TMNT Shredder's Revenge designer reveals who he would add to the game next
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge was already the best TMNT game of all time when it was released last year. That was a high bar to ove...
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge was already the best TMNT game of all time when it was released last year. That was a high bar to overcome, considering gems like "Turtles in Time." However, the recently released Dimension Shellshock DLC has made it even better. It expanded the already fantastic roster with some highly desired fan favorites and added a new mode that unexpectedly transforms the game into a great roguelite survival experience.
As excellent as the Dimension Shellshock DLC is, it can be said, in fairness, that it wasn't what many fans were expecting, especially since its identity as a survival mode was only confirmed several months after the expansion was revealed.
"We considered adding more levels, but we felt that adding five or six stages would require a lot of work and result in limited gameplay time for the players," says game developer Frederic Gemus to me. "Instead, we decided to invest those efforts into something that provides unlimited replayability with a brand-new game mode that can generate new challenges every time."
The fact that Dimension Shellshock is a survival mode may have been initially surprising, but the biggest shock of the DLC was the second playable character - Karai, who is usually depicted as Shredder's adoptive daughter or granddaughter, depending on which TMNT series you're watching. While Usagi was an obvious first choice, as he appeared so frequently in the 80s show, Karai actually never had a proper appearance in that era, aside from Tournament Fighters, and seemed unlikely to make it into the game because of that.
Fortunately, that wasn't the case because Karai's large fan base and her strong presence in the original TMNT series inspired the team to include her in the game nonetheless. Her initial appearances were combined with her design from the 2003 series to create a version of the character that fits with the 80s Turtles.
"Usagi was the most requested character by the fan community, but Karai was also mentioned multiple times," says Gemus. "When we decided to explore the aspect of interdimensional travel throughout the entire DLC, it suddenly made sense to have another character 'from outside' the main TMNT 1987 universe. And since we love Karai, we thought it would be the biggest surprise for the fans, especially for those who grew up with the 2003 cartoon."
Now that Karai and Usagi have joined the game as fully playable characters, and with Shredder, BeBop, and Rocksteady temporarily controllable through power-ups, Shredder's Revenge practically has every TMNT hero you can imagine in its lineup. Even with such a strong team, Gemus has at least one character he would love to include if given the chance.
"I feel like answering this question might actually lead people to believe that this is the next character we're going to announce. That's why I'd rather give an answer for a character we definitely won't see - Ray Fillet from the latest TMNT movie, Mutant Mayhem," says Gemus. "I think their interpretation of the character not only looks pretty cool but also Post Malone's performance was quite funny! I think he would definitely be the character with the best banter!"
If Ray Filet isn't enough Mutant Mayhem goodness for you, Gemus also says that he would be happy to incorporate more content from the latest TMNT film into Shredder's Revenge if offered. Some dedicated fans have already attempted to create custom sprites based on the latest designs. Gemus clarifies that nothing is currently in the works, but if you're hoping for more TMNT goodness, you should never say never.
Now that Shredder's Revenge is filled with characters, game modes, and unlockable content, it's hard to imagine how it could get any bigger. Nothing has been confirmed yet, but Gemus has previously hinted with a mischievous "Who knows what the future will bring?" that further expansions might be possible in the future.
For the moment, it seems that the work on Shredder's Revenge may be completed. Since the team at Tribute Games has created such a heartfelt love letter to one of the most iconic TV series, I had to ask Gemus if he and the team have any other series in mind that they would like to work on once their time with TMNT is over.
"I think the other iconic cartoon series that come to mind for me are both X-Men and The Simpsons," says Gemus. "Both had fantastic arcade games back in the day and also served as inspiration for us. Therefore, I believe it would be an exciting experience to have the opportunity to work on either of these series."