Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles in Europe and Super Kame Ninja in Japan) is a beat-'em-up arcade game released by Konami in 1989. The game's content is centered primarily around the first season of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, with several key exceptions. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles supported four players in its original arcade incarnation, although most ports reduced the amount of players to two; an alternate two-player arcade cabinet was also produced but is less common, and allowed players to select their Turtle instead of relegating character selection to a specific joystick choice.

Appearing in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles[]

Playable characters[]

Secondary characters[]

Enemy characters[]

Boss characters[]



Objects and Vehicles[]


The player chooses from one of the four Ninja Turtles: Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael. After Shredder kidnaps the Turtles' friend April O'Neil and their mentor Splinter, they must give chase, save their comrades, and defeat the evil Shredder. Up to four players (two in some versions) can take control of any of the turtles. Donatello has slower attacks but a longer range, Michelangelo and Raphael have fast attacks but a short range, and Leonardo is a well-rounded Turtle with average range and speed.

The eight-way joystick controls the movements of the Turtle, the jump button makes them jump and the attack button makes them hit in front of them using their weapon. In addition to this, some combinations are possible. The Turtles can throw Foot soldiers overhead, and by pressing the jump and attack buttons, a special attack is performed. Raphael rolls along the ground and finishes with a kick, while the other Turtles do a sweeping jump attack with their weapons. Turtles can also spring off the wall in certain areas. Enemies can be defeated more quickly by slamming them into walls or solid objects. Many objects such as traffic cones, parking meters, fire hydrants and exploding oil drums can be hit or damaged with attacks in order to help defeat nearby enemies. In the attract mode, the game showed the first part of the cartoon opening, along with a portion of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme song.

Each Turtle has their own slight advantages and disadvantages. Raphael has the shortest range, but is the quickest to attack. Leonardo and Michaelangelo are mid-range and have average speed, and Donatello is the slowest, but has the longest range. Pressing the Attack and Jump buttons simultaneously allows the chosen Turtle to execute a special attack which consist of a twirl with their weapons in a small jump, except for Raphael, who rolls about mid screen distance and stabs with his sai.

The majority of the enemies the Turtles must face are the Foot Soldiers. They wear a different colored uniform depending on what weapon they have. The purple-clad Foot Soldiers also have the ability to hold the Turtles from behind, draining their health and leaving them open to attack by the other Foot soldiers.

Home versions[]

For the article about the second installment in the live-action trilogy, see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze. For the article about the 1991 Game Boy game, see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Back from the Sewers.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game[]

The most well-known port of the game is on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), known as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game to distinguishing it from the previously released Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles video game for the NES. This is also the title in which it is known on the Atari ST. The Family Computer (Famicom) version in Japan retained the original title, since the first game was released under a different title in Japan. The port was released in 1990, and although featured reduced graphics and only supported two players, it also added two new stages that were not present in the original arcade version (the first part of Scene 3 and all of Scene 6), which culminated with the new enemy characters, including two new bosses Tora and Shogun (both characters created for the game), and replaced the Bebop and Rocksteady boss fight from the second half of Scene 3, the parking garage stage, with Baxter Stockman's fly mutation. The NES version of the game was once slated for release on the Wii Virtual Console, but was quietly canceled. The NES port also appeared in Nintendo's PlayChoice-10 arcade system. This is one of the first ever home video games to feature product placement advertising in the game itself—Pizza Hut logos to be exact. The game's manual also came with Pizza Hut coupons.

Other Ports[]

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was also released on Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, DOS PCs, MSX, and ZX Spectrum. A port of the game, with edited voices and sound effects, as well as different music was an unlockable bonus in 2004's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus for the Gamecube, PlayStation 2, Windows PC, and Xbox. In 2007, a slightly enhanced port, with some graphics from the 2007 TMNT movie in areas such as the border, and online play was released on Xbox 360's LIVE Arcade service by Ubisoft, costing 400 Microsoft Points.

Home computers[]

The computer ports of the arcade game released by Image Works and ported by Probe Software in 1991 for the Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, IBM PC (DOS), MSX, and ZX Spectrum. The title was changed to Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles: The Coin Op in the European versions ("Hero" being the re-branding of the license in Europe due to censorship issues) and lacked the extra stages and bosses from the NES game.

