The classic side-scrolling Beat 'em Up
, and follow up to 1989's also amazing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game
. Like its predecessor, Turtles in Time
is based on the four ninjitsu-trained reptilian hominids created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird
, though heavily borrowing from the the 1987 cartoon
. It was initially released for arcades in 1991, and ported to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System
in 1992 as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time
, since it was the fourth TMNT game to be released on a Nintendo
console. Take note, however, that since the Japanese versions didn't make much use of this naming convention, the game was released on the Super Famicom
without any numbering.
In the comfort of their sewer home, our four heroes, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael, along with their wise Master Splinter, are watching their news reporter friend April O'Neil report from Liberty Island for the Channel 6 News. Out of nowhere, a humongous exosuit piloted by Krang snatches the Statue of Liberty, and the television broadcast is interrupted by none other than the Shredder, who survived the Technodrome's explosion at the end of the previous game. After being taunted by Shredder, the four brothers instantly leave their home to battle the forces of the Foot Clan, only for ole' Shred-Head to send them through a time warp. Deposited in the prehistoric past, the Turtles must fight their way back to the future—most stages henceforth taking place in a later time period—in order to defeat the Shredder.Turtles in Time
added some new features such as throwing Foot Soldiers into each other and—most famously—even at the camera. Due to hardware constraints, the Super NES
conversion only allowed two player co-op (instead of four like the arcade version). However, it did add some material of its own, such as a versus mode, a new Technodrome stage, Mode-7 bonus rounds, further divergent character evolution
(for instance, Raph became quick but defensively weak
), and new bosses including Super Shredder from the second movie
and fan favorites Rocksteady and Bebop.
Later Turtles in Time
was ported to the Sega Genesis
as Hyperstone Heist
. This version lacked the fancier effects of the two other versions, but it had completely different plot, level design and reintroduced a few elements from the first arcade game.
In 2009, a remake developed and published by Ubisoft
was released as a downloadable game for Xbox LIVE Arcade
and PlayStation Network
under the modified subtitle Turtles in Time Re-Shelled
. It featured high-definition 3D graphics, improved audio quality which included re-recorded voice clips courtesy of the cast of the 4-Kids animated series
, leaderboards, and achievements
. However, it was attacked by quite a few for not including the material that was present in the SNES
conversion (it was based solely on the original arcade version), and was criticized by critics for not adding enough new material
, drab colors, and gameplay alterations (for example, the Turtles could now face eight directions, rather than only two as in the original game, which often made it more difficult to hit enemies). Despite these complaints, Re-Shelled
immediately became a top-seller for the two consoles' download services. As website Joystiq remarked, this "once again" proves "that regular people don't care about what critics have to say."
Note that "Turtles in Time" IS NOT the subtitle of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III
, despite that film also being released around the same time as this game and that movie also having a time-travel based plot (this is not helped by some newer DVD copies having this subtitle for the film).
This game provides examples of:
- Absurdly Spacious Sewer: "Sewer Surfin'"
- American Kirby Is Hardcore: Compare the Japanese box◊ with the US one◊ (which is more like the original comics).
- Both versions of the game allowed you to switch between two different palettes for the turtles: the bright and colourful "Animation" ("Anime" in the Japanese version) palette, that made them look like their 80s cartoon incarnations, and the darker, pupil-less "Comic" palette, which made them look somewhat closer to the original comic designs. However, the trope is averted since the "Animation"/"Anime" palette is used as the default in both versions.
- The Hyperstone Heist covers vary by region as well. Europe got the Lighter and Softer one (the same as the Turtles In Time cover,) while the US version emulates the live action film's cover. The JP version is a hybrid between the two, featuring the pupil-less turtles (like the comics) but brightly colored like the cartoon clashing against a billion Foot soldiers while Shredder looms in the background.
- Amusing Injuries: Such as getting pancaked by something heavy.
- Artificial Brilliance: Subtle but the Foot Soldiers will try to surround and ambush the players and if they happen to be a variant which has a medium range weapon such as the White Foot Soldier or the Yellow Frisbee Soldier they will actively try to kite the player attacking at (mostly) safe ranges.
- Boss-Only Level: "Technodrome: The Final Shell-Shock!"
- Boss Rush: The Hyperstone Heist version has one on the 4th level. The game even lampshades it (the stage is called The Gaunlet). You fight up to the first three previous bosses, including the boss you just beat in the previous level, Tatsu. Then it ends with a boss fight with Baxter Stockman in his human form.
- Camera Abuse: You can throw Foot Soldiers at the screen (in fact, the first Shredder battle in the SNES requires this!).
- Canon Immigrant: Tatsu from the live-action movies appears as a boss in The Hyperstone Heist.
- Climax Boss: The first Shredder fight.
- It's also a Puzzle Boss—which is rare for beat 'em ups.
- Color-Coded Multiplayer / Competitive Balance: Same as the previous game.
- Conservation of Ninjutsu: It's four ninja turtles versus 500 or so foot soldiers... yeah.
- Difficulty Spike: In the SNES version, right after the fight with Tokka and Rahzar. The elevator rises along with the difficulty.
- Dual Boss: Tokka and Rahzar. The SNES version adds Bebop and Rocksteady.
- Easy-Mode Mockery: The game shows Splinter chastising you for beating it on any mode other than Hard. However, the Japanese release does show the ending and credits on normal difficulty at least. note
- Enhanced Remake: The HD Turtles in Time Re-Shelled.
