Hidden Tracks Vol. 9: TMNT: Tournament Fighters (SNES)

From Mario to Zelda, to Final Fantasy and Undertale, there’s no doubt that music plays a huge role in the video games that we all know and love. But what about the music from lesser known video games? What about the jamming tunes and fire tracks that may have gone under the radar of most gamers? Join us, Fair Gamers, as we dig through the crates and uncover some amazing games and music you might have missed… This is Hidden Tracks!


Hidden Tracks Vol. 9: TMNT: Tournament Fighters (SNES)




Game: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters
Release Year: 1993
System: Super Nintendo/SNES
Publisher: Konami
Developer: Konami
Composer(s): Kazuhiko Uehara, Hideto Inoue, Harumi Ueko

Selected Tracks: Metal Works, Cafeteria, Noh Stage


The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles need no introduction - the four Heroes-in-a-Half-Shell have been gracing our TV, movies, and comic books for so long, it sometimes feels like Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michelangelo are a part of our families now. Video games are no different - there are a ton of classic TMNT games on everything you can imagine, from the home console market to the arcade scene; one classic gem for Turtles fans and fighting gamers alike is the Super Nintendo version of TMNT: Tournament Fighters.

TMNT: Tournament Fighters was released in 1993 along with the Sega Genesis version, followed by the NES version in 1994. Smack-dab right in the middle of the 90s fighting game boom, Tournament Fighters takes the Turtles, classic villains like Shredder, Rat King, and Karai, along with a mix of brand new characters and sets them against each other in one-on-one battles. It’s a pretty straight-forward fighting game, earning comparisons to Street Fighter II, the king of early 90s fighting games. But what Tournament Fighters may miss in depth, it makes up for in charm - I mean, come on, you got Mikey taking on Shredder and they can throw Hadokens? What more do you need?

The charm of Tournament Fighters can be chalked up to its presentation: this is a Konami joint through-and-through, featuring graphics and sounds that have aged beautifully and harken back to Konami’s Golden Age of the early 90s (if you listen closely in Tournament Fighters, you may even hear the classic Konami sound!) The game’s soundtrack and sound production was composed by three members of the Konami Kukeiha Club, which is the collective name for Konami’s sound production team even to this day; heading up the team was sound producer Kazuhiko Uehara, along with sound editors Hideto Inoue and Harumi Ueko. Between these three composers is a list of classic Konami credits, including Snatcher, Gradius, and Tiny Toon Adventures: Wacky Sports Challenge.

Uehara, Inoue, and Ueko took full advantage of the SNES sound chip on Tournament Fighters, producing crisp in-battle sound effects and fast-paced tunes perfect for any fighting game: you have the Metal Works stage, a dramatic horn-driven song perfect for an intense battle; you have the chill-but-catchy Cafeteria stage for something a little different and dancey; you even have hints of world music and Japanese influence with the Noh Stage! There’s a little bit of something for everyone in the Tournament Fighters soundtrack, and with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Cowabunga Collection slated for a 2022 release, we may see a new generation of gamers check out this classic fighting game and its soundtrack - until then, we can still clean off our Tournament Fighters cartridge, fire up the SNES, and get down on some kick-shell action. Cowabunga!

For other classic fighting games and more, check out FairGameRetro.com!

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