Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

aka: TMNT 2, Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles, Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles II: The Arcade Game, Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles: The Coin-Op!, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1989 Classic Arcade, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Super Kame Ninja, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game, Tortugas Ninja 2: The Coin-Op
Moby ID: 7470
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Description official descriptions

April O'Neil, the reporter friend of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, is kidnapped by the villainous Shredder and his two goons, Bebop and Rocksteady. The four ninja turtles: Raphael, Michelangelo, Donatello and Leonardo fight their way through hordes of Foot Soldiers in order to rescue April. They battle familiar foes such as the mad scientist Baxter Stockman, General Traag from Dimension X and the evil alien brain Krang, up to the final showdown with Shredder himself.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is an arcade game made by Konami during the height of the cartoon series' popularity. Depending on the version of the game, up to two, three or four players can take part in the action. The game plays like a simplified Double Dragon. While most of the standard Foot Soldier enemies are easily dispatched, some attack with knives or ray guns and are thus more dangerous. At the end of each level, players encounter a boss (or in certain cases two bosses working in tandem, such as Bebop and Rocksteady).

The NES version of the game, renamed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game in the West, features additional content not present in other versions of the game: two new levels (Snowy Central Park and The Dojo), new bosses (including Tora, Shogun and Baxter Stockman as a fly), additional music tracks as well as more variations of Foot Soldiers.

Spellings

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: スーパー亀忍者 - Japanese arcade spelling
  • ティーンエージ ミュータント ニンジャ タートルズ - Japanese katakana spelling

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Credits (Arcade version)

14 People (13 developers, 1 thanks)

Director
Sub Director
Game Programmer
Character Design
Graphic Design
Visual Design
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Sound Designer
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Hardware Design
Special Thanks
Produced by
  • Konami

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 69% (based on 47 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 135 ratings with 2 reviews)

The original TMNT game!

The Good
Not much has remained of the Ninja Turtles -the heroes in a half shack - these days (at least of the original ones, as there is a new version of them). But back to the late 80s and early 90s, they were all the rage! They were one of the symbols of a time which, although far from perfect, had its own magic (which is probably lost somewhere). Well, don't you remember them? This US$ 4 billion franchise had its own comics, cartoons, toys and even movies. Yes, movies! TMNT was crap, but also a huge success in 1990. It was a kind of turtlemania. And, of course, there was a game.

This one we're talking about is the biggest turtle game. Not because it's the best, and it probably is; but mainly because it was the biggest title to be released that year. Let's face it. TMTN was released for Arcades in 1989. Konami took advantage of the huge success of the TV cartoon and produced a really good game. It was released on the right time. It had the traditional Double Dragon style (which we don't find in games anymore): a platform side-scrolling fighting game. But it had very beautiful, colored graphics, much better than anything else. The song reminded the cartoon. And it was possible to play with 4 characters simultaneously. The gameplay was great and the action was fast. The game was a hit, a huge hit, and it made Konami huge, more than any other of its titles (such as Contra or Castlevania). There was also a TMNT game for NES, released in 1989, which was totally different.

It took one year for Konami to release the original TMTN game for a video game console. The chosen one was not Sega Genesis, which was at the beginning (and would be the logic choice to port such a game). It was the largely popular NES, although many would consider impossible to do such a transition from the Arcades. Konami put a lot of effort in producing this one and it became one of the hottest titles of the year, as well as Super Mario Bros. 3.

TMTN 2: The Arcade Game was released in 1990, the same year as the movie, and it also proved to be a blockbuster. The 4 Megabits cartridge was a very good conversion of the Arcade. It could not have been perfect, because the original version used a 16-bit processor and far more colors than NES could support. But Konami did miracles using the limited NES capabilities. The game would beat many Sega Genesis games of the time, both in technical aspects and gameplay.

