Director(s)Toshiyuki Nishimura
Designer(s)Hidehiro Fujiwara
Noboru Yasukawa (hardware)
Programmer(s)Tohru Sugawara
Hideaki Tomioka
Hideki Hashimoto
Mari Iwano
Tadakazu Aono
Artist(s)Yoshihiko Wakita
Junji Yarita
Taira Sanuki
Shinobu Iwabuchi
Akira Saito
Minori Ishino
Takako Kojima
Toshiyuki Nishimura
Composer(s)Masahiko Takaki
Kazuyuki Onui
Shizuo Aizawa
Takami Asano
Genre(s)Beat 'em up, shoot 'em up
Arcade systemTaito X System

Superman is a 1989 arcade action game released by Taito and featuring the DC Comics character Superman. While not directly based on the original film series, throughout much of the game the "Superman Main Theme" and "Can You Read My Mind" from the Superman films are used as background music.

In the game, the player assumes the role of Superman, who must fight through five levels to make the world safe from the evil Emperor Zaas, a character exclusive to this game. The game can be played by up to two players simultaneously, with the second player taking control of another Superman with a different colored costume.


Superman faces a boss during the vertically scrolling part of game's first level.

The player takes control of Superman, who must fight through five levels to make the world safe from the evil Emperor Zaas, a villain similar to Brainiac. The first player takes control of the traditional blue Superman, while the second player takes control of a red Superman with a grey cape.[2] The title starts out in Metropolis before going to San Francisco, Las Vegas and Washington, D.C. Superman is able to punch, kick and fly. He can also use a projectile "Sonic Blast" attack when the player holds down then releases the punch button. There are also objects in the levels he can throw and/or break. Some of these objects release blue crystals that can restore Superman's energy, yellow crystals that allow the player to throw one projectile attack without charging or red crystals in flying stages that defeat all the enemies on the screen.[3] The first four levels have three-parts - a side-scrolling part, followed by a vertically scrolling flying part and a final side-scrolling shooter part where Superman uses heat vision instead of kicking and can destroy or dodge obstacles such as rocks. Each part has a boss at the end. The final level, the main boss' spaceship, adds a side-scrolling shooting section to the beginning and an extra final boss fight at the end.

Second player

The second player's Superman is identical to the first player's blue Superman, except for the color scheme. Whereas the first player controls Superman in his traditional color scheme (blue tights with a red cape, trunks and boots), the second Superman wears red tights with grey cape, trunks and boots. The presence of this alternate Superman is never explained in the game and is only intended as a co-operative gameplay mechanic.


In Japan, Game Machine listed Superman on their March 15, 1989 issue as being the fifth most-successful table arcade unit of the month.[4] Superman for the arcade was met with mixed reception from reviewers since its release.[5] Computer and Video Games gave the game a positive outlook.[6] Your Sinclair's Ciarán Brennan gave the title an overall negative outlook.[7] ACE gave it a mixed outlook.[8] The Games Machine's Robin Hogg also gave it an overall mixed outlook.[9] AllGame's Brad Cook gave it a two out of five stars rating.[10]


  1. ^ Akagi, Masumi (13 October 2006). タイトー (Taito); Taito America; S (in Japanese) (1st ed.). Amusement News Agency. pp. 43, 137, 166. ISBN 978-4990251215. ((cite book)): |work= ignored (help)
  2. ^ "The Killer List of Videogames: Superman". Retrieved July 19, 2006.
  3. ^ "Arcade Flyers: Superman". Retrieved July 19, 2006.
  4. ^ "Game Machine's Best Hit Games 25 - テーブル型TVゲーム機 (Table Videos)". Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 352. Amusement Press, Inc. 15 March 1989. p. 21.
  5. ^ Caswell, Mark (April 1989). "Arcades - Superman (Taito)". Crash. No. 63. Newsfield Publications. p. 28.
  6. ^ "Arcade Action - Superman". Computer and Video Games. No. 85. EMAP. November 1988. p. 140.
  7. ^ Brennan, Ciarán (December 1988). "Slots Of Fun - Superman (Taito)". Your Sinclair. No. 36. Dennis Publishing. p. 103.
  8. ^ "Arcade Ace: Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No! It's... Superman! (Taito 30p)". ACE. No. 18. Future Publishing. March 1989. pp. 29–30.
  9. ^ Hogg, Robin (March 1989). "Confrontation: Coin-Op - Superman". The Games Machine. No. 16. Newsfield Publications. p. 70.
  10. ^ Cook, Brad (1998). "Superman (Arcade) - Review". AllGame. All Media Network. Archived from the original on 2014-11-16. Retrieved 2020-07-13.