Every so often Game-Rave.com takes a step outside the variants and long boxes to explore games that never made it to public hands, or at least in American gamers’ hands. Join in as Game-Rave explores legends and tales never told. In this exciting episode, Superman finally comes home to the PlayStation.
May 29, 1999…it’s a day that so many people would like to forget, one that others lament, and a moment those YouTubers who thrive on being angry at things thank the heavens for. That day was the initial release date of The New Superman Adventures – or more commonly known as Superman 64.
Few games in history have the reputation that Superman 64 has, and it’s development history is one buried in disasters, problems, and involuntary design choices. In an interview with multiple sources, Titus founder Eric Caen admitted that the two main problems with the development were that they were too ambitious for the then modern day hardware while the rest was surrendered to DC Comics and Warner Bros. creative control. What makes the situation more tragic is that the cartridge isn’t alone – the game was originally planned to have a PlayStation release as well sometime after the N64 version.
Based on the PlayStation’s hardware limitations however, some minor changes would have to be inevitably made – this included removing the entire outside city sequence, reducing Superman’s adventures to nothing but indoor events. In reality, this isn’t that shocking since the N64 version had to rely so heavily on fog to hide pop up issues and the like.
To add more problems to the PlayStation’s woes, according to internet sources the events of the Columbine School Massacre, which happened a month prior to the N64 version’s public release, would see DC Comics and Warner Bros. demanding that all human villains and real world weapons be removed from the final product. It was okay for Superman to punch real folks in the cartoon, but here in video games he’d have to stick to virtual villains.
That meant the Sony release of Superman was going to be a completely different beast from it’s original incarnation, and if Titus and developer BlueSky were going to have any chance of repairing the situation, they would have to do it fast. More on that later in the article.
For now, let’s dive into the game. First up, controls.
The controller is used in standard mode, with almost every button having a function. Starting with the basics – Up and Down will move our hero forward and back, while left and right will turn him in the appropriate directions. Hitting Select will cause the game’s resolution to switch back and forth, while the Start Button pauses the game. Here in the Pause menu are a cornucopia of developer tools, tricks, and notes. The most amusing being that the camera angles are called Default, Dad, and Dumbass. There is supposedly a way to turn off Superman’s clipping and make him invincible, but I couldn’t get anything to work. I’ll leave this section for the more technically minded.
Over on the thumb buttons, X is used for Punching, interacting with in-game characters and objects, and advancing dialog boxes. Circle will spin Superman 180 degrees, Triangle allows you to switch between Super powers, and Square activates the chosen power. Back to those in a second.
The shoulder buttons are assigned in sides – the Left shoulder buttons will move Kal-el up and down and in and out of his flight mode. The right shoulder buttons make him dodge left and right to help avoid those pesky kryptonite bullets. These dodges also work mid-air. Speaking of flight, there is some sort of air punch / air dash that he can use to destroy enemies, but it’s not consistent in the game play.
Going back to Superman’s abilities – he has the option of Super Speed where he’ll pause for a moment and then burst ahead. Heat vision, which he’ll use to melt down robots, and Ice Breath. With his freezing breath, you can frost over enemies, spider-webbing and doors to make them extremely fragile, as well as freeze door switch panels permanently on to solve puzzles. It’s also extremely important to note that civilians are susceptible to Superman’s powers. If you accidentally aim wide with the heat beam, you can unintentionally kill an NPC. If you do, it’s end of the level and the player must restart from scratch.
If Superman is hit by an enemy’s kryptonite bullet or anything else covered in the element, Superman loses all of his powers and gains a health bar. If he is hit while under the influence of kyrptonite, he will only have 3 to 4 chances to regain his strength back or he dies.
While waiting for the effects to wear off, he will only be able to walk and punch, at a much lower damage scale. Where he could once knock out an enemy in 2 punches, it could now take up to 10.
Along the way you will find two types of power ups – timer bonus and power bonus. The timer bonuses are gold in color and add a set-amount of seconds back on the clock, usually in 15 second increments. The silver power-up improves Clark’s abilities. These come in Double and Triple Flavor, but disappear if old red cape gets hit. In my play-throughs, I only came across 2 or 3 total of these icons.