The graphics were simply great, better than any other 8-bit game. Konami did a great work here with 4 Megabits. The sprites were very big for NES and they moved fluently. The level of detail was fantastic for the time and could beat even early Sega Genesis games. The four turtles were perfectly recognizable and so were the enemies, such as the Foot Clan soldiers. Some details would amaze: the turtles had only two fingers on each foot, and that could be seen on the game! The bosses (Bebop, Rocksteady, Baxter Stockman, Krang, Shredder and others) used very big sprites for the time. Backgrounds were also very good: even paintings could be seen on the walls! On the first stage (the burning building), the flames of fire just seemed to dance to the sound of urgency!

Music was the same of the cartoon and was as good as NES could provide. They gave the perfect atmosphere to the game. The sound effects were also really nice.

Gameplay was exactly the same as of the Arcade. With one single exception, maybe: it was possible to play with two simultaneous characters (instead of 4). But it was great even so (I don't think NES could handle 4 turtles in the screen at the same time using big sprites). The 2-button NES gamepad fitted perfectly for a very nice conversion of the Arcade gameplay. It was not only jump and attack, but also the combinations of A and B buttons turned into different moves. It may seem a little obvious these days, but it absolutely wasn't back in 1990. The characters could also interfere with other elements of the screen (such as barrels and cars). Sometimes it would appear a pizza to recover the turtles energy and sometimes one of them would fall in a hole on the floor! Action was fast (not as fast as the Arcade). It consisted basically in beating everything that appeared on the screen. And it was great! The gameplay was so good Konami kept it for the upcoming Turtles titles, including the SNES and Genesis versions.

The game was not short and Konami included some levels which did not exist in the original Arcade version, so the game became even longer. It would take one hour or one hour and a half to reach the end. But you could not get tired of playing. It had some sort of indescribable magic most games lack.

And the game was not easy and not difficult. It had just the perfect difficulty level. It seemed Konami lost its touch in the following games, as they were far easier (and shorter) than this.

It was a stupendous game for the time. TMNT 3, released a year later, had improved graphics and gameplay and provided a deeper experience, but was built on the same TMNT 2 basis. Plus, the levels were not so nice and the Turtlemania was not at its peak anymore. And the third game was far from revolutionary.

To sum it up, it may not be the best TMNT game, but it is the most important one.

The Bad
For a NES game, it was quite perfect. Nothing to complain about gameplay, which was great.

Graphics lacked colors. OK, NES has a limited color palette. And most of the stages were quite colorful. But the bosses were in black and white, while they were full of colors in the Arcade version. The NES graphics looked like a pastel color version of the Arcade. The game feels like somewhat monochromatic.

There was no difficulty level to choose from. This may be annoying for beginners, who think the game is too hard, and for experts, for whom it is too easy.

The game may be too long for some. It took over an hour to reach the end. OK, it's a plus, I agree, but some people may find it too much.

And it may sound too repetitive. All you have to do is kill Foot Clan soldiers, which do not stop appearing. There are other enemies, such as mechanical rats and robots, but you also have to kill them. And then, at the end, you have to kill the bosses. You keep beating and killing until you reach the Technodrome and face Krang. What do you do? You beat him and then you confront Shredder. For what? To defeat him. Although it is great, it may not please everybody. Some people may actually find it really boring.

Finally, the game is dated. Who remebers TMNT? Lots of people, because of the new series. But the game is based on the old cartoon (which was far more successful) and the whole idea was much more adequated in 1990s than in 2000s. It is not a timeless Disney concept. The turtle appeal is not there anymore.

The Bottom Line
TRUE CLASSIC. This is the legendary turtles game, which marked a whole era of video games.

NES · by Mumm-Ra (393) · 2003

I have always liked... Cowabunga.

The Good
The first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for the original Nintendo had some cool, even creative elements to it, but it suffered from problems with game play mechanics and probably being a bit too difficult and complicated for what gamers expected in a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles video game.

Most gamers simply wanted to control their favorite comic book/TV cartoon ninja and proceed to hack n' slash their way through several familiar looking levels, with familiar bad guys and bosses.

They didn't want to try to swim around disarming bombs (and avoiding evil, sea weed).

