Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters, is a 1993-94 fighting game released for the Nintendo Entertainment System, Super NES and Genesis by Konami. While all three versions share the same title, each game is unique to its console. Like many competitive fighting games of the era, Tournament Fighters borrowed heavily from elements contained in the Street Fighter II video game. The Tournament Fighters games were the last Ninja Turtles games released based on the original 1987 TV series. A respective turtle was selected to be the cover character of each version released in North America and the PAL region; as there were three games and four ninja turtles, Michelangelo was the one left out for such a role.
In Japan, whereas the Mega Drive version retained the North American title, the Super Famicom version was retitled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Warriors, disambiguating the two games. The NES version was not released in Japan.
The turtles (Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael and Michelangelo) have been challenged by Shredder, but in order to confront him, they decided to have a tournament between themselves in order to see who is fit for the encounter. There are seven characters. The four turtles, Casey Jones, Hothead (a samurai dragon from the original toy line, based on the Warrior Dragon character from the Archie comics) and Shredder. This is the only game in the series where the turtles do not wield their characteristic weapons in battle.
Tournament Fighters was the final NES game released by Konami in North America and in the PAL region. It is also one of the very few competitive fighting games made for the NES. The cover character for the NES version was Leonardo, who is fighting Hothead on the cover artwork.
While the NES version allows the player to pit a character against his own clone in Versus Mode, the game does not allow this with Hothead under normal circumstances. The in-universe explanation given by the manual states that "the dragon spirit will not allow such a battle to take place". However, one can use a glitch in the game that allows the player to select Hothead and fight against a CPU-controlled Hothead in the 1-Player Exhibition mode. The second Hothead will be colored differently, indicating that the programmers did originally intend to allow Hothead vs. Hothead matches, but the game will also flicker with the two characters on-screen.
This game, instead of following a 6-button attack control like most of Capcom's fighters, uses a 4-button scheme (weak and strong attacks) like most SNK fighting games. A particular feature is the possibility to use a super special attack. In order to achieve this, the player must fill a green bar under the life bar, by hitting their opponents. Once full, the player must press the two strong attack buttons simultaneously.
There is also the option of enhancing the speed of the game, making the fights more intense but also harder to follow.
In addition to the main and versus modes, there is a story mode in which the turtles must rescue April O'Neil and Splinter. Only the four of them can be playable whereas the other characters (as well as a turtle clone) are the bosses. There is also a watch mode, which basically makes the computer control the characters.
There are ten characters available, and two bosses. Aside from the turtles and Shredder (who goes under the name of CyberShredder in this game), these characters are also available:
The bosses are:
The cover character for the SNES version is Donatello, who can be seen fighting Armaggon on the cover artwork.
Splinter is kidnapped by four purple turtles. When the real Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles learn this, Krang appears before them and says that he keeps Splinter with him and that the only way to get him back is that the turtles must go to Dimension X and meet Krang. The player must fight the clones of all the playable characters (see below) as well as the bosses: Triceraton, Krang and Karai. Besides the turtles, the player can also choose between April O'Neil, Casey Jones, Ray Fillet, and Sisyphus. This is the only version of the game to feature April as a playable fighter, although her design is much closer to the original character Aska from SNES version than the April O'Neil from the 1987 animated series or the Archie comics.
The Genesis version uses a three button control system. Two of these buttons are assigned for standard attacks (in order to do a stronger attack, they have to be pressed along with the d-pad). The game also features (somewhat) destructible environments on a couple of stages where one can fall through the floor.
The cover character for this version is Raphael, who can be seen fighting Triceraton on the cover artwork.