Spider-Man (2000 video game)
Vicarious Visions (GBC)
Edge of Reality (N64)
LTI Gray Matter (PC)
|Release date(s)||PlayStation & Game Boy Color
NA August 30, 2000
JP April 27, 2001 (GBC)
|Genre(s)||Action-adventure, beat 'em up|
Spider-Man is an action-adventure beat 'em up video game based on Marvel's Spider-Man franchise. It was developed by Neversoft and published by Activision for the PlayStation in 2000. The game was later ported to the Game Boy Color, Nintendo 64 (also known as Spider-Man 64 by some players), Dreamcast and Windows by various developers in 2001. Two direct sequels were developed and released in 2001; One by Vicarious Visions, Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro, released for PlayStation, and one by Torus Games, Spider-Man 2: The Sinister Six, released for the Game Boy Color.
While attending a scientific demonstration hosted by the supposedly reformed Dr. Otto Octavius, Peter Parker (Spider-Man) witnesses the appearance of a Spider-Man impostor who steals Doctor Octavius's experiment. Eddie Brock mistakes this for the real Spider-Man and tries to take pictures, but his camera is shattered by the Spider-Man impostor. Angry, Brock worries that J. Jonah Jameson will fire him from his new job at the Daily Bugle; all of his rage causes the Venom symbiote to surface, and he swears revenge. Everyone present at the demonstration believes that Spider-Man took the experiment, causing the police to begin a manhunt for Spider-Man.
Spider-Man is told by Black Cat that the Jade Syndicate is robbing a bank and have taken hostages. After foiling the bank robbery, Spider-Man fights Scorpion in order to keep him from killing J. Jonah Jameson. After defeating Scorpion, Spider-Man is forced to flee from the police. Spider-Man encounters Daredevil, who questions Spider-Man but is eventually convinced of his innocence, then states that he will spread the word about Spider-Man's innocence. Immediately after Daredevil leaves, Spider-Man is ambushed by a police chopper and is chased across the city. Upon ditching the helicopter, Spider-Man reunites with Black Cat, who alerts him to two new problems: Rhino is attacking a power plant and Venom has kidnapped Mary Jane Watson in order to lure Spider-Man. Spider-Man defeats Rhino at the power plant, but Black Cat is injured and kidnapped by unknown parties posing as paramedics.
Human Torch encourages him, but Spider-Man cannot locate Venom until the villain appears and leads Spider-Man on an elaborate chase into the sewer. Spider-Man comes across the imprisoned Lizard, who explains that Venom has locked him up and taken control of his lizard men, but points him in the direction of Venom's lair, where he is keeping Mary Jane. After battling Venom and rescuing Mary Jane, Spider-Man convinces Venom that someone has framed him and that they have deliberately been turned against each other. To make amends, Venom decides to aid Spider-Man in clearing his name, and they head for the Daily Bugle's office to search through Jameson's files for clues of the impostor's identity.
During the search, however, Venom senses the presence of Carnage, his symbiote offspring, and leaves to find him and keep him away from Spider-Man, who deals with an infestation of symbiotes throughout the building. He finally locates the identity of the Spider-Man impostor: Mysterio. After being defeated by Spider-Man, Mysterio reveals that his bosses plan to infest New York with symbiotes, and that the fog that blankets the city acts as a beacon for the symbiotes that will prepare the citizens for symbiosis.
Mysterio's information leads Spider-Man to a warehouse that hides an enormous underground base in which the symbiotes that are cloned from Carnage's symbiote are being manufactured. Spider-Man learns that Mysterio was right when he runs into the Punisher at Warehouse 65. With the Punisher's help, Spider-Man finds a path leading into an undersea base. After rescuing Black Cat, Spider-Man discovers that the mastermind behind the plan is actually Otto Octavius himself, aided by Carnage. Taking up his Doctor Octopus (Doc Ock) persona once again, he explains that he feigned reform and is planning to rule the new world he plans to create via symbiosis, and kill those who oppose him. As Venom appears and takes on Carnage, Spider-Man battles Doctor Octopus, who is protected behind a force field but still defeated. Carnage knocks Venom out cold, forcing Spider-Man to fight the symbiote himself. He manages to defeat Carnage with sonics, but the Carnage symbiote fuses with Doctor Octopus to produce an enormous, out-of-control monster, called "Monster Ock". After a long chase, Monster Ock accidentally destroys the base, and Spider-Man barely escapes to the surface with the unconscious Doctor Octopus, where he is rescued by Captain America, who was called by Black Cat and Venom, while the Carnage symbiote escapes.
