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Video Game / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Manhattan Project

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Manhattan's crime rate is up.
Two thousand feet to be exact.
Because Shredder has ripped the island from the face of the Earth.
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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project is a Beat 'em Up by Konami, released exclusively for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1992.

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 Scene, 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.

In March 2022, the game was announced to be a part of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection, which would be released for all platforms later that year.

Not to be confused with the 2016 game Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants In Manhattan.

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 Scene 2 is surfing from Florida outward. The second part of said Scene is landing aboard a ship and taking it to the Brooklyn Bridge. Scene 6 has the Turtles infiltrating the Technodrome, and the last Scene 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: Rahzar, from the second live-action film, stands guard before Shredder in Scene 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 Scene 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.
  • Counter-Attack: Outside the obvious attack-spamming bosses where they will easily attack back, some bosses have unique actions that counter certain moves done by Turtles. Rocksteady? The moment you press jump, he will fire shots upwards. Tokka? Jump kicking his face or chest would result in him blocking it with a shield and leaving you stunned.
  • Covers Always Lie: See that Triceraton 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 note  where you DID fight against several Triceratons - and Casey Jones appears as your ally - but then again, that game doesn't have floating Manhattan.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • The red and blue Stone Warriors were the last 2 bosses before reaching Krang and Shredder in the previous game. Here, they are nothing but regular mooks you meet down-sized. The red ones start in Scene 3 and are more common. The blue ones start appearing in Scene 7.
    • The Mother Mouser fought in TMNT1's Scene 4 is now fought as a mini-boss twice, majorly downsized. They first appear in Scene 5. However, they are much faster and jump all over the place.
    • The mecha turtle boss from TMNT1 is now a regular mook. They first appear in Scene 6 and is much easier to fight, although fighting a lot of them at once can still be troublesome.
    • While he was a Badass in Distress in the previous game, Splinter only shows up in the continue screen.
  • 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 weapons, 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...
    • Last Chance Hit Point: When down to your last point on the life bar, the cost no longer applies, allowing a player skilled at dodging to infinitely spam said moves. Can be a Game-Breaker if done correctly.
  • 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 bonus 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 super-cold 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 (heads up, though: They switched the classic button input from B,A to A,B this time). Though, this iteration allowed for difficulty selection, changing lives started with, Scene select, even a music player.
  • Kung Fu-Proof Mook: The mecha-turtles can survive a grabbing hook (in fact 3 are required to bring them down), and will quickly jump back firing their blaster when you attempt to dive-kick them.
  • Leitmotif: Shredder retains the trilling opening notes of his theme from the Arcade Game, which shows up at least three times, each leading into different musical pieces.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Tokka, another live-action character, is the boss of Scene 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 Scene 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.
  • Nerf: Shredder's turtle de-mutation fireball. The original games ensure this is a One-Hit Kill move that involves a turtle being de-mutated to a regular turtle. This game? Takes 4 bars of health instead. Still something you want to avoid since he can shoot it fast.
  • 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.
    • Every 10,000 Points: Being a console game, you earned extra lives at fixed intervals: starting at 50,000, and ending at 500,000.
      • Video-Game Lives: By default, you start with three, and earn more as applied above. Whenever you lose a life, you have several seconds to change your Turtle if need be.
  • Marathon Level: Scene 8, Krang's Spaceship, fittingly the end of the game. This Scene has a mini-boss 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, as well as Unique Enemy.
  • Mini-Boss: With their own unique theme as well: Slash in Scene 3, and Mother Mouser in Scenes 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.
  • Sewer Gator: Leatherhead is encountered as the boss in the sewer level.
  • Spin to Deflect Stuff: Slash uses the "spin your whole body variant". Sometimes - especially 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 Scene, 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:
    • The Yellow Foot Soldiers in Scene 1 throwing sand at you. This is exclusive to this level as there are no more sand levels at this point. The other Yellow Foot Soldiers that are close to the exact color are different and throw boomerangs at you instead or dive at you.
    • Scene 2 has quite a few. The electric mines while surfing. The 2 turrets in the 2nd phase.
    • Scene 5 has the robot hornets, returning from the first game. It's only on 1 spot.
    • Scene 6 has the robot flying insects, similar to Stage 5's hornets. Like above, it's only on 1 spot.
  • 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 thanks to his bolts of lightning.