April O'Neil normally fulfilled a support role in the video games loosely based on the 1987 TV series, and in most games was kidnapped by Shredder and his goons and the Turtles try to save her. Usually, April is rescued prior to the conclusion of each game, as her abduction was usually presented as a distraction to delay the Turtles from thwarting the master plans of Shredder and Krang, and after being rescued she might become a supportive non-playable character for the remainder of the campaign.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1989 video game)
In the first NES game, April's abduction is revealed in the game's attract mode, and the Turtles first encounter her at the end of the second sewer tunnel in the game's first stage, being guarded by Rocksteady while the player must defeat Bebop. Rocksteady will carry April away to the large warehouse at the end of the stage, where the Turtles must defeat him. After being rescue, April informs the Turtles that the Foot Clan plan to blow up the Dam, having placed eight bombs underwater. Throughout the remainder of the game, April will provide her support through information and hints during the game's pause menu.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (arcade game)
In Konami's 1989 TMNT arcade game, the opening cutscene sees Splinter send the Turtles into action when they observe April's apartment building in flames. After reaching April's Hot Midtown Loft at the end of Scene 1, Shredder abducts April following a battle with Rocksteady. She is rescued following a confrontation with both Rocksteady and Bebop at the end of Scene 2, Vinnie's Valet Parking Garage, after which she will award a kiss on the head to the turtle with the highest score. She is not seen again for the remainder of the game, although the game might imply that she drives the Party Wagon which careens off the expressway at the end of Scene 3 and is shown in wreckage at the beginning of Scene 4. April plays the same role in the NES port of the game known as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project
Konami's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project begins with the Turtles spending their vacation in Florida. While watching April's latest news report, her program is suddenly interrupted by the Turtles' arch-nemesis, Shredder. Taking April as his hostage, Shredder reveals that he has also turned the entire city of New York into a floating island Manhattan Island and challenges the Turtles to come to come to the Technodrome to stop him. After they rescue April, she tells them that Manhattan Island is being controlled by Krang's Spaceship which causes the city to levitate into the sky.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time
In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time, she kicks the story off with a brief report where Krang steals the Statue of Liberty and appears in the games ending. She also appears onscreen in the SNES version to encourage the Turtles to fight when the player characters are idle.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist
Similarly, to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time, April opens the story with a brief report near the Statue of Liberty that is interrupted by Shredder's usage of the Hyperstone to shrink much of Manhattan. She only appears again at the end of the game to finish the report.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters
The Sega Genesis version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters is April's sole playable appearance of this era. She dressed very differently than previously seen, wearing a red top and shorts. April fought with lightning-fast fists and a number of throw moves, as well as two different elbow drops.
In Story Battle Mode of the Super Nintendo version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters, The abductions of April and Splinter are revealed in the opening cutscene, and she will be held captive in the lair of the fourth opponent. Following her rescue, a cutscene will play in which she reveals where Splinter was taken (despite the fact that Splinter cannot be rescued until the pen-ultimate opponent). In the game's Tournament mode, April serves as the post-fight reporter who interviews the tournament winners, on account of the fact that the entire tournament is produced and broadcast by Channel 6 News.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Madness
In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Madness, April is an unlockable 2-star character, classified as Support/Trickster. She appears in cutscenes after completion of the Channel 6 stage in the Adventure campaign. She is equipped with Hand Camera, and her special techniques include: Ambush Interview, Breaking News, Informed Public, Power of the Press, and What a Scoop!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge
- The manual of the Famicom version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1989 video game) identifies April as the daughter of Splinter. This is not corroborated in any other version of the game or installment of the franchise.
- April appears in the following titles without being captured: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Manhattan Missions, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist, and the NES and Mega Drive/Genesis versions of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters.
- Rescuing April is the ultimate end-game goal in four games: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Konami handheld), Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles (Grandstand handheld), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall of the Foot Clan, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Radical Rescue.
- Konami's first LCD handheld is the only game that offers a scenario in which failure to save April results in her death and an immediate Game Over. In Game Modes 2 and 3, if the player fails to place a bomb in the proper position around the shielded Shredder's Asylum encapsulating April, the ensuing explosion will prove fatal for her as well.
- April's attire in the Genesis version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters might be an homage to Blaze Fielding from Sega's Streets of Rage/Bare Knuckle video game series.