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Batman (NES) Walkthrough
~By tankMage (February 2020)
Batman is considered to be one of the more difficult games on the Nintendo Entertainment System despite being rather brief. My main goal for this guide was to describe the techniques necessary to complete each stage within the context of the stage itself. Bosses are also covered in detail. There are no secrets or hidden areas in Batman, so don’t expect to find any. Finally, I used the manual that came with Batman to get the names of the bosses and weapons, but made up my own names for most of the normal enemies that appear in the game, because the names in the manual weren’t very descriptive and I wanted to avoid confusing my readers.
a. Stage 1: Gotham City
b. Stage 2: Axis Chemical Factory
c. Stage 3: Underground Conduit
d. Stage 4: Laboratory Ruins
e. Stage 5: The Cathedral
Here is a list of weapons that are available in Batman along with brief descriptions of them. The names for the weapons that are used in this guide were taken directly from the game manual. Mastering the use of Batman’s weapons is essential if you want to beat this game.
a. Fists: You will see the word “Batman” above the health meter in the upper left hand side of the screen when the fists are selected. Hit B and Batman will punch his enemies. This attack has little range, but it does not consume ammo and is nearly as effective as his other weapons. Batman can punch very quickly, take advantage of this when fighting enemies in close quarters.
b. Batarang: Looks like a boomerang on the heads up display. Batarangs only fly a short distance, but they are highly effective and can be fired very quickly. At a cost of a mere 1 ammo per round, the Batarang is the most efficient of the weapons in terms of range and power, making it a great option in most boss fights. It’s only real weakness is its limited range that makes it hard to hit enemies at certain angles and from long distances.
c. Spear Gun: The Spear Gun is represented by a pistol on the HUD. This weapon fires a rocket that travels in a straight line until it goes off screen or hits something. The rockets do more damage per hit than most other weapons, but the fact that they are destroyed upon contact (unlike the Batarang, Fists, and Dirk) means that they will get fewer hits on enemies, which decreases their overall damage. That said, they are still useful on certain bosses and distant foes. It costs 2 ammo to fire the Spear Gun.
d. Dirk: Resembles a saw blade on the HUD. When activated, Batman will throw the Dirk and it will break into three parts that fly across the screen horizontally. Due to its high ammo cost (3 ammo) and the fact that it moves very quickly, the Dirk is not not very useful against anything the Batarang can reach. However, the Dirk’s wide area of attack makes it great for hitting enemies in places other weapons can’t reach and you will need to use this weapon more frequently near the end of the game. Large targets like the tanks in Stage 3 take extra damage from Dirks.
Enemies drop items upon defeat. Pick these items up by walking over them. There are three types of items Batman can acquire.
a. Bonus Points: This is the most commonly dropped item and nearly worthless. Looks like a block with a B engraved on it. Increases your score by 1000 points, which does nothing.
b. Pellet: A blue square with a rocket etched onto it that adds 10 to Batman’s ammo.
c. Heart: A flashing heart that will refill one of your life bars. Drops rarely.
a. Master Wall Jumping
You will frequently have to perform wall jumps to get to platforms above Batman. To execute a wall jump, jump towards a wall by pressing A + Left or Right on the D-Pad. Hit the A Button a second time as you touch the wall and Batman will bound off of it in the opposite direction. It’s possible to control the distance and height of wall jumps (and regular jumps) by holding down the A Button. Get used to making precise wall jumps early on.
b. Use the Right Weapon for the Job
Do not be stingy with your special weapons. While it’s a good idea to punch weak enemies, foes that are placed in difficult to reach spots or those who are very strong should be dispatched with ranged weapons.
c. Farm Powerups
Enemies always drop some kind of powerup, even if it’s useless bonus points. If you are low on health or ammo, find a spot with weak enemies to kill and walk back and forth to get them to respawn, so you can refill your reserves. Drop claws (the domes that drop spinning robots) are usually a good source of enemies to farm, but it takes careful timing to take advantage of them.
a. Stage 1: Gotham City
Most of the enemies in this area are extremely easy, since all they do is run towards Batman. However, you will have to duck and punch the blue machines that roll along the ground. You may also want to use your ranged weapons on the flamethrower guys, otherwise you will have to wait for a gap in their bursts of fire and wade in to punch them.
