Superman Prototype Analysis - Page 2

Welcome to part 2!


There's a little bit to talk about regarding multiplayer. If you have 2 or more controllers plugged in, then when you hit New Game you get an option for multiplayer. The retail version gave you the choice between a race or a fight. The beta version has just one option and it looks like it's for fighting. The multiplayer game options are exactly the same, but character selection has changed.

Both games feature these characters:

The prototype also has these characters:

While the retail version instead has these two:

This is yet another situation where the beta version is superior. Why did they remove Superman as a playable character in multiplayer? I also don't see the point of including a Dark Shadow, those things are everywhere in single player. Mercy Graves is a cool addition, but this is the only time you see her in the retail version.

The beta version's multiplayer levels do load, but only in emulators. They don't work on flash carts likely due to excessive checksum errors that the console can't handle. All you'll see on console is a white screen. If you're playing on an emulator, then you'll see that it's just the same multiplayer. Sadly the beta's multiplayer controls are so unbelievably screwed up that it's unplayable.

Level Differences


Metropolis is this most significant level to be changed between the retail and beta builds of Superman 64. All you did in the retail version of Metropolis was fly through rings, beat a mini-game, fly through more rings, and then beat another mini-game. It was just that over and over again for 7 stages. 7 stages!!! The beta version had some real levels.

The fog in the beta version is white/clear. It's a putrid colour of green in the final version. I realize that it's supposed to be Kryptonite fog, but come on, the green looks awful! If you ever see someone on YouTube playing Superman and the sky is purple, then they're playing on an old emulator. The sky was never purple.

The Metropolis area that you see in the beta version is complete for the most part. I just noticed this one part where they hadn't put the road in.

One of the most important things the beta included was the over-range. This locked you to the general area in which the mission was being played. In the retail version you can fly wherever you want. This isn't a good thing though because it's easy to get lost and not be able to find your way back. When that happens you have to wait for your time to run out just to get back to where you're supposed to be.

That's one more picture I wanted to show. If you're playing the retail version and want to find the spot where the beta version's ambulance rescue took place, then try level 7. Play through the first set of rings, defeat the 4 dark shadows in the mini-game, and then keep your eyes peeled when flying through the next set of rings. The rings will eventually go right past the ambulance rescue location. It's almost scary being in this location. This spot may be of no significance now, but at one point there was a real game going on up here.

Park Place

The beta's Park Place levels are mostly the same compared to the single retail level. Of course the retail level is still crappy like you'd expect. The changes made are minor here.

The beta version was planning something that never got finished. At the beginning of the level you see some lasers across the floor and a few gates. I've tried covering the lasers with crates and nothing seems to happen. The purpose of the lasers will never be known because Titus decided to just delete them for the retail version. Also, the entry and exit signs have swapped places.

Now this is something the retail version improved. There's a large square shaped room in Park Place that has some powerups in it. It also allows you to access all the different floors. Oddly enough all the entrances had this wall you had to go around. The camera always had trouble following you through these entrances so Titus decided to just get rid of them for the final.

That's about it. The final version does have cars placed throughout the top floor. It being a Parking lot does make this appropriate. You also had to break a wall in the retail version to get to Jimmy.


Titus screwed up big time here. This was an exciting couple of levels in the beta version. The retail version had it dumbed down and simplified to the point where it's crap. In the retail version you start at one end of the subway. You have to fly all the way to the other end, then all the way back to where you started, then back half way to where the train stop is. You'd kill the Lexo-Skel, and the exit to the level would open up in the roof. This is just pathetic as you don't have to go in any of the side rooms and the majority of the enemies can just be ignored. There isn't even a villain to fight. Subway I in the beta version was meant to be a quick level, but Subway II was more exciting as you had to search around and fight Metallo. There are a few notable differences to the level layout.

Some of these side rooms in the beta version had these holes you could drop down. This was an underground part that was connected to a different part of the Subway. There's no such thing in the retail version as they covered these holes. The third picture is what the underground part looks like.

