Sunman (video game)
Title screen of Sunman
|Release date(s)||Canceled (theorized for 1992)|
Sunman was a video game developed by EIM for Sunsoft for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1992. Despite being mostly complete, it was never commercially released. Also, unlike most video games of this time, it was never even announced. Most cancelled games saw months' worth of publicity in video game magazines before fading off the game-watch radars.
The gameplay is very similar to Sunsoft's Batman games, Batman and Batman: Return of the Joker, in that the character can run, jump, punch, and duck, although in this game the player can also fly simply by pushing up. There are also some side scrolling flying levels where you can shoot laser/heat vision from your eyes. The game is divided into five scenes with one-four areas with a boss at the end of each area.
The game was originally entitled Superman but after Sunsoft lost its release, it was changed to Sunman. The game features a superhero, named Sunman. He is very reminiscent of Superman with his cape, and flying abilities, as well as the games title screen seems to match that of the Superman logo. Sunsoft's involvement with other DC Comics character licenses lead some to speculate that that Sunman was intended to be a Superman game, but DC for whatever reason decided not to go along and the game had some changes made to lose the likeness. In an interview with planner/director Kenji Eno, it was confirmed that this was originally intended to be a Superman game.
The game was obtained by The Lost Levels, a website that specializes in unreleased and prototype video games, from a European collector without any information on what it was. It was to much surprise to discover an unannounced, unreleased game that can be functionally played through from start to finish. The game was made available for play as a ROM for use with an NES emulator. The early, rough prototype of the ROM was also made for release on The Lost Levels, and it indeed had sprites of Superman as the original sprites for the main character, and the background music played in-game replaced with John Williams's Superman Theme.
Another unreleased Sunsoft cart in the US can be made to confirm that this was indeed Superman 2 originally, as the levels are identical to Sunman, however they are in a less finished form, and the player is able to skip levels by pausing and pressing the select button.