The 5 Most Bodacious Retro TMNT Bosses

2016 is a big year for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Their latest animated series on Nickelodeon is in its fourth season. Platinum Games is coming out with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan. The second of the rebooted live-action movies, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, is also headed our way — now with Casey Jones, Bebop, Rocksteady, and Krang. So let’s take a look at some totally gnarly bosses from their large catalog of retro 8- and 16-bit games.

Shredder

As seen in: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time (SNES)

teenage mutant ninja turtles, games, bosses, turtles in time, NES, SNES, Genesis, The Hyperstone Heist, arcade, Back from the Sewers, The Manhattan Project, GameBoy

This SNES port of the arcade game features a handful of unique bosses, but the most memorable of them is an early encounter with Shredder in the Technodrome. During the battle, you can only see Shredder’s back as he fires lasers and claws at you from a most heinous machine. The only way to damage Shredder is to toss the armies of Foot Soliders back at him using a cool throwing mode that takes advantage of the SNES’ Mode 7 graphics. This unique perspective makes this boss stand out, and reminds me of the first boss fight in the NES’ Battletoads.

Tatsu

As seen in: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist (Genesis)

teenage mutant ninja turtles, games, bosses, turtles in time, NES, SNES, Genesis, The Hyperstone Heist, arcade, Back from the Sewers, The Manhattan Project, GameBoy

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist is an odd remix of both the arcade games featuring fewer stages and an original plot. Tatsu, the bald sidekick to Shredder, is featured in the original two live-action movies, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, and he’s unique to this game. He throws what appear to be tiny spears while you fend off armies of Foot Soldiers. An awesome 8-armed Shredder statue looming in the background is just the visual icing on the boss cake.

Shogun

As seen in: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game (NES)

teenage mutant ninja turtles, games, bosses, turtles in time, NES, SNES, Genesis, The Hyperstone Heist, arcade, Back from the Sewers, The Manhattan Project, GameBoy

Two extra levels were added to this NES port of the first TMNT arcade game to fatten up the its length. The House of Shogun stage features a neat Japanese milieu full of ferocious tigers, but the boss at the end is a sight to be seen. The Shogun has awesome samurai armor, a killer spear, and flowing black locks. Attack him enough, and his head pops off to torment you like the Medusa Heads from Castlevania. This is a boss fight that really keeps you on your toes.

Krang

As seen in: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Back from the Series (GameBoy)

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Poor old Krang is usually stuck fighting the Turtles from his gigantic human suit. This boss fight from the second Game Boy TMNT game features Krang piloting a smaller metal walker, allowing him to launch into the air and shoot missiles and lasers. The fast projectiles make the whole affair feel a bit like a bullet hell shooter. It’s a fun fight that’s a bit different from others you run into during the game.

Super Shredder

As seen in: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project (NES)

teenage mutant ninja turtles, games, bosses, turtles in time, NES, SNES, Genesis, The Hyperstone Heist, arcade, Back from the Sewers, The Manhattan Project, GameBoy

The NES was on its way out when Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project was released in 1992. Carrying on the arcade gameplay from the second game, this memorable entry ends with a battle against Super Shredder, loosely inspired by Secret of the Ooze. Shredder grows gargantuan in size, gaining the ability to teleport and attack the turtles with bolts of lightning. There’s an epic-ness to this battle that few NES games can match.

Article by contributor Mat Bradley-Tschirgi.

2 thoughts on “The 5 Most Bodacious Retro TMNT Bosses

  1. Seeing that green 1 bit sprite of Krang just brought back so many memories of playing that game while on road trips with my family. Legit article!

  2. Thanks! I love it when GB games have big sprites- they worked well on the tiny, tiny screen. I had a port of TRUE LIES for GB as a kid and it was impossible to make out what was happening on the screen!

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