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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Arcade)

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Title Screen

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Also known as: Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles (EU)
Developer: Konami
Publisher: Konami
Platform: Arcade (custom)
Released in JP: 1990
Released in US: 1989
Released in EU: 1989

DevTextIcon.png This game has hidden development-related text.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
ItemsIcon.png This game has unused items.
MusicIcon.png This game has unused music.
SoundIcon.png This game has unused sounds.
TextIcon.png This game has unused text.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.

NotesIcon.png This game has a notes page

A four-player Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles beat-'em-up? Come on, kids were all over this.

Unused Music

A short track that according to the album Konami Special Music "Senryoubako" Heisei Sannenban (catalog number KICA-9005~8) seems to have been an early title screen theme from before Konami obtained the rights for the TMNT theme song.[1]

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Level List

Appears in memory at 0x003436. Note that Stages 9, A, and B are levels that were cut from the game. Interestingly, the Elevator and Rooftop stage concepts were reused in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project.

Level Name Translation Level Name Translation Level Name Translation
     STAGE 1     
     STAGE 2     
     STAGE 3     
    DOWN TOWN   
     STAGE 4     
    GESUI DOU   
     STAGE 5     
     STAGE 6     
Traffic Stage
     STAGE 7     
     STAGE 8     
     STAGE 9     
     STAGE A     
Steel Frame Stage
     STAGE B     
Rooftop Stage
     STAGE C     
     STAGE D     
(Source: Original TCRF research)

Unused Dialogue

All of the dialogue balloons in the game are stored as tiles, making it easy to find unused bits.

Turtle Dialogue

Hello to you too
The Turtles were supposed to be a lot chattier. Some of this text appears to be related to multiplayer.

Boss Dialogue

Unused boss (and Turtle) dialogue. The first balloon would come from Granitor the Stone Warrior, as he's the only boss that can scorch the Turtles. The second set could be from either Granitor or General Traag.


No problem man
While this line of dialogue is said by Splinter at the end of Stage 4, it doesn't appear in the standard dialogue balloon.

(Source: Deathbringer)

Removed Power-Ups

The forgotten dwarves
There are three unused pizza box sub-types that would give different power-ups. There's no code in the game to actually give the player these bonuses, though, so each pizza gives the energy bonus regardless of pizza box type.

To change the first object onscreen to an unused pizza box type, change the following memory addresses:

  • 623C2 to 26
  • 623C3 to 00 for Speedy, 01 for Whirly, and 03 for Zappy.
  • 623C4 to 00
  • 623C5 to 00

Pizza time?
Dialogue balloons for these bonuses. These are probably placeholders, and would presumably be replaced with dialogue more in line with what the Turtles would actually say.

Shining laser Laser walkin' Pew pew

Zappy seems to be the most complete out of all of the power-ups. The player would be able to pick up a laser gun and fire lasers at enemies. It would have been interesting to have a projectile weapon in this game, but the possibility for that is gone now.

Change memory address 62045 to 01 to set Player 1's weapon to the laser gun. It seems that the coding for this weapon was never finished; it doesn't actually fire a projectile, and the laser gun emits no sound effects.

Death from above
A frame of the Turtles drop-kicking with the laser gun in hand is in the graphics ROM, but it's not implemented. The developers might have run out of time before finishing this power-up.

A sound clip for Speedy is in the game, but that seems to be the extent of that power-up's presence in the ROM. Whirly doesn't even get that much, though based on the name, it's plausible that the idea was reused in the sequel for the "bomb" pizza that causes your character to whirl around like a top, dealing massive damage.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Unused Foreground Graphics

A superabundance of sequestered scenery.

Scene 1

A smoldering apartment room with what appears to be a model plane, a small table, and a box of toys.

Scene 2

Please, pledge today. Help end senseless window violence
Large windows appear in the game, though they are never in a broken state like this. It's feasible that Foot Soldiers would have appeared out of the windows, breaking them in the process.

Watch your step. Seriously Highway to hell
This is a bit more curious. These tiles show a broken version of the streets and sidewalks in the Downtown section, which seem to lead down into an abyss.

Top 100 unused tiles
Some graffiti tiles that were abandoned from an earlier version of the stage.

Scene 3

Building building halted These buildings aren't interesting to talk about
Two different building designs that should have appeared in the hoverboard portion of the stage.

Scene 4

Sure are some machines'n such Casting Support
These graphics would have appeared on Background Layer 2, meaning that these tiles would appear in front of the object graphics. There's a crane, an assembly line machine, and steel supports.

Rubbish Dust Lift. Wait, scratch that
There are a good number of unused tiles in the style of the rust-colored metal walls in the latter part of stage 4.

