Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist, released in Europe as Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist and as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Return of the Shredder in Japan, is the first TMNT game for the Sega Genesis, released in 1992 by Konami. It was Konami's debut title for the Genesis. It is a side-scrolling beat 'em up game and reuses elements from the first TMNT arcade game and its sequel Turtles in Time. The game was re-released as part of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection in 2022.


TMNT The Hyperstone Heist April Intro

April O'Neil is reporting from Liberty Island when, in a sudden flash of light, her audience and herself witness Manhattan island and the Statue of Liberty suddenly starting to shrink. Shredder then hijacks the airwaves and announces to the world that this was only a demonstration of the power of the Hyperstone, the treasure of Dimension X. With the Hyperstone in his possession, he now has the power to take over the world. The Turtles have no choice but to go after Shredder and stop him.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - The Hyperstone Heist (U) -!-008

The gameplay of The Hyperstone Heist is heavily based on the second Ninja Turtles arcade game Turtles in Time, which was also released for the Super NES during the same year. The controls are similar to Turtles in Time, but the ability to dash is now assigned to a specific button and the player can no longer throw enemies towards the screen. There are a total of five stages ("New York City", "A Mysterious Ghost Ship", "Shredder's Hideout", "The Gauntlet", and "The Final Shell Shock"), which comprises a combination of new levels created specifically for this game and ones based on levels from the first arcade game and Turtles in Time.

The bosses includes Leatherhead, Rocksteady (having an attack pattern similar to the one that he had in the first arcade game), Tatsu (Shredder's right-hand man from the first two live-action films, who also appeared in TMNT: Manhattan Missions), Baxter Stockman (in his human form like in the first arcade game), Krang, and Super Shredder. The Hyperstone Heist is notable for being the only game to feature Rocksteady as an enemy character without his partner Bebop.


Scene 1: New York City

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - The Hyperstone Heist (U) -!-0ss00

This level takes place in and below New York City. The Turtles must fight their way through a revamp of the city sewers from the first arcade game, then up in the streets in a revamp of the "Alleycat Blues" level in Turtles in Time with some elements from the Parking Garage level from the first arcade game, and then once again in the sewers which now has the Pizza Monsters from the "Sewer Surfin'" level in Turtles in Time. At the end of this level, Leatherhead appears as a boss character in a very similar way he did previously in Turtles in Time.

Scene 2: A Mysterious Ghost Ship

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - The Hyperstone Heist (U) -!-004

This level is a mix of three levels from Turtles in Time. It begins with a surfing level based on "Sewer Surfin'", except in the open sea instead of the sewers. The Turtles eventually reach a ghost pirate ship, which is a modified "Skull and Crossbones" level. After going through it, they jump off and land in a cave, which was part of "Prehistoric Turtlesaurus", and where Rocksteady awaits them who fights in a way similar to the original arcade game.

The Hyperstone Heist is the only game in which Rocksteady is a boss but without Bebop.

Scene 3: Shredder's Hideout

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - The Hyperstone Heist (U) -!-005

After exiting the cave, the Turtles find that they are in a Japanese villa, just outside of Shredder's hideout. They fight their way through the streets, and then break into and fight through Shredder's hideout until they reach Tatsu, Shredder's right-hand man and the second-in-command of the Foot Clan in the first and second TMNT movies.

It is one of only two games to feature Shredder's right-hand man in the first two TMNT movies, Tatsu.

Scene 4: The Gauntlet

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - The Hyperstone Heist (U) -!-007

After leaving Shredder's hideout, the Turtles find that they are in another cave. They have to fight recolored, non-talkative and stronger versions of Leatherhead, Rocksteady, and Tatsu, the first three level bosses, before reaching this level's boss, Baxter Stockman who fights in his flying machine from the original arcade game.

Scene 5: Technodrome: The Final Shellshock

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This level is a mix of the "Starbase: Where no Turtle Has Gone Before" level, the "Technodrome, Let's Kick Shell!" level in the SNES version of Turtles in Time and the "Technodrome: The Final Shell-Shock" level. It is divided into three sections the first two which are separated by a boss — Krang in his exosuit, taken from the "Neon Night-Riders" level and the final section being a boss fight. The Turtles walk through the first section, while the second is an elevator-type level, with the difference that the elevator is going down instead of up as in the SNES game.

When they reach the bottom of the elevator shaft, the Turtles walk out and fight Super Shredder, on the same platform as in "Technodrome: The Final Shell-Shock". However, instead of having the Statue of Liberty in the background, a red and blue machine is visible behind him. Super Shredder fights very similarity to his Turtles in Time counterpart.

Gameplay differences from Turtles in Time[]

While most aspects of Turtles in Time were carried over to The Hyperstone Heist, some changes were made to the gameplay. The most noticeable one is that The Hyperstone Heist adds a run button, while in Turtles in Time the Turtles would run a while after walking or after the player tapped the directional pad twice in the designated direction. Another noticeable change is the Turtles will no longer throw the Foot Soldiers, though they still can slam them back and forth on the ground after they dash attack them.

This was also considered to be the only game in which Rocksteady appeared without Bebop.

Critical response[]

TMNT: The Hyperstone Heist
Publication Score
IGN reader average
8.3 / 10 [1]
The Video Game Critic C [2]
Allgame 3 / 5 (good) [3]
MobyGames 3.6 / 5 [4]
GameSpot reader average 8.4 / 10 [5]

By itself, The Hyperstone Heist is considered a good adaptation of the TMNT show into game form.[5]

When compared to Turtles in Time, The Hyperstone Heist features fewer but longer levels, has less special effects, louder and somewhat raspy digitized voices and loud sound effects.[2] Thanks to the superior color palette of the SNES, Turtles in Time looks brighter and more colorful and uses special zooming effects in some areas and with some moves, but the Genesis includes more background layers, faster and clearer animation frames and overall faster gameplay. Both games share nearly the same soundtrack and sound effects, but the songs play faster in The Hyperstone Heist.[6]

Though there are fewer than half the levels in the Genesis game compared to the SNES game, each level is longer. Furthermore, The Hyperstone Heist is arguably more difficult, thanks to a more aggressive enemy AI and faster-moving characters.[6]

ScrewAttack! named it the 19th best Genesis game ever in their top 20 list,[7] although they dismissed it as a direct clone of Turtles in Time, which they consider to be the best beat 'em up ever.

See also[]


  1. IGN review of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist. URL retrieved 16th July 2006.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Game Critic review of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist. URL retrieved 22nd July 2006.
  3. Allgame review of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist. URL retrieved 22nd July 2006.
  4. MobyGames review of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist. URL retrieved 22nd July 2006.
  5. 5.0 5.1 GameSpot review of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist. URL retrieved 25th July 2006.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Game Pilgrimage comparison of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist. URL retrieved 25th July 2006.
  7. Top 20 Sega Genesis Games (20-11)|ScrewAttack!
  Video games [view]
Konami Era 1
1989 home game · Arcade game · Fall of the Foot Clan · Manhattan Missions · The Manhattan Project · Back from the Sewers · Turtles in Time · The Hyperstone Heist · Radical Rescue · Tournament Fighters (NES, Super NES, Genesis) · The Cowabunga Collection
Konami Era 2
2003 game · 2003 (GBA) · Battle Nexus · Battle Nexus (GBA) · Mutant Melee · Mutant Nightmare
TMNT (console) · TMNT (handheld) · TMNT (GBA) · Turtles in Time Re-Shelled · Smash-Up · Arcade Attack
Out of the Shadows · 2013 game · 2014 game · Danger of the Ooze · Mutants in Manhattan
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