Originally released as simply "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" in arcades, the name of this four-player brawler had to be changed on some platforms because a game with that name already existed at the time. So Konami spun it as a sequel to the first side-scrolling game and called it Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game.
Even though Splinter defeated Shredder and Casey Jones attempted to crush him in a garbage truck, Shredder's titanium helmet protected him from certain doom. He awoke on a garbage ship and floated back to land on a raft made out of styrofoam cups that were non-biodegradable. Once on land he began training stronger Foot Soldiers, but they alone were not enough. Shredder, using his translocation matrix beam, then travelled through the universe in search of stronger allies. He recruited a member of the Ultimate Galactic Sword residing in Sector Six of the Oead Star Zone and on the ice planet of Traglodoon he found a bounty hunter named Tora. Together, Shredder, his minions and his two new allies have worked together to kidnap April O'Neil. Splinter has taught them well and now it's up to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to save her!
From the standpoint of the home versions, this game was drastically different from the previous installment which played in a more open-ended manner, but lacked much in the way of liscenced entities such as music and characters. Popular entries in the franchise after this title continued to build on this gameplay blueprint.
The game follows the classic beat-em-up formula. The player's turtle moves around on a 3D plane from a 2D perspective and defeats all enemies on the screen in order to proceed to the right.
The player may choose between all four of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Donatello, Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael. The arcade version supports 4 player co-op, while the home version only supports 2. In the arcade version, Michelangelo and Raphael have short range, but fast speed. Donatello has long range, but slow speed. Leonardo is balanced. In the home version, each of the turtles behave identically.
The controls for this game are simple. One button attacks and the other one jumps. Attacking while jumping will perform a jump kick that is great for covering distance and avoiding danger. Pressing the attack button immediately after pressing the jump button will result in the turtle using a special attack that does more damage and will defeat most enemies in one hit.
Many projectiles can be deflected or reflected by a well timed attack and there are plenty of objects in the environment that, if attacked, will become projectiles or bombs.
There is only one power-up which is pizza that restores health. The only other way to gain health and/or extra lives is to obtain 200 points. Each enemy defeated is worth 1 point. In co-op modes a player may also borrow a life from another player when they have run out.
The game stars out on the top of a building where the turtles spot a building that's on fire. Turtles to the rescue!
Scene 1: "Fire! We gotta get April out !!"
The game starts out in April's burning apartment building. The fire won't hurt, but there's plenty of other things that will. In addition to fighting the Foot Clan and Roadkill Rodney, the turtles must watch out for cannonballs that are falling down flights of stairs. The first boss in the game is Rocksteady. After defeating him, Shredder will kidnap April.
Enemies Introduced: Basic Foot Soldier, Cannonball, Dagger Foot Soldier, Roadkill Rodney, Rocksteady, Shuriken Foot Soldier, SMG Foot Soldier, Sword Foot Soldier.
Scene 2: "C'mon after that Shredder creep !!"
Now the turtles will be in the city streets and the player will get to experience the first of many interactive objects in the environment such as signs, fire hydrants and manhole covers. The second boss encounter is Bebop. Once defeated, the turtles make their way into the sewers. Being in the sewers where the turtles live should give them an advantage, but things are even more dangerous down here. The Foot Clan, robots and even steel gates are out to get them! Baxter Stockman in his human form awaits them at the end.
Enemies Introduced: Bebop, Boomerang Foot Soldier, Mouser, Rocket, Sledge Hammer Foot Soldier, Human Baxter Stockman, Steel Gate, TNT Foot Soldier.
Scene 3: "Let's melt snow and rebuild N.Y. City."
This environment is exclusive to the home version of the game. It was not in arcades. Watch out for evil snow men and snow plows. Taking care of the boss, Tora, will put an end to his evil weather device and result in the season changing to spring and the snow melting. Next they'll find themselves in a parking garage where parked cars will run over players with poor reflexes, Foot Soldiers will poor out of the back of vans, and explosives barrels are plentiful. Baxter Stockman has mutated into his fly form and is back for revenge as the boss of this area. The reward is a kiss from April.
