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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Arcade)

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Title Screen

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Also known as: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Super Kame Ninja (JP), Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles (EU)
Developer: Konami
Publisher: Konami
Platform: Arcade (Custom)
Released in JP: August 1990[1]
Released in US: October 1989[2]
Released in EU: 1989

DevTextIcon.png This game has hidden development-related text.
ObjectIcon.png This game has unused objects.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
MusicIcon.png This game has unused music.
SoundIcon.png This game has unused sounds.
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.


Miscellaneous tidbits that are interesting enough to point out here.

Unused Graphics

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

The Turtles were supposed to be a lot chattier, some of this text appears to be related to multiplayer. No sounds for them can be found.

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 was meant to be from also Granitor, General Traag and Krang as an indication that they only take 1 point of damage from all of the Turtles' attacks, resulting the game lacking a hint that special moves don't do additional damage to them. No sounds for them is present.

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)

The forgotten dwarves.
Alongside the energy pizza, 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. Zappy seems to have been the most complete out of these power-ups due to the number of leftovers (see below). Speedy and Whirly are a mystery, though it's possible that the latter was reintroduced in the sequel as the "bomb" pizza, which causes the player to briefly whirl around in an invulnerable frenzy.

To change the first object on-screen 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 the scrapped pizza bonuses. Unused voice clips also exist for them, except for Whirly, see below.

Shining laser. Laser walkin'. Pew pew. Death from above.
Turtle graphics for the Zappy power-up. The player was meant to receive a laser gun and be able to 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. A frame of the Turtles drop-kicking with the laser gun in hand is in the graphics ROM, but it's not implemented.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Foreground Graphics

A superabundance of sequestered scenery.

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

Really brings the dialogue to life. Oh 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.
One frame of a sad version of the Turtle player icon with a single tear on the 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.

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.
A broken version of the large windows that appear midway through the stage. It's feasible that Foot Soldiers would have broken through them like they do with the other windows, but they never come out of them even on the higher difficulties.

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 abandoned graffiti tiles 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 would have appeared on 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.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

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.
An extra frame for the Turtles getting tied up before getting electrocuted, this position is just like the electrocution one but with the legs not being spread out.

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

Not a fan, but fan-like.
What appears to be a green Turtle hand spinning a weapon, perhaps related to the unused Whirly pizza type.

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 TV appearance at the beginning of 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. This is used in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus version of this game.

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 in the post-stage cutscene.

Scene 3

Used Unused
No animation. Suddenly it's moving.

No Object ID
The tires that the Foot Soldiers throw in the first section have a rolling animation. In the actual game, they simply fly through the air.

Foot tea? Footies?
No Object ID
The back of a Foot Clan trailer truck. Foot Soldiers spawn offscreen during the hoverboard sequence, maybe they were originally intended to come out of this object instead.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Unseen 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.

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)

Unused Audio

ID Track Notes
Turtle voice clips for the cut Speedy and Zappy power-ups, respectively.
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.
(Source: Original TCRF research)

Level List

Level Name Translation

Appears in memory at 0x003436. Note that stages 9, A, and B were cut from the game, but the Turtles can still be seen jumping into an elevator at the end of Scene 4. The Elevator and Rooftop stage concepts were later reused in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project. "Tekkotsu", once translated from Japanese, refers to the steel girders laid down during the construction of a building, a concept reused for the first stage of Turtles in Time.

(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 (still saying, "Ninja" in the lyrics), nor were the weapons that the Turtles use, making this change rather pointless. The Japanese version has a subtitle not seen in other versions: Super Turtle Ninja.


In the Japanese sets, destroying enemy projectiles no longer gives a point. This fixes an exploit in the scoring system: in all other versions of the game, 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.

(Source: Original TCRF research)