Featured Columns

February 11, 2010

The Comics Console: Superman 64 pt 2

Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s the worst video game of all time! It’s Superman 64! The pain carries forth another week in The Comics Console‘s month long celebration of the bastard child of the comics/video games relationship. Last week we looked at a bit of the history behind Titus Software’s most famous game, and played through the first three stages. This week is no different. We’re braving the next three stages for those too afraid (or too smart) to journey into this digital hell. You might wanna be intoxicated for this one…I know I am!

Stage 4

The cut scenes in this game are so weird. The picture only appears in a small box in the bottom corner of the screen instead of the whole screen. I would question weather or not this was intentional or a product of crappy designing, but I honestly don’t care because it all sucks either way.

We’re taken into the office of Lex Luthor where the camera pans around his desk revealing (dramatic reveal music) Brainiac! The whole thing lasts about five seconds and doesn’t move the narrative a lick, and suddenly you’re dropped into the giant Lex Corp lobby. You won’t really realize it at first, because ahead of you is a giant blue backdrop graphics glitch that you’ll remember from previous levels, but as soon as you move toward it, the room will materialize.

Okay. Looks like we’re free from flying through boring rings for now. Looks like we may get some exploring done, and, hey, just in front of you are some bland shadowy enemies to wallop. An interesting note about Superman here is that he apparently is no longer bullet proof. The bullets shot at the Man of Steel actually do damage. The retarded part about this is that instead of having the boring shadow goons fire lasers or something that would look like it might actually ruin Clark’s lunch, Titus Software had their enemies fire something Superman has been known to brush off with no problem.

Toward the back of the room you’ll see what looks like three elevator shafts and a receptionist desk. Behind the desk you find one of Superman’s most popular powers: Heat vision!

It’s a shame that this ability, and most other abilities, can only be accessed by acquiring the power-up, but at least it’s somewhat exciting to come across one. The heat vision actually works pretty well. Just point Superman and shoot. It’s also great for easily taking out enemies from long distances.

One little funny treat here is all the plants placed all over the Lex Corp offices will actually catch fire if shot. Although it’s sad something as simple as burning plants is more fun than anything else you’ll do in this level.

But back to the mission! (Whatever that is. I mean, it’s never explained what we’re suppose to do because the cut scene was useless.) Walk to the center elevator shaft where it will reveal a TV monitor with Lex Luthor’s big dumb face.

“The only way to save your friends is to finish the game. Can you do it?” Lex will taunt. Okay, so apparently we’re in the midst of some mini-game that we have to solve to enter the next room. This has potential to be pretty fun. However, you are given no idea WTF you’re suppose to be doing. You’ll fly all over the room looking around for anything that looks like it will advance you further.

There are sub rooms throughout this giant room. One has a pool table and cues, another has a table and a map of the world. In this room on the table is a memo that reads, “From Luthor to Parasite — Here is the code. Red. Blue. Green.” Seriously. That’s what it says. You would think such important memos with secret codes on them wouldn’t be left so carelessly around, but them again Parasite isn’t one of the smartest adversaries Superman has encountered.

We’re getting closer. We have a code. Now, where do we enter this code to finish this mini-game to move to the next room. Well we’ve already flown around everywhere and found nothing. Let’s do one more check. Nope. Nothing. WTF are we suppose to do? Let’s go talk to Lex again.

“Well done, Superman. That was just the beginning. See what’s next.” Fade out. Now we’re in the next room.

Wait a second. You mean this ‘game’ Luthor eluded to was finding a stupid memo and reading it? This game may have just reached a new low.

The next room reveals three control panels — a red one, green one, and blue one — and in the center, KRYPTONITE!

At the bottom of the screen is a Green K meter that shows you how close you are to the Kryptonite, but regardless of how close or far you are from it, it takes the same amount of health away. Recall the memo Parasite left behind and clobber the appropriate computer panels. A really annoying glitch here is that every time you hit a computer, the words “computer activated” will appear and will remain on screen for a few seconds. While this text is on screen, Superman cannot move at all, leaving him open to take damage from the Green K and the enemies in the corner now firing at him.

Once you hit all the computers, the Kryptonite will disappear, and you can take out the shadowy enemies with your heat vision. Jump into the next room and grab a disc, then you will be asked to “choose an enemy.” Walk through the next door where Luthor’s big head will appear again saying “You’ve stopped me for the last time, Superman. Now I will control Metropolis!”

You’ll be taken back to the four elevator shafts where you’ll find a new one has been unlocked. This takes you to a NASA mission control-looking room with some floating robots and shadowy enemies. Lex will taunt you more, commanding his own ‘Man of Steel’ to attack, however, no alternate ‘Man of Steel’ appears or attacks. You see a hallway which holds several computer panels.

Each panel you encounter has a group of letters. The idea is to scramble the letters to spell out ‘Luthor’…fun stuff, right? Well, at least it’s a lot more thrilling than reading a memo. After you finish the puzzle, you enter Luthor’s office where BRAINIAC awaits!

Unfortunately instead of an epic boss fight, Brianiac escapes in his hover chair, leaving you with some wimpy robots to beat up. In the center of the room Luthor is either trapped in a force field, or has locked himself in it, I’m not sure, but on his desk are more memos to read. One from Metallo informing Luthor that he has Lois Lane in his clutches, and one from Darkseid telling Luthor he has Jimmy Olsen (I didn’t realize they had fax machines on Apokolips). This wraps up stage four where Superman moves on to face an evil so sick and twisted, it almost made me throw my Nintendo 64 against the wall in disgust – rings.