Finally, there are in-world objects that for the most part, would probably have been handy in a final release, but here in the photo they don’t do much, and in one case, you don’t even know what it is. The objects you’ll come across like the dumpster or the crate are able to be picked-up and thrown at people. The previously mentioned mystery comes later in the game, when a character gives you something that will help you, but it’s never visually explained what the item was.
Level specific triggers, switches, and machines will all come into play as well, mostly used for opening doors or lowering shields. One of the more confusing ones is a small yellow laser beam found in certain doorways. If you walk through them and they turn blue, they’ll activate or deactivate a room in the area.
For a break down of the levels, head over to the screenshots tab.
Now let’s get down to the nitty gritty. The million dollar question is “Did we as a gaming community lose something of value?”
Yes – empathetically, hypothetically, and absolutely yes. It’s very rare for lamented video games to get a second chance on life – Titus and BlueSky software took critical feedback of their game – during a time when there was no such thing as instant feedback or console game patching – and tried to correct their source material.
This path would lead them through essentially three incarnations of the PlayStation edition, and what they tried to accomplish is tangible in the prototype. What was once a foggy, washed out, and mind numbing experience had been replaced with vibrant colors and rich hues. Superman is no longer a Simon Says play-style, but now more of his own speed run against built-in timers.
Level design is more thought-out, using multiple paths and vertical areas to allow Clark some room to explore rather than just flying through some rings. Admittedly, I can’t fully review a prototype since it is eternally a work-in-progress, but there is one part of the game I’d like to focus on that helps explain one of the biggest problems with Superman as a video game character.
The guy is a walking talking GameShark code. In his purest form, bullets bounce off of him, he has x-ray vision, can fly, and according to lore he’s so strong he’s been known to accidentally leave finger indents in objects. How as a game designer are you supposed to get around that? This struggle has been with Superman through every game he has ever solo’ed, with many designers deciding to weaken his abilities or make them powers ups, which defeats the purpose of being freaking Superman.
Titus’ second take on it was almost perfect except for the fatal flaw I alluded to on Twitter. Having already stripped Clark of his true flying abilities by trapping him inside buildings, the act of completely locking out his powers when hit with a kryptonite bullet or object reduces a god-like alien to just being some Cody clone in a cape. Being affected by kryptonite in-game reduces you to an overdressed and underpowered boxer.
That’s what ruins the experience across all the Superman games. His own strengths as a character ultimately become his biggest nemesis in trying to capture them in-game. Had the damage only weakened his abilities, and not completely locked him out, there would have been more strategy available to player, who is instead reduced to walking up to people and slamming the X button while they wait for the powers to return.
As a game of what would have been, the PlayStation version of Superman held promise and more than likely would have found a foothold where the Batman games couldn’t. For as dented as the Superman game is, even in prototype form – it’s still lightyears better than Batman Beyond and Gotham City Racer. There are internet ramblings of a full, finalized retail equivalent ISO being out in the world, but it appears Titus founder Marc Caen squashed those rumors with his “75% complete” comment. Which brings us full circle back to that part about the sad ending.
According to Marc, the PlayStation iteration was coming along fine – but by then Titus had lost the rights to Superman and all related characters back to Warner Brothers and DC comics. With no money left and no way of getting the rights back, Superman was quietly and unceremoniously laid to rest. It was truly a Darkseid to the hero’s legacy.
That was terrible, I know.
So there you have it. One of the PlayStation’s saddest tales finally brought to life. I wanted to give a huge shout out, thank you, and high five to everyone involved in this incredible project including VGPC for providing the game to review, all my Patreon members specifically Mike MG who helped me understand the developer lingo, and of course you. I am extremely honored and humbled to have had this chance and look forward to more prototypes and unreleased games as they come.
Check out all the tabs in this article for some amazing developer content and images.
The prototype can be downloaded from here:
Taken from my play-throughs of the prototype. The game is wonderfully rich in hues and color saturation.