They were not really interested in the semi-role playing game elements that arose when the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle's Nintendo game had you driving around the city, in your turtle van, trying to figure out what you needed to do.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II - The Arcade Game is what most fans of the franchise wanted in such a game; a well designed, somewhat, simplified version of Double Dragon. In that sense, it is really a great game.

The 8-bit Nintendo's hardware could never hope to perfectly recreate the arcade game. Yet, these are some of the very best graphics you will see on an NES video game.

All of the TMNT II characters -- both the playable characters and the non playable characters -- are large, detailed and easy to recognize.

While much of the original arcade's digital voice has been scrapped in the port to the NES home console system, the game's intermission sequences are excellent and, like the in-game action, are some of the best you will see on the 8-bit, NES, system.

The folks developing this game really pushed the hardware inside the NES to new heights with this game.

True, you will notice the differences between the original arcade game and the NES adaption, but you will also be amazed at what the old-school, NES home console system was capable of doing.

The game play and control mechanics are simple and responsive. Each of the four, playable turtles has a standard set of fighting attacks -- including a handy jump kick -- and an on-screen meter to let you know how many hits you can take before losing a life.

While can collect pizza icons to restore your hit points, very few of them actually exist in the game. Yet, the game gives you a fair number of extra lives and continues, so the difficulty level will never become too difficult.

The NES port has more bit variation in the Foot Soldiers that you attack and the game also has two additional levels -- unique to the NES port -- with their own bosses.

You can take on the action-packed, game by yourself or with a friend. Either way you will need some fast thumbs in order to battle the many minions and bosses under the command of both Shredder and evil space alien Krang.

The Bad
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II - The Arcade Game does not offer the playable characters many offensive or defense moves.

Basically, each character can only walk, jump, swing their trademark weapon and perform a jump kick. This is all you need for this game, and (in that sense) it is not different from the original coin-op, arcade game.

However, if you are looking for the multiple offensive and defensive moves that can be preformed -- along the lines of Double Dragon or Streets of Rage -- you will be disappointed.

Last, but not least, the music and sound effects in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II - The Arcade Game certainly do their job well, but, well, it was pretty difficult to make the NES's hardware to be in a position win any music awards.

The Bottom Line
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II - The Arcade Game is an action packed, joy-ride from start to finish. The game pushes the limits of the NES hardware and offers a simplified version of Double Dragon-inspired, hack n' slash game play.

NES · by ETJB (428) · 2014

Trivia

April Fools' Day trick

In the April 1991 issue of EGM, an April Fools' prank was published for this game. After inputting the code correctly, the player was supposes to have the ability to play as Simon Belmont from Castlevania.

Freebies and Offers

The 1991 original Spectrum box release came with: * Buy one get one free pizza offer * Chance to buy an LCD Turtles game * Free Turtle's Snapper camera (if the purchaser joined the Turtles Fan Club)

Manual

The 1991 original Spectrum box release had a manual that was printed on the back of a large Turtles poster that would look great on the wall. However the game also used a copy protection system and all the codes were on the back of the poster, so while playing one couldn't really have the poster on the wall at all### Sales

  • The NES version is a conversion of the blockbuster Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game which was released in 1989 and became Konami's strongest title.
  • According to Microsoft, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game was the top-selling Xbox Live Arcade game for the Xbox 360 in 2007.

Awards

  • Commodore Force
    • December 1993 (Issue 13) – #70 “Readers' Top 100”

Information also contributed by Mumm-Ra.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Kartanym.

DOS added by -Chris. Atari ST, ZX Spectrum, Amiga, Commodore 64 added by Martin Smith. Amstrad CPC added by Skitchy. Arcade added by Terok Nor. Xbox 360 added by Ben K.

Additional contributors: Terok Nor, PCGamer77, Shoddyan, Sciere, Alaka, Martin Smith, lights out party, Ben K, formercontrib, LepricahnsGold, piltdown_man, FatherJack.

Game added October 15th, 2002. Last modified September 12th, 2023.