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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game

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Title Screen

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game

Also known as: Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles II: The Arcade Game (EU), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (JP)
Developer: Konami
Publishers: Ultra Games (US), Konami (JP/EU)
Platform: NES
Released in JP: December 7, 1990
Released in US: December 1990
Released in EU: November 14, 1991


DevTextIcon.png This game has hidden development-related text.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
TextIcon.png This game has unused text.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
LevelSelectIcon.png This game has a hidden level select.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.
PiracyIcon.png This game has anti-piracy features.


The second TMNT game for the NES, which is actually a port of the popular arcade game that was released around the same time as the first NES game. This 8-bit console version adds a few exclusive stages and bosses in order to make up for the obvious visual downgrade and the fact it only supports up to two players turtles.

Disabled Debug Menus

Extra Cheat Options

Tmnt2 debug stage select.png

The Game Genie code AIOINPYO enables extra cheat options in the "STAGE SELECT" menu in the US version. Press Left / Right to select a stage. The player can also press Up / Down to change the starting position in a stage. Press B to increase the number of lives for both players (this can go up to 50), or press Select to switch ON or OFF invincibility/maximum power mode.

Objects Test

Tmnt2 chr test disabled.png

Enter "STAGE SELECT" mode, then enter the Game Genie codes XSUSZOES + TEUSPOVG in the US version to enable CHR test. It seems that only control routines are left from this mode. There are no object position initializing or initial screen draw routines. You can change CHR objects by pressing the A / B buttons, change "FILE" index by pressing Left / Right or select "BANK" number by pressing Up / Down. There are no proper CHR bank setups left either.

Copy Protection

...cassette?‎

As with most of Konami's games after 1990, there's a copy protection mechanism. At the start of the game, the game calculates the CHR ROM checksum to ensure its consistency, and sets a flag if there's a consistency failure. If the flag is set, the scene number screen will change to this strange error message. Additionally, after beating scene 2, the game will immediately loop back to scene 1.

Considering that "set" and "cassette" are typical mistranslations of "insert" and "cartridge", this message may be attempting to say something along the lines of "Please insert the cartridge again."

Unused Graphics

TMNT2-PizzaHutUnused.png

This rather large logo is found with the enemy graphics for the dojo level. Unlike every other Pizza Hut graphic in the game, this one wasn't erased in the Japanese version.

Unused Text

Hidden amongst the strings used for displaying the game over and continue screens, as well as the cheat and disabled debugging menus, there are two additional strings not used anywhere in the game. The first string is "PLAY SELECT", which was likely intended for one of the disabled debug screens, and uses default game encoding. The second string is "a KONAMI 1989", which uses standard ASCII encoding, and probably was used for earlier versions of the game. The "a" at the start of the string is supposed to represent the "©" symbol in the early CHR set. Now, this symbol is allocated to $53.

Build Dates

At 40000 in all versions of the ROM is an ID with a date that version of the game was compiled. A similar ID is found in many other Konami games.

US / Europe US Prototype Japan
MAST900801 SAMP900802 MAST900912

"MAST" means it's the "master" version of the game, and the numbers are the date. So the US and European versions were finished on August 1, 1990 while the Japanese version was finished on September 12, 1990.

Oddly enough, the "prototype" of the game was compiled the day after the final build of the US / European versions. The only difference at all is that string. This build was most likely used for review copies or demo stations in stores.


(Prototype Source: Nintendo Player)

Regional Differences

General

  • The scoring system is much more dynamic in the Japanese version. It gives you a different amount of points depending on the type of enemy you defeat and gives you many more than the western versions, which only give you 1 point for every enemy you defeat.
  • Jump kicks are as powerful as the special attack in the Japanese version, meaning you can take out most enemies with it in one hit. In the western versions, it's only as powerful as your regular attack, meaning most enemies take two hits to defeat with it.
  • The jump kick can also be performed at any point during your jump. In the western versions, it can only be performed while descending from your jump.
  • In the Japanese version, for a few frames after a jump kick or special attack is performed, you can push the opposite direction and switch which way your attack is aimed.
  • The Japanese version has significantly less enemies than the western versions.
  • The attract mode (when the game plays itself after waiting at the title screen) plays out differently in the Japanese version.

Title Screen

US Japan Europe
TMNT2-title.png TMNT2-title-JP.png TMNT2-title-EU.png

Unlike the first NES game, Konami decided to keep the franchise's actual English title for the Japanese release of this game. As a result, the Japanese version is simply titled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles without any numeral or subtitle. The logo in the Japanese version seems almost identical to the one used for the first NES game at first glance, but it actually has some slight differences. The Japanese title screen also has a high score display and the "N" in "© KONAMI" is slightly thicker.

