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Totally Turtle Games – The Hyperstone Heist (Sega Genesis)


With Nintendo now facing serious competition in their quest to remain on top of the console heap, it was only a matter of time before franchises started branching out to reach a larger consumer base.  So when the Sega Genesis came on the scene, plenty of long-running titles made the jump to another platform.  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was no different, so in 1992 Konami put Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist on the Genesis for the first time.


Taking its game play and level design from Turtles in Time, The Hyperstone Heist begins with April O’Neil reporting live, when all of a sudden the entirety of Manhattan Island shrinks and Shredder comes on the air.  Demonstrating the power of the Hyperstone from Dimension X, he vows to conquer the world, leaving the turtles with no choice but to stop him again.  The battle begins in NYC and its sewers, where the boys must defeat Leatherhead before heading to a ghost ship and cave to battle Rocksteady (in his only game appearance without Bebop right nearby).  Finally arriving at Shredder’s hideout, the turtles must defeat Tatsu and then make their way to another cave to take on all three former bosses, as well as Baxter Stockman.  Once they’ve defeated all the minor enemies, the turtles face off against Krang and Shredder inside the Technodrome to save the city once again.


Game play for The Hyperstone Heist was essentially lifted straight from Turtles in Time and retooled slightly to make it a different game.  Most of the attacks were kept the same, with the only notable addition being a button that actually enables running (versus having to tap the D-pad in the right direction in Turtles in Time), and the notable subtraction being that the Foot Soldiers couldn’t be thrown around anymore.  Otherwise, the mechanics were left intact, giving anyone who played the SNES counterpart a very familiar experience. 


Likewise, the levels for Hyperstone were basically an amalgam of the time traveling adventures.  The ghost ship level cut together the pirate, prehistoric, and “sewer surfin’” levels of Turtles in Time, while the Technodrome level put together the space adventure and final Technodrome battles.  Because of this, the game itself was very short, and the number of different villains faced was reduced significantly from other TMNT games.  However, it still received some favorable criticism from across the gaming world.


Compared to Turtles in Time, Hyperstone Heist was missing a lot of the levels and special effects, and its sound was a little too raspy for the game.  However, Hyperstone had more background layers, creating a greater depth of field for the game, as well as faster animation and game play.  While Turtles in Time had more levels to play, the few levels in Hyperstone were generally considered more difficult, since the enemy AI got a nice boost.  When taking all this together, critics have given the game mixed reviews: The Video Game Critic only gave it a “C”, whereas the IGN reader average was 8.3/10, and Screwattack named it one of their top 20 Sega Genesis games of all time.  Ultimately, while the game itself was nothing truly unique, being a near copy of Turtles in Time certainly helped its overall reception.


While The Hyperstone Heist may not have received the same critical acclaim that some of its predecessors did, the game itself was still a very solid experience.  Not only did it incorporate what fans loved most about the last console game that was released, but it did so on a brand new system, expanding its accessibility for those who didn’t have a Nintendo system.  The Hyperstone Heist never had a remake, or a second release on some of the newer consoles, but that doesn’t mean it’ll ever be forgotten.  It still has its place in the annals of turtle lore, and will stay there always.

The Author

Zach Gasior

Zach Gasior

Zach Gasior is an author and English professor at Baton Rouge Community College in Louisiana. His short stories have been published around the world, and he has two non-fiction books in print. He has contributed articles to several different sites, and has been a fan of the turtles since he was two years old, and his favorite ninja turtle is Raphael.

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