Teenage Mutant Ninja
The slightly different title
screens. From left to right: English version, American version,
As many of you NES fans know, the Ninja Turtles were huge during
the NES era. So, logically, it was only a matter of time before
they got a video game or six based on their battles against
Shredder. This game was the first of three made for the NES, and,
like most first games in a series, it is substantially diffrent from
This is the sub-screen, where you can see an overview of your Turtles'
health and weapons and get advice from Splinter and/or April. You
can switch between your turtles at any time by highlighting them and
pressing Start. Each turtle has their trademark weapons. To
many fans' disappointment, the best
of the bunch are Leo and Don, whose weapons have the best
do the most damage. Sorry Mikey and Raph, you got the shaft this
The stick is mightier than the floor
There were two basic areas to each stage: an overhead view of the area,
where you would be harassed by Foot soldiers (who, as usual, were
little more than cannon fodder for the Turtles) and Foot Steamrollers,
which could kill you instantly if you got careless and were run
Once you enter a sewer or building, though, that's where the fun part
The game switches to a side-view, and you get attacked by a wider
variety of enemies, including giant flies, guys with chainsaws, and
burning men that create little wisps of flame. The occasional
mini-boss will also appear, though he's usually just a toughened-up
Foot Soldier or chainsaw guy.
Sometimes, though, it's a frog-man
Enemies also randomly drop weapons that your turtles can use, which
include Shurikens and Boomerangs. Shurikens were your basic
limited-supply ranged ammunition, but Boomerangs were great in the fact
that they could be re-used if you caught them as they reversed
direction at the end of their flight. Even better, you could
"pass" boomerangs to other turtles by switching characters just before
the boomerang returned home, ensuring that everyone would have a supply
of pretty decent weapons.
Here's an early battle against Bebop, one of Shredder's flunkies from
the show. He's not too much of a threat, especially since he just
jumps around and occasionally gets stuck against the wall.
After Bebop's defeat, Rocksteady will vamoose with April, so
next task is to chase him down as well. After brawling through a
warehouse or two, you'll come face-to-face with him. He's a bit
tougher than Bebop in that he fires bullets in addition to jumping
around, but there is a nifty little trick to beating him.
Jab at Rocksteady with the Bo while
safe from harm
Shortly after that, it's on to the next level. Boy, the turtles
never catch a break, do they?
The plan this time is to defuse some bombs so Shredder doesn't
blow up a dam. Cause that would be bad, and stuff.
Unfortunately, all the
screenshots I had of the dam sequence got overwritten, but I
can tell you that you'll have to navigate an annoying maze of
shocking seaweed and electric barriers to get to all of those
bombs. Oh, and you only have a little over 2 minutes to defuse
them all, so you'll have to work fast.
It's more of the same on the way
Once that's done, the Turtles return home to find their living room
trashed, and Shredder on their pirated cable.
Now we set out once again to rescue Splinter, who
conveniently located on the opposite end of the Foot-infested
city. Fortunately, you get a shiny new toy to help you get across
The Party Wagon!
Of course, you'll need to find some missiles first, to
blow through those pesky barriers and steamrollers. This is
considering there are only two buildings you can reach from the
Think like Mario to get across that
From there, though, it's more melee combat and
More of the Big Apple
If you're running low on health with one turtle, it's a good idea to
switch to a healthier one, and then switch back once you find a Pizza
icon so that the weaker turtle can refill their life. You'll need
all the healthy turtles as you can get for the last few stages.
There are a few areas where you can
rescue a defeated turtle
If there's a pizza icon near the beginning of a building or sewer
section, you can collect that item and leave. When you return,
the item will reappear. Use this trick whenever
possible to top off your
When you have a few boomerangs on one turtle, throw a few out, then
switch to another turtle. They will be able to catch the
boomerangs as they return, thus giving them some armament as
well. Don't do this with a turtle that is carrying another weapon
you want to keep,
or they will lose that weapon.
If you're almost out of time in the dam section, it's probably better
to just lose a turtle than let the timer hit 0. If time runs out,
it's an immediate Game Over, whereas if a turtle dies the timer will
reset when you enter the section again, but the bombs you defused will
remain out of commission.
If you encounter a tough group of enemies in a building and don't want
to fight them (the group with Fire Freaks and dive-bombng manta-ray
things is quite a hassle), then exit the building and re-enter.
The tougher enemies should be replaced by some easier ones after one or
The first Turtles game doesn't appeal to everybody, but it's not too
bad of a game.