Keep going right and you will have to fight some guys with guns, just duck to avoid their bullets.
You will run into blue land mines that slide towards Batman before exploding. Jump over these and any enemies that may be advancing with them. Soon you will reach a long shaft going upwards that’s guarded by flamethrowers. You can either tediously make your way up the shaft, shooting the flamethrowers as you go, or use the wall jump (jump into a wall and press A a second time just as you touch it) to scale the empty shaft to the left of the flamethrowers.
Go left, jumping over mines on the way, and start climbing another shaft. This time you have no choice but to eliminate the blue spike machines that guard the ledges of the shaft. Walk over to the short wall on the right and immediately duck when you get there to avoid shots from a flying enemy. Hit this guy with Batarangs and move on. A second aerial foe will attack you as you proceed right, use the same trick on him.
You will have to drop down a long shaft when you get near the end of the area. Select the Batarangs before doing so and use them to defeat the swordsman who is waiting for you below.
Boss: Killer Moth
Killer Moth can be really easy or difficult depending on how you fight him. Of course, we’ll do things the easy way. Stay on the very edge of the left side of the screen when you enter the boss room. He will fly around the room, frequently swooping towards you, but will not be able to touch you. Sometimes Killer Moth will stop and fire energy that spreads out, but this will miss you if you stay in the same spot and duck.
Wait for him to swoop towards you from the right and throw a Batarang at him. This takes careful timing, as you will have to throw it the moment he swoops, but the Batarang should get multiple hits on him. How many Batarangs it takes to defeat Killer Moth depends largely on your timing, but five generally does the trick.
Let’s say you don’t have any ammo for some reason… what will you do? Well, the next best way to fight him is to stand just outside of where he swoops and punch him. This is tough, since it requires good timing and careful positioning. You’ll also have to move out of the way of his energy balls and it takes a lot of punches to win.
b. Stage 2: Axis Chemical Factory
You may want to stay near the entrance of this stage and walk back and forth, killing the guys that run towards you in order to farm some ammo. Once you’re ready, go east and use Batarangs to destroy the green robots standing on the upper platform. You can also punch these buckets of bolts, but you will have to be careful of their claw attack.
Keep going east and you will see a green acid pit. Don’t fall into the acid or touch the goop dripping from the ceiling. Take your time and jump when the coast is clear. After that you will have to jump along a series of platforms that double back to the left as they climb toward the upper portion of the stage. Once again, take your time and use Batarangs to defeat any enemies on the platforms.
You will have to deal with flamethrower soldiers again when you reach the top. Try to punch them to conserve ammo. Past the flamethrowers you will see more acid and two platforms stacked on top of each other. Jump onto them, then drop off of the east side of the platforms, but push left and hit A again to spring off of the side of the top platform. This should allow you to reach dry land, because you’ll fall into the acid if you try to jump directly to safely. This requires precision, since you need to wall jump off the top platform, but it’s an important skill to learn.
Use more Batarangs to destroy the flamethrower before trying to jump to the next floor and watch out for the mine hiding behind him. Go up to the green door on the right to enter 2-2.
Make your way upwards. Don’t touch the electrified cables. You’ll see a claw machine to the right, watch its pattern so you can walk over to the claw and punch it without getting hit. There’s a platform with a mine on it to the right of the claw, wall jump from the side of the platform, then from the wall behind it. This should bait the mine into harmlessly exploding and allow you to jump onto the platform.
Continue going right past more hazards until you reach more platforms going up a shaft. Jump onto the first platform, then wall jump from the left wall. You’ll have to climb up a series of platforms this way until you are blocked by an overhead cable. Jump onto the platform by the cable and take out the robot, then go right, using the same wall jump technique. You’ll have to do this in a zigzagging pattern until you reach the ceiling.
