Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a side-scrolling beat-'em-up released by Konami as a coin-operated video game in 1989. It is based on the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series which began airing in the winter of 1987. The original coin-operated game was distributed to the arcades in two variants: a standard 2-player version that allowed either player to choose their character and a deluxe 4-player version with each player controlling a different character. Home versions of the game were released for various platforms. Konami followed the game up with an NES-exclusive title, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project, and an arcade sequel, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time.
The player chooses from one of the four Ninja Turtles: Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael. After Shredder kidnaps the Turtles' friend April O'Neil and their mentor Splinter, they must give chase, save their comrades, and defeat the evil Shredder. Up to four players (two in some versions) can take control of any of the Turtles. Donatello has slower attacks but a longer range, Michelangelo and Raphael have faster attacks but a shorter range, and Leonardo is a well-rounded Turtle with average range and speed.
The eight-way joystick controls the movements of the Turtle, the jump button makes them jump and the attack button makes them hit in front of them using their weapon. In addition to this, some combinations are possible. The Turtles can throw Foot soldiers overhead, and by pressing the jump and attack buttons, a special attack is performed. Raphael rolls along the ground and finishes with a kick, while the other Turtles do a sweeping jump attack with their weapons. Turtles can also spring off the wall in certain areas. Enemies can be defeated more quickly by slamming them into walls or solid objects. Many objects such as traffic cones, parking meters, fire hydrants and exploding oil drums can be hit or damaged with attacks in order to help defeat nearby enemies. In the attract mode, the game showed the first part of the cartoon opening, along with a portion of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme song.
The majority of the enemies the Turtles must face are the Foot Soldiers. They wear a different colored uniform depending on what weapon they have. The purple-clad Foot Soldiers also have the ability to hold the Turtles from behind, draining their health and leaving them open to attack by the other Foot soldiers. The bosses in the game includes Bebop and Rocksteady (individually and together), Baxter Stockman, Granitor, General Traag, Krang, and Shredder himself.
This game was ported to the NES in 1990 under the title Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game in North America, Australia and Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles II: The Arcade Game in Europe, distinguishing it from the previously released Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles NES video game; the Japanese release was simply titled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, since the first game was released under a different title there. This version includes two new levels (the first part of Scene 3 and all of Scene 6), which feature new enemy characters, including two new bosses: Tora (a dog-like 'blizzard beast') and Shogun (a robotic samurai), both characters created for the game. Most of the original stages from the arcade version were extended as well and the second half of Scene 3, the parking garage stage, replaces the arcade version's end battle with Bebop and Rocksteady with a battle against the mutated fly form of Baxter Stockman. The NES version of the game was once slated for release on the Wii Virtual Console, but was quietly canceled. The NES port also appeared in Nintendo's PlayChoice-10 arcade system.
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