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Follow the dark path or use the light

FAQ/Strategy Guide

by EmptyBlade

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - 1 credit play guide
Author XBox Live Tag: Empty Blade (formerly MuKen)
Author email: bdv2112 [AT] columbia [DOT] edu


I.  What's this all about?
II.  Technical Details
III.  Essential tools
IV.  Enemy strategies
V.  Boss strategies
VI.  Conclusion

I.  What's this all about?

This guide is intended to help people get good enough to beat the game
in one credit.  Most people will run around blindly attacking with no
strategy in mind (am I attacking? throwing? who knows?  who cares?), or
any awareness of what threats are cropping up around them.  Hopefully,
we can help you get more in control of everything your turtle is doing, 
and playing with a better eye for your environment.  It is difficult, but
possible, to beat this game on one credit.  I've done so myself, and am here
to help you achieve this goal too.  As such, this is not a walkthrough.  I'm
not going to enumerate all the things you see in the game.  Nor am I going
to describe what every enemy looks like and what the stages are, I'll
assume you've played enough to know these things already.  What I will do
is talk about the skills and knowledge you need to be a good player.

I also want to clear up a lot of bad info I've seen floating around on
boards, chatting on live, and in other faqs.  I've seen a lot of
misconceptions like that different turtles are faster or weaker or
whatever, and I think it'd be better if people had a source of well-
tested facts.  So please read over the technical details section carefully,
I have tested everything I put in there, it's a comprehensive description of
how the game engine actually works.

II.  Technical Details

We will now go through an overview of how the underlying system works.
There will be more technical details about specific enemies in section IV.

II.A.  Differences between the turtles

First off, the four turtles do NOT differ in walking speed, attacking speed,
or attacking damage.  If you want to check it yourself, grab an arcade
emulator and map both controllers to the same buttons, they'll mirror each
other perfectly.  The only differences are in the dimensions of their attacks
(horizontal, vertical, and possibly depth range).  As such, Don is far more
effective than Leo or Mike because he has the most horizontal range, which is
the most useful type of range.

Raph also has a different special attack from the other turtles, which is a
rolling kick that is good for movement and evasion, and very useful in many
situations.  He also has a diving kick that activates much more easily than
the other turtles.  With all turtles, if you jump and attack, at low height
you get a horizontal kick, at medium height you get a diving kick, and at max
height you get a swinging attack; Raph's diving kick can be activated
significantly lower and higher than everyone else's.  Since diving kicks are
far more useful than horizontal kicks or swinging attacks, this is a HUGE
advantage, and combined with his evasive special makes him the best turtle for
beating the game solo, in my opinion.  (Don is second thanks to his long range,
and also definitely trumps Raph in multiplayer where evasive ability is not as
important).  Playing with anyone but Raph usually means I need to take more
lives to finish, and I have only managed to one credit with Raph and Don.

Although I said they all move and attack with the same speed, since Raph has
a low starting dive kick (which is the fastest way for any turtle to move
around the screen) and a special that moves him more than halfway across the
screen, it might indeed be fair to say he's the fastest turtle.

II.B.  Damage System

TMNT has a very unique and somewhat complex damage system, that rewards you for
being aware of how it works.  Most players are totally ignorant of this, just
assuming that all attacks do some amount of damage, and eventually enemies die.
Because of this, they take much longer than they should to kill certain enemies
and bosses, and make the game harder for themselves than they have to.

All enemies (and you) have two meters: stamina and health (I am making names
up because the game has no name for them).  When you're out of stamina, you get
knocked down, and your stamina is reset.  When you're out of health, you die.
All attacks have two values: force and damage (again, made up names).  When you
hit an enemy, they lose stamina equal to the force of your attack, however if
they have remaining stamina, they do not lose ANY health.  ONLY the attack that
depletes their stamina meter and causes them to fall down will do damage,
subtracting its damage value from their health.