From there, drop from the platform and wall jump off of it like you did with the acid. This time you’ll have to fall a bit further down to clear the electrified cable on the ceiling safely. You’ll see some boxes coming out of the wall, you’ll have to use the wall jump here as well. Jump over to the pair of boxes to the right, wall jump from them to get to the box on the left, then jump on top of the boxes on the right. Next, drop down and wall jump from the two boxes to get to the next section of solid floor. You’ll have to repeat the process again to get to the door to the right.
Go down and you will see a metal construct on the ceiling that drops bombs that skate along the floor. The manual calls these “Drop Claws”, so we’ll go with that name. You can actually farm Powerups from this one by going over to the platform on the lower right, then dropping down to the long ledge below it and punching the bombs as they come at you. You may take damage from the mine nearby, but you’ll get more life from destroying the bombs.
From there go down and keep walking east when you land on a conveyor belt or you will get hurt by the metal saws on the back wall. Keep going right, taking out anything you see with Batarangs and carefully avoid the spikes. You’ll come to yet another shaft, try to drop down the middle of it to avoid the saws on the walls. Jump over to the conveyor belt on the left and punch the blue robot that comes your way, then run under the drop claw.
Jump onto the pillar to the left and carefully fall down the saw lined shaft.
Just make your way over the saw pit to the right using the conveyors. You’ll come to a narrow passage. Thugs that run towards Batman patrol this passage. You can stay here and fight them to refill your health and ammo.
Perform a wall jump from the conveyor after leaving the passage to get on top of it, then go through the red door to the boss.
Boss: Machine Intelligence
This boss is way harder than the first. You’ll start out in the left hand corner, opposite a pair of guns that will start shooting at Batman right away. There’s a conveyor belt above the guns and one below them. Lasers fire down on the conveyor above the guns, while the conveyor on the bottom leads to saws. There’s an electrified cable in the upper right.
Stay where you spawned. Jump and duck to avoid the bullets from the guns and switch to the Speargun. Shoot the guns while ducking when you have an opening. This should hit both of them. About five or six hits should make the guns explode, clearing the way.
A blue dome will emerge from the wall in the upper left once the guns are history. Jump onto the lower conveyor and use those wall jumping skills you’ve cultivated to carefully spring from the edge of the upper conveyor and onto the small ledge by the cable.
Jump and shoot the Spear Gun at the blue dome to the left. You’ll have to aim carefully to hit it. It’s also wise to wait until there is a gap in the lasers to shoot the dome, because the lasers will block the Spear Gun. Nine hits will destroy the dome, drop down onto the conveyor the moment you fire the ninth shot, because a triple canon will come out of the wall behind you and fire a volley.
The canon switches to a blue dome from time to time. At this point, you have the option of going over to the ledge on the left and using the Spear Gun to shoot the dome or jumping back onto the ledge the dome occupies and punching it. It takes careful timing to do either without taking tons of damage or wasting ammo. That said, I recommend jumping up to the dome and punching it, since a few punches will destroy it.
Wall jump up to the dome and stand about a step away from it, then duck. If you’re quick you can do this without being hit. Wait for the dome to appear then jump and rapidly punch it. The canon will pop out again and fire another volley, so duck again when you touch the ground. Keep doing this to destroy the boss.
c. Stage 3: Underground Conduit
This section is pretty simple, so I won’t go into much detail about it. The main threat are the creatures that hop towards Batman, they take a lot of hits and are annoying to kill. Rapidly fire Batarangs at them when they are on the ground to kill them quickly or try to step into their blind spots and punch them. Attacking the jumpers from the other side of the screen will allow you to kill them without a fight if you advance cautiously, but this isn’t always an option.
Watch out for the spinning fans in the water, they will damage Batman if he touches them. Fortunately, they do not create a current even though they appear to. You can try to get Powerups from the drop claw near the end of the area, but it’s best to just go over to the ladder to 3-2.
This area is also pretty simple, but it has more jumpers and some false paths that lead to dead ends. Go right until you see a shaft going down. Jump to the right to land on a safe ledge above some fan blades, then go left. You’ll see another pit, fall into it and walk off of the ledge you land on. Jump to the right the second you touch down, because a mine will zoom towards you. Drop back down the hole and bear right while falling to clear the pit full of fans at the bottom.