- Foreshadowing: In The Hyperstone Heist, during Rocksteady's quick Final Speech, he says: "Remember! When I see you next time, I'll beat you.". This is a hint about the boss rush stage that happens two levels later.
- Flash of Pain: Konami's usual "seizure time" variant of this. Bosses on low health usually flicker in their alternate palettes. This is averted in the Re-Shelled version.
- Floating in a Bubble: Krang's saucer can induce this on the turtles. "Anyone got a pin?"
- Flunky Boss: Tatsu summons foot soldiers while taking dart shots at the turtles.
- Funny Background Event: In Re-Shelled, one of the Foot Ninja in the Neon Night Riders segment struggles to get back onto their hoverboard, before failing and exploding.
- Gangplank Galleon: The "Skull and Crossbones" level.
- Giant Mook: Rock Soldiers, which can take a lot of as well as dish out a lot of damage.
- Grievous Harm with a Body: Attacking a foot soldier in a certain way allows you to whip them around to kill both them and any enemies that get too close. You can also throw foot soldiers into the screen, which happens to be the only way to damage the boss of the 4th stage.
- Hard Levels, Easy Bosses: The only way to get good at the main stages is to practice, practice, practice. But as far as the bosses go, a lot of them are pushovers if you use the right strategies.
- Home Version Soundtrack Replacement: The version of Turtles in Time that can be unlocked in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3: Mutant Nightmare features a completely new soundtrack, probably because the rights couldn't be obtained for the original music.
- In Case of Boss Fight, Break Glass: The game gives you this in your first boss fight against Shredder, who's in a mechanical construct firing all sorts of weapons at you while his Foot Soldiers are distracting you (and the battle is shown from Shredder's point of view). While you can beat up the ninjas endlessly, the only way to beat Shredder is to throw said ninjas into the screen.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: You can throw Foot Ninjas into the screen.
- Life Meter: Even bosses had these, but they don't only in the arcade version.
- Locomotive Level: "Bury My Shell..."
- Lost Forever: Reshelled was delisted from XBLA and PSN in 2011 after Ubisoft's license expired.
- Market-Based Title: The "IV" was added to the title of the SNES port outside Japan to maintain continuity with the previous NES games, since the first NES game was followed by two numbered sequels (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II being a port of the first arcade game). Strangely, the European Hero Turtles release also had a Roman numeral IV, despite the fact that the third NES game (The Manhattan Project) was never released there.
- The Japanese version of Hyperstone Heist is called Return of the Shredder.
- Metronomic Man Mashing: One attack in the game matches the trope. It's also Awesome Yet Practical if you can pull it off, because it is a One-Hit Kill on foot soldiers (the guy being thrown, as well as those hit by him) and every enemy killed by it is worth 2 points, while normal kills only give you 1 and you get an extra life every 200 points.
- Monumental Theft: The Shredder steals the Statue of Liberty, the Turtles are after him to get it back. That's pretty much the plot, although it's only mentioned in a couple of cutscenes.
- One-Winged Angel: Super Shredder, which replaces regular Shredder as the final boss in the SNES conversion. Interestingly, he transforms just before you fight him, instead of transforming after defeating him in his regular form. In addition to super speed, a fiery ground wave, and an anti-air ice projectile, Super Shredder also possesses an instant kill anti-mutagen fireball which takes away one of your extra lives (That is, if you have only one hit point left and take one of this fireballs, you will lose a life but you will continue with a single hit point). On the hard difficulty, he uses his attacks so quickly you can jump right into the ice attack before it even starts, and have a split-second to jump when he uses the fire and mutagen attacks.
- The Other Darrin: Re-Shelled uses the voice actors from the 2K3 series to give it continuity.
- The port from Mutant Nightmare featured a different cast than the original arcade/SNES game as well.
- Personal Space Invader: Mousers.
- Power-Up Food: Regular pizza in this game replenishes your Life Meter. A pizza with a bomb on the box causes the Turtle who touches it to shout "Pizza Power!" and go into a spin that can destroy every enemy he comes into contact with.
- Prehistoria: The "Prehistoric Turtlesaurus" level.
- Rake Take: The planks at "Skull and Crossbones".
- Rearrange the Song: In the Mutant Nightmare port, the "Skull and Crossbones" level remixes the "Streets" level theme from the 2003 TMNT video game.
- Shared Life Meter: Variant: Bebop and Rocksteady show separate health bars, but the fight's over when either one empties. The two start attacking each other and defeat themselves.
- Ship Level: Skull and Crossbones.
- Sinister Silhouettes: At the beginning of each stage, one of the Turtles announces the name of the stage, in front of a silhouette of the Stage Boss.
- Time Travel: It's the premise!
- Title Scream: Each level's location is spoken.
- Throw The Mook At Them: The SNES version of the game features a boss battle like this, against Shredder, at the end of the Technodrome level. Shredder sits safely in the cockpit of a crab canon, where the turtles can't reach him. So they chuck his own soldiers at him, literally reducing them to cannon fodder.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: After Rahzar de-mutates following his defeat, you can attack him in his normal form. Doing so will cause him to make yelping sounds.
- Zeerust: The "Neon Night Riders" stage features vast sparkling cities and hoverboards. The year? 2020.