In the epilogue, Spider-Man is shown playing cards with Captain America, Daredevil and the Punisher, while Black Cat and the Human Torch are dancing. In prison, Mysterio, Rhino, Scorpion and a Jade Syndicate thug are also playing cards as Doctor Octopus is banging his head on the cell bars. Scorpion openly mocks them for failing to defeat Spider-Man despite all working together.
Spider-Man uses the same game engine as Tony Hawk's Pro Skater. Spider-Man also was a hidden character in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2, and during gameplay a reference is made to this. The PlayStation, Dreamcast and Windows versions have pre-rendered cutscenes whereas the Nintendo 64 version shows captioned freeze-frames done comic book style, and with less voice clips. The Lizard was meant to appear in the final cutscene but was not included in the final version of the game's cutscene. The Nintendo 64 version is colloquially referred to as Spider-Man 64.
Some of the voice actors from both the 1990s Spider-Man and Spider-Man Unlimited cartoons reprise their respective roles. For instance, Rino Romano reprises his role as Spider-Man from Spider-Man Unlimited, Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. reprises his role as Doctor Octopus from the 1990s Spider-Man cartoon and Jennifer Hale reprises her roles as Black Cat from the 1990s Spider-Man cartoon and Mary Jane Watson from Spider-Man Unlimited. The main song is a "rock n' roll" remix of the 1960s Spider-Man cartoon.
The game sees the player controlling Spider-Man as he goes through each level, either trying to reach the exit or complete a certain objective. The player must restart the current level if Spider-Man runs out of health, falls off a building, or fails certain objectives (such as letting a hostage die). Spider-Man is able to utilize his spider powers to traverse the environments, being able to crawl on walls and ceilings, swing short distances and instantly zip between certain points. In combat, Spider-Man can utilize a limited supply of web-cartridges to attack his enemies, either webbing them up to stall or defeat them, increasing the strength of his attacks, or forming an explosive barrier. Spider-Man can also find power-ups such as Spider-Armor which temporarily increases his strength and defense, and Fire Webbing which is effective against symbiotes.
There are variety of different costumes that span the course of Spider-Man's career featured in the game, each one achieved by accomplishing various goals or by entering in a cheat code. While some are just alternate character skins, others give Spider-Man new abilities. These costumes include the Symbiote, Spider-Man Unlimited, street clothes, Quick-Change Spider-Man, Bombastic Bagman (Named "Amazing Bag man"), Spider-Man 2099, Scarlet Spider, Ben Reilly and Captain Universe versions. Every time the game is completed, it will unlock another costume.
What If? mode
Upon entering a code in the game (GBHSRSPM), a player can activate the What If? mode. What If? was a series of comics that looked at alternate takes of events in Marvel Comics history, and in much the same way the game becomes an alternate version of itself. Although the story plays the same, there are subtle differences scattered throughout the scenery and audio track. When a new game is started, Uatu the Watcher appears and explains to the player that things are no longer as they once were.
What If? mode is not available in the Nintendo 64 version of the game.
- Spider-Man - The main protagonist of the game. Rino Romano who voiced the character in the Spider-Man Unlimited TV series, reprises his role.
- Scorpion - A boss who tries to kill J. Jonah Jameson. Voiced by Daran Norris.
- Rhino - A boss who is working with Carnage and Doctor Octopus. He helps them steal a piece of technology necessary to replicate the symbiote organisms. Voiced by Dee Bradley Baker.
- Venom (was played against Spider-Man by Spider-Man imposter). Voiced by Daran Norris
- Lizard (not a boss in game but gives information about the location of Mary Jane Watson). Voiced by Dee Bradley Baker.
