Phantom 2040 is a side-scrolling action game released for the SNES and Sega Genesis. The game was developed by Hearst Entertainment and published by Viacom New Media. Phantom 2040 was released in 1995 in Japan, North America, and Europe. The game is based off of the television series of the same name (itself a spinoff of Lee Falk's classic comic series The Phantom), with a story that is similar to that of the television show's, but not directly taken from it. Phantom 2040 is an action game that takes place in the city of Metropia. The Super Nintendo version holds an average rating of 68% on Game Rankings, while there are no reviews registered for the Genesis version.
The gameplay of Phantom 2040 is similar to many other 2D side-scrolling action games. It contains many aspects similar to such games as Super Metroid and Bionic Commando. However, Phantom 2040 does have entirely unique gameplay mechanics as well. Phantom 2040 differs one way in that upgrading weapons is completely optional (unlike in Super Metroid, where there are set weapons and upgrades). Phantom 2040 also contains choices akin to moral choices (although based more on which direction to go).
Phantom 2040 also focuses heavily on exploration (a key factor in Super Metroid). The player does not have to go a set way, for a set distance as in some games, but rather has each level to explore either direction, locating the objective. Most areas contain secret upgrades or health boosting items. Some levels even have gates that must be remotely unlocked via a corresponding number (each door has a number). Unlike in Super Metroid, most of the exploration is optional, as it veers off of the game's main objective. Most of the areas can be revisited later for more exploration.
The game takes place across seven chapters, some of which are split into varying paths (of which the player has a choice). Each chapter takes the player to a completely new location. Depending on what decisions the player makes in the stages that a decision is available, some stages might not become available while others do. This means that the game has very many endings (over twenty unique endings). Some of these endings, however, aren't considered "winning" endings, and rather prompt the player to try again.
It is the year 2040. The world is in a catastrophic state, due to environmental disasters. The earth's ecological state hangs in the balance. Growing population and the deployment of robots called biots (Biological Optical Transputer Systems) have caused the majority of people to scavenge for food, while the lucky few live in large, towering mansions.
New York City has been renamed Metropia, and is the world's largest and most powerful city. Metropia houses the world's most powerful organization: Maximum, Inc. In addition to being the producer of biots, Maximum holds high political standing due to their bribery of many leaders. Due to this influence, Maximum has transformed Metropia into a technologically advanced city devoid of any animal or plant life. The insane leader of Maximum, Rebecca Madison, is intent on building a fortress called Cyberville where the wealthy can reside, safe from everything.
Kit Walker is a Phantom (the 24th Phantom, in fact). Phantoms work to restore order to the world, bringing an end to corruption, greed, and the violence that plagues the world. Kit Walker must now defeat Rebecca Madison to stop her from getting her ultimate goal of world domination.