Two thousand feet to be exact.
Because Shredder has ripped the island from the face of the Earth.
The Turtles have managed to sneak away to Key West, Florida for a vacation. When watching a news broadcast from New York, it's immediately hijacked by Shredder, who issues a challenge to the Turtles, not only by kidnapping April O'Neil, but also by airlifting Manhattan Island into the sky!
Following the formula of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game, one or two of the Turtles fight off waves upon waves of Foot Soldiers and other assorted enemies until they reach the end of the stage, where a boss is fought.
This game also introduced special moves for each turtle, done by hitting both Attack and Jump at the same time, much as the arcade game does, but these come with a price: one point off the turtle's life bar per use.
This game provides examples of:
- American Kirby Is Hardcore: Yep. The American box looks more like the comics and the Japanese box looks more like the TV show.
- Amusing Injuries: Just like Turtles In Time, the turtles experience hilarious injuries if hit by certain environmental hazards or enemy attacks. Such examples include having a big steel ball thrown/rolled on your turtle becoming squashed flat, or turning in to an accordion turtle by falling weights.
- Battleship Raid: The first part of Stage Two is surfing from Florida outward. The second part of said stage is landing aboard a ship and taking it to the Brooklyn Bridge. Stage 6 has the turtles infiltrating the Technodrome, and the last stage takes place aboard Krang's Spaceship.
- Bullfight Boss: A lot of the boss fights are this or a variation of it. Rocksteady, Groundchuck, Slash, and Dirtbag are only half of the examples.
- Breath Weapon: Rhazar, from the second live-action film, stands guard before Shredder in Stage 6, and somehow gained the power to breathe ice. Aside from lining himself up and firing, he's also capable of a sweeping shot.
- Broken Bridge: An almost literal interpretation. The Brooklyn Bridge itself is Stage 3, and Shredder's airlifting of Manhattan Island has severely damaged it in places, with pitfalls abound. You even walk on parts of the framework.
- Busman's Holiday: All the Turtles wanted to do was relax in Florida, until Shredder ruined their vacation.
- Canon Immigrant: Tokka and Rahzar show up based on their movie appearance. Their animated versions were not introduced on the show until Season 7.
- Color-Coded Characters: The Turtles, obviously, but the Foot Soldiers are the main draw here; much like the Arcade title, every one of them has different colors, and thus different attacks. Much of the game itself is learning which colored soldier does what.
- Covers Always Lie: See that triceratops on the American box art. He never appears in the game at all. And if you look behind him in the background, closely to your left, you can see a man in a hockey mask among the Foot Ninjas. That is Casey Jones who also does not appear in the game. Worst of all is that the artwork portrays him as one of the bad guys, but any fan knows is that he is one of the turtles allies. The cover is actually portraying a similarly named DOS-based TMNT game where you DID fight on several Triceratons, and Casey Jones appear as your ally, but then again, that game doesn't have floating Manhattan.
- Department of Redundancy Department:SCENE 1: Let's go, turtles! The start of a long, hard battle is beginning.
- Divergent Character Evolution: Aside from each turtle's Weapon of Choice, they each have their own special move, done by hitting A and B at the same time: Leonardo spins in place with his blades out, Raphael turns himself into a self-propelled drill, Michelangelo hand-springs his feet into enemies, and Donatello flips forward with his Bo outstretched. They may sound silly, but they're much stronger than the default attacks and have invincibility frames for the move's duration, hence their cost of life. Though...
- Floating Continent: The plot of the game is that the Shredder has airlifted Manhattan Island into the sky, just to send a challenge to the Turtles.
- Grievous Harm with a Body: Pressing Down and Attack allowed the Turtles to use a Jab And Toss maneuver, All There in the Manual by the way, which lifted the unfortunate soldier over the turtle's head and behind them. Done correctly, this move could damage other Foot Soldiers, and you even got extra points for killing extra enemies that way.
- Half the Man He Used to Be: Krang's Exosuit weaponizes this halfway through the battle with him: his legs run around the room, tossing anyone unfortunate enough to be in their way, while the torso fires Eye Beams and even tries to Drop the Hammer on you. Though there is a flaw: both parts of the suit take damage from your attacks, and eventually rejoin after taking enough abuse.
- An Ice Person: Rahzar has inexplicably obtained supercold breath in this game.
- Idle Animation: After staring at the player for a bit, each turtle does something: Leo taps his foot, Raph juggles his Sai, Mike spins a nunchaku, and Don bounces one end of his Bo in his hand.
- Konami Code: Did you really have any doubts about it being in here? Anyway, you don't know if the code works until after you select a Turtle. Though, this iteration allowed for difficulty selection, changing lives started with, stage select, even a music player.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Tokka, another live-action character, is the boss of Stage 7, and had the foresight to bring a shield that stops jump kicks. He usually counters with a nasty hook that sends your turtle into the glowing Foot Sign in the background.
- Market-Based Title: Known as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 in Japan, since the first NES game had a name change when it was released for the Famicom, while the second one kept the Ninja Turtles name.
- Mecha-Mooks: Aside from the various machines in the series (Mouser Robots, for example), the Foot Soldiers are this, much as they were in the Animated Series. Partway through Stage 6, the Technodrome, you will come across several Foot robots still being put together. One of the chambers will assemble the soldiers to do battle with the turtles.
- Mission-Pack Sequel: To the second NES Turtles game.
- One-Winged Angel: This title is where Super Shredder from the second live-action movie came out to play. Aside from some incredibly fast dashing, he could also call down blasts of lightning, and temporarily revert your turtle back to their original form with a Kamehame Hadoken. However, it was shown that Shredder hadn't complete control over himself, given his random teleporation hiccups whenever he used the lightning.
- Pinball Scoring: By the end of the game, it's fairly common to have somewhere above half a million in your score.
- Marathon Level: Stage 8, Krang's Spaceship, fittingly the end of the game. This stage has a miniboss return, then the fight against Krang, and finally Super Shredder at the end. And to top it off, nearly every Mook in the game is here, including several new ones and a Unique Enemy.
- Mini-Boss: With their own unique theme as well: Slash in Stage 3, and Mother Mouser in Stages 5 and 8.
- Secondary Adaptation: A 1992 Beat 'em Up game based on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987), the American box art is drawn in the style of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Mirage), the original medium.
- Spin to Deflect Stuff: Slash uses the "spin your whole body variant". Sometimes—escpecially when he's low on health—he will pull himself inside of his shell and spin like a Koopa Troopa. If any of the turtles touches him while he is doing this, they will be knocked back to the other side of the screen.
- Timed Mission: Weirdly inverted: at the end of each stage, time tallied up is distributed as extra points to each player's score, meaning sitting around long enough gives you extra points. This also means that someone blazing through the game at a quick enough pace won't receive this time bonus.
- Turns Red: Again, like the Arcade titles, to let the player know their progess against the bosses.
- Unique Enemy: Most enemies that aren't Foot Soldiers or Stone Warriors have only a few appearances: electric mines partway through Stage 2's first half, the small helicopter drones from the Arcade and first cartoon only show up halfway through Stage 6, Stage 8 introduces small robot heads that shoot lasers at you, and that's only the tip of the iceberg.
- X-Ray Sparks: Tokka will demonstrate this to the turtles repeatedly.
- As can Krang in the final phase of his fight, when he electrifies his Exosuit as a counter-attack. Super Shredder, as mentioned above, can also pull this off.