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The classic side-scrolling Beat'Em Up by Konami, and follow up to 1989's also amazing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles the Arcade Game. Like its predecessor, Turtles in Time is based on the four ninjitsu-trained reptilian hominids created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, though heavily borrowing from the the 1987 cartoon. It was initially released for arcades in 1991, and ported to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1992 as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time, since it was the fourth TMNT game to be released on a Nintendo console. Take note, however, that since the Japanese versions didn't make much use of this naming convention, the game was released on the Super Famicom without any numbering.

In the comfort of their sewer home, our four heroes, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael, along with their wise Master Splinter, are watching their news reporter friend April O'Neil report from Liberty Island for the Channel 6 News. Out of nowhere, a humongous exosuit piloted by Krang snatches the Statue of Liberty, and the television broadcast is interrupted by none other than the Shredder, who survived the Technodrome's explosion at the end of the previous game. After being taunted by Shredder, the four brothers instantly leave their home to battle the forces of the Foot Clan, only for ole' Shred-Head to send them through a time warp. Deposited in the prehistoric past, the Turtles must fight their way back to the future--most stages henceforth taking place in a later time period--in order to defeat the Shredder.

Turtles in Time added some new features such as throwing Foot Soldiers into each other and--most famously--even at the camera. Due to hardware constraints, the Super NES conversion only allowed two player co-op (instead of four like the arcade version). However, it did add some material of its own, such as a versus mode, a new Technodrome stage, Mode-7 bonus rounds, further Divergent Character Evolution (for instance, Raph became quick but defensively weak), and new bosses including Super Shredder from the second movie and fan favorites Rocksteady and Bebop.

Later Turtles in Time was ported to the Sega Genesis as Hyperstone Heist. This version lacked the fancier effects of the two other versions, but it had completely different plot, level design and reintroduced a few elements from the first arcade game.

In 2009, a remake developed and published by Ubisoft was released as a downloadable game for Xbox Live Arcade and Playstation Network under the modified subtitle Turtles in Time Re-Shelled. It featured high-definition 3D graphics, improved audio quality which included re-recorded voice clips courtesy of the cast of the 4-Kids animated series, leaderboards, and achievements. However, it was attacked by the Fan Dumb quite a few for not including the material that was present in the SNES conversion (it was based solely on the original arcade version), and was criticized by critics for not adding enough new material. Despite these complaints, Re-Shelled immediately became a top-seller for the two consoles' download services. As website Joystiq remarked, this "once again" proves "that regular people don't care about what critics have to say."

Note that "Turtles in Time" IS NOT the subtitle of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III, despite that film also being released around the same time as this game and that movie also having a time-travel based plot (this is not helped by some newer DVD copies having this subtitle for the film).

Tropes used in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Turtles in Time include:
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: "Sewer Surfin'"
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: Compare the Japanese box with the US one (which is more like the original comics).
  • Amusing Injuries: Such as getting pancaked by something heavy.
  • Boss Dissonance: The only way to get good at the main stages is to practice, practice, practice. But as far as the bosses go, a lot of them are pushovers if you use the right strategies.
  • Camera Abuse: You can throw Foot Soldiers at the screen (in fact, the first Shredder battle in the SNES requires this!).
  • Climax Boss: The first Shredder fight.
    • It's also a Puzzle Boss--which is rare for beat 'em ups.
  • Color-Coded Multiplayer / Competitive Balance: Same as the previous game.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: It's four ninja turtles versus 500 or so foot soldiers... yeah.
  • Difficulty Spike: In the SNES version, right after the fight with Tokka and Rahzar. The elevator rises along with the difficulty.
  • Dual Boss: Tokka and Rahzar. The SNES version adds Bebop and Rocksteady.
  • Easy Mode Mockery: The game shows Splinter chastising you for beating it on any mode other than Hard. However, the Japanese release does show the ending and credits on normal difficulty at least. [1]
  • Enhanced Remake: The HD Turtles in Time Re-Shelled.
  • Flash of Pain: The arcade version has this of the "Konami seizure time" variety, in which bosses on low health flicker in alternate-colored palettes. The Super Nes version and Re-Shelled averted this in favor of giving bosses Life Meters.
  • Gang Plank Galleon: The "Skull and Crossbones" level.
  • Giant Mook: Rock Soldiers, which can take a lot of as well as dish out a lot of damage.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body
  • Home Version Soundtrack Replacement: The version of Turtles in Time that can be unlocked in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3: Mutant Nightmare features a completely new soundtrack, probably because the rights couldn't be obtained for the original music.
  • The Jimmy Hart Version: Unfortunately, due to Ubi Soft being unable to secure the rights to Mutsuhiko Izumi's stellar music, the tunes in the Re-Shelled version are essentially sound-alikes that get the job done but are nowhere near as memorable.
  • Locomotive Level: "Bury My Shell..."
  • Market-Based Title: The "IV" was added to the title of the SNES port outside Japan to maintain continuity with the previous NES games, since the first NES game was followed by two numbered sequels (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II being a port of the first arcade game). Strangely, the European Hero Turtles release also had a Roman numeral IV, despite the fact that the third NES game (The Manhattan Project) was never released there.
  • Metronomic Man-Mashing: One attack in the game matches the trope. It's also Awesome Yet Practical if you can pull it off, because it is a One-Hit Kill on foot soldiers (the guy being thrown, as well as those hit by him).
  • One-Winged Angel: Super Shredder, which replaces regular Shredder as the final boss in the SNES conversion. Interestingly, he transforms just before you fight him, instead of transforming after defeating him in his regular form. In addition to super speed, a fiery ground wave, and an anti-air ice projectile, Super Shredder also possesses an instant kill anti-mutagen fireball which takes away one of your extra lives (That is, if you have only one hit point left and take one of this fireballs, you will lose a life but you will continue with a single hit point).
  • The Other Darrin: Re-Shelled uses the voice actors from the 2K3 series to give it continuity.
    • The port from Mutant Nightmare featured a different cast than the original arcade/SNES game as well.
  • Painting the Fourth Wall: You can throw Foot Ninjas into the screen.
  • Personal Space Invader: Mousers.
  • Prehistoria: The "Prehistoric Turtlesaurus" level.
  • Rake Take: The planks at "Skull and Crossbones".
  • Rearrange the Song: In the Mutant Nightmare port, the "Skull and Crossbones" level remixes the "Streets" level theme from the 2003 TMNT video game.
  • Ship Level: Skull and Crossbones.
  • Step Three: Profit: What Krang and Shredder have to gain from stealing the Statue of Liberty is never made clear.
    • Probably just to lure the turtles into a trap.
  • Time Travel
  • Zeerust

Notes

  1. according to Screw Attack's playthrough (Screwin' Around, April 13, 2012).
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