It's possible that the rusty metal tiles would have been used in their own stage, possibly the cut Elevator stage, and were shuffled into Stage 4 when that level was eliminated.


There are three versions of the Konami logo in the game's data. The smallest version of the logo is not used.

Really brings the dialogue to lifeOh boy, grey! My favorite!
An old font and dialogue balloon are present early in the first Graphics ROM. Note that this is stored in a different place than Splinter's dialogue in Stage 4, which uses a different copy of the dialogue balloon and is not font-based.

Unfortunately, only half of the old font remains in the ROM. The other half was replaced by a small Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles logo.

I love the tngmutnjts
Even more unfortunately, that small logo isn't used either! Way to go, jerks.

They're the world's most cheerless crying team
A sad version of the Turtle player icon with a single tear on his cheek. Presumably replaced by the animated crying Turtle graphic.

Yama or Yanma?
Character Designer "Moriyama 25" and Animation Designer "K. Yamashita" put their names in the middle of the downtown tileset.

All the way down
These filler tiles saying "Down Town 改造" ("Down Town kaizō"), or "Down Town Remodelling", are also found in the downtown tileset.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Unused Object Graphics

An exuberance of esoteric entities.

Some of these objects have been coded and have object IDs. Follow these instructions to alter the first on-screen object to the unused object:

  • Set 623C2 to "XX", where "XX" is the given Object ID.
  • Set 623C3, 623C4, and 623C5 to 00.


An odd animation of the Turtles trying to regain balance.

Turtles 1, Shredder 1
A frame with the Turtles tied up and sitting on the floor. In the game, the Turtles are always on their feet when they're tied up.

Scene 1

That pole was at a wild party
Object ID: 3C
It's a lamp. This would have been used in April's apartment.

Object ID: 3D
A flipped chair that would be placed near April's desk.

Scene 2

Blink Chew chew
No Object ID
Early (and very much off-model) graphics of April O'Neil's appearance in the Downtown level.

What could be greater than fighting a gator?
Object ID: 24
An alligator (It's not a crocodile; its teeth aren't visible when its mouth is closed) that would have appeared in the sewers. It slowly moves to the left, occasionally opening its mouth. It can't harm the Turtles in any way; like the mice that appear in the sewers, it was most likely designed to liven the place up a bit.

The palette is probably incorrect, but it's the closest matching palette found in the sewer area.

Second hint: It's the parking lot
A parking lot ticket machine. CHELONIAN CHALLENGE: Where in the stage would this object appear?

Hint: Not in the sewers.

The love just wasn't there
No Object ID
An older, smaller version of the heart graphic used when April kisses one of the Turtles.

Scene 3

Flying (Used) Rolling (Unused)
No animation Suddenly it's moving

No Object ID
The tires that the Foot Soldiers throw in this stage were supposed to either bounce along the ground or just roll. In the actual game, they simply fly through the air.

Foot tea? Footies?
No Object ID
The back of a trailer truck. Foot Soldiers could have come out of this object during the hoverboard sequence. In the final game, the Foot Soldiers spawn off-screen.


NOTE: Not an Archangel
No Object ID
This small angel might have circled around the turtle's head when a life was lost.

Not a fan, but fan-like
Some unknown spinning object. This might be related to the Whirly or Speedy powerups, or it might be something completely unrelated.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Hidden Graphics

These graphics are used, but they're not visible during play.

Scene 1

Nice pictures
The Statue of Liberty picture, mirror, vent, and upper bookshelf are obscured by a layer of smoke in the game.

Scene 2

Check your cash Nice
The "CHECKS CASHED" text, orange "Electoric" sign, and skyline are hidden above the top of the screen.

Scene 4

Bestrides the world like a huge c-c-c-colostomy
The Max Headroom text at the top of the elevator entrance is out of view in normal play.

Scene 5

Hit the computer with your fists to make stuff happen
Long hexagonal lights and a computer are present in Shredder's room, but are never seen.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Regional Differences

Title Screen

World Europe Japan
SURGE licensing Just hope no one actually plays the game and sees the ninja weapons Super Teenage Mutant Turtle Ninjas

Keeping with the standard franchise name change, the European arcade game's title is Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles. The title screen music wasn't changed, nor were the weapons that the Turtles use, making this change rather pointless.

The Japanese version has a subtitle (Super Turtle Ninja) not seen in other versions. The copyright date was also changed from 1989 to 1990 to reflect its later release in the region.

Scoring Change

The Japanese versions fix an exploit in the scoring system. In all other versions of the game, the throwing weapons used by the Foot Soldiers give a point when destroyed. The player can rack up a lot of points by standing a short distance away from a Foot Soldier and destroying every projectile that comes their way. In the Japanese versions of the game, projectiles no longer give points.

(Source: Original TCRF research)