Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge – Classic characters that could appear in the game

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Classic Villains

The latest trailer for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge was mainly a gameplay demonstration for April O’Neil’s debut as a playable character, but it also confirmed another known villain is returning in boss form: Rat King. Not only does his design resemble his 1987 cartoon incarnation, but a VERY FAMILIAR mechanical vehicle is also seen in the background: the Rat King’s Footski, which first appeared with him piloting it as the sewer level boss in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time! Now that’s some incredible fan service!

The animated intro shown in the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge trailer featured Bebop and Rocksteady, not a surprise given their status as Shredder’s iconic henchmen,  but there’s a couple of other villains that also made an appearance: Chrome Dome (originally spelled as “Chromedome” in the series), Shredder’s robotic assassin, and Captain Zorax, a high-ranking Triceraton.

Chrome Dome, an almost-obvious choice, had not appeared as a boss in Konami’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles games, although he’s somewhat interchangeable with the more iconic-looking Metalhead turtle cyborg (who isn’t really a villain, as he joins the side of the turtles after Donatello reprograms it).

However, the Triceratons have rarely been featured in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles games, their most notable presence seen in the MS-DOS 1991 title Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Manhattan Missions, not to be confused with the 1991 NES Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project. Ironically, the box art for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project features Triceratons on the cover, even though they never once directly appeared in-game.

It’s a no-brainer that Shredder is the main villain (the title alone confirms it), but other bad guys that are likely to be included should be notable and popular ones like Krang, Baxter Stockman (both human and fly form), Leatherhead, Slash, and the Pizza Monsters. Although different versions of these characters exist as morally-gray heroes, the cartoon series portrays them as both mainly evil and for comical effect, which is partly why they still stand out to me as the more memorable villains on the show.

Two prominent franchise villains that were never previously featured in the 1987 cartoon series were Karai and Tatsu, both servants of the Foot and Shredder. Tatsu is best known for his live-action counterpart that served as the Shredder’s second-in-command in the first two live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles films, but his only appearance in any Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game was as a boss exclusive to the Sega Genesis title Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist. Tatsu’s appearance could easily pull on those potentially-lucrative nostalgic heartstrings of older fans like myself, but he’s never been much of a character central to the plot of any Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles storyline.

Karai, like Tatsu, never appeared in the 1987 cartoons, although her first appearance was in a 1994 issue of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Mirage Studios comics, so her popularity was nearly non-existent amongst casual Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fans. She rose in popularity after her big-screen appearance as one of the villains in the 2007 TMNT film. However, she was also a main recurring character in the less-popular 2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon series. Unlike the Shredder, who rarely shows anything beyond malice and cruelty, there are many iterations of Karai that usually seem to have some code-of-honor, one that sometimes forces her to fight alongside the Turtles. There are also other iterations where Karai is even related to the Shredder in some manner, usually as an adoptive daughter, which gives Tribute Games another enticing option to include, both as a boss and… perhaps… a playable character.

Dimension X has always played a huge part within the lore of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, especially in the cartoons, but it’s often been overlooked in the video games, rarely ever having a presence beyond a simple plot device. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge could remedy this by featuring some levels within Dimension X, especially since many notable characters like Krang directly come from Dimension X.