Leading the stages out of the gate is the damaged mine. This is both the first stage of the game and the one automatically loaded by the system. If you would like to skip around, simply press start and use the first line to select your stage of choice. While the majority of level names are easy to understand, PARABOSS is short for Parasite Boss Level. It should also be noted that this option does not list stages in their proper sequential order.
Here in the mines players will have their work cut out for them since each tunnel in the mine is sealed off by a kryptonian force field. Superman’s first objective is start rescuing all the workers, some who are trapped by robot soldiers, and others who have been caught in the webs of mechanical spiders.
It’s here that the game’s first mission type is revealed – the timed rescue. Each section gives you a set amount of time to rescue a specific number of miners. Each of these mini-game moments will require 3 possible tasks; eliminate all the local enemies, rescue people from spider cocoons, or stop an inanimate object from exploding. Rescuing specific workers will also trigger switches allowing you to reach the other legs of the mine. Once you have all the workers safe, you just need to rescue Jimmy and fly out of the level’s exit door.
With one natural resource finally saved, it’s time to move on to the next one with Fuel. Turns out giant gas tanks don’t like being set on fire, so Clark needs to get inside the facility to once again rescue the workers and stop the tanks from exploding.
Here the timed mini-games continue, but are now on a much grander scale. One of the earliest missions requires you to put out fires on two giant fuel tanks and then get to the workers before the time runs out. Players will need to fly up or down the fuel tank’s massive side and use their ice breath to extinguish the fires. Late in the stage, ice breath will also be used to freeze giant turbines to stop an electrical flow that is blocking a worker’s path.
The camera angle can get extremely wonky in the fuel tank areas, so you will have to move fast and know exactly where the fire spouts are. Once again, you’ll need to carry Jimmy out via an exit. Oh jimmy…always needing rescue.
Once our pesky photographer is safe again, along with all the fuel to burning, the next resource to worry about is water, so it’s off to the dam. Here’s where some of the game’s creativity really shines. The level is split between above water and below water sequences. When underwater, Clark automatically dons a snazzy scuba suit that woefully also limits his abilities to just super speed.
Tasks here will include finding and rescuing dam workers, disarming bombs that have been set-up throughout the reservoir, and deactivating fans preventing you from moving in certain tunnels.
This stage features some of the most vibrant colors in the game, and despite the oddity in the enemy jelly fish animations, the best use of space and design layout. Just be aware that several of the needed goals are in vertical passage ways – they’re easy to miss in the flow of things. Once the bombs are defused and the workers saved, the computer is safely shut down and it’s off to LexCorp.
So being in Metropolis means if there are nefarious things going on, it’s more than likely Lex Luthor is up to something. The next stage takes you to the parking garage of LexCorp – which would more than likely be explained away as being needed since Superman can’t travel outside in the green fog.
Here in the underground, robot soldiers and sneaky door switches will be your main villains. Like all the other places, you’ll need to rescue trapped parking attendants, since Lex doesn’t offer hazard pay to his part-timers. New to the bag of tricks are laser door switches. Small, thin yellow lines that once crossed will trigger a door to open or close. Late in the level, you will need to fly over.a few of them to get out alive.
It’s also an area ripe with power-ups, so be sure to snag them. As a game play tip, one of the door switches will require you to activate it, and then freeze the console so the button stays pressed. Once you get your parking stub validated, it’s time to head on up to Lex Luthor’s office…
…which is empty. The office level is essentially fully rendered, but it is completely barren of characters and items. There’s also a peculiar problem in that the second floor is literally upside down. I do not know if this is a programming issue or somehow intentional, but once you find your way to the third floor and Luthor’s portrait, there’s not much else to do. Use the pause screen to load up the next sequential stage, which is the subway.
This was probably the most wonderfully decorated stage with the lowest amount of believability in the game. If this were a real subway station, people would never be seen from again as there are endless corridors that don’t lead to any trains. Not to mention the fire door that doesn’t lead out of the place.
Lois Lane is your main rescue here, along with several other folk. The opening area is more of the same as you’ve seen before, but the back end of the level shows off the amount of destruction Parasite has been creating before Superman got there. Lots of damaged trains, fires, destroyed walls, and more dot the landscape.