Get ready to deal with another pesky jumper when you land. Inch forward after defeating it to find another jumper, try to pick it off with the Spear Gun. Climb up the shaft to the right and be prepared to destroy a blue robot on your left. After that, go up the platforms and a long shaft to 3-3.
This is where things get real. You’ll see two mines in a crevice near the entrance, just fall down next to the edge of the crevice and immediately jump back up to trigger them. Watch out when you walk to the right after clearing the mines, there’s a tank that fires a cannon at a downward angle and a blue robot. Try to destroy the robot with Batarangs first, then do the same for the tank while hopping over its shots. Dirks work really well on tanks if you have enough ammo to use them.
You’ll have to wall jump to an upper tier after the tank. Proceed left very slowly here and stop when you see a blue robot, another tank is just left of it. Use the Dirk to destroy the robot and try to get as close to the tank as possible while jumping its shots, then duck at the edge of the ledge so you can attack the tank safely.
At the far left wall, use the wall jump to reach the next tier. After going east a bit you’ll see a mine, you can destroy this one with a Batarang before jumping onto its platform. Run past the drop claw further to the right and ascend the shaft next to it.
The spinning blades on the wall of the shaft will damage Batman if he touches them and there are flamethrowers perched on ledges on the left wall. Use the Dirk to eliminate the flamethrowers. Wall jump carefully to avoid the blades. The best way to jump past the double blades is to hit the wall so that Batman’s head is just under them, then leap to the next wall, which should allow you to clear them.
Go left after getting to the top and watch out for yet another tank. This one is easy to destroy, since it has a big blind spot, but be careful approaching it. The boss is just to the left.
Boss: The Electrocutioner
Electrocutioner leaps from one side of the room to the other and often fires a shockwave that cannot be jumped over. To further complicate things it’s difficult to hit him with punches, because of his weapon. Luckily, there are two ways to kill him.
The first method is to wall jump onto the rocks above and drop down behind the boss, then shoot him with the Spear Gun. This is your best bet if you have little health, but keep in mind he can hit you by jumping when you are on the rocks. His movements also tend to be erratic, so there’s no guarantee that he won’t nail you before you can get above or behind him, but it works well if you wait for him to take a few steps towards you before jumping. Sometimes he will stand with his back to you and attack the wall a few times if you use this method. Needless to say this is a great opportunity to get a few shots in. This technique requires a lot of ammo, so don’t bother with it unless you have about 60 ammo.
The next method is to simply fire Baterangs at him as quickly as possible, ignoring any damage you take. You’ll need at least six bars of health and about 20 ammo to do this, but it works really well.
d. Stage 4: Laboratory Ruins
You will have to deal with a mine, drop claw, and a jumper just a few steps into this stage. Bait the mine out first, then lure the jumper away from the drop claw and you should be fine. You can even take the jumper out from afar with the Dirk if you wish. After that you’ll have to fight past more drop claws, mines, and flamethrowers, but this shouldn’t be much of a problem if you use the Batarang and Dirk.
There’s a short hallway with screens displaying the Joker. You can easily farm the enemies here for Hearts and ammo Pellets if you need them. Slowly make your way past a flamethrower and blue robot after you are done with the hallway and stop when you see a jumper on the edge of the screen. Kill the jumper with the Spear Gun or Dirk from where you are to avoid having to fight it. There’s a second jumper nearby that you can take out in the same manner. The door to the next part of this level is just beyond the second jumper.
A long hallway with thugs that run into Batman makes up the first part of this area. After that you will reach a section of floor with spinning gears that damage you if you touch them. You will have to wall jump to the blocks above, but they are guarded by a flamethrower, so throw a few Dirks or Batarangs at him to get him out of the way.
Cross the row of blocks by wall jumping from their sides. Batman will hit his head on the ceiling and fall into the gears if you try to jump directly onto the blocks. More flamethrowers will block your path, but you can easily eliminate them from a distance. Drop down to the lower area when the blocks end and head left.
Gears line the floor and ceiling of this hallway, use short jumps to reach platforms and clear the gears on the floor. You will take damage if you jump too high. Fall down at the end of the hallway to reach the lowest point of 4-2.
