Famicom: July-Sept. 1989

BATMAN: The Beta

Now this is a classic Sunsoft game. Great music, fantastic moody graphics, and ultra-challenging yet addictive game play made it a surefire hit tie-in with the movie. Announced in August for a December 1989 release, the game itself looks pretty much completed, with only minor changes to levels (1-Up powerup that got deleted, for example).

What did change a few times were the cinemas. Before a solid plot and movie stills could be obtained for Sunsoft to use, the art style and tone varied wildly. (Look out for the Batman NES prototype on the internet to see for yourself!)

Predating any known proto, however, is this unsettling headshot of a giant-eyed Vicki. Yeeow.

The Joker's also here, looking just like he did in the comic books.

Love the Prince haircut, Joker!

Famimaga reported on the game the same week as Famitsu did, but used a later version, it would seem. (Either that, or Famitsu had some really old screenshots that they re-used alongside the newer ones.)

Of note is the classic "Where is she? Vicki's in Gotham City. Gotham City?" dialogue, wherein a whitebread street punk reminds the Batman what city he is supposed to be a defender of.

The earliest version of Batman (above) tends to have more glitchy code related to the life bar display. It's been mostly fixed in this version and in the final game.

Hey kids! Bored of yer toy batmobiles and Batman pajamas? Your Batman collectible Slurpee cups just collecting dust? Wanna try a radical new taste?

Well, these Batman snacks are for you! They come with a Batman trading card! And they're squid-flavoured!


I am not making this up. After the smash success of the movie, Calbee corp. saw fit to make a licensed squid-flavoured snack. Why on earth did they choose squid? It could have something to do with the word "IkaSunakku" (squid snack) containing the word "IKASU", meaning "totally cool!". Yes, I know.