Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (also known as Batman of the Future: Return of the Joker in some regions) is a platform beat em up based on the original movie.
Taken from PlayStation Manual:
The Last Laugh?
"In the mid 21st century, Bruce Wayne, has retired from crime-fighting and the last known sighting of Batman occured over twenty years ago. But evil never rests in Gotham City. Now a menacing street gang known as the Jokerz terrorises innocent citizens.
But when the Jokerz burgularise several computer operating systems for high-tech components, Wayne suspects someone else is the mastermind behind their schemes.
Wayne reluctantly agrees to let his new teenage protege Terry McGinnis, the new Batman, investigate the recent chaos.
McGinnis is barely on the case when Wayne is nearly killed by The Joker at a shareholder meeting at Wayne Enterprises.
How could The Joker, the seemingly immortal Clown Prince of Crime, still be alive and stronger than ever? The secret rests in what transpired the night Batman fought The Joker for the last time. Now it's up to you to avenge your mentor before The Joker's last laugh is on you."
- Batman II/Terry McGinnis (Playable Character)
- Batman/Bruce Wayne (Only seen in game movie sequences and when contacting Terry)
- The Joker (Boss)
- Bonk (Boss)
- Chucko (Mini Boss)
- Woof (Boss)
- Ghoul (Boss)
- Dee-Dee (Mini Boss as computerised artificial intelligence)
- Barbara Gordon (Only seen in game movie sequences and when contacting Terry)
- Tim Drake (Non playable character)
As Terry McGinnis, the new Batman, the player could run, punch, kick, glide, use weapons and gadgets, crouch, walk and open doors. There were two modes to choose from, Story Mode or Time Attack.
There were three difficulty settings - Easy, Normal and Hard. The main objective is to get past the Joker's fiendish traps, deadly henchman and Joker members to fight the Clown Prince of Crime himself.
There are four different versions of the Batsuit, which could be used for certain sections of the game, these were as follows:
- Standard: The original suit with all the basic moves and the ability to use weapons. This was also the suit that had the most armoury.
- Offensive: Mostly used for hand to hand combat. All the basic moves with a special Jumping kick and Spin kick.
- Defensive: Used for defence against savage attacks. It gives the player special Dark Knight Shields to fight with. It also provides the abilities: Block, Banging and the Crouch and Block Attack.
- Nimble: Allowed the player to do somersaults for defense, double jumps and jumping and gliding to get over dangerous obstacles as well as a Double kick and Jumping kick for combat.
- Wings: This retractable harness comes with the nimble suit, it allows Batman to glide over obstacles.
- Bat Ears Radio: A microscopic radio receiver that gives Batman two way contact with Bruce Wayne and the Batcave information systems.
- Neutromuscular Amplification: Magnifies the natural muscular power in the suit making Batman stronger.
- Shotgun Mic: A small fingertip radio receiver to pick up distant sounds and for locating foes behind closed doors and thick walls.
- Armament: A special compartment where weapons release from Batman's wrists depending on which Batsuit he is wearing. The Standard suit had the biggest one.
- Jet Boots: On the Batsuit boot soles are special rocket powered thrusters, ideal for getting to high ledges and hard to reach places. A power up was required to activate this gadget.
- Dark Knight Discus: Similar to the original Batarang. Ideal for killing distant foes and has an explosive range.
- Dark Knight Staff: A long powerful bladed weapon that comes in handy when surrounded by advancing foes both infront and behind.
- Dark Knight Nun Chaku: An electric powered weapon that can shock foes. Mostly comes in handy with robots. It is more effective when fully charged.
- Dark Knight Shields: Powerful offensive combat weapons that can only be used with the Defensive suit.
- Bat Icon: Gave Batman an extra life.
- First Aid Boxes: Restored Batman's health. Small Boxes restored a small amount, while bigger ones could fill the entire health bar.
- Bat Discus: Replenished the Dark Knight Discus supply. Only ten discuses could be carried at a time.
- Capital A: Improved attack.
- Capital D: Improved defence.
- Keys: Came in all different shapes and sizes. These gave Batman access to various locked doors in the game. They were mostly acquired from defeated enemies.
- Boxes: These contained the special power ups and came in all different shapes and sizes, like the keys. Some had to be opened using the offensive suit and ones containing the most important items were guarded.
In this mode the player chose one of the four Batsuits before facing three deadly opponents to try and achieve the fastest time possible.
All four stages were partly based on the movie, but had several differences:
Stage 1: Gotham Air & Space
Batman investigates why the Jokerz are stealing from this area while defeating enemies and robots along the way, until facing Bonk.
Stage 2: Wayne Enterprises
Bruce Wayne is being held hostage by the Joker, so Terry has to get to the very top of the building to rescue him and face the vicious Woof.
Stage 3: Arkham Asylum
Terry explores the ruins of the old broken down Arkham Asylum of the 20th century to find out information of the Joker's reappearance. Here he has to avoid several clown henchmen and face Ghoul.
Stage 4: Tim Drake's Laboratory
A very short level of where Batman has to go through dangerous obstacles and avoid falling into deadly pits.
Stage 5: Jolly Jack Candy Factory
The Final Stage. Terry must face many of the Joker's Henchmen along with Chucko and Dee-Dee as he tries to find and stop the Clown Prince of Crime himself.
Most people found the PlayStation and N64 versions disappointing for the lack of stages, only having five. There was no way to save progress and no checkpoints which meant if the player died at any stage of the game they had to restart from the beginning of the stage.
The Gameboy version had more mixed reaction because the player could save their progress using a password.