You’ll encounter a drop claw with a row of gears just below it. It’s very difficult to clear the gears and drop claw without taking a hit. You need to make a precise wall jump from the block that is above you and to the left. Try to make the wall jump as Batman touches the very end of the block and hold A down so he springs from the block high enough to clear the gears. You will have to do this a second time (without a drop claw in the way) to get to the exit.
You will see the exit near the entrance to this level, but you cannot jump over to it. Instead drop down the shaft to the lowest part of the level. There are plenty of enemies in this shaft, but it’s best to just ignore them and fall, because you will take more damage trying to fight them.
After that, you will have to jump across a fiery pit. Use the Spear Gun to destroy the flamethrower at the end of the pit and go up to the next tier of platforms leading west. It’s easy to cross these platforms as long as you jump carefully and get rid of the blue robot in the middle with a ranged weapon.
At the end of these platforms you will see very narrow conveyors with blocks above them. Wall jump up the blocks (Look out for the beams that shoot out from their sides) and hop to the second block. Use the Dirk to destroy the blue robot on the block ahead of you.
This next part is tricky, because you will have to drop down to the narrow conveyor, then jump onto another conveyor to the right. Next, wall jump off of the block by the second conveyor, then jump again from the block above it to get on top of the block that was protected by the blue robot.
Take a few steps forward and use the Dirk again to get rid of another blue robot. Drop down and jump from the conveyor below to a final conveyor belt, then scale the blocks above it like you did before to reach the end of this obstacle course.
Watch out for a tank as you climb the steps. You’ll be safe as long as you duck and wait for a gap in its shots to jump onto its staircase. Another tank is just above it, but the same trick works.
The steps above the second tank are guarded by a bunch of enemies, wall jump up to them and throw a few Dirks to get rid of them. Continue up the steps and go down a hallway with green robots and drop claws. I recommend trying to get some Powerups from the drop claws, because the boss is just ahead. If you step near a drop claw and walk away from it, you can punch the bombs it drops without getting hit.
Boss: Dual Container Alarm
Hopefully you have some patience, because you’ll need it for this boss. Two boxes that move along tracks occupy this room. They follow a set pattern in their movements, which makes it easy to get out of their way. Unfortunately, they also fire bullets that pass through walls from their sides. These bullets can be ducked or jumped over if you have enough space. Additionally, you can be certain the containers will shoot when lined up with Batman.
The containers can take an enormous amount of damage before exploding and I do not recommend using special weapons on them until one of them is destroyed. A reliable method of fighting the containers is to climb up to the top of the central block in this room, duck, and punch the containers as they come your way. This takes a while and there’s not much you can do to dodge their bullets aside from drop down the right side of the block, but it works fairly well since the containers tend to harmlessly zoom over Batman’s head as long as he couches.
After what will seem like a million punches, one of the containers will blow up. This is when you need to drop down to the floor, run over to the left side of the screen, and jump onto the narrow ledge. The surviving container will open up and start moving along the floor from side to side. It will also shoot fireballs into the air that fly across the screen horizontally. These fireballs will miss you as long as you are standing on the ledge to the left.
Switch to the Spear Gun (The Dirk also works, but requires more ammo) and drop to the floor when the cube moves to the right. Fire a shot or two at the boss and jump back up to the ledge before it slams into you. Do this a few times and you will destroy the second container.
e. Stage 5: The Cathedral
You may want to kill the flamethrower at the start of this stage to load up on ammo. The gears on the floor by the flamethrower require precise jumps to navigate, usually a short hop will do the trick. Ready the Batarang when you get near the end of the gears so you can quickly throw them at some blue robots before you jump over the final gear. Use the Dirk to wipe out the flamethrowers on the platform above you by wall jumping and firing at them a few times.
Walk left and throw a few Batarangs at the blue robots opposite a gear near the middle of the platform. Carefully wall jump past the gear in the shaft at the end of the hallway and use more Dirks to defeat the flamethrowers waiting for you on the block above. Go right and jump past the gears/pit to a platform with a blue robot and drop claw. Run under the claw and jump up to the higher part of the floor. If you time it right, you can also jump over the robot.
