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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall of the Foot Clan – Game Boy

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall of the Foot Clan – Game Boy

fall of foot boxPlatform: Nintendo Game Boy

Developer: Konami

Publisher: Ultra Games

Release: August 1990

Genre: Beat ’em Up

Nerd Rating: 7/10

Reviewed by FrozenMallet

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles debuted in the comic book of the same title in May of 1984. Self published by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, it was meant to parody popular characters in comics at the time like Daredevil and Ronin. So it was dark and gritty yet the main characters were five foot tall turtles who ate pizza and fought crime.

Most of the world didn’t discover the Heroes in the Half Shell until the animated cartoon show launched in 1987 along with the toy line by Playmates. Like most of the cartoons of the time such as Transformers and GIJoe these cartoons existed to promote the action figures based on the show and vice versa.

tmntfc3The origin story for the turtles has been modified every time the material was adapted for another medium. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Fall of the Foot Clan on Game Boy is adapted from the cartoon show most of us were familiar with at the time. Therefore characters like Bebop and Rocksteady, which were created for the animated show, serve as bosses even though they had no part in the original comic book. Also the usual story is used here; April O’Neil has been abducted by the Shredder and Krang for no particular reason and it is up to the Reptilian Ninjas to rescue her.

When you pop TMNT Fall of the Foot Clan in your Game Boy the first thing you will notice after the title screen is the option to start on any stage you want. That’s right, the secret stage select code is to simply press the start button. This also means that a person with decent skill could have purchased this game for original retail price of $25-$30 and completed the game within the first ten minutes of playing. Not a whole lot of bang for the buck. However to get the full ending the player has to play through all five levels beginning with the first all in one sitting. With one life per turtle this does pose a small challenge, but this game is still well within the easy side of the spectrum.

tmntfc6For the time the graphics are quite good. While the turtles may all look identical except for the weapon they are holding, there are small details like Raphael twirling his sai and Michelangelo flipping his nunchuck while they walk. Despite the Game Boy’s lack of color these turtles even more detailed on the Game Boy than they do on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game released on the NES only a year earlier. The enemies are large and well detailed. Unfortunately with the size of the enemies and the size of the Game Boy screen there just isn’t room for more than a handful of enemies on the screen at once which makes the game rather slow paced. Even the stages have some satisfying aspects like weeds growing out of sidewalks and the cityscape scrolling in the background.

While the sound effects are the Game Boy’s standard pings and dings one expects from the Game Boy, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall of the Foot Clan reprises a pleasant rendition of the 1987 cartoon show’s theme.

tmntfc1As I remarked above Bebop and Rocksteady are level bosses with Rocksteady in level one and Bebop in level two. Why is it that in almost every video game in which Bebop and Rocksteady are fought separately does Rocksteady precede Bebop? I just ask because when ever the mutant henchmen are referred to it is as Bebop and Rocksteady, in that order but they are fought in the reverse order. That doesn’t even make sense on a fundamental level. Bebop is mutated with a warthog and Rocksteady is mutated with a Rhinoceros. In real life if someone gave me a Bo staff and made choose which order to fight those two animals in, its a no brainer. First I fight the warthog then I get killed by the Rhino. So why the near universal switch? I don’t know.

Speaking of bosses being switched around, why is Shredder the boss of level 4 and Krang the final boss in level 5? I can kind of see why they did it this way. Krang is physically bigger than the Shredder, and maybe they thought that the fight with Krang would be a more memorable way to end the game, but no. While Shredder and Krang may have acted more or less as equals in the cartoon show, there had been a precedent with the games preceding this one that the final adversary the turtles have to fight to save the day is Ol’ Shred-Head. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall of the Foot Clan just got this wrong.

tmntfc2tmntfc4Besides, what would Krang want with April anyway? I get why the Shredder would want to keep her around. His helmet isn’t going to polish itself, if you know what I mean. But Krang? He’s a pink blob with a face with two little T-Rex arms sticking out. Anything Krang would do to April has to be illegal, not only in this dimension but in Dimension X as well. Unless I just inadvertantly discovered why they call it Dimension X…

Moving on, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall of the Foot Clan on Game Boy is adequate. Nothing more, nothing less. It may be repetative, but its short enough that it doesn’t overstay its welcome. That was all portable gaming was supposed to be at the time; something to occupy a kid while he rode the school bus. Or if you’re like me, something to distract a grown man in his dentist’s waiting room from his impending root canal last week.

tmntfc5So to that end the game is acceptable. Nothing special but not necessarily bad either. Walk to the right and kill everything you see. Will it make you yell “Cowabunga!” when you but this in your Game Boy? No. I tried this and it did nothing to enhance gameplay, although it did make a couple of kids in the waiting room curious to what I was doing. Their mothers told them to stay away from me though.

So to conclude, does Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall of the Foot Clan give you a better feeling than discovering anchovies on your pizza? Yes. Does it give you a better feeling than being back in 1990 and discovering your mom went to the store and came back with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles breakfast cereal? No. No it doesn’t. Not even close.

Written by Nerd Bacon

Nerd Bacon


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  1. The secret code to skip levels in this game is the start button? WTF?!?

    What if jumping on a single goomba’s head in a Mario game killed all of the goombas in that level?

    This is some backwards logic for putting a cheat code into a game.

  2. Pingback: Nerd Bacon Celebrates Retroary! (Retro + February = Retroary) - Nerd Bacon Reviews

  3. Food for thought. Bebop is always listed first. This could mean that he has greater rank or privilege. Not to mention, Rocksteady was always kind of the dope of the group (not that Bebop was a Harvard scholar by any means). If you think about it this way, Rocksteady seems like the likely choice to go first.

    • I’ve been going through the old series with my son for the past few months; Splinter is actually keen on saying “Rocksteady and Bebop.” Also at times, when Shredder is “introducing” them, he will occasionally announce them as “Rocksteady” (Rocksteady enters the screen, cut, pause) “Bebop” (enters screen).

  4. Awesome review. Informative and entertaining. I totally agree with you on the Bebop and Rocksteady paradox. I still love those characters though.


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