Friday, June 24, 2022

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time (Super NES, 1992)

Time for the best Turtles game. This one is timeless, and people still play it today.

Here's the turtle I'll be going with. He's a genius, and the voice of a generation.

Same turtles as usual. One of these games should let you play as Splinter, even if he was just a hand puppet in most of the movies.

We join April O' Neil during a report in progress when... what the hell? It's Mega-Krang! And he's... what's he doing to Lady Liberty? MY GOD! YOU STOP THAT AT ONCE, SIR!!


He...he kidnapped her! This is a bit of a step down from raising the entire island of Manhattan in the previous game, but dammit, no one violates Lady Liberty on MY watch!

Shredder somehow broadcasts himself directly to the sewer network to laugh at the turtles. Splinter dead? Some Weekend at Bernies thing going on here.

Ah, iconic line there. I like the way it shows you boss silhouettes at the beginning of stages, because the bosses are such a huge part of these games.

I don't just show all of them because I'm a boss-thusiast; these guys are nearly as iconic as the turtles are. Well, aside from Groundchuck. Who the hell is Groundchuck?

The first stage has our heroes fighting on some sort of unfinished skyscraper. It's right about where the Empire State Building should be, so maybe it's some scaffolding on ESB. do I know this? That building in the background is a real building, and sits next to ESB:

The Metropolitan Life Insurance clock tower, which was the tallest building in the world for a while in the early 20th century.

It's pretty awesome and notable, glad it got a spot in this game.

Wait, there's ESB. ...a way-too-small ESB, and not where it's supposed to be either. And what the heck tower is this one we're on that dwarfs ESB? I can only conclude that this is...a fictional building.

In any case, our hero dodges wrecking balls and beats down Foot Soldiers en route to...

...Baxter Stockman. I was never a fan of this guy as a kid, but he was super-over with the other kids if I remember right.

The next stage has us on the streets of Manhattan, with April playing the role of Mortal Kombat announcer. It'd be funny if she had the same voice.

Here's Metal Head, the mecha-turtle. I'm not sure, but I think this guy is from the "Turtle Terminator" episode of the show. Krang built him to hunt down the Turtles, and the whole episode was full of references to The Terminator (T2 didn't exist yet). If I remember right, the Turtle Terminator could also morph. Did T2 rip off TMNT?

Speaking of references to sci-fi movies... XENOMORPH ALERT!

The requisite surfin' level is fun as usual. I like all of the color contrasts, and the pallette in general. What a visually appealing game.

These Xenomorphs are YELLOW. Plz don't sue!

The boss here is the Rat King, yet another super-appealing Turtles villain. I actually had his action figure as a kid, as well as this vehicle he's riding on. So this shot is a blast from the past for me. I also had Raphael and a Foot Soldier. I got Raph because the store was sold out of Leonardos, and I got the Foot Soldier because the store was sold out of Shredders. You can probably guess where this is going: I'd pretend the Foot Soldier was Shredder.

The Technodrome is next, and all four Turtles are on-hand. This is the halfway point of the game; it might be the last level if this were a Game Boy game, but THIS is the Super NES! It exceeds all expectations.

I mentioned in the TMNT3 post that the laser-door would be showing up in the next game, and here it is. Don't gawk for too long, though, lest you get struck by a random ninja.

Tokka and Rahzar show up here, and unlike the previous game you fight both of them at once. This actually makes a lot more sense, since they were a tandem in the movie (their sole source material). To make up for it being a two-on-one fight, their health is drastically lower than the usual boss health.

I dish out Don's special attack - which is basically Liu Kang's flying kick - to excellent results.

As in the previous game, you go right into a fight with Shredder. He spouts his iconic line, and the battle is ON.

But get this: You don't fight him mano-a-mano like usual. He pilots a mech, Dr. Wily style. How can you possibly stop him? Well, the answer makes for perhaps the most memorable fight in the game... you THROW DUDES AT HIM. Right into the screen! This is so ridiculously fun.

Win and he banishes you into a timewarp... to 2.5 BILLION years ago. Methinks they overshot this a bit. Dinosaurs weren't around that long ago...nor was land life. Nor was non-microbe sea life, if I'm not mistaken. Was the Earth even finished forming yet?

Donatello immediately begins completely altering the course of Earth's history by putting his DNA on EVERYTHING.


The hell? The Foot are here too? And they're flying in on pterodactyls! Those dinosaur-taming bastards! What will they think of next?

The Game Over screen looks like it was snapped from one of the movies. It looks real as opposed to cartoon. Interesting how these games straddle the movie and cartoon verses.

Stone Soldiers from Dimension-X are suddenly very abundant here. I'd like to know what the story is behind all of this. Has the Foot Clan been trying to conquer the past? If so, why did they give the turtles the opportunity to interrupt them? And if they simply sent our heroes here to get rid of them, why send a horde of pursuers? Why not just leave them stuck in the past?

Looks like Slash is here too. Did I mention that this guy is awesome? He's sorta like the Broly to the turtles' Z Fighters. Basically the same as them, just bigger and meaner.