Stage 5

“There’s no time to waste!” Superman declares every damn time he has rings to fly through. We get three and a half minutes to fly through a very simple set. You can admire the crappy designing of virtual Metropolis and it’s great pink abyss of a sky as you pass through this one.

After that, you have two minuets to “destroy the five enemies” which consist of RPG-carrying shadow thugs and mine droppers.

Next is four minutes of more rings. At the end of this set you’re challenged with blowing away two tornadoes. Just like before, use your super breath do dissipate them, but be weary of shadow guys shooting rockets at you.

Also, there is a woman pushing a stroller carrying her baby walking near these tornadoes and heavy gunning shadow goons. DO NOT APPROACH THIS WOMAN. first of all she’s very irresponsible for having her child and herself out for a walk during these nasty conditions. If you accidentally fly into her, you’ll killer, thus ending your game and having to start the rings over.

Now that the weather is clear of twisters and rockets, we have four MORE minutes of rings to fly through. Next you have a pedestrian to protect from several shadow enemies. Some of these enemies you can sneak up behind and blitzkrieg the back of their heads, because they are apparently deaf and have no peripheral vision, and will never see you coming. The woman pedestrian expresses her gratitude by crossing her arms and staring at you menacingly. I’m not joking.

I bet she also ordered five minutes of rings, because that’s exactly what’s next. Lots of moving rings here. It’s painfully boring and uninteresting.

Stage 6

Another weird glitchy cut scene that shows us we’re at some some kind of power plant or factory or whatever. Oh, and Lois is being held captive.

So we’re dropped in and the same graphics glitch is here with the giant blue background. As we fly toward it, the room takes form and we go down a hallway, taking out some shadow goons, and we hear Lois calling for help. “Don’t try to rescue me, before you stop them all!” reads the caption, misplaced comma and all. So she’s telling us to defeat all the enemies first. Fine. As we fly through the room killing everyone, we see that Lois is there trapped in a room.

Once all the shadows are gone, strike a computer panel near the top of the level and Lois is free! She’ll meet you on the floor and tell you all about Luthor’s big plan to smuggle some weapons and stuff! After thirty hours of dialogue boxes on screen, she thanks you and walks away, where literally two seconds after, she gets captured again by some shadow guys.

Are you freakin’ serious, Lois? You don’t go snooping around a giant warehouse filled with poorly designed thugs lurking about, trying to drag you into a corner, especially after I JUST rescued your ass.

Magically, she’s in another room somewhere in the warehouse surrounded by baddies. You’ll have to do a bit of exploring now and familiarize yourself with the three different floors here to find exactly where she is. If you’re lucky, you’ll stumble across the access keys to these different floors. Once you get the key to level three, you’ll find Lois trapped in a laser cage with Kryptonite in the room. Fiddle with the three computers and another room will open where you’ll find METALLO!

The great thing about Metallo is that the deaf and no peripheral vision disease has struck him, and you can obliterate him before he realizes what’s happening. Then he allows you to free Lois and runs away. Go back down the hall and meet Lane.

“Luthor has created an assembly line to build Lexo’skel 5000’s,” Lois says. “It’s controlled by a computer somewhere near by. I’m going to investigate for it.”

LIKE BALLS YOU ARE LOIS! Remember the last time I saved your ass and you walked right into another trap? Well, Lois has Superman whipped pretty badly, because off Lois walks into more danger.

We’ll fly back into the main room where a giant robot (a Lex’skel 5000 I presume) is waddling around. Beat the christ out of it and find the hallway with the computer you need to access to stop the assembly line. Again, in an environment filled with hallways and random computers, this can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. A map or key would have been great here. But that would make sense, now wouldn’t it?

When you stop the assembly line, you’ll hear Lois crying for help because she’s found herself in more calamity with the shadow gang. That bitch.

Now fly to the newly opened level four to get the access key to level two. In this room you’ll see squares on the floor with beams of light over them. In the corners are boxes of smuggled weapons that you must lift and put onto the squares on the floor. Another daunting task for Superman to overcome.

A door will open revealing Lois who says, “Thank you, Superman, we can leave this dreadful place now.”

REALLY? Are you sure you don’t want to wander off and get captured a hundred more times?

We follow Lois back out to the main room where lots of enemies wait. You have to stay near Lois at all times, because if you stray too far, she’ll be attacked and you’ll have 14 seconds to save her. So basically you have to walk along side Lois as she walks as slowly as F’ing possible toward the next room: Level five.

Here you’ll find Metallo again, who has a habit of completely ignoring your existence and walking in circles and into corners. Seriously. I reloaded the game about five times because I wanted to have an actual fight with him, but he’s been snorting some glitch and is glitched out of his mind.

So just beat the piss out of him as he tries to ignore you and you’ll win the day!

Holy crap. This stage actually has me looking forward to the rings I’ll have to fly through in the next stage. I don’t know if I can handle this anymore. Come back next week for more Superman 64 awesomeness…if you dare!

Andrew Hurst



  1. billy

    Funny stuff AH!

  2. “The only way to save your friends is the finish the game!” Guess I would have to look for some new friends lol

  3. […] Comics Console’s ongoing celebration of comic book’s worst video game moves forward. Last week we put up with Lois Lane’s bunk, showed Metallo who his daddy was and flew through more rings. […]

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