All rooms had doors in the retail version, while the beta version only had them if there was a Kryptonite diffuser or something important behind them.

This one is a bit of a goof up in the beta version. There's these exit doors that are supposed to tease you. They stay open and when you get near them, they close. In the beta version the opposite happens so you can actually exit through them. There isn't much to see as they lead nowhere.

The beta version is unfinished with the ends of the subway. They had invisible walls blocking them off. They probably left it like this because they may have wanted to eventually make the Subway longer.

Brainiac's Starship

What a strange level the Starship is! In the retail version, this level just plain sucks. The glitches are insane and there's so many of them! It takes over half an hour to complete and even if you do everything right you'll still probably have to restart a few times. Even with the beta version's Starship level being incomplete, I still think it's more fun. It doesn't have nearly as many glitches as retail. You'll also don't have to go everywhere in the beta version as you had to enter every single last room in retail. This level was probably going to be entirely different than what was planned. Here are a few changes I noticed:

The beta version has this strange glass that sticks out. It's difficult to fly around and it's an improvement that it's gone.

The floor right above that last room has all this weird alien stuff. It's only in the beta version though as the retail just left these rooms empty. You don't even have to enter this room in the beta version.

In the same room there's this odd thing up top. I'm not sure what its purpose was. In the retail version they removed it and just left a hole in the wall.

The beta version also had these parts which would lead to a lower floor. They're glitchy though so don't use them. They were covered in the retail version.

Other changes to this level involve Brainiac being fought in a different spot, and one less room in the retail. One of those upstairs parts was covered. The cover looks real obvious too.


Now we're getting into the really unfinished levels. You'll need to use the level modifier code to reach the next four levels. Our first level is the Dam which is so unfinished that there's no collision setup. As soon as you start the level you're going to just fall straight through the floor. It's a good thing Superman can fly. If this were any other game, we wouldn't be able to see the level. There's a few changes to this level that really make me wonder what Titus was planning.

The computers in the very first room are different and not broken. It looks like you didn't have to activate them after all.

There are also extra ways down. In the retail version this room is where you collected the super breath powerup. In the beta this room would lead you all the way down to where the Dam workers were being held. There was another way down on the other side which lead you to the spot where that first door was that would eventually lead you to those workers.

If you were wondering how to get down the elevator, then you can just fly down it very slowly. The rest of the level is still down there. There are a few enemies in that next room, but they don't attack you, they're just there for testing. Both rooms on each side appear to be the same. The electric eel is down in the water below. He just swims in place and is unable to hurt you. You'll also hear a different water flow sound in that area.


LexCorp is pretty incomplete, but at least you don't have to fly everywhere like the Dam. There are a few changes here and there, but for the most part I think this level would've played out the same.

When you start the level you're greeted by, Parasite! Yes nice to see he's in this game. Parasite is able to punch, fly, and lift objects. There are no mission objectives so killing him will complete the level. At the last part of the retail version you fight Brainiac, so maybe Parasite was the planned enemy.

To your right there are some extra chairs in the lobby. These are the ones that Parasite can lift. The retail version also added a painting on the wall.

In the first room you'll find that the computers aren't coloured. That's the part of the level that may have differed a little. Also, the glass between this room and the next is not breakable. You still can enter the second room from the other door though.

This room of LexCorp has its own level modifier for some reason. I had it labelled as LexCorp II in the codes section. The computers in this area actually have chairs in front of them.

Also, there were different pictures on the wall instead of static. That static in the retail version doesn't move, it's just a still picture.

You'll find Lex Luthor in different parts of this level. He's protected by some kind of shield so you can't hurt him. He looks like a cardboard cut out. The final version of the game had him in the final room with Brainiac.