In Europe, the franchise was known as Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles at the time and the logo was changed accordingly to reflect this difference, but for some reason "The Arcade Game" banner was recolored from red to purple as well.

Pizza Hut

All references to Pizza Hut have been removed from the Japanese release.

US / Europe Japan
TMNT2-PizzaHut1-1.png TMNT2-PizzaHut1-2.png

This is a picture hanging on the wall in the first stage. The logo seems to have been replaced with a picture of a city in the Japanese version.

US / Europe Japan
TMNT2-PizzaHut2-1.png TMNT2-PizzaHut2-2.png

These are the falling posters the Foot Soldiers hide behind in the second stage. The logo was replaced with an advertisement for "TURTLE RACING".

US / Europe Japan
TMNT2-PizzaHut3-1.png
TMNT2-PizzaHut4-1.png
TMNT2-PizzaHut5-1.png
TMNT2-PizzaHut3-2.png
TMNT2-PizzaHut4-2.png
TMNT2-PizzaHut5-2.png

The signs in stages 4, 5 and 8 have been completely removed.

Michaelangelo

US Japan / Europe
TMNT2-Mike-1.png TMNT2-Mike-2.png

One of Michaelangelo's frames of animation is "glitched" in the US version. This is the second frame of animation in his special attack (pressing A + B). The tile that makes up his shoulder is wrong for some reason. It's the same tile as the one directly to the left of it.

It's not a programming error though. Someone just copied over the tile with the one next to it by accident and nobody noticed. Because this frame of animation goes by so quickly, it's hard to notice unless you pause the game at just the right moment.

This mistake doesn't exist in the Japanese or European version.

Bebop

US / Europe Japan
TMNT2-BebopRun-1.png TMNT2-BebopRun-2.png

This is Bebop's charging animation. The bandanna around his leg is missing in the US and European versions, even though it's in all his other animations. This was fixed in the Japanese version.

Other parts of this animation were also slightly altered in the Japanese release. In the first frame, his front leg was made to be more angular. His foot and his shadow were also made slightly smaller. His shadow in the third frame is also slightly thinner.

US / Europe Japan US / Europe
(Mock-up)
TMNT2-BebopDefeated-1.png TMNT2-BebopDefeated-2.png TMNT2-BebopDefeated-Mockup.png

This is Bebop when he's on the ground after being defeated. As you can see, he's quite glitched in the US and European versions. The tiles that make up his arm and the top of his head are loaded improperly. They instead load the tiles that make up his feet when walking.

As you can also see, this graphic was cleaned up a bit for the Japanese version. A new 8x16 tile for his arm was drawn and squeezed into some extra space between the graphics for his shooting animation. However, the top of his head is still cut off. His cheek area is also rather ill-fitting.

The third image is a mock-up of what the sprite probably should have looked like in the US and European versions, using the tiles that don't end up being used in any version. The tiles that make up the top of his head don't fit on the Japanese version due to the new shoulder graphic.

Katana Foot Soldier

US / Europe Japan
TMNT2-KatanaFoot1-1.png TMNT2-KatanaFoot1-2.png

This is part of the walking animation for the Katana Foot Soldier. His outer arm is slightly thinner in the Japanese version.

US Japan / Europe
TMNT2-KatanaFoot2-1.png TMNT2-KatanaFoot2-2.png

This is another part of the walking animation. For some reason, the hilt of the sword is missing in the US release, making the blade look like it's floating in the air.

Skateboarder

US / Europe Japan
TMNT2-Skateboarder-1.png TMNT2-Skateboarder-2.png

The skateboarder lady from stage 2 looks slightly different. Her front leg is slightly thinner and angled inwards in the Japanese version.

Though you get an extra point for hitting her in the US and EU versions, the Japanese version doesn't award any points.

Cheat Codes

Yes, even the cheat codes were changed for the Japanese version. All the codes are entered at the title screen. Since the title screen jumps into attract mode in the span of about 5 seconds, the Japanese codes are easier to enter due to being shorter and simpler.

Effect US / European Code Japanese Code
Stage Select Down (×5), Right (×7), B, A, Start Left (×3), B (×3), A (×3), Start
10 Lives Up, Right (×2), Down (×3), Left (×4), B, A, Start Right (×3), B (×3), A (×3), Start
Stage Select & 10 Lives B, A, B, A, Up, Down, B, A, Left, Right, B, A, Start Left, Right, B (×3), A (×3), Start

Credits

The European version has an additional section of staff credits not present in the Japanese or US versions.

SPECIAL THANKS
K.AOYAMA
Y.KAMBE
Y.SAKAKURA
H.TAKEYASU

KONAMI EUROPE GMBH.
KONAMI INC.