With the recent release of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cowabunga Collection, the creative team can’t help but remember their experiences with the original, especially the infamous difficulty of its levels — especially the infamous Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles dam level that was even unbeatable by the creators.
The Cowabunga Collection revives and essentially memorializes more than 12 of the most famous 8- and 16-bit adventures of the turtles. The Collection was released on the 30th of August 2022 and makes the games available on many platforms from Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 & 5, Xbox One and Series X|S, and even PC.
Working to bring the Cowabunga Collection brought back many fond memories for the creators:
“[It’s] amazing to work with these guys that follow some of the same steps design-wise or whatever. But then to bring them into a thing that you can only see them in full motion, but also control that motion was…It’s really mind-blowing. But what a treat to be part of that team.”
The Infamous Dam Level
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Dam level was notoriously known for the difficult controls which made it almost impossible to avoid taking damage, all while contending with a strict time limit.
The requirements of the level meant that the Turtles had to navigate what turned out to be an underwater maze all while disarming multiple bombs, with a strict time limit. The level became the poster for difficult and unfair 8-bit games.
Unbeatable, Even for The Creators
Many frustrated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fans couldn’t play any further than the infamous dam level, and shockingly those who couldn’t progress further are in good company, as counted amongst them is one of the franchise’s creators.
During an interview with IGN to promote the new Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesCowabunga Collection, co-creator Kevin Eastman admitted that even he was never able to clear the original games’ second stage:
“[A] lot of times when we would go to conventions back in the day, people would come up to us and be angry with us because they thought we made the game that hard. And we’re like, ‘We can’t win either. We’ve tried.’ I never made it through the water level and I’ve tried and tried and tried.”
Fan and Creator Favourite
When asked what his favourite game of the whole Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesCowabunga Collection is, he had an answer that most of the franchise’s fans would probably agree with:
“My first thought is the arcade game because I just liked the fact that you could play with a bunch of your friends at the same time, three of your friends. But Turtles in Time was one of my favourites, because it was sort of something that we explored in the comic book. The fun part, too, is seeing something that started as an idea here evolved into something amazing and unique in the gaming format. So I like the different universes you can go to in the game.”
Have you ever beaten the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Dam Level? What are your thoughts on the Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesCowabunga Collection?