The Foot Elite Guard (also known as Shredder's Elite Guard), is a group of four of the most accomplished ninja in the Foot Clan, who serve The Shredder as bodyguards and field leaders. The weapons they use are the trident, spear, battle axe, and twin-bladed sword.
The Foot Elite from the 2003 TV series appeared to have the ability to teleport in a barrage of smoke and surprise anyone at anytime. They were also extremely fast and skilled with their weapons. According to Master Splinter in The Shredder Strikes Back, Part 2, they "are the deadliest of his warriors. Lethal assassins". Each one carries their own special weapon: a trident, a twin-bladed sword, a spear, and a battle axe. The Utrom Shredder often sends them out on special missions that need to be accomplished quickly and effectively.
The Foot Elite made their first appearance in The Shredder Strikes Back, Part 1. Once the Utrom Shredder appeared on the scene, they, along with the rest of the Foot, bowed respectfully before engaging in battle with Leonardo. While Leo used all his strength and put up a decent fight, he was overwhelmed by their superior skill and power and got brutally defeated by them. They then throw Leo through April's apartment window, and proceed to hand Leo's swords over to their master, who broke them in half in victory.
In The Shredder Strikes Back, Part 2, the Elite were seen waiting for the Turtles downstairs in April's shop as a trap. After receiving compliments on their attire and hats, they battled Raphael, Michelangelo, and Donatello. They proved to be tough opponents for the Turtles, eventually overwhelming them. Once the Utrom Shredder himself showed up in the shop, the Foot Elite reappeared by his side ready to attack on command. The Elite then were ordered to finish off the Turtles as Shredder fought Splinter, but they were interrupted by the arrival of Casey Jones. All four of them were knocked out by Casey.
When the Utrom Shredder was seemingly dead, the Foot Elite led the Foot Clan in a secret civil war against the Purple Dragons and the Mafia. Near its end, they presumed that their master returned, bringing all factions to the old Foot tower. But it was actually Karai in disguise, seeking to restore order. One of the Elite (the leader) refused to submit to her until she slashed his hat in half. The Elite would later reappear in Rogue in the House, Part 1, and the Turtles would fight them again in Rogue in the House, Part 2. In Exodus, Part 1, they were ultimately taken down by Bishop while trying to protect Ch'rell while he was escaping to his starship.
The Utrom Shredder had four Foot Elite Ninjas even in the 1960s. In the introduction sequence of A Tale of Master Yoshi, they would battle and get defeated quickly by Hamato Yoshi, although the Elite would make some cameo appearances during the attack on the Utrom Hideout later in the episode. The Foot Elite would reappear and fight the Turtles (except Donatello) one last time in Good Genes, Part 2, attempting and failing to stop them from stealing the Heart of Tengu.
Peter Laird said on his blog that the Elite's teleportation is meant to be "an exaggerated way to show their incredible level of skill in ninja techniques of disappearing and reappearing via a combination of sheer speed and distractions such as smoke bombs."
The Lost Episodes
In The Lost Episodes, the Foot Elite could still be seen working for the Foot Clan under Karai. In New World Order, Part 1, they would attempt to battle the Tengu Shredder as he and the Foot Mystics attack the Foot Tower in an attempt to eliminate Karai, but were defeated by the demon when he turned their weapons against them. The Elite were not seen again after the episode.
Back to the Sewer
Master Khan could also have been one of the Foot Elite, due to the fact that he could move just as fast as them. The Foot Elite theme music also comes on whenever Khan appears, and he shares the same voice actor as them.
Personalities and abilities
Throughout their time on the show, the Foot Elite rarely spoke (having only done so in the City at War trilogy, where they were all voiced by Sean Schemmel), so very little is known about their individual personalities. However, it is known that all four of them are completely loyal to whomever they have sworn their allegiance to, showing that they have a sense of honor that The Shredder himself lacks. The trident wielding Elite in particular seemed honorable, because he hesitated when he had the opportunity to kill the defenseless Splinter in Rogue in the House, Part 2. The sword wielding Elite, who was also the leader of the group, accused Karai of sacrilege when he discovered that she was pretending to be The Shredder. However, despite his mighty skills as a warrior, the leader did eventually swear allegiance to Karai after she humiliated him by slicing his hat. The Foot Elite also seemed to have a sense of arrogance or sadistic streak, as they often like to toy with their victims before slaying them. During their first encounter with Leonardo, they easily overpowered him and gave him a chance to catch his breath, knowing that he had no real chance of beating them.
Individually, the Foot Elite are highly formidable opponents in combat, but their real strength is especially shown when they fight as a team. Much like the Turtles, they excelled in teamwork. During their first battle, they were able to defeat Leonardo, the most skilled of the Turtles, with very little effort by working together. During their rematch in Return to New York, Part 3, Leo claimed he could deal with all four of them by himself, and Raph agreed with him on that. In the end, however, it required the combined efforts of all four Turtles to finally defeat the Elite.
The leader of the Elite was shown to have easily fended off both of Karai's assistants, even though Mikey, Don, and Casey each had been unable to even touch them. Karai herself was also unable to overpower him in one-on-one combat and needed help from the Turtles to finally defeat him. While the leader usually preferred using his double bladed weapon as a single weapon, he would sometimes disconnect it so that he could fight with two separate blades (as shown in Rogue in the House, Part 2). He is even able to use his blades to deflect bullets, as shown in City at War, Part 3.
The Elite with the battle axe showed the ability to use his battle axe like a boomerang. He was also able to hold his own against Splinter in Rogue in the House, Part 2. However, due to the weight of the axe head, he can become vulnerable if one of his blows misses, particularly if the weapon gets caught in something, such as when he missed an Utrom in Secret Origins, Part 3. By the time he faced the Tengu Shredder, he wielded two battle axes at once, suggesting an increased level of skill that he never got the chance to display onscreen.
The spear wielding Elite is able to throw his spear with lethal precision, coming dangerously close to impaling Donatello right through his skull during their first encounter. In Secret Origins, Part 3, he was also able to hold his own against Leonardo in a one-on-one fight.
The Elite with the trident favoured using his long weapon to strike from a distance, specializing in jabbing at his foes and often using his three pronged blade to pin an opponents arms, as shown when he pinned Raph and Leo's wrists in Return to New York, Parts 2 and 3. However, unlike his spear and axe wielding colleagues, he has never been shown throwing his weapon.
The Foot Elite also use smoke bombs to give the illusion that they are capable of teleporting, using their speed and stealth to dart to another location before reappearing in another cloud of smoke.