Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was a game released to the NES based on a combination of the comic book and the popular television animated series of the same name. It was developed by Konami and published by Ultra (According to IGN Ultra was "a ghost publisher created only so that Konami could publish more games per year than Nintendo allowed").[1]

It starred Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael as they try to defeat the evil Shredder and his minions. It was released to the Virtual Console in 2007, but it was removed on January 26, 2012. This was due primarily to rights expiration combined with Nickelodeon's exclusive purchase of the TMNT franchise.


Two sequels were released on the NES, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project, both beat 'em ups. The original arcade version of former was remade for Xbox Live Arcade in 2007.


  • The game was featured on the cover of volume 6 of Nintendo Power magazine in 1989.
  • The game also won two awards in the 1989 Nintendo Power Awards: "Best Theme, Fun" and "Best Game Overall".
  • The game's cover art is taken from the second printing of issue #4 of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic book.
  • The game's intro uses a strobe effect, popular in Japan in the eighties and nineties. Due to the association with such effects and epileptic seizures, this effect has become controversial in recent years.
  • If one knows what he is doing, the player can actually finish the game in about 24 minutes


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has been criticized for being unnecessarily difficult. Various jumps early in the game are made ridiculously difficult due to the ceiling being too low to make the jump easily, thus forcing the player to go through the difficulty of getting back to the jump repeatedly. One hole is actually not a jump at all, but rather can actually be walked over (although this is not made obvious).

One building, filled with enemies, is completely useless aside from getting a full pizza. Thus, it is a red herring.

One particularly infamous stage is the dam stage, in which several time bombs must be deactivated within a time limit. Adding to the difficulty are various tight areas with electric seaweed which will deplete health very quickly if touched. Some seaweed will drag the turtle to his doom.

Despite this underwater level, the turtles cannot fall into the water in the sewers without being washed away (although this might be due to the currents in the sewers being very rapid).

Various other criticisms include the lack of music from the TV show (ironically, the game's TV commercial included the credits music from the cartoon), the enemies being unfamiliar to fans of the series, and the box art having all the Turtles wear red masks (the box artwork was taken from the cover of the second printing of issue #4 of the original comic book, in which all the Turtles wore red masks).

The game was the subject of an episode of the Angry Video Game Nerd.

See also


  1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Top 100 NES games. Retrieved on October 21, 2009. "Developed by Konami and published by its subsidiary Ultra (a ghost publisher created only so that Konami could publish more games per year than Nintendo allowed)."

External links