Enemies Introduced: Parked Car, Hail, Mutated Baxter Stockman, Snowball Foot Soldier, Snowman, Snowplow, Tora.
Scene 4: "Let's get to that secret factory !!"
It's time to take to the highway. Enjoy riding in the turtle van and on a skateboard while dodging the Foot's cars, motorcycles and helicopters. No bosses here, just plenty of fun with vehicles. The area in which the turtles ride on skateboards is also exclusive to the home version.
Enemies Introduced: Bomb Foot Soldier, Car Foot Soldier, Helicopter, Motorcycle Foot Soldier , Spear Foot Soldier.
Scene 5: "C'mon let's bust this joint !!"
Here, the turtles will finally make it to the secret factory where they'll be introduced to plenty of traps and mechanical enemies. Defeat Lieutenant Granitor to save Splinter.
Enemies Introduced: Cyborg, Lieutenant Granitor, Laser, R.C. Helicopter, Turret.
Scene 6: "Let's defeat the enemy's ninja magic !!"
Now entering Shogun's Dojo. Avoid Foot Soldiers that break the the floor beneath, sneak up from trap doors and punji spikes. Do battle with magical ninjas and tigers from Sector Six of the Dead Star Zone. This marks the point in the game where many of the enemies take more than the 2 standard attacks to defeat. This area is exclusive to the home version.
Enemies Introduced: Magic Tiger, Mechanical Scorpion, Punji Spike, Shogun.
Scene 7: "We gotta find the Technodrome!!"
All the turtles' skills will be put to the test in the Technodrome. It has plenty of enemies, traps and three bosses. After defeating General Traag, Krang, Shredder and his shade, the Technodrome will explode and the turtles will be victorious.
Enemies Introduced: Freeze Trap, General Traag, Krang, Shredder.
Turtle power! All the bad guys are defeated. April and Splinter have been saved. All seems well... or is it?
Differences between the arcade and home versions
- The arcade version's audio and visuals are of higher quality.
- The arcade version supports four-player co-op while the home version only allows two.
- The arcade version has different stats for the different turtles while the home version gives each turtle the same stats.
- The arcade version provides only one life while the home version provides three.
- The arcade version supports multiple enemy types on screen at once and they can also be hurt by environmental hazards.
- The arcade version's parking garage level ends with a boss fight consisting of both Bebop and Rocksteady at the same time while in the home version they are replaced by the mutated form of Baxter Stockman.
- The arcade version's levels are shorter.
- The home version has three more levels, three more bosses and foot soldier variations that the arcade version doesn't have.
Arcade Technical Specs
68000 @ 8MHz CPU coupled with Z80 @ 3.58 MHz
5 sound chips: YM2151 @ 3.58 MHz, 007232, uPD7759 @ 0.64 MHz, analog sound samples, one custom chip
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus
The arcade version is an unlockable extra. It's mostly the same except for altered music and voice clips.
Xbox Live Arcade
The original arcade version is emulated here, but new features like achievements and netcode for online multiplayer were added. Several assets were modified to appropriately go along with the 2007 animated film simply titled TMNT. As of July 1, 2011, this version is no longer available for purchase because Ubisoft's rights to the TMNT license expired.
The instruction manual for the home version of the game suggests that the story is supposed to follow the events of the first live action film that was released in 1990 and, in doing so, potentially merges the canon of the television show with that of the movies.
In this game, Pizza Hut logos served as in-game advertisements.
In 1991 Electronic Gaming Monthly published an April Fools' joke stating that after resetting the game console five times and entering a code on both controller one and controller two, players would be able to play the game as Simon Belmont from Castlevania.
Microsoft stated that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game sold more copies than any other Xbox Live Arcade game in 2007.
Michelangelo's headband and joint pads are oddly colored yellow on the arcade cabinet. The correct color (orange) shows up in-game.