A series of Licensed Games
published by Sunsoft
, pitting Batman
, the the Caped Crusader of Gotham City, against his nemesis, the Joker.
Sunsoft developed six distinct games, listed here in order of release:
Of these six games, all but one were Platform Games
; the Japan-exclusive PC Engine
game turned into a Maze Game
instead. The first four were all based on the contemporary Batman
movie (which was indepedently adapted into a computer game by Ocean Software and an Arcade Game
by Atari Games). All six games featured Batman's trademark Batarangs as either a primary or alternate weapon. (In Batman
for the Game Boy
, Batman uncharacteristically carried a gun as his primary weapon.)
The NES version of Return of the Joker
(whose graphics were advertised "as hot as 16-bit") was also ported to 16-bit consoles, with the title altered to Batman: Revenge of the Joker
(presumably to avoid confusion with Batman Returns
). Sunsoft outsourced both of these ports to American studios: the Sega Genesis
version, released in 1992, was developed by Ringler Studios, and the Super Nintendo Entertainment System
version, only a prototype of which was produced, was developed by ICOM Simulations
Tropes appearing in these games:
- Auto-Scrolling Level: Batman: Return of the Joker for NES has auto-scrolling in Stages 1-2 (Roof Hopping while being bombarded by an airship), 4-1 (Traintop Battle) and 6-2 (tank battle). The Lift of Doom areas are also inescapable until the lift stops rising, either.
- Batter Up: The Game Boy version of Batman: Return of the Joker has a boss named Foul Ball who attacks by spinning a baseball bat around.
- Character Portrait: Batman: Return of the Joker for the NES shows small character portraits of Batman and the boss in every boss stage.
- Clock Tower: Stage 5-1 of Batman for the NES, with lots of spinning gears.
- Crate Expectations: In Return of the Joker for the NES, you see your first crate as soon as you enter the first level. Crates in that game contain powerups.
- Down the Drain: Batman for the NES's Stages 3-1 and 3-2 (Underground Conduits I and II), part of Gotham City's Absurdly Spacious Sewer system.
- Falling Chandelier of Doom: In Batman for the Sega Genesis, the chandeliers in Flugelheim Museum serve as Smashing Hallway Traps of Doom.
- Golden Super Mode: In Batman: Return of the Joker for the NES, Batman's Temporary Invincibility power causes his sprite to become golden.
- Grappling-Hook Pistol: Featured in Batman for the Sega Genesis and Return of the Joker for the Game Boy.
- The Lava Caves Of New York: In Batman: Return of the Joker for the NES, part of stage 3-2 involves sailing across a lava pit on a small piece of land. This stage is supposed to be some underground mine in or near Gotham City.
- Level One Music Represents: The theme song to the Streets of Gotham (titled "Streets of Desolation") is by far the best known track in the first game, both because of its sheer coolness and the fact that the Nintendo Hard nature of the game means you'll be hearing it the most.
- Lift of Doom: Batman: Return of the Joker for the NES had this in Stage 4-2, unusually incorporating conveyor belts into the lift platforms.
- Market-Based Title: The NES version of Return of the Joker was released in Japan as Dynamite Batman.
- Orbiting Particle Shield: In Batman for the Game Boy, Batman can obtain up to four Batwings to circle around him and take out nearby enemies. He will lose them first if he takes hits.
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: In the ending Batman for the NES, Batman, just before directly throws Joker off the cathedral roof to his death, says to him:
- Suddenly Blonde: In Batman for the NES, the cutscenes show a black-garbed Batman (as in the film), but the actual sprite during gameplay is a blue and purple Batsuit (largely for convenience's sake, since NES palettes usually reserved black as a background color).
- Title: The Adaptation: The games based on the Batman movie were often packaged as Batman: The Video Game.
- Unexpected Shmup Level:
- The "Gotham City Street" stage in Batman for the Sega Genesis is nominally a Batmobile driving level, but it actually plays as a horizontal shooter. The later sky stage with the Batwing (also featured in the Game Boy version) is a more normally styled example, aside from the Monster Clown inflatables.
- Batman: Return of the Joker for the NES also has two shooter stages (2-2 and 5-2) where Batman flies down horizontal tunnels in a Jet Pack.
- Batman for Game Boy has two Batwing stages.
- Wall Jump: Featured in the first NES game and Return of the Joker for the Game Boy.