you need your X-ray Vision to see them but there is no warning music to alert you to their presence, so if you run into something invisible it's probably them. Luckily they are fairly scarce and appear as far as I can tell only in one building in Chinatown. There are various other enemies such as guys with boomerangs and knives, but they aren't very common and all of them are just as dumb.
Number of Levels: Four, I think. Who the hell knows.
You will pick up important plot points and hints like this along your journey.
Number of Bosses: There is one main boss at the end of each section. Seeing as I only played the first section in its entirety because I gouged out my eyes halfway through Chinatown, I can only describe in detail the first boss, this being a sadistic bondage woman in green wielding a whip. She jumps a lot but is easy to kill if you can avoid the unpleasantness of her skimpy, poorly-animated outfit and the fact that holy Jesus, she's swinging that whip left and right. The tough part is getting past all of the annoying monkey-zombies in order to do the deed. It is never really made clear who this woman is, but I assume that she's a member of the infamous Zod gang or something Perhaps she is Zod's sex toy or maybe his cleaning lady.
I will wager that Lex Luthor is the boss to beat at the end of the fourth stage and that General Zod is lying in wait at the end of the last stage, but that would be assuming that the game programmers used regular logic when creating this world. Judging from the other elements of the game, that would be perhaps too big of a leap. As for the second and third stages, I have absolutely no clue. The second stage is about the stock market, so if we take the predictability of this game into account, the boss could be the character Balki from the 80's smash TV hit "Perfect Strangers." The boss at the end of the ghost stage therefore would obviously have to be Pope John Paul II and his fire-eating marmot, Skittles.
Defining Moment: It would not be possible to honestly say that this game has one moment that summarizes how completely terrible it is. This is because there is so much to choose from in terms of awful moments that if doesn't seem fair or accurate to pick just one. If someone put a gun to my head and forced me to choose, I suppose I would have to go with the opening scene of the game in which Clark is in the newspaper office and we see for the first time how completely repulsive every single element of this game is. Nothing can truly prepare you for the sights and sounds that Superman tries to pass off as entertainment. In this first scene, we see the tiny Clark as well as the phallic-nosed Jimmy Olson, the doughy potato-nosed bossman, and the sad, sad representation that is supposedly Lois Lane but that looks more like a Jell-O experiment gone terribly awry. Here is where you first see the broken dialogue, the vomit-based color scheme that is so pervasive throughout the rest of the game, and the animation that would make even the creators of 80's greats such as Section Z cry. Yes, it all begins here. So if I absolutely had to choose, that would be it. But that doesn't mean that I have to like it.
Disclaimer: I really just want to add that no amount of writing can accurately convey how bad this game is. In the last week or so I have played this game for hours and I can honestly say that if I am ever forced to be anywhere within a six-mile radius of it again I will have to truck out ye olde machine gun and begin blowing holes in people and their mailboxes, not necessarily in that order. Or maybe I'd just be really ticked off. I can't really predict how I would react because this game has warped my sense of reality so dramatically and caused me to retreat to my comforting fantasy world in which crimes against humanity such as the making of this game are just sick, twisted nightmares thought up in the dim recesses of some half-wit's mind. In my world, the character of Superman is played by a brave, poorly-acting paraplegic whose oxygen machine knows no bounds and whose robot-voice fights for truth and justice. In my world there are no burly men in wrestling singlets or monkey-zombies but instead there are flowers, sentient toilet plungers, and trash-talking squirrels. I like that world a lot better and if I am ever forced to come face to face with this game again, I just might stay there. In conclusion, I AM WARNING YOU: PLEASE STAY AWAY FROM THIS GAME IF YOU VALUE YOUR SANITY. Don't let this game happen to you. In fact, do the world and humanity a favor; if you ever see a copy of this game in a store or in someone's attic or under your mom's pillow, destroy it. Break it, burn it, eat it; it doesn't matter. The world will be a better place and somewhere, perhaps from my fantasy land of trash-talking squirrels, I will smile and clap my hands slowly and dramatically in your honor.
Each category in the rating system is based out of a possible -10 score (-10 being the worst). The overall score is based out of a possible -50 score (-50 being the worst).
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The Rom Pit is dedicated to reviewing the most bizarre and screwed up classic console games from the 1980's, the ones that made you wonder what kind of illegal substances the programmers were smoking when they worked on them. Strangely enough, the same illegal substances are often necessary to enjoy or make sense of most of these titles. No horrible Nintendo game is safe from the justice of the ROM Pit.