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|Batman: Return of the Joker|
Packaging for the NES version
|Platform(s)||NES, Game Boy, Sega Genesis|
Batman: Return of the Joker[a] is a 1991 platform video game, the follow-up to Sunsoft's first Batman game on the Nintendo Entertainment System. Unlike that game, which was based on the 1989 Batman film directed by Tim Burton, Return of the Joker is entirely self-contained and based more on the modern comic book iteration of Batman. However, Batman mans the Batmobile and the Batwing from the 1989 film. A remake of Return of the Joker, titled Batman: Revenge of the Joker, was released on the Sega Genesis by Ringler Studios in 1992. A Super NES version of Revenge of the Joker was in development, but never released.
A completely different version of the game was released on the Game Boy in 1992.
Each version of the game is essentially the same in storyline and format. The story begins with the Joker escaping from Arkham Asylum, and with various henchmen and mercenaries plots to destroy Gotham City by targeting it with missiles with warheads that are filled with his deadly Joker-gas from his secret island base. Batman must survive several side-scrolling levels, as well as defeat five boss levels, to ensure that Gotham is safe.
Batman is armed with a utility belt that allows him to collect various types of icons throughout the stages in order to shoot different types of batarangs and projectiles. Batman only has one type of batarang in the Game Boy version. The console version of the game uses a password feature which allows players to return to any non-boss level which they have previously reached. The Game Boy version allows the player to select a level at the start of the game.
The music for the NES version was composed by Naoki Kodaka, with sound programming by Nobuyuki Hara and Shinichi Seya. The Game Boy version of the game had an entirely original soundtrack composed by Manami Matsumae. For the Genesis Revenge of the Joker, Kodaka's soundtrack was adapted by Tommy Tallarico.
The game utilizes Sunsoft's FME-7 mapper chip; it has the distinction of being the only licensed North American NES release to have a third party mapper chip, which was common on Famicom cartridges, but normally never used on international releases for cost reasons--as one example, Sunsoft's earlier Batman game used a Sunsoft 5B mapper in the Famicom version, which was changed to a Nintendo MMC3 for the North American release.
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