Xbox Live Arcade[]

An Xbox Live Arcade version of the game was released under the name TMNT 1989 Classic Arcade on March 14, 2007, published by Ubisoft and ported by Digital Eclipse. Like other classic arcade games on the Xbox 360 platform, portions of the original arcade game are emulated with network code and other new features added. Players can earn achievements as well as play 2-4 player co-op (both online and offline). Certain aspects, such as the character select screen, were based on images from the 2007 film. It has since been removed from XBLA.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus[]

The arcade version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is included as a hidden bonus game in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and GameCube. The version featured in the game is a port of the original arcade version, but with altered music and most of the voice clips edited out.


In 2019, Arcade1up released an officially licensed 3/4-scale home arcade cabinet featuring both the original arcade game and Turtles in Time arcade game with four-player support. The cabinet marquee was modeled after the original arcade cabinet. A two-player "countercade" unit was also released using the same aesthetic. In 2021, a new 3/4-scale four-player cabinet was released using a Turtles in Time marquee design and was enabled with subscription-free Live Wi-Fi.

Super Impulse/Tiny Arcade's "Turtle Fighter"[]

In 2020, Super Impulse released a heavily scaled-down version of the original arcade game in a miniature, AAA battery-powered arcade cabinet, as an installment in their "Tiny Arcade" line of games which also included versions of other games such as Pac-Man, Burger Time, Tetris, and Space Invaders. With a screen size of 1.5 inches and an overall cabinet size of 3.75 x 1.75 x 1.7 inches, the cabinet's art design is modeled after the original Konami release. The game only features Donatello's sprite-set (despite allowing player selection from all four turtles) and boasts "three scenes of action filled game play," despite being advertised as "The Smallest Fully Functional Arcade Game." The original music has been replaced with gameplay and graphics also heavily compromised compared to the source material; two input buttons for left/right attacks and two input buttons for left/right jumps (no jump kicks).

Konami Quarter Arcades[]

In 2023, Konami's website offered exclusive pre-order sales for both the original arcade game and the arcade version of Turtles in Time in fully playable 1/4-scale replicas of the original cabinets using original ROM files; overall cabinet size of 17.5” (44.5 cm) x Width: 9.2” (23.4 cm) x Depth: 9.4” (24 cm). Noted features included light-up marquee, four-player simultaneous play, 4x front USB ports (hidden behind the coin doors) allow the use of USB gaming controllers (sold separately), 6” TFT screen with 4:3 ratio featuring a new CRT lens screen cover, original sound positioning via 3W built-in speaker with volume control, Top 10 high score saves, and internal rechargeable lithium battery powered via USB-C (cable included). The original TMNT arcade cabinet was noted as being the tenth entry in Konami's Quarter Arcade series.


  • Part of the soundtrack was released in Japan in the CD set, Konami Special Music Senryo-Bako Heisei 3 Nen-Ban (KICA-9005~8), released in December 21, 1990. They skipped the tunes that are completely based on the 1987 TV series soundtrack.
  • It has some references to the original comic book. The first scene is a fire at April's apartment, this happens in the first live-action movie and the 2003 TV series, but never in the 1987 TV series. At the parking lot scene, a T.G.R.I. logo can be seen on one of the vans, while in the 1987 animated show, there's no T.G.R.I..
  • One of the achievements for the Xbox Live port is awarded for falling into an open manhole more than 5 times. The player gets no gamer points for this achievement.
  • The Turtle who gets the most points in the stage where April is kidnapped is the one who gets the kiss. In some versions, it's the one who gets the last hit against the boss.
  • The manual for the NES version describes the story as if the game is a sequel to the first live-action movie (mentioning Shredder falling into a garbage truck where he was seemingly crushed), which is at odds with the proliferation of elements from the cartoon series.
  • For overseas version, an alternate tune was programed in the game, in case the rights for the theme song couldn't be used; that tune wasn't used but it was featured in a Konami video game music CD.

See also[]

External links[]

  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
Mobile Games
Ninja Training NYC · Power of 4 · The Ninja Tribunal · The Shredder Reborn · Rooftop Run · Mutant Rumble · Brothers Unite · Legends · Monster Strike · Rěnzhě Guī OL · Battle Match · Half-Shell Heroes · Mutant Madness · Portal Power · Ninja Run · Power Up!
World Tour · GBA Video · Imagicard · Mutagen Mania · Ninja Adventures · Training Lair · 2017 arcade game · Shredder's Revenge · Kart Racers 2: Grand Prix · Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl · Nickelodeon Extreme Tennis · Kart Racers 3: Slime Speedway · Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl 2 · TMNT: Battle Tycoon