This is the final room. The beta version looks so much better because that's how it looked in the show. You almost expect Lex Luthor to be sitting behind his desk with Mercy Graves standing to his right. The retail version just plain sucks. Lex is here behind a shield. You'd fight Brainiac, but when you beat him he just escapes. There are also notes on the table that spoil every upcoming boss fight.


The Warehouse would've probably played out a little bit differently, and would've had a different boss instead of Metallo. Otherwise it should've been more of the same. I noticed a few odd differences though.

Right when you start the level you'll notice the different floor texture. There's a few different floor textures in the level. To the side is this danger area with smaller bars in the retail. It's also harder to see what's inside in the retail.

The large room you'd go to next has no ramp leading up to the second level. You probably wouldn't have had to rescue Lois from there.

The Kryptonite Diffuser had different lasers around it. The lasers are red in the retail version and green in beta. Considering how they could've been kryptonite lasers, I think they were better when green.

This is the room where you fought Metallo in retail. There's only one computer here in the beta version. Two more were added for retail.

This mirror has tiles over it in the beta. Looks cool, but the retail version's basic mirror looks better.

Some computers are in this room in the beta version. They're absent in retail.

S.T.A.R. Labs

Lastly we have the star labs. This is the second most incomplete level. Collision is here, but only sort of. You start this level where the bottom part of the elevator is, right before the long tunnel. The elevator behind you isn't working so you can't go up. If you go all the way to the other end of the hallway then you'll find you can't fall down as there's an invisible floor. If you want to explore this level, then you'll want to throw on Super Speed and glitch through the wall like you did in Brainiac's Starship.

There are some differences in this level though. In the retail version you had to go underwater, kill some crab enemies, and grab a keycard in a small tunnel. The beta version planned to have a path come up and connect that tunnel right to floor near where Professor Hamilton is. This opening was covered in the retail version. That's probably the biggest difference.

In the top part of this level you were able to see a tunnel that had some kind of energy going through it. This tunnel has no such energy in the beta. The room that the tunnel leads to has just one computer in it, while the beta version had three.

Lastly, the cage where you trap Parasite inside in the retail is differently coloured. That whole surrounding area is coloured differently as well. It's hard to explain.

Audio Differences

The background music that was used in Beta Superman and Retail Superman is almost the same. The order of which track went with what level has been mixed around though. The Beta version of Superman does have one track that's exclusive and does not make an appearance in the retail version. You can hear that track here. The track sounds different from the rest of the music. That's not a bad thing though. That track was used on Brainiac's Starship and since that's the final level, I think it would've worked great there.

I went through all the sound effects between these games and I did notice a few differences. Beta Superman does have a few extra sounds, mostly voice clips. Oddly enough there's some sound effects that are in both games, but they aren't actually used anywhere. All of the Beta sound effects that aren't in the retail version can be heard here.

Misc Differences

  • In beta Superman you have a mission objectives screen. This is so helpful! This really should not have been cut.
  • Bosses in beta Superman have their own health meter. Well all of them except for Darkseid. Again, this really should not have been cut.
  • As you might've noticed in some screenshots, the camera has Superman centered in the beta version, while Superman is lower in the retail.
  • The beta Shadow Walkers take a lot more hits to kill than in the retail.
  • The health powerup has the exact same pick-up sound effect as all the other super powers in beta.
  • There's an extra powerup in Park Place II that doesn't appear in the final game. It's an hourglass that adds 1 minute of time to your time limit.
  • Most powerups in beta Superman only fill about 1/10 of your meter. They aren't very generous.
  • Some levels in the beta version start you off with your Heat Vision and Super Breath.
  • In Beta Superman, the Shadow Walkers walk around a lot more. In Park Place they'll go back and forth guarding a spot. Some will shoot you and then run away.
  • The large robots seen in Brainiac's Starship of the the retail version, are in the files of the beta version. They just aren't used anywhere.
  • Lexo-Skel robots are controlled by people. They don't just work by themselves. The beta version explains that one was hijacked by a Shadow Walker, but the retail version never mentions who's inside them.
  • The XV12 module was increased in size and turned into an enemy for the retail version. It was used on Brainiac's Starship.
  • The draw distance is limited in the retail version. You can see much further in the beta.
  • The beta version maintains a good framerate that rarely drops. I wish I could say that about the retail version.
  • The beta version has no music during it's ending credits. The names differ a lot too. It looks like several people left the project before it was finished and they were replaced.
  • Both versions of Superman use just 1 page and 1 note when saving to a Nintendo 64 memory card.
  • Something I didn't feel was worth pointing out all the time in this guide is where crates, boxes, and other pick-up objects are. These levels are different and of course these objects will change with it.

