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Batman for the Turbo Grafx-16: Hints, Tips, and Controls
~ By tankMage (October 2016)*
Batman for the PC Engine (Turbo Grafx-16) was released only in Japan, so English information on this game is scarce. The purpose of this guide is to give the English speaking audience a general idea of how this game works and provide some tips. For the most part Batman is very simple, since your goal is almost always to pick up a number of items scattered throughout each stage, but it helps to understand the controls and how powerups work as well as how to approach combat.
D-pad: Moves Batman in the four cardinal directions as well as diagonally. Also selects different options on the start screen and cycles through characters on the password entry screen.
1&2 Buttons: Fires a batarang. These buttons are also used to change the facing of the Batman/Joker sprites while entering a password.
Run: Starts/pauses the game.
There will be a number of square icons scattered throughout each stage. Some of these upgrades improve Batman’s performance, while others produce a specific effect upon being collected. Players can collect a particular upgrade icon about twice to obtain a bonus; for instance, the multiple batarangs icon will allow Batman to have three batarangs in the air simultaneously if you collect two of them. Other icons like clocks and bombs will always have an effect when gathered.
This upgrade will greatly increase the speed at which Batman hurls his batarangs, which will leave you less vulnerable when attacking.
At first players must wait until a batarang returns to Batman before throwing another. Collecting this upgrade will allow players to have up to three batarangs active at once.
Collect these to increase the range of batarangs. Also seems to increase the speed at which batarangs travel slightly.
Batman will move around the map faster after collecting these.
This powerup will add a minute to the timer.
These explode upon being gathered and will clear the screen of enemies.
Stars make Batman invincible for about five seconds. During the invincibility window, Batman will flash and defeat any enemies he comes into contact with.
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Avoid this one when possible, because it will strip Batman of every bonus he has collected, leaving him very weak.
Arrows: Sometimes a red, flashing arrow will appear after you collect an item. Stepping on an arrow will open a new path.
Triangle: Stepping on a red triangle will cause Batman to hoist himself up and move to a set location in the stage. Many areas can only be accessed via these triangles.
Death: Batman will perish upon touching an enemy (unless it is stunned by a batarang or Batman is invincible), hit by a projectile, or when the timer runs out. You start with two lives and will be given the option of obtaining a password or continuing the game when you run out of lives; you will start from the stage where you died without any upgrades if you continue our use a password.
Defeating Enemies: The Joker’s minions wander around each stage. Some move very quickly, others follow a set path, fire guns, or even pursue Batman. Touching an enemy is lethal, but Batman can use his batarang to stun foes. Once stunned, an enemy will not move for about three seconds and Batman can knock them off of the screen by walking into them.
Bonus Lives: Batman will earn points every time he picks up an item or defeats an enemy. The game will award the player with an extra life every time he or she earns 15,000 points, which is very useful since it allows the player avoid the Game Over screen and hold onto Batman’s upgrades.
There are five areas in the game: Gotham, Flugelheim Museum, Axis Chemical Factory, Gotham (revisited), and the Cathedral. The first four areas are comprised of 12 stages a piece for a total of 48 stages. In each stage of the initial four areas, the player must complete certain objectives, which are displayed on the lower right hand side of the screen, in order to move forward. The Cathedral is focused primarily on combat. Here are the goals for each area:
Gotham: Gather pots, boxes, and vials the Joker has planted throughout the town (these are presumably bombs).
Flugelheim Museum: Batman must clean off paintings that have been defaced by the Joker and his lackeys. Defaced paintings can be recognized by the brightly colored graffiti that has been scribbled on them.
Axis Chemical Factory: Batman must plant bombs throughout each level to destroy the facility. A red “X” marks the spot where each bomb must be placed.
Gotham (revisited): The Joker has scattered parade balloons filled with poison gas throughout the stage. Walk into each balloon to cut it loose and complete the objective.
Cathedral: Batman must defeat the Joker and his goons in combat.
Dealing with Enemies
Here are some tips on how to beat various bad guys and stay alive.
Use terrain to your advantage!
Batarangs can fly over chasms and through walls. This is especially useful when dealing with fast moving mobs and those that fire projectiles, since you can safely stun them through the wall and run to a secure location or move in for the kill. Walls also provide cover from bullets and Batman can avoid slow moving projectiles as well as some foes by stepping into alcoves.
Learn enemy patterns.
Most enemies move in a set pattern and observing the paths they take can give you a major advantage. Staying just out of a foe’s movement range and waiting for it to pass is a great way to sneak past bad guys or get an attack in without putting yourself in danger. It’s also useful to know how different enemies react to Batman, since some thugs will speed up or fire guns when approached.
While Batman can kill mobs, it’s important to remember they will reappear in the spot where they were defeated after about ten seconds. To avoid being trapped by respawning foes, move quickly (and cautiously) and don’t hesitate to grab items or activate objects associated with objectives. Fortunately, the action momentarily freezes while Batman interacts with objective items, which can buy you precious seconds in some situations. Enemies will also flash for a few seconds and won’t move as they are respawning, which can buy you some time to react.
The foes in the Cathedral require a bit more skill and strategy to defeat than those in previous stages. There are only three enemies here, including the Joker, and having some upgrades like improved batarangs really helps in these fights.
Flying Kick Thug: The first bad guy you’ll face in the Cathedral will walk around the room and perform a long range flying kick when he is on the same plane as Batman. Throw your batarang at him just as he begins performing his kick and you will damage him. Don’t bother attacking him while he is walking around, since he’ll just block the attacks. Three or four hits will end this fight.
Ball & Chain Thug: This guy will walk towards Batman while swinging a ball and chain. Just hit him with batarangs as rapidly as you can to push him into the hole.
The Joker: This is the final battle. Joker will plant wind up teeth that chase Batman and occasionally fire his gun. The teeth will follow you until they eventually explode, so just walk around, keep, your distance and get hits in when you can. Once the Joker is nearly dead, he’ll send dozens of teeth at you, so try to react quickly and circumvent them before they corner you. After a few seconds the teeth will explode, which is your chance to get a few more hits in and defeat the Joker. Once he is nearly defeated, he’ll start to swoon like a regular foe, which is your cue to charge into him and knock him off of the balcony.
The goals for each area and their respective stages are listed under the rules section. While the objectives are simple, there are a few rules of thumb that help make clearing each stage easier.
Don’t get greedy!
Powerups are common and it’s tempting to try to get them all, but Batman only benefits from collecting an item about two or three times (unless you continue, then you start out without any bonuses). Just grab what you need and focus on fulfilling objectives before time runs out or something kills you.
Come up with a strategy.
Hitting the “run” button will pause the game. This is a great way to stop the clock and get an idea of what is around you. Always try to grab objectives without doubling back or encountering many enemies, since doing so reduces your chances of failing and saves time.
Memorize where red triangles lead.
There are many points where you will need to step on a red triangle to travel to an otherwise inaccessible spot on the map. Some stages have many such points and it’s best to use logic and either write down or make mental notes of where each triangle will take you.
*Special thanks to The Every Gamer for providing advice, input, and fact checking for this guide.
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