This is one of the few stages that had a true hidden, though fairly obvious, hostage to rescue. You need to break through a damaged wall to find him. Once you sort that out and get Lois out of there, the only real boss fight in the prototype occurs.
Parasite Boss Level:
Unlike the…if you’ll pardon the pun…Bizarro fight you had to deal with the in the original N64 version, Parasite’s boss stage and fight was pretty straight forward. Trapped between a corridor and smashed together trains, Parasite’s main ability is to steal yours, and in doing so regains all of his health back.
Had his artificial intelligence been fully realized, it’s assumed the main play angle would have been constantly dodging him and hitting him with the freeze breath to do tick damage. As it stands in the prototype, once you have him locked on, it’s pretty much game over.
Defeating ol’ purple face will bring you to the last two sections of the prototype – launching Superman back into outer space.
Space 1 Level:
Stuck aboard Brainiac’s giant spaceship, Superman dons a snazzy spacesuit which just like the scuba gear, reduces him to just using his super speed. Trapped aboard the ship with scientists and the largest robots in the proto, Superman must activate all the air vents to blow away kryptonian elements and create oxygen for the humans aboard.
It’s here where what little of available story line finally appears and pulls everything together. It turns out Lex Luthor was raiding all of the earlier stage resources to use them as trade bait for Brainiac’s technology.
Spread through out the ship are memory orbs of Brainiac’s previous experiences. These act as the collectable requirement for the stage, and were it not for a glitched set of enemies, end up finishing the stage. Woefully, that’s where the prototype essentially ends, as the true final stage you can select is the Brainiac boss fight, but it’s not programmed.
Brainiac Boss Level:
Assumed to be the new version of the N64’s final stage, the prototype build is glitched. Superman can fly around the room, but the enemies and platforms are sunk into the spinning space texture.
Our 20 Minute review, discussion, and breakdown of the prototype is here:
The 90 Minute, clean “Let’s Play” of the entire prototype is here.
When Superman was first being developed for the PlayStation, it was supposed to be a direct port of the Nintendo 64 version, but after the negative professional reviews started hitting the press, it was decided to completely re-write the game from scratch. The assets disc that was included with the prototype includes developer generated screenshots of in-game assets and level layouts. These assets were based on the original incarnation of the game, meaning they were the Nintendo 64 builds.
While not as cool as seeing the newer PlayStation levels, they do provide something really interesting; completely fog-free views of the game, including the outside cityscape. These ‘clean’ shots reveal what could have been had the technology been more up to snuff at the time.
Artwork is presented in the order of their appearance in the original release.
The infamous “Rings” area of the original Superman 64 – these would have been removed in Superman PSX, but hardware limitations ended up removing the entire city itself. These images are from the Single Player.
And from the multi-player.
In the developer folder, this is called Park Place, but in the game solutions document it’s “Parking Lot”. It’s a little bit of both, to be honest.
Few nifty wireframe shots here, showing just how simple the geometry is and just how much creativity goes into the textures to hide said simplicity.
The final confrontation on Brainiac’s ship.
Up – Forward / Fly Forward / When held, Run.
Left – Turn Left
Right – Turn Right
Down – Backwards / Back up
Select – Forces a weird wide screen mode
Start – “Pause”, brings up the Developer Options
X – Punch, Talk, Activate
Circle – 180 Degree Turn
Square – Use Super Power
Triangle – Select Super Power
L1 – Hover Up
L2 – Hover Down
R1 – Dodge Right / Air Dodge Right (In Air)
R2 – Dodge Left / Air Dodge Left (in Air)
There seems to be some sort of air dash attack he can do if he flies into an enemy fast enough, but it is too random to sort out.
- Super Speed – Causes Superman to pause for a moment and then go super fast in one direction.
- Heat Vision – Shoots red hot beams out of his eyes. Used to heat-up and blow-up enemy robots, possibly melt things.
- Ice Breath – Freezes objects, and also makes them brittle enough to break with a punch.
If Superman is hit with a Kryptonite infused object or the element itself, he loses all of his super powers for a limited time, as well as gains a health bar that depletes with each successive hit. His icon will turn green and slowly empty until it disappears allowing Superman to be himself again.