- Mysterio - Assumes the role of the Impostor Spider-Man, using his role to frame the real Spider-Man for stealing the technology. For unknown reasons, he speaks with an English accent. Voiced by Daran Norris.
- Doctor Octopus - Assuming a "reformed image", Doctor Octopus attempts to turn the world's populace into Symbiotes so the human race can "reach a new peak in evolution". And he speaks with a thick German accent. Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., who voiced the character in the 1990s Spider-Man TV series, reprises his role.
- Carnage - Wants to infect the world with the symbiote so he can then rule over the human race. Voiced by Dee Bradley Baker.
- Monster-Ock (exclusive to the game) - A monstrous result of Doctor Octopus fusing with the Carnage symbiote. He is deranged, and his sole intent is to kill Spider-Man. Voiced by Marcus Shirock.
- Daredevil - Confronts Spider-Man to see if he really was the one who stole Dr. Octopus' machine. Voiced by Dee Bradley Baker.
- Black Cat - Tips Spider-Man off many times. Jennifer Hale, who voiced the character in the 1990s Spider-Man TV series, reprises her role.
- Punisher - Tries to take out Spider-Man in the cutscene before the warehouse level. After they clear some misconception up about the "Spider-Man Heist", Punisher offers to partner up with Spider-Man, but Spider-Man declines. Voiced by Daran Norris.
- Captain America - Is contacted by Black Cat and Venom, and appears at the end rescuing Spider-Man from Doc Ock's exploding base. Voiced by Daran Norris.
- Human Torch - Appears briefly atop the Statue of Liberty, wishing Spider-Man the best of luck in his search for Mary Jane. Voiced by Daran Norris.
- Mary Jane Watson - Is held captive by Venom and acts as a damsel-in-distress for Spider-Man. Jennifer Hale, who voiced the character in the Spider-Man Unlimited TV series reprises her role.
- J. Jonah Jameson - Jameson is antagonized by both Scorpion and Venom, the former being stopped by Spider-Man. Voiced by Dee Bradley Baker.
- Ghost Rider - Appears briefly in What If? mode scaling the side of a building.
- Namor - Appears briefly in What If? mode observing the fight between Spider-Man and Carnage.
- Silver Surfer - Appears briefly in What If? mode flying past a blimp.
- The Fantastic Four - The Baxter Building is seen briefly at the start of the game.
- Green Goblin - A trove of the Green Goblin's weaponry can be found during the helicopter chase.
- Uatu the Watcher - The Watcher hosts What If? mode, replacing Stan Lee as the narrator. Voiced by Laurence Fishburne.
- Stan Lee - The narrator.
Spider-Man received mostly positive reviews. GameRankings gave the game a score of 86.53% for the PlayStation version, 66.91% for the Game Boy Color version, 82.52% for the Nintendo 64 version, 80.23% for the Dreamcast version, and 67.96% for the PC version. Likewise, Metacritic gave it a score of 87 out of 100 for the PlayStation version, 72 out of 100 for the Nintendo 64 version, 80 out of 100 for the Dreamcast version, and 68 out of 100 for the PC version.
IGN gave the PlayStation version a 9 out of 10, calling it "arguably, the best Spider-Man game". GameSpot gave the same version a 7.7, calling it "excellent framework on which to base future Spider-Man games - and an exceptional game to boot." 
References to Popular Culture
In the cutscene before the first fight with Venom, Venom taunts Spider-Man by calling out 'Spider-Wuss come out and play.' This is a reference to a famous scene from the 1979 cult film The Warriors.
In one of the levels where Spider-Man has to chase after Venom, Venom says 'Watch that first step, Parker! It's a doozy!', when Spider-Man falls down a fleet of stairs (although this is not seen and only alluded to have happened). This is a reference to a scene in the movie Groundhog Day.
In What If? mode, Scorpion yells "Here's Johnny!" after breaking down the door during his boss battle. This is a reference to the famous line from The Shining.
In the cutscene where Spider-Man meets with The Punisher and finds the secret location of Doc Ock's operation, after Punisher suggests they team up, Spider-Man says "No thanks Mr. Death Wish". This references the movie of the same name which inspired The Punisher's character and concept.
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- Spider-Man (Game Boy Color; 2000) at MobyGames