A lot of people complain about the controls in the retail Superman. The problem with this is that they're often holding down the B-button, which is the button to go forward. Superman is a lot easier to control if you think of him as a car. When you're playing a racing game and making a sharp turn, you need to ease off the gas, or even brake a little bit just so that you don't hit a wall. That logic applies to Superman as well. Superman flies really fast so you need to ease off the B-button when making a sharp turn.

With that said, the controls of Beta Superman are so much better. I was used to the retail controls and fine with them, but when I adjusted to the beta version it was hard to go back. The flying controls have been tightened and Superman also doesn't fly as fast. One annoying thing in the retail version is that when you start flying, you always go up a little bit. You could never start flying when you were near a roof because the roof would be in the way. The beta version made you build up your speed a bit more as you wouldn't be as fast when you just started flying. I do like the beta versions control layout much better. Having different types of punches that can even be combined is much more creative. All of your regular punches are still in the retail version, they're just on the same button and Superman cycles through them. The whole En Garde seems to be automatic.

One more little thing worth mentioning is this robot:

This robot is actually in the files of both versions of the game, but neither game used it. The robot is capable of moving around and punching. It doesn't actually appear on LexCorp, we just replaced Parasite with him.

Cheats & Codes

Due to this game being unfinished, cheating can be sort of necessary. Here's all the codes and cheats I could find. If you find any more please let me know.

In-Game Cheats

Skip Level
Pause the game and press C-Up followed by C-Down. The level you're on will instantly count as being defeated.

View Credits
When at the main menu press C-Up followed by C-Down.

Gameshark Codes

Level Modifier
Only use one of the level modifier cheats at a time. The game will crash if you use any more. Once the cheat has been entered, start a new game and you will start on the level you chose. Make sure to turn the code off before you complete the level, otherwise once you finish you'll be taken back to the same level instead of onto the next one.

Metropolis I 810C4F96 0001
Park Place I 810C4F96 0000
Park Place II 810C4F96 000A
Subway I 810C4F96 000B
Metropolis II 810C4F96 0009
Subway II 810C4F96 0002
Brainiac's Starship 810C4F96 0003
Unfinished Warehouse 810C4F96 0004
Unfinished Dam 810C4F96 0005
Unfinished LexCorp I 810C4F96 0006
Unfinished LexCorp II 810C4F96 0007
Unfinished Star Labs 810C4F96 0008
Multiplayer Starship 810C4F96 000E
Multiplayer Metropolis 810C4F96 000F

All Levels Unlocked
Before you can use this cheat, you need to start a new game, beat the first level, and then make a save file to your memory card. Once you've done that, turn this cheat on, and when you resume your game pick the save file you just created. All the levels will be unlocked.
800cb621 0010

Infinite Health
812128D0 42C0
812128D2 0000

Infinite Heat Vision
812128E0 42C0
812128E2 0000

Infinite Super Speed
812128D8 42C0
812128DA 0000

Infinite Super Breath
812128E4 42C0
812128E6 0000

Infinite X-Ray Vision
812128DC 42C0
812128DE 0000

Character Modifier
Just punch in one of the following codes and you'll appear as that character on that level. Note that these codes are level specific.