How can being aware of this help you?  Well, let's take foot soldiers for
example.  They have 3 stamina and 3 health.  Let's say you hit them with two
basic attacks (1 force, 3 damage each).  Since they have not lost all their
stamina, none of those attacks did damage, so they are now down to 1 stamina
and 3 health.  What should you hit them with next?  You should almost
certainly make it another basic attack which will deplete their stamina, then
do 3 damage killing them.  If you're not aware of this, and for some reason do
a dive kick (3 force, 1 damage), you will knock them down, refilling their
stamina to 3 and only taking their health down to 2.  A big waste of time,
doing 1 damage in 3 hits!

The turtles have 3 stamina and 10 health per life, and unfortunately the game
does not display their stamina.

II.C.  Attacks

I'll now break down every attack you can do, and discuss a little about how to
do them and what uses they have.

Basic/combo attack: 1 force, 3 damage
Rear attack: 3 force, 1 damage
Leo/Mike/Don special: 3 force, 3 damage
Raph special: 3 force, 2 damage
Jumping horizontal kick: 1 force, 3 damage
Jumping dive kick: 3 force, 1 damage
Jumping swing: 3 force, 3 damage

Note that all attacks have either 1 force or 3 force.  For the remainder
of this guide, I will refer to 3 force attacks as "knockdown" or "KD"
attacks, due to the fact that they will always knock down a foot soldier,
who has only 3 stamina.  1 force attacks will be referred to as
"non-knockdown", and it is interesting to note that every one of them does
3 damage.  So it's always good to have the hit that removes the last
of a boss's stamina be a non-knockdown attack, so they will receive the
greatest damage for your efforts.

The basic attack is performed by pressing attack on the ground.  Turtles
actually have two different basic attack animations each, which come out
randomly (please contact me if you figure out some pattern to this).
Generally, one of them has more horizontal range, and one has more vertical
range.  For example, Don's long range attack can't hit street cones, but his
shorter one can.  Because they do high damage, if you are monitoring a
boss's stamina, you should generally try to use a basic attack as the
hit that finishes off his last stamina point to inflict maximal damage.

If the basic attack hits and you keep pressing attack, you can continue with
various combo attacks which are generally useless, except in very specific
situations (refer to section IV).  That's right, you should NOT be using combo
attacks on foot soldiers, because they will occasionally counterattack you.
See section III for what you SHOULD be using.

If you press attack while an enemy is directly behind you, you will do a rear
attack, which can be annoying if you meant to do a basic attack.  However the
fact that it is the fastest knockdown attack gives it some enemy-specific
uses (see section IV).

Specials are done by pressing attack and jump simultaneously.  Because they
are knockdowns that do 3 damage, Leo, Mike, and Don are all capable of killing
foot soldiers instantaneously with a special attack.  However, you must be
intelligent in using it, since it comes out slower and has a lot of recovery.
So if there's a red foot soldier standing somewhere behind you, don't use a
special on the guy in front of you, because there's a good chance you're gonna
get a shuriken in the back of the head on your way down.

Raph's special causes him to roll forward before kicking, hitting about a half
a screen away.  Both the roll and the kick keep him "low" resulting in
immunity to any horizontally moving projectiles, and even some ground attacks
(most notably shredder's sword slice).  He IS vulnerable to those ground
attacks during the split second transition between roll and kick, but still
not to projectiles.  So for example when Rocksteady is shooting his machine
gun, it is completely safe to roll in and special kick him in the nuts; the
bullets won't tag you when you transition.  But when special attacking
Shredder, you have to space it correctly so that the transition to kick occurs
before you reach him.  Then the kick will be invincible to his counterattack
as you get to him.  Doing only 2 damage, they will not kill a foot soldier
outright, but will bring him down to 1 health ensuring that any other
knockdown will kill them.

