Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall of the Foot Clan

You certainly won’t find the kind of beat-em-up action here that you would in the original coin-op or Turtles in Time, but Fall of the Foot Clan still provides a lot of fun and should satisfy Turtle fans.

In the late ’80s and early ’90s, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were huge. They had starred in a blockbuster movie and cartoon series, had been translated into a popular line of action figures, and had been featured in a four-player coin-op that was the highlight of many arcades. Eager young gamers waited for the TMNT gaming experience at home, first receiving an NES game unrelated to the arcade cabinet before being blessed with a port of the coin-op. In between the release of these NES games, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall of the Foot Clan—the first Turtles game for the Game Boy—was released. Though it did not match the complexity of the arcade or NES games, gamers finally could Turtle Power with them on the road.

I remember reading about this cart in GamePro and being impressed by the graphics. The game features large, detailed sprites that are perfect representations of the Turtle characters. Playing through the game, you’ll run across Bebop, Rocksteady, Baxter Stockman, Shredder, Krang, along with many recognizable lesser foes like Mousers and Foot Soldiers. The animation is very limited, but even twenty years later, I am impressed by the Game Boy graphics. Many of the cut scenes look like they could have been lifted right from the cartoon series . . . had the cartoons been in black and white (or is that green and paler green?).

The game plays very simply. You choose which turtle you want to use at the beginning of each stage or after one of your turtles falls in combat, but the differences in each turtle are only represented by the weapon each carries. You would expect that Leonardo’s and Donatello’s weapons would extend further than Raphael’s and Michelangelo’s, but that is not the case. Though it did seem to me that Michelangelo’s nunchucks were faster, I think this was more wishful thinking on my part than reality. In addition to each turtle’s primary weapon, shurikens can be thrown while crouching, and each turtle can jump kick as well. You have an unlimited number of shurikens, but it is often much easier to just walk up to an enemy and attack than to fight him from afar. There is some platforming involved in the game, but for the most part, you will be walking left to right attempting to hit your enemies before they hit you. Enemies are generally easy to kill or avoid, and the most problematic foes you’re likely to come across are the Foot Soldiers who jump onscreen and attempt to land on you. The bosses are surprisingly easy as well, and I made my battles with them more difficult by trying to find their patterns of attack. For example, I almost died fighting Shredder, thinking I had to avoid his attack and jump behind him to retaliate, until I realized I could walk up to him, strike, and then walk away.

The sound in this game is standard fare for the Game Boy, though it does have a good rendition of the Turtles theme song . . . which you will hear repeatedly throughout the game. Unless my count is off, the game alternates between two songs during the level, switching to a different tune for each boss battle. This didn’t detract from the game for me at all, and I found myself singing along to the Turtles theme in my head as I played.

Fall of the Foot Clan is a short game and can be beaten in under thirty minutes, which in my opinion makes it a perfect game for a portable. The game is very easy, and you may find yourself blowing through it on your first playthrough without losing a single turtle. You certainly won’t find the kind of beat-em-up action here that you would in the original coin-op or Turtles in Time, but Fall of the Foot Clan still provides a lot of fun and should satisfy Turtle fans.

Highly recommended

2 Responses

  1. Wow, someone was busy over the holidays. 😉
    Glad to see your getting some time to write a little more about what your playing.

    Always good to hear others perspectives on games. Like yourself I got a bunch of games over Christmas that I think I won’t be able to buy anything new until June.

  2. Yeah, I managed to free up some time for video games, so I thought I would try to write as much as I could. I tend to go long spans without writing anything, so when I’m in the mood, I need to take advantage of it.

    I wish I could hold off buying anything until June, but I keep finding decent prices on games, so I keep spending.

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