Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1989) was the first TMNT video game for the original NES. Unfortunately, it’s only a one-player game where you risk all four turtles to get through the many levels and bosses from the 1980s cartoon series. The bosses include; Rocksteady & Bebop, Mecha Turtle, and the Technodrome.
The Turtles’ fighting and jumping skills are all the same. The only real difference is their weapons. Leo has swords with moderate strength. Raph has Sais, which are considered wimpy weapons. (Don’t tell Raph.) Mike’s nunchukus are basically the same strength as Leo’s swords. Then there’s Don’s Bo staff. It’s the strongest weapon because he uses it like a pool cue, but the angles are more limited. Don is definitely the best turtle to rely on in a tough boss battle.
Here’s a rarity. Unlike other TMNT games, this one has an underwater level with electrified seaweed. How cool is that?
The enemies are neat also. At least the familiar ones like the mousers, Foot soldiers, Rat King clones with boomerangs, and punks with chainsaws. Sometimes there’s a mini boss in many different areas, but they’re not so tough.
The main bosses are a bit tougher, but the real hard part is getting to them without getting pummeled by so many enemies in one place. That also includes the Shredder, who is always the last boss of each TMNT game, equipped with a retro mutagen ray that will turn the ninja turtles into baby pet turtles. That’s why I would definitely rank this game one of the toughest in the franchise because the life meters are way too limited, especially in the later levels.