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(7/16/07) Due to more interesting facts I recently stumbled on by accident as far as the music goes, I updated this vid summary.
I have to tell you, Superman for NES is one of the most terrible games I’ve ever played. But when it comes to the differences between USA and Japanese versions, they’re definitely worth bringing up.

The US version is shown first, then the JP version.

Famicom: This is definitely based on “Superman: The Movie”. Superman sprite has all facial features and expressions, and there are 8-bit versions of John Williams’ score from the film. Tracks include the Superman theme, and Superman and Lois Lane flying sequence. Also has a player register mode.

NES: Because of copyright laws in the USA, the rights to make a game from Superman: The Movie may have been too expensive for Kemco of America, so many changes had to be made. First, all facial features except for the eyes were removed from the Superman sprite. John Williams’ music was replaced with several handpicked music tracks from a Japan-only Famicom RPG called “Indora no Hikari” (Light of Indora), which is also made by Kemco.

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34 thoughts on “Superman (NES) vs. Superman (Famicom) *Descripton Updated*

  1. This game's soundtrack is interesting. The USA version uses music from an RPG game Kemco released in Japan called "Indora no Hikari". I believe they couldn't get the rights to the Superman theme in the USA, so they had to change the music, and since they were probably pressing for time, they decided to just take another game's soundtrack, something exclusive to Japan, thinking that nobody in the USA would notice. Though I think the music does fit.

    The Japanese version also has a credits scroll at the end, and in English too, so I'm not sure why it got removed from the USA version. The guy credited for music is "Ryu Hasegawa", and I can find almost nothing about the guy, besides him doing sound design on a couple LaserActive video games. Interestingly, the guy credited for the character design is "Jun Ishikawa", but I'm pretty sure it's not the same guy who worked on the Kirby series by HAL Laboratory. Some of the game designers in the credit scroll also have their faces shown in a similar style to the game's characters.

  2. The 8-bit version of John Williams' classic Superman theme was pretty cool, but still not nearly enough to save this terrible game…it's only slightly better than the N64 version!

  3. Why was the Statue of Liberty talking if I saw the Statue of Liberty talking to me I will freak out lol

  4. I don't get why many people think this is a bad game, sure it could be boring at some points but at least it's playable… (something Superman 64 wasn't able to do right.)

  5. Kemco Seika's Superman is the only decent Superman game to date.
    Sure the graphics were crap, but Clark Kent was an important gameplay element and it was an open world game.

  6. @eddy67
    Don't feel bad. I played it when I was 12 or so and couldn't figure it out either. It was at least 7 more years before I tried again and realized how to play the game.

  7. Oh man! The real Superman score DOES make a difference!! Even the "Can You Read My Mind" song during the input screen made this game more "Superman-y". Any way to game-genie the music back into the American version?!! LOL!!

  8. I love how the Famicom version asks for the player's blood type. That is so typically Japanese.

  9. Man I remember playing this when I was 4 or 5 and sucking . I wish they would make a new Superman game similar to the new Batman series by Rocksteady that would be awesome.

  10. The Japanese version is…better? I guess it's like eating a skunk versus eating a skunk with a little salt…

  11. @RpKingman
    That's right. Gamers have been spoiled rotten by modern games like Halo and Call of Duty, and that's why they pick old games like this as their scapegoats!

  12. @tour86rocker
    Now that's I'm talking about! It's 23 years later, and I think it's high time that Superman for the NES finally got that second chance it deserves!

  13. @BjGard
    What you morons fail to realise is that a game that captured the spirit of Superman would be boring as fucking hell. Here's what a real Superman game would be like: you'd fly around beating up everyone and not taking any damage, then Lex Luthor would show up with a shitload of Green Kryptonite and you'd be completely fucked. The End. Does that sound like a fun game? No, it doesn't. Superman on the NES, on the other hand, is damn fun.

  14. @ahogan
    What you fail to realise is that a game that captured the spirit of Superman would be boring as fucking hell. Here's what a real Superman game would be like: you'd fly around beating up everyone and not taking any damage, then Lex Luthor would show up with a shitload of Green Kryptonite and you'd be completely fucked. The End. Does that sound like a fun game? No, it doesn't. No, it doesn't. Superman on the NES, on the other hand, is damn fun.

  15. I guess I was the only one that like Superman's theme in American version of this game. In my opinion, it fit Superman's character: you're the hero, and everyone is counting on you to come through.

  16. @AbhiB my guess is that if they used it in america there would be some copyright law with the film or john williams.

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