- Timer Bonus – These are found scattered around areas and add time back on the clock. For example, if it said x15, you would gain 15 seconds back.
- Ability Multiplier – This enhances Superman’s abilities to be more powerful. For example, a x2 icon would give him Level 2 power adjustment.
- In one instance Jimmy claims that something he gives Superman will help the big guy out, but it’s never shown or alluded to what was given to Superman.
- There are interactive objects in the game that Superman can use or activate. This includes doors, switches, laser doors (the thin yellow / blue line in a doorway), crates, boxes, dumpsters, and more.
Game Play and Lore
Metropolis finds itself blanketed in a dense Kryptonite Fog, the one substance on Earth that can weaken, if not ultimately kill Superman. Forced into hiding while still trying to fight the hordes of enemies let loose by a rogues gallery of villains, Superman must use his abilities and smarts within the realm of human structures while trying to not accidentally blow a hole in someone’s wall.
Lex Luthor and Brainiac’s trials will force Superman into the literal underground mines, brave the waters of a giant damn, fight his way through LexCorp’s giant garage structure, and more.
Stages are set-up in checkpoints – when you reach a specific area, you will need to either successfully complete a task in a certain time limit, or figure out minor puzzle elements. These puzzles can include figuring out what triggers a door, or having to de-activate a set number of bombs before you move on. The main tasks performed in the timed modes usually involve rescuing hostages or getting all the way through a section of the game.
There would have been boss fights, but the prototype only has one, with the AI not being well programmed. Villains are limited to specific bosses and then robotic enemies – including spiders, fishes, and soldiers.
Stages include Dam, Garage, Mine, Paraboss’ stage, broken spaceship stage. It should be noted that the final product would have been a different game than the Nintendo 64 version. There was no outside city area, which in a positive light meant no mind numbing ring mini-games.
Tips and Tricks
So obviously the game is going to have it’s bug problems, but there are actually two ways around the chaos caused by the unfinished camera angles. The first trick is a beautiful use of an oversight in the programming. Superman’s abilities are tied to the Square Button, but his Punch and Accept commands are on X. In any mini-game that forces you into a time event, so long as you don’t ever Press X to accept the rules, the timer never starts.
Now you can use the super abilities to take care of all the enemies on-screen, and once all obstacles are removed, you can press X to interact with the hostages and free them well within the now active time limit.
If you have a GameShark Pro, you can also freeze the timer. Wait for the time to be 59 seconds or less, then pause the game and remember what the time was. Activate your GS Pro hacking software, and do a known search for that number. Exit back to the game, let the timer countdown a bit more, then do another known search for that new number.
You’ll eventually get a possibility chance of 3 or 4 code lines. Move all 3 or 4 lines to the active side, and edit every line to end in the same number. Once done, exit back and you have infinite time.
Its important to note that every timer is a different memory address, so you’ll need to hack it every time it arises.
The original Solution script for the game
Included with the prototype is a very quickly penned run through of the game when it was still going to be a port of the Nintendo 64 version. There are references to characters not see in the game but in the comic (Professor Hamilton) and minor edits made that were reflecting the PlayStation level changes. This includes removing all mention of the Flying Ring mazes. Is is important to note that this entire section was copied verbatim from the source document. ALL typos and syntax errors are from the original dev team member who wrote it. We’ve included it here for both posterity and to amusingly illustrate just how chaotic development can be. I had a similar experience working at GameShark with an early copy of Fear Effect 2 – that developer’s note manual it came with…every solution was wrong.
Superman needs to free his friends (Hamilton, Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen), set prisonner by Lex Luthor and his super villains in the virtual dimension developped with Brainiac’s technology.
The game is an alternation of quick action based outdoor missions (city rides) and more reflexion based indoor missions in classic Metropolis areas.