Play as Jimmy in Level 2 8028E78F 0004
Play as Shadow Walker in Level 2 8028E78F 0002
Play as Lexo-Skell 5000 in Level 4 8026FD57 0008
Play as Rhinorobot in Level 5 8027569F 0016
Play as Mala in Level 5 8027569F 000F
Play as Bizarro in Level 5 8027569F 000C
Play as Metallo in Level 6 8026F99F 0005
Play as Brainiac in Level 7 8026D5FF 0007
Play as Crab Robot in Level 7 8026D5FF 0012


If you'd like to see Beta Superman in action than I've prepared a video showing off just over an hour of gameplay. You can find that video here.

Q & A

Send me any questions you have about beta Superman. I'll post the answers here.

Where can I download this ROM?
Try the NESWorld forums.

Are there any rings in this game?
There are no ring levels and we haven't found any rings in the files of the prototype. The rings are 100% missing in action in Beta Superman.

What do you think made Titus decide to have so many rings in the retail version?
Back in the day, Titus advertised that they were going to have 14-16 levels for this game. We saw in this prototype that they created the Subway and Park Place locations, but then made two different levels out of each. It's likely that when the licensor made them restart development they didn't have enough time to make two levels out of each stage so they had to opt for these rings. The ring stages didn't take Titus any effort to make so slapping out 7 stages of them was easy. It's very likely that having rings in the final version of Superman was an original idea of Titus, but they probably planned to make them a training stage or maybe just have one level of them. Not 7 friggin levels of rings as seen in the final version.

Which levels are worth playing?
I would recommend playing levels 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6. Although level 3 does require a simple cheat to complete, the level is tedious with the constant carrying of objects. Carrying things is also glitchy and you may end up having to restart. Level 7 is also a nightmare, I wouldn't recommend it.

Why does Level 3 not have any Super Breath Powerups?
The level technically does, but we can't get them to appear. One look at the ROM reveals that there are 3 different spots where a Super Breath powerup is supposed to be, but none of them are showing up for some reason. They might have to be triggered somehow. I've spent hours fooling around on that level; I honestly don't know why they don't appear.

How do I remove the lasers on level 7?
The very first few can be removed by killing the crab enemies. The rest cannot be removed. The level is very unfinished though, so you'll have to try glitching through.

How do I glitch through walls/lasers in level 7?
I was hoping you wouldn't ask. Throughout the level we need to glitch through walls, as well as lasers. When it comes to these locations, I find if you keep running back and forth against a wall or set of lasers, you will eventually go through. For the part where you have to glitch through the wall, try running straight at it, and then when you hit the wall and stop, immediately turn around and try walking away from the wall. The clipping in this game might pull you backwards through it. This doesn't work on the lasers though; you just have to keep running at them. Sometimes I can breach the laser in 5 seconds; sometimes it takes a couple of minutes.

How do I glitch through the lasers on level 7 when they're hurting me?
You can't, you'll have to restart the level. The lasers are not supposed to hurt you, it's a glitch.


Titus Interactive was not the greatest developer in the world, but they still produced some cool stuff. Though the final version of Superman on the Nintendo 64 sucks, this beta version proves that they knew what they were doing, and were on the right track to making an excellent Superhero game. Had the game continued on the path it was going, it still would not have been a hit, but it would've been a safe and average game like intended. I'm glad I had the opportunity to play the beta version. Though the reputation of Superman 64 being awful will live on, I do hope people see this page and understand that it's Warner Bros. & DC Comics who needs to be blamed and not Titus.

Special Thanks & Sources

This page was not possible without the help of the following people:

Martin: Thanks very much for releasing this ROM. Your generosity is greatly appreciated.

SubDrag: Found all the Gameshark codes and dumped the audio. He was a big help in writing this article. He's a cool guy, thanks very much.

Thanks to the guy who wrote this interview.

Written by Kevin Ames
July 6 2013