WHAM. Man, I'd like to play as Slash in one of these games.

Don leaps up and shouts "Cowabunga!" as another stage is completed. Now he'll get inexplicably warped to another time in history. HOW IS THIS HAPPENING

Now we're in the Assassin's Creed 4 era, as Don traverses a pirate ship. You fight Bebop and Rocksteady at the same time, much like Tokka and Rahzar earlier.

This leads to the gold rush era, where you fight Leatherhead on a train. The cajun crocodile continues to be one of the cooler Turtles villains, as he adopts a gentleman's pugilist stance.

"I'll baste YOUR turkey, ruffian!"

Now we travel to the Blade Runner esque future of 2020 from now, where everything is neon and hovers. They were way off on this one, because 2020 was dogshit.

We get huge spotlights shining towards the heavens. Reminds me of Vector City in Final Fantasy VI.

The boss here is Krang, complete with his battle body. This is another surfing stage, which makes it a lot of fun; the boss fight is pretty easy to boot.


Krang gets away as usual, but this time he actually returns inside of the same game. He's got another form, and it's even more Wily-esque than the earlier Shredder appearance.

Next level is a spaceship, as I continue to beat up Clansmen. Yep, nothing new here. This is actually the final stage, and as far as I can tell it takes place on Mars.

Krang's new form is a saucer. Told ya it was Wily-esque. While it isn't the complete punching bag that the earlier form was, it isn't too difficult either. This fight does have the distinction of being extremely irritating since he spends so much time avoiding you while you chase him down.

The very very last stage returns you to the then-present. This is nothing more than a boss fight... against SUPER SHREDDER. He returns!

Here's regular Shredder, who looks pretty rad. It's unfortunate that we never fight him in this form. The kidnapped Statue of Liberty looks on as Donatello fights for FREEDOM.

Super Shredder is fully DBZ'd out, powering up and throwing blasts of energy. As usual, he's pretty awesome. Too bad it isn't more like DBZ, though. If he took 5-10 minutes to power up, that'd give me plenty of time to run up and punch him in the face to interrupt it. Like no one ever does in DBZ.

That said, the fight was extremely easy. After throwing the first fight to get my lives back, I beat him without taking a single hit (seen here). Just a matter of striking a few times, backing off, and repeating. It was actually quite a letdown given how difficult these games have been.

Splinter turns out to be alive! Despite that our heroes just completely dismantled the Foot Clan, he condescendingly talks to them about how their training is starting to bear some results. I go and make a sandwich while he lectures on.

This game? Still, to this day, a ton of fun. I'm glad it exists. The Turtles have the distinction of being one of those things that I and everyone I know was HUGELY into at some point in time. Like Mortal Kombat or Pokemon, it was one of those once-every-few-years doses of Coolest Thing Ever. I wouldn't trade those memories for anything.

Other TMNT Posts


  1. There is a Turtles cross-gen precedent for that time period, Turtles Tournament Fighters. Like every other game released on NES and SNES though, the two versions look very different.

    You bloated bean bag!

    It may be easier, but you can't actually get the game's ending unless you play it on Hard mode, which is all I ever do anymore. You get more lives that way too.

    If you want to fight regular Shredder, check out the arcade version, he's the final boss. No Super Shredder in that one.

    To the memories!


    Snatching Lady Liberty is such a New York boss move that also inspires me to play and beat the game.

    These boss silhouettes are sooo cool.

    Enjoy having an iconic building in the background. And fighting in a construction site is such a great idea for a video game level. One thing this game has over others from the era is real urban environments.

    They did a Terminator episode of Turtles? Nice!

    You're right about this game having a distinctive and attractive color pallette.

    The Rat King is awesome, I agree. I've been waiting or him to show up.

    I'm happy this game doesn't end with the Technodrome like the others. But the first time you play you don't KNOW that...but you know something about Time...ahh the anticipation!

    Having actual animations for when you get hit is a nice touch.

    AW YEAH THROWING NINJAS AT SHREDDER THIS IS AWESOME!! Thanks for getting a perfect shot of it.

    You're right about how weird it is to have all these bad guys in space with you. I think they may have been in the Technodrome with you and were warped as well. I mean you getting zapped back was an accident all along, so...

    Slash = Broly is an EXCELLENT comparison.

    Yeah the time travel simply doesn't make sense, it's just fun. Well we'll enjoy the fun!

    Seeing this super-optimistic vision of 2020 makes me wistful about how little we've actually progressed. OK OK they just picked a random number...anyway, what a great view.

    Krang's suit was DEFINITELY bigger when he snatched the Statue of Liberty, albeit the statue itself isn't as tall as people think.

    Ahh, glad they did more with the Statue here than they did with Manhattan flying in the previous game.

    Splinter no-selling how much power you have is sooo Japanese Sensei.

    Thanks for the awesome post. I had so much to say about it.

  3. The Mexican Musk Turtle (or the Staurotypus Triporcatus) is a sort of turtle that comes from the Kinosternidae gathering. softshell turtles