City Ride 1
From the intro Vortex to the dam
action 1 lift the two cars before they injure the innocents.
action 2 put the police car at the end of this road…
action 3 destroy the four dark shadows !!!
action 4 use your superbreath to blow the three tornadoes away
M1. Free the dam technicians
- second room , kill the two flying robots to open the laser door
- third room, kill the flying robot and find the card among the crates to open the laser door
- Go back to the main computer (first room) to get the front door opened in the three gate’s room below
After meeting Mala :
- Find the pass in the canal which opens all the side doors
- Find the lockgate in the middle of the long side corridor, to get the water level down
(life bonuses will help you on both ends of the dam)
- Find the freeze bonus (useful to unarm the bombs)
- Go through the door inside the canal to find the technicians room
- Meet one of the technician to get the code to open the generator’s rooms (both sidedoors in the three doors rooms)
M2. Deactivate the bombs before they explode
- Go back to the main computer (first room) to get the two generator doors opened
- Go to the top of one generator to freeze (unarm) the first bomb on the little path
- Go to the second generator to freeze the second bomb
(watch out for Mala in the three corridors room)
City Ride 2
From the dam to Lexcorp
action 1 grab and throw the three mine droppers.
action 2 destroy all the dark shadows in front of the skater.
action 3 grab and throw the two mine droppers.
action 4 grab and throw the three robots to protect the people.
Superman doesn’t know where Lex has hidden his friends. He goes to Lexcorp to find clues about where they are. Lex Luthor controls the place. S needs to complete each of his traps before he allows him to be lifted up to the upper floors (other traps)
1. Find the clue (letter) which will enable him to deactivated the kryptonite diffuser above.
2. Kill all the dark shadows :
The dark shadows are too numerous. To kill them all, S can use some tricks :
The explosive bait : It attracts the Darkshadows and then explodes
The behavioural bonus : When S has taken it, he can choose one the shadow walkers to become his ally and help kill the others
Light the trees with the laser beam and attract the shadow walkers nearby for them to be injured by the flames
3. Take the « unlocked » elevator
- Deactivate the kryptonite diffuser : Activate the computers in the right order (clue letter on the ground floor)
- Go to the side room by jumping above the broken window (Left trig)
- Kill the darkshadows with the help of the behavioural bonus
- Take the elevator down and then the one on the extreme right
- Kill the dark shadow in front on the big screen to start Lex attack of his guardian robots
- Solve the riddle on the green screen (write « Luthor ») to deactivate Lex control on the elevator to his office
- Take the elevator down and then the one on the extreme left
- Fight Brainiac,
- Stop the arrival of the dark shadows by blocking the entrance to his office with his desk
- Find the clueletters on Lex office
City Ride 3
From Lexcorp to the warehouse
action 1 destroy the six enemies.
action 2 blow the two tornados away.
action 3 destroy the dark shadows in the pedestrian’s way.
action 4 destroy the six enemies on the way of the skaters.
M1. Save Lois
- Kill all the darkshadows in zone 6 to get the card opening the secret computer access (top of the ramp)
- Find the hidden computer in a hole up on the wall in front of Lois to deactivate Lois forcefield
- Meet Lois, who then runs and gets caught again
M2. Find Lois,
- S must find the access card to area 3 in one of the two trucks in the loading zone
- Find Lois in the kryptonite room
(Metallo shuts the door behind S)
M3. Save Lois from Metallo
- Activate the three computers to open the room
- Fight Metallo in the computer room aside. He flees before being killed.
- On the 3 computers : deactivate the kryptonite diffuser, the laser door to area 4 and Lois Force field before the explosion of the computers
- Meet Lois at the end of the corridor, before she runs again for her next investigation.
- Kill the darkshadows chasing after her
M4. Deactivate the lexoskell 5000 assembly line
- Do not fight the emerging lexoskells in zone 6 because they will recreate themselves automatically
- Find the computer in the area 2 corridor to deactivate the assembly line,
M5. Free Lois again
- Find the computer in area 4 to deactivate the laser door to access area 2
- Go to the room in Area 2 and put the crates on the 6 forcefields to open the secret room where Lois is locked
- Go behind Lois in the secret room to find the X-Ray vision superpower
M6. Help Lois to walk out of the warehouse
- Follow Lois, walking through the warehouse
(watch out for the darkshadows who want to kill her in the long corridor)
- Protect her from the lexoskell 5000 in area 6
- Protect her from and destroy Metallo in area 5
(Next to Metallo, use your infravision (Cright) to find the crates with lead in them, and throw these at him to do him a lot of harm)
City Ride 4
From the warehouse to the parking lot
action 1 destroy the four dark shadows.
action 2 destroy the three mine droppers.
action 3 rescue the hostages.
action 4 destroy the five mine droppers.
