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Superman is an action game based around the DC comics superhero character Superman developed for the Famicom and published in Japan by Kemco late in 1987. It was translated into English and later released in the United States in 1988. It is a combination of side-scrolling action mixed in with some puzzles.
The player controls Superman to save Metropolis from Lex Luthor and a gang of criminals that were exiled from the planet Krypton. Superman has an energy (Super Power) bar and he can collect various icons in the game to use a limited supply of one of his item powers. Players start out the game as Clark Kent but can change into Superman (provided that they have enough Super Power) by entering into one of the phone booths that are scattered throughout the city. However, taking sufficient damage from enemies would cause Superman to become Clark Kent.
It features an overhead map of various locations the player can travel to, but then switches to a more traditional side-scrolling adventure game. Occasionally a "Help!" signal would appear on the map, to which Superman could fly to that area immediately and aid the person in need. At the end of each city level, the player a different boss and gives each end of chapter victory an animated front page of a Daily Planet newspaper displaying their success.
There are two interesting differences between the original Japanese version of the game, and the translated North American release. The first concerns the music. While the North American release contain original background music, the Japanese release contained a synthesized selections from the Superman movie scores. It is unclear why these selections were removed and replaced in the North American version. The second difference concerns the location where the game takes place. While both games are played on the same map (which resembles Manhattan rotated clockwise ninety degrees), the names on the map are different. The North American version labels the map with names that reflect Metropolis, while the Japanese version uses actually Manhattan names and landmarks such as Tribeca, Soho, and Central Park.