5. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1989, NES) by Ultra

Current Any% Leaderboard (speedrun.com)

After relatively short trials and games where I was on my own to figure the speedrun out, game #5 was a breath of fresh air. Thanks to the combined efforts of my two wonderful mentors, Skunky48 and TheNESMaster, this ended up being the first trial that went on for more than a few days. In fact, it went on for nearly 2 months! This is due to a lot of factors, but first and foremost: this is a fun time!

TMNT for NES is an underrated gem, albeit a toughy. This infamously difficult game was no different for me as a child, never quite getting to see the end of this game in my youth. However, this extremely satisfying, if not slightly frustrating, speedrun helped me to exercise my childhood demons and finally put an end to the Shredder’s reign of 3D Television Terror.

The speedrun utilizes a few pretty cool glitches that aren’t too bad, once you get to know them.  In fact, this speedrun would be a top-shelf example of NES speedrunning if it wasn’t for one FATAL FLAW: the Technodrome.  Or more specifcally, the Technodrome’s unfair RNG (in regards to the speedrun).  You have a slim chance of the Technodrome appearing where you hope it is.  Although there is a manipulation that can help guarantee it, it’s not an easy thing to do, and nothing is more frustrating than getting to the room where the ‘drome is, only for it not to be there, and you just reset.  It makes what would be one of the best speedruns in all of gaming, into a slog that frustrates you.  But it’s so fun, you almost don’t mind too much.

With wonderful graphics, tight controls, amazing music, and a variety of stages, this game does not deserve its’ reputation. While by no means a perfect game, this is definitely a speedrun that will give back to the runner as they improve. However, do not expect a great time overnight. This is a horrendously difficult game to learn; you will need to practice your shell off. Still, I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a long-term platforming grind!

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