Daily Planet Parking lot
M1. Free Jimmy Olson from Darkseid
- Go to the third underground level and break the brick wall hiding Jimmy
(beware not to get too close to him there, as the guardian robots are programmed to kill him if you do not have Luthor’s card)
- Find Lex Luthor’s card (to be recognized by the guardian robots) under his black car on the first floor
- Go back to free Jimmy
M2. Deactivate the bomb threatening the daily planet
- Go to the second floor until you find the parking lot with two laser beams on one side
- Stop the two beams to open the bomb’s door by covering them with crates (at the other end of the same room)
- Find the freeze bonus in the room opposite to the bomb’s room in the same area
- Deactivate the bomb and the kryptonite diffuser next to it by freezing them
M3. Bring Darkseid to the police
- Meet Darkseid on the same floor on your way to one of the two elevators
- Knock Darkseid out
- Bear Darkseid on the above level to the police car
City Ride 5
From the parking lot to Starlab
action 1 blow the two tornados.
action 2 blow the two tornados.
action 3 blow the three tornados.
action 4 destroy the four dark shadows.
Free professor Hamilton from Parasite
M1. Save professor Hamilton from the rising waters
- Find Prof Hamilton in the downwards cave
(do not fight Parasite because he wants to make you lose time while Hamilton is drowning)
- Go back to the beginning room and activate the three computers behind Parasite
M2. Trap Parasite in Hamilton’s water forcefield
- Go back to Hamilton and listen to his advice to know how to defeat Parasite
- Find the card in the subwater cave tunnel to activate the water forcefield
(attract the crabs to the other end of the water not to be overwhelmed when you come back from the card)
- Meet Parasite and attract him in the upstairs force field
- Block the forcefield by activating the console inside the forcefield zone
M3. Free Hamilton from his force field
- Go back to Hamilton for him to tell you how to free him
- Go to the top room on the other side of the transparent crossbridge and deactivate the computer in the green field
- Meet hamilton
City Ride 6
From Starlab to the subway
action 1 clear the way for the two cars.
action 2 blow the two tornados.
action 3 destroy the six dark shadows.
action 4 lift the car.
Stop the enemy flow into the city and free the trapped innocent
M1. Block the two tunnels end
Go to both ends of the tunnel (starting by the opposite one) and make them both explode to stop the enemies underground traffic
(life bonuses are in the side passages to survive the whole distance)
M2. Help the innocent escape the underground hell
- Go back flying along the tunnel after the second explosion until the innocent calls Superman
- Go inside the hidden passage behind him and find the freeze bonus on its end
- Go back and accompany the innocent on his way to exit the station
(shelter him with your freezing when he is attacked and don’t stay far from him long as enemies run to attack him then)
M3. Fight the lexoskell 5000
- Fight the lexoskell and prevent him destroying the innocent
- escape through the shattered roof
City Ride 7
From the subway to the spacecraft
action 1 clear the path for the man.
action 2 destroy the two mine droppers.
action 3 destroy the five dark shadows.
action 4 lift the cars to help the plane take off.
Find the way to get you and your friends out of the virtual world
M1. Find the key pieces to deactivate Brainiac’s evil technology
Each time you are blocked :
Destroy all the ennemis and find the keypieces when there are to open the laser doors or activate the computers which will open them.
- After the first corridor, go to the left of the thunderarena, step on Brainiac activating machine.