Jump up to the steps and take out a flamethrower. There’s an annoying claw robot above the flamethrower. It’s hard to do this without being hit, but you can wall jump to it and hit it with the Dirk. You’ll have to do this with the flamethrower above it as well.
Once on the flamethrower’s former perch, you will see a block to the left. Turning gears are positioned both above and below the space between the blocks. It’s very difficult to jump past these gears without taking damage and I recommend just taking the hit, that said, you can successfully negotiate these gears by falling off the block you are standing on and making a very precise wall jump from it to the side of the next block (this requires you to tap the A Button for a split second) then make the same height jump back to the block on the right to land on the upper half of the block. Make one last wall jump over to the block on the left and you should land on top of it. Easy, right?
Now scale the wall to the left (careful of the gears) and you will see another super difficult situation: a claw robot is perched on top of the block you need to mount. You’ll need to throw Dirks at it. Bounce between the walls until you have an opening in the claw’s attack before throwing the Dirks. You’ll have to wall jump from to the block to the right of the claw (there’s also a flamethrower on the block, but the Dirk should kill it along with the claw) but this is not as difficult as the jump you performed earlier.
Yet another claw is on the block above you, use the same trick to eliminate it so you can climb up to its perch, then take out ANOTHER claw above it. Wall jump up to the next obstacle, where you will have to jump between more gears. The same technique works here, but you can also just take the hit and deal with it. After that, go up the left side and get rid of the flamethrower, then wall jump over to the block on the right.
Climb up the right side of the tower some more and use the Dirk to destroy the blue robot at the end of the line. You will have to make a very precise wall jump to squeeze in between the block and the ceiling above it. I find it works best if you line the wall jump up so that Batman’s chest is parallel to the bottom of the block.
Jump onto the ledge in the upper right by inching over to the edge of the block you are standing on. You can gather Powerups from the drop claw to the right, which you should probably do if you want to beat the bosses. It’s possible to just jump onto the drop claw’s platform by walking forward a bit and hopping. When you see a Powerup you want, grab it between bombs and drop onto the block in the lower left, then jump back over to the drop claw if you want more. It also helps to stand on the very edge of the platform when punching the bombs.
Take out the flamethrower above you and walk right to get to the boss when you are done collecting items.
This one is a doozy. Firebug only has two attacks, but they are more than enough and he uses them somewhat randomly. He may charge towards Batman and rapidly punch him or he may fire off a huge fireball. In either case, the only real way to evade these moves is to jump from the wall behind you, hit him with a Batarang, and run to the next wall so you can wall jump over his next barrage. This takes time, skill, and patience.
Alternatively, you can stay in the corner and spam Batarangs at him, ignoring any damage you take. I actually find this method preferable if you are just trying to get through the game, because you get a health refill for the next boss and (let’s face it) you’re probably going to die on the final boss anyway, I know I did.
Note: If you defeat this boss, you will not have to fight him again even if you run out of lives and have to continue.
Boss: The Joker
If you thought Firebug was hard, wait until you get a load of the Joker! Batman’s greatest foe carries a huge gun that can peel 3 bars off of your health. Sometimes he shoots once, other times he fires a volley of shots. You can hop over these bullets by jumping forwards. He also calls down three lightning bolts. One bolt will strike in front of Joker while the other two land a few body lengths away from him. Jump forward the moment the battle starts and try to get just inside the barrel of his gun so his bullets can not hit you.
Fire off Batarangs as rapidly as possible while ducking and try to inch forward if Joker steps back. Be ready to jump away if he raises his hand, which is a signal that lightning is about to come down. Joker will run to the other side of the screen occasionally, try to follow him by jumping in his direction. Oddly, Batman will take damage if he touches Joker, but he will not be harmed if he is ducking and Joker runs into him, so take advantage of this by starting low.
Positioning is key in this battle and you can even manage to avoid Joker’s lighting if you stand right by the barrel of his gun, though this takes practice. Joker actually seems to take fewer hits to defeat Firebug. Walk up to Joker once he collapses to finish the game.
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