I can't find a screen cap or video clip of this scene for this VERY specific question, so bear with me. I was hoping perhaps someone had seen a "making of" the 1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movie and might have more info.

The very first time you see the Foot Clan's lair, they have several shots to show how bad-ass everything is - an underage kid smoking (wow, try showing that these days), and most importantly, a wicked looking arcade game some kids were crowded around.

The game on the screen only showed for a few seconds. It seemed to be done with stop motion animation, but the creatures on screen did seem to move around as if they were 2D video game sprites (though I might be wrong). It featured a wicked looking giger-esque creature that was a human skull on the end of a black tubing, and its body was some kind of tank on wheels. It was moving around the screen, the head was writhing up and down on the long pipe neck, and it was eating other creatures on the ground in front of it.

Seeing this always made me wonder if this was a real arcade game or if it was specifically made-up for the scene, as it added a lot to the impression of the Foot Clan lair as some mythical place where kids could live out their fantasies. Of course, it could've been a completely made up game, like the arcade game graphics in The Last Starfighter, but I was thinking about it and it wouldn't be out of the question for it to be real, since we had Mortal Kombat back then, and that was done with digitised photos too, in the same way this game could have been done. And the gameplay was feasible, it seemed to play like Double Dragon, moving around on a play field with a pseduo-3D perspective.

Even if it's not a real game, it would be awesome to know more about the development behind the creation of that fake game sequence, outside of the obvious conclusion that it was all a simple stop motion animated sequence, i.e. if there is any behind the scenes footage or information, or even the name/company of the artists behind the effect.

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    What is the importance of this specific prop to the plot? Would it make a difference if it was a Pac-Man arcade or pinball machine instead? see this discussion movies.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/2119/…
    – Luciano
    Commented Jul 18, 2019 at 9:18
  • @Luciano Well I thought it was obvious that they have clearly shown a very macabre game to add to the "bad-ass" feel of the underground Foot Clan. A colourful game like Pacman would be incongruous. Nevertheless, I'm asking for my own facination of this possibly fake game. No other reason.
    – Domarius
    Commented Jul 19, 2019 at 6:13
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    Please don't ask this on Arqade.SE. They require a screenshot in order to identify a game, and you've been unable to find one. If you cross-posted this there it would immediately get mod-hammered shut.
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Jul 19, 2019 at 6:35
  • @morbo no agenda, and I'm not demanding anything. The link is a reference to one of many "identify this prop" meta discussions in hopes that OP could make the question more suitable.
    – Luciano
    Commented Jul 19, 2019 at 8:50
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    Since the question makes a strong point about the relevance of this information and how it adds to the appreciation of the film, I reopened it accordingly and tried to emphasise those aspects a little more.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented Jul 31, 2019 at 12:07

1 Answer 1


Here at 0:21 is the scene you mention.

The game exists and its name is written on the machine, it's NARC, the skull in question is the final boss. Here's a video where James comments about that scene of the movie while playing the game.

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    It is a 1988 run-and-gun game. The main theme was covered by The Pixies.
    – Joachim
    Commented Jul 20, 2019 at 13:13
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    Good gravy this is the best answer I could have hoped for! Not only is the game real and I can go play it, but you even linked me to James Rolfe talking about this very thing! What impresses me is someone was on set with enough attention to detail that they made sure the arcade was on freeplay and was played up to the final boss so they could get footage of the creepy skeleton boss just for that scene. I want to mention that I did try searching for this footage on YouTube, but didn't have as much luck as you obviously did. And I haven't seen this movie since I was a kid...!
    – Domarius
    Commented Jul 24, 2019 at 3:03

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