- The red arrows tell you which of the three white laser flows to shoot with your laser beam to open laser doors
- In the big red generator room, go in the above and below rooms and throw the petrol cans on the 4 enemy generating teleporters to stop them
M2. Escape Brainiac’s time travelling teleporters
There are two rooms in which you navigate (Big and small) ; Each of these two have teleporters sending you through time in the same order
little room : Big room :
Right right -25 years first right +50 years
Right left +50 years second right -25 years
Left right -50 years first left +25 years
Left left +25 years second left –50 years
M3. Help Jimmy and Lois escape the enemy infested corridors
- Meet Jimmy who will tell you what to do
- Deactivate the 3 white beams to stop the ennemis flow towards Jimmy
(beware to freeze Jimmy before you reach for the laser flows to protect from the incoming crab flow)
- Freeze Jimmy to shelter him from the lightnings and push him across the thunderarena
- Go and meet Lois on the opposite side of the thunderarena and kill the crabs next to her
- Freeze her and push her to meet Jimmy
- Shelter both on their march through the corridor
M4 Destroy the spaceship without being destroyed
- Go to the thunderarena and fight Brainiac
(don’t waste your laser beam before because he is difficult to fight with your fists in the middle of the lightning flow)
- Go and stop the laser beam at the end of the room opposite from the three white flow’s room to active the spaceship’s autodestruction
- Go in the above room to kill the enemies and activate the console to reopen the laser door
- Bring the red bomb next to the « windowpane’s room »down to the center of thunderarena
- Run quickly away to the main corridor before the bomb explodes
- Bring the bomb next to each generator and arm it with your beam
(Beware not to step into the spacetime vortexs)
- Run to the teleporters on time not to be destroyed by the explosions
- Based off the animated show Superman: The Animated Series.
- Some of the developer jargon explain thanks to Mike MG:
- Looks like it’s a debug build and not a release (optimized) build.
- I think World draw is the BSP in view
- SubDiv poly’s is the tessellated BSP poly’s sent to the GPU. Interesting stuff.. pretty clever coding in those old games.
- SUP – Superman’s position, the player’s coordinates (XYZ)
- POSDIFF2, probably the difference in player position from previous frame, maybe used for wall/camera/collision detection.
- Regarding V-Blank, the Net Yaroze guide says: “V-blanks: 50 (PAL) or 60 (NTSC) vertical synchronisation interrupts per second” It’s the hardware standard of the old TV’s and it’s when the TV’s tube ray start drawing the image. If the code misses the first V-Blank (zero) the previous image is redrawn and the next image is 1/60th of a second away which lowers the frame rate (30, 15, 7 etc). Playstation’s Interlace works differently, it doesn’t wait.
- There are online videos containing game play from Superman PSX with much further along visuals. This includes a giant robot boss, more actual Superman villains, a cleaner HUD, and a puzzle sequence not included in this build of the game. The Titus CEO claimed they only got 75% done with the game when it was abandoned, so if we believe that version to be the 75% copy, this would be about 40-50%. It’s fully playable, but you can tell where optimization would have helped.
- A web-forum discussion alluded to a private collector having a much more finalized copy of the game, but refused to share or sell it. According to various sources, it was supposedly snapped in half, being destroyed.
- The Nintendo 64 version launched as a “Limited Edition” due to the inclusion of a DC Comics mini-comic inside the box. We’ve featured it here for posterity, if only because it is unknown if it would have been included with the PlayStation version – be it a pre-order bonus inside or outside of a packaging, or redone to fit the jewel case.
- Although planned as a to-do port of the Nintendo 64 version once that was released, the latter’s dismal sales and horrific reviews forced the PlayStation development down a completely different path. This would trigger a chain of events that led to the game’s cancellation.
- Of all the things to be cancelled for, according to internet lore, Superman PSX was canned because Titus eventually and simply ran out of time, losing the license back to Warner Bros. There apparently is a completed game ISO somewhere, but it hasn’t been publicly released.
- Internet chatter claims there were actually 3 iterations of the game. The first would have been the only-planned N64 port. The second attempt would apparently succumb to management decisions to self censor the game after the events of the Columbine School Shooting. This mainly focused on removing all human combatants and changing all in-game weapons to strictly Kryptonite powered ones. The prototype is from the third version. Nothing but robot enemies as far as the eye can see.
- There are several sections within levels that look like they would have held power-up or collectible items. For example, in the mine, there is a huge ledge in the first area with nothing on it, but it can be reached.
- The game was actually advertised alongside the Nintendo 64 version, despite not being developed at the same time.