Being a kid who lived and breathed Turtle Power, I was as giddy as a school girl when I saw that there was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game on the NES that went by that exact name. I was with my dad, sister and a friend when I saw it at the rental store. We rented it out along with DuckTales and some other NES game that I can't remember. I really liked the cover art for the game, even though it looked nothing like what I had seen on the show. This was because it was based off of the art from the comic, just like the rest of the art for the close up portraits of the Turtles in the game. Originally released in June of 1989, TMNT was published under Konami's Ultra Games label. This was Konami's way of getting past that pesky 6 games per year restriction that Nintendo issued to third parties that wished to develop and publish games on the NES.
Placing the game in the NES and turning on the power, we were greeted with what I still think is one of the coolest intros to an NES game. It shows all four of the turtles quickly mutating and showing off their weapons. After that, the turtles and Splinter look on to see April doing what she does best: getting captured and by the Turtle's arch nemesis Shredder, no less. With that, we started up the game and began our quest to save April! Sadly, it didn't go so well. I think Leo was the first Turtle that we lost and if I recall, I don't even think we made it to Rocksteady on our first try.
|Even this game likes to show off how busty April is.|
By the second or third day playing it, we made it to Rocksteady and if I remember right, we found out for ourselves the trick that pretty much everyone knows today. Select Don, stand on top of the crates and whale away at Rocksteady while he charges away like the moron he is in his vain attempts to reach you. Being the naive child I was, I thought rescuing April would be the end of the game. Unlike Super Mario Bros. you saved April early on and there was much more to do after she was rescued, like say, keep a dam from blowing up.
|I'm pretty sure most gamers said more than "OK!"|
after finishing this level.
|I might be wrong, but I don't think this will|
be good news.
|The Technodrome is MUCH bigger on the inside than|
this picture would have you believe.
These days, TMNT on the NES is a game that gets a lot of criticism and it isn't hard to see why. It has a nightmarish difficulty that could make the Mega Man series cringe, it incorporated so few characters from the show and the jump physics are just plain awkward. Be that as it may, I think way too many bashers focus on all the negative points that they never see it's good one, the soundtrack. TMNT for the NES has some of the finest video game music you will ever hear. The intro tune is a great way to sell players on the game's music. OCR even remixed it for the Heros vs. Villains album. The first Overworld theme will instantly get stuck in your head. And that boss theme? I don't care how short it is, it's KILLER! We all hated the second stage where we had to disarm those bombs underwater, but at least the music to that stage was just sooooo gooood! By far, the Underwater Bombs theme is one of the best aquatic level pieces ever constructed.
|TMNT#4 was the basis for the NES game's cover art.|