Friday, May 22, 2009
"Yes, we do have it in stock."
Those words above in the title had me scrambling for my shoes as I ran out of the house and began to yell at my father to jump in the car and go pick up Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for the NES. Now bear in mind that I had waited for literally over a year for the game to come out, it had been advertised the year earlier in one of the many Marvel comics I picked up that time by subscription.
Myself and John/Brian made a weekly call to the local Kay*Bee toy store in the mall to see if there was any word on the game yet. We got the same answer from the multiple staff there over a year, "Check back next week." Of course this was the before the widespread miracle of the intertubes made release dates much easier to check upon. So we continued to look over the Nintendo Power magazines that would tantalizingly offer new screen caps of the game and hope that it was good as it looked in those photos.
So one Saturday morning in March I dialed the phone # as usual and received that glorious answer I had been hoping for, I was so dumbfound that I asked the lady if she was sure they had the Nintendo TMNT game in stock, this actually made her a little annoyed. I asked how many copies she had and she claimed they had four left. Four left? The store hadn't been open longer than fifteen minutes! I then shakily inquired if she would hold a copy as I would send my father immediately. She would not. I thanked her anyway and hung up the phone and as mentioned above made sonic booms as I sicked my father on the quest for the most achingly longed for game I had known to that point.
Next I dialed John/Brian's # and woke him up, told him the game was in, at which point he had me repeat what I had said. So off he went to Kay*Bee, since he was the only one who could drive at that point which left me to pace the floor, hoping that someone else didn't beat my father to the punch. Luckily John/Brian called me from the mall about ten minutes later to say he saw my father picking up a copy and he was lucky enough to get the last one. All was well in the universe!
My father came home and tried to trick me, but after telling him that he had been spied he handed over the box, which I remember as all but snatching from his hands and waving him off to go tinker with whatever lawnmower he was rebuilding or whatever groundskeeping chore he had been engaged in.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from Ultra Games...shredded the souls of lesser beings. I do feel bad for the younger kids who bought it because I'm sure it might have turned a fan or two away from the series for life. This game has ranked on the top ten most difficult lists for quite some time and for good reason. It is a very unforgiving title. Particulary at the end when you are facing Shredder and he starts zapping you with an anti-mutagen ray...which you can not block nor evade. You literally had to kamikaze the guy with your turtles. I had two blocks of energy left and the Shredder was powering up his ray when I took him down...my Grandmother's entire neighborhood could probably hear my victory whoop.
Then the strangest ending occured. Splinter was transformed back into his human form...then everyone had a victory cheer and the credits rolled. You did kind of expect something a little more than "Good Job! Now please press Start." But at least you had bragging rights!