The jumping horizontal kick is performed by pressing attack while in the
air but still close to the ground.  You can do it early on your way up, or
late on your way down.  It is slow moving and during the early animation it
is fairly easy for most enemies to hit you out of it.  However, it is useful
for getting an aerial 3 damage attack.  Especially so for Raph against flying
enemies, since he does not have a quick 3 damage special to use.  All flying
enemies in this game have 1 stamina, thus against them a horizontal kick is
just as good as a Leo/Mike/Don special.

Also, it is an easy way to get a non-knockdown attack that moves you forward
without moving the screen forward.  Screen management is an integral part of
play, by preventing the screen from moving forward, you can prevent
additional enemies from coming before you are done with the current batch.
So having tools that move you forward without advancing the screen are very

At mid height, pressing attack in a jump will get you a diving kick which
moves you forward very quickly and is quite useful.  Because it is a
knockdown attack and moves forward a lot, it is also very effective in large
crowds of foot soldiers.  As I mentioned earlier, Raph can activate this
almost the moment he leaves the ground, and also nearly at the peak of his
jump, giving him the powerful ability to do quick fast moving knockdowns on
multiple enemies at all ranges.  As I mentioned before, this is THE fastest
way to move around, and also is very useful in that it can get you all the
way to the right of the screen without causing it to move forward.

To perform a jumping swing, press attack once your turtle starts flipping
at the top of his jump.  Your turtle will perform the swinging attack (looks
just like a non-Raph special) all the way down, and despite how it looks, it
does hit people on the ground as well.  Yes, even Raph can do this, despite
not having the ground version of this special, so he too can kill foot
soldiers in one hit (although it is fairly tricky to aim this correctly
without getting hit out of the air).  The timing to do this with Raph is
very hard, since most of his jump range results in a dive kick if you
attack.  However if you hold the jump button down throughout the jump he
will have the same easy timing as everyone else.

Although it takes a long time to set up, the jumping swing has a couple
advantages over a ground special attack.  For one, it is initiated from the
air, and hits all the way down, meaning it hits both aerial and grounded
enemies at all heights.  Furthermore, it incorporates a forward movement,
giving it more range as well.  And finally, for Raph, it's the only way to
do a 3-damage KD attack to instantly kill foot soldiers.  Against certain
enemies, like machine gunners and spear soldiers, it is invaluable.

II.D.  Throws

One way to instantly kill foot soldiers is by throwing them.  Although
throws seem random, they are not.  To throw a foot soldier, you simply press
attack while you are still in the middle of performing a prior basic attack,
combo attack, or rear attack.  However, you can only throw when you have a
throw 'charge' built up.  There is an invisible meter that goes up by 1 for
every attack you land or receive, and 2 for specials.  It takes 3 points to
prepare a throw, and once you use it you start from zero again.

Note that the throw is not actually part of the first attack, although the
animation makes it look like it is.  You can completely miss with the attack,
and then still connect with the throw which is a separate move, and even has
different ranges.  Also note that even if you have only 2 'throw points'
accumulated, you can attack, get a 3rd point by hitting with the attack, and
then press attack again during the recovery to get your throw.  It is better
though to have 3 points saved, since if you had 3 points you can
double tap attack and cancel the attack into a throw before it ever connects.
Throws have excellent horizontal and depth range, better than most basic
attacks, allowing you to reach and kill foot soldiers that might otherwise
present problems.

I believe that all 4 turtles have the same throw range, but I have no way of
being absolutely sure.  It is slightly larger than the basic range of all
turtles except Don.  So you can use it to 'extend' your range a bit when
attacking foot soldiers.  For Don, it is actually LESS than his basic attack
range, so there will be situations where he can hit foot, but can't throw them
due to distance.

II.E.  Game difficulty

In order to present a challenge, the game ups its difficulty as you play
with more turtles.  This means in the course of the stage there will be
more enemies, and the bosses will have higher stamina and health, and in
some cases additional attacks. It also means their will be more pizza available.

