Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles In Time

I grew up with the Super Nintendo as my favorite game console. My family also had an NES, although I don't think I was as interested in gaming when that came out so I sort of skipped over that one. The Sega Mega Drive (or Genesis, for folks in America) was fun too though I could never get into it as much as I did with the Super Nintendo, due in large part due to the lack of save support on any of the games I had access to.

But more-so because I just absolutely loved some of the games we had on SNES; The Donkey Kong series, Marios and Zelda were played a lot by my family and myself. I spent many an evening playing through these together with my mom, and still to this day when I visit my home country I bring my Super NT so we can play some good old Donkey Kong Country 3 together. It never gets old.

Image shows the SuperNT game console, two controllers, and a japanese Turtles In Time game cart.
My "visiting family" travel set.

There was a local movie rental in the town I grew up in that. besides VHS tapes of your favorite movies, also had games available for rent. Most everyone who grew up around the same time will know that that's a really good way to get to try games before you buy them, or just to be able to play games that you otherwise might never get to play.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time was one such game for me. I somehow never ended up owning it, but I think we rented it out so often that we probably spent more on it altogether than we would have if we had just bought it. Based on original prices anyway, these days this game costs a small fortune unfortunately. My younger brother and I played this game ridiculously often, often re-renting it so we could play it one more week. I think back about that time period fondly, and wanted to see if I could find a way to play and enjoy the game again as I did then.


When Analogue announced their Super NT last year, I pre-ordered it right away as I had been thinking about a way to play some of my old favorites again and this fit my bill perfectly. Connecting original hardware up to modern televisions often result in less than ideal results, so the prospect of being able to just plug it in through HDMI seemed very enticing.

The SuperNT box on the day it arrived, around March of 2018.

Its price might feel a bit high, but compared to purchasing original hardware, modifying it for modern outputs and potential (or, probable) maintentance actually puts it pretty much costs less than what you might spend otherwise. With the SuperNT I don't have to worry about  (or replace) old capacitors, power supplies, et cetera. There's even custom firmware available that lets you play ROM files directly, in case you prefer not to scratch up your original carts or just can't be bothered to get up off of the couch, so it effectively comes with an EverDrive-like tool built-in.

I know I could have easily spun up an emulator and played any game I wanted, but there's a very distinctive difference to me. It's similar to how I enjoy the action of putting on a record as supposed to picking an album from the virtually unlimited source that is streaming. The latter is certainly more convenient, but it also loses some of the intention, commitment, enjoyment and authenticity. Although emulation —like streaming— certainly has its use-cases, and I use both for that very reason.

I prefer to own my most favorite/loved games and albums alike, so when possible I try to find a way to own them in their original formats. Though in some cases virtually renting (or streaming) might be your only real choice, with prices of certain games reaching astronomical levels. So much for me ever playing Chrono Trigger, I suppose.

I actually never played Turtles with joysticks until today, so it's taking some getting used to. Quite fun.

I am trying out a new-to-me basic HDMI recorder, and one of the first recordings I have made with it was, of course, of Turtles In Time — the second recording, actually. I first tried a random game on a Wii I recently bought off of Craigslist as I was curious how the recorder would handle these types of resolutions. I need to do more testing to get a better sense of this device and whether or not it is worth getting, but initial impressions seem positive.

The AGPtek "HD Video Capture" (VG0019)

The device is dead simple to use, with it only having one button. You plug in a USB storage device (USB stick or hard drive), hit the record button, and hit it again when you're done. That's it. There are no settings, no options, nothing. You don't have to plug it into a computer for it to work, in fact it's not possible to do so at all. I'm sure this is a limitation for many, but in my specific use-case I felt it should be enough. Time will tell if I was right, of course.

As this is such a wonderful game I thought I'd upload the first level I played through here. Both for those who might be interested to see how the AGPtek performs, as-well as (and perhaps more-so) to potentially help revive some memories of a classic beat-em-up game from the 90s that's just so much fun to play, especially together.

Until the prehistoric level, that is..

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles In Time. Scene 1: Big Apple, 3AM on YouTube.