Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles NES game has been PaletteSwapped

This game was quite literally the most frustrating game I played as a kid.

I remember seeing it wrapped up under the Christmas tree as a kid. It had the definitive NES box shape even though it was camouflaged by shiny red wrapping paper my grandma had picked out. For my friends and I, that whole year had been filled with nothing but mutated, martial arts fighting animals so the Turtle Fever was in full swing. I had studied the box for this game so diligently that I knew every inch of it by the time Christmas came. So when I saw the video game shaped package under the tree, my mind instantly pictured that very box art underneath the wrapping.

I decided that I’d peel back a corner of the paper just to confirm my suspicions. As soon as I saw the Ultra Games logo I knew my hopes for Turtle Power glory were going to come to fruition soon. The problem was this: I peeked about two weeks before Christmas. The next two weeks were the most anxiety filled fortnight an eight-year old boy could feel.

Christmas morning finally came and I faked my surprise just long enough that my parents didn’t suspect anything funny. My brother and I got the game going on the system and soon thereafter realized that this was not an easy game at all. I can’t even tell you how many times I saw our four mutant friends shrivel and die after being shocked to death by electrified kelp. It didn’t get any easier after that level and my gaming skills were not enough to get through the game.

What was once a hope for glory had become a torturous, masochistic experience. I don’t think my brother or I ever beat the game. Although it was ridiculously frustrating, it still somehow has held a place in my mind for all these years. Although there were tons of awesome ninja video games (Ninja Gaiden, Final Fight, Strider) for the systems I had, I had to pick TMNT for Rusty Shackles “ninja” PaletteSwap so I could, at least in some way, beat this game. You can also purchase the original, non-photoshopped version on my Etsy.

Here is the original:

And mine:


I also updated my Etsy shop with a print version that is formatted to 8 x 10″ for you to purchase. Click here!

Title Pic Web

About bill main

I moved my blog to itsbillmain.blogspot.com
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8 Responses to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles NES game has been PaletteSwapped

  1. ChrisCiolino says:

    This game gave me such heartbreak i never beat it 😦

    • bill main says:

      Yeah, me too. I think I vaguely remember a part where they were on a rooftop and I didn’t know how to get across. That may have been where I actually got stuck.

  2. ChrisCiolino says:

    The art is awesome bill good job

  3. Mike Schultz Paintings says:

    Great image and post. That game was obscenely difficult. Also, it always bugged me that whoever made the illustration for the game packaging didn’t bother to give them different colored ninja gear. Sure, there’s Raphael, but who are those other guys who are dressed like him?

    • bill main says:

      Yeah, I almost had a nervous breakdown and there may have been some controller whipping incidents. BTW, the original Kevin Eastman turtles all had red masks. We’re probably in the same age group…we were preconditioned by the tv show and toys to expect the colored masks and armbands etc. I tried to meet halfway by only using colored masks but keeping with the original character designs by having a more understated color palette for the knees, elbows and wrists. haha that was probably way too much information…sorry.

  4. This is just fantastic! I love it so much!

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