I know what you’re saying to yourself right now, and by all rights you aren’t wrong. Yes, the Nintendo Entertainment System has been a dead format for decades; No, there were no licenses issued for these games. Technically, these are not official releases and you definitely won’t find them at your local Wal-mart. However, they are full games that are centered around the lore of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and they actually look pretty darn cool. How and why did someone make new TMNT NES games 25 years after the console was last relevant? Well, let’s talk about that.First of all, it’s important to note that these are ROM Hacks. What this means is that a developer essentially used a pre-existing game in order to develop something entirely different. The game used for these titles was Toxic Crusaders, a game based on a cartoon with the same name. If the cartoon sounds familiar, that’s because Toxic Crusaders was initially based on the Toxic Avenger movie. The Toxic Avenger was perhaps the biggest hit that ever came out of Troma Studios, and much like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, it also developed a cult following after it was released in 1984.
In other words, it almost makes sense to use an old game like this as the basis for a series of ROM Hacks featuring the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The developer, Pacnsacdave, actually changed several elements from the Toxic Crusaders title in order to produce four fairly legitimate TMNT NES games. Each game focuses on one of the turtles and takes you through different stages. Although the basic gameplay elements remain unchanged, the story is wildly different and unique. You’ll also see a lot of fun and humorous references to the Ninja Turtles throughout, making the hacked NES game feel like its own special product.
If you want to learn more about these titles, be sure to check out Cygnus Destroyer’s full review of these new TMNT NES games. Suffice it to say that a lot has been altered from the original source material, and these actually look like quite a fun experience. Entitled Leonardo’s Legacy, Donatello’s Destiny, Raphael’s Rampage and Mikey’s Mission, there are four games in total that will take you on separate adventures with the turtles. If you’ve still got a Nintendo Entertainment System that you haven’t used in a long time, perhaps it’s time to dust the console off and pop in a new take on an old retro favorite.
Unfortunately, these titles are somewhat cost prohibitive, coming to around $40 each – or $140 for all four carts. Alternatively, you can get all four games with a case for $180. Unless you’re really into collecting retro video games and playing ROM Hacks, this might be a little too expensive for an interesting curio from a bygone era. Regardless, it’s still pretty cool to see fans of the TMNT and retro video games coming up with new ideas like this.