If you are playing single player, though, as you accumulate points without
dying, the game will decide to treat you as multiple players.  This counts
for increasing enemy count, pizzas, and boss stamina and health.  There are
two areas in this game where there is a difference between having "extra
pretend" players due to having a high score in single player, and actually
having multiple players.  One is against Be-Bop, who is invincible while
punching only if there are real multiple players.  The other is
against Shredder, who will always clone into a number of Shredders equal to
the number of real players plus one.

III.  Essential tools

I'm now going to talk about some skills you will need to learn in order to
play this game at a high level and have any chance at all of beating it on one
credit.  The most important thing is to completely understand the timing and
range of your basic attack: when you press attack, there is actually a small
window of time during which if anybody enters the path of your attacking
animation they will be hit.  Learning to line up this attack window with
various things is the most important skill in this game.  This is also an
area where the four turtles may or may not differ slightly.  It is hard to be
sure, but some might have longer timing windows where their attacks can hit

Number one, is the timing of foot soldier hit recovery.  When you hit a foot
soldier with a basic attack, they stagger and become *invincible* for a short
period.  If you use a combo attack, it will miss them because of this
invincibility and you will not get them until your third attack.  However, if
you pause a moment and do another basic attack with good timing, the attack
window will cover the moment they recover so that they will be hit again.
Doing this correctly prevents the foot soldier from leaving or
counterattacking, and is a truly inescapable sequence.

Using the built in combo attack has the wrong timing, and since your
second attack will miss entirely, the foot soldier will recover before your
third attack, and may or may not punch you in the face.  Thus you should
always use multiple properly timed basic attacks, rather than combo attacks.
For the remainder of this guide, I will refer to a sequence of
uninterruptible non-combo attacks as a "chain".  In multiplayer, a chain
makes you more likely to get the next hit, and thus the kill (hooray for
points) than the guy standing next to you mashing attack blindly.  When in
multiplayer, you should learn to judge this visually by the foot
soldier's hit animation, rather than just memorizing button timing, since the
timing can change depending on lag.

The next timing windows to learn are foot soldier wakeups.  Some foot soldiers
are more easily approached with a diving kick (such as the spear soldiers).
If you can then line up a basic attack properly as they stand up, you can
initiate a free 3 hit chain and finish them off with no risk.  If you're
having trouble learning this, you probably need to be doing it later: the
stand up animation makes you think they are hittable earlier than they really
are.  You can also line up your special (which has a big window and is pretty
easy to time) for a free instant kill.  You can even do this with Raph since
the dive kick did one damage: dive kick in, walk away, pause a sec, and then
Raph-special back just after you see them starting to sit up.  They'll be
standing just as you get to them and die.

Similarly, when you are standing on different ledges and they jump up or down
to your level, you can line up a basic or special attack with their recovery
from this.  Again, if you're having problems, the timing you can hit them is
probably much later than you think it is.  You can also use the same timing
to hit foot soldiers when they land from jumping out of the water in the
sewer.  Although more fun is to learn the timing to hit them at the very top
of the jump using a jump swinging attack.  This is an instant kill, and if
timed properly can get you the points before anybody else in multiplayer.

Another extremely important thing to learn is the vertical movement of bosses.
The safest way to hit a boss is to wait above or below him for him to approach
you, and time your basic attack so he walks into it.  This is more difficult,
and is actually many different timings because all the bosses have different
movement speeds, and some of them even vary their own speed.  If you're having
trouble, I suggest you focus on watching your feet and their feet.  It is much
easier to judge the distance and timing this way.

You can also vertically approach the boss yourself to attack them, but
this is harder to time right, and in fact for many bosses I don't believe it's
possible to do it so that you *never* get hit.  Waiting for them to approach
you, it is possible to beat almost any boss without taking a single hit.

Finally, although not a practicable 'skill' like the others, another very
important concept I mentioned earlier is screen management.  You need to learn
to fight without allowing the screen to move forward when the situation calls
for it.  This can prevent additional enemies from coming on screen.  Any
and all crowds are easier to beat if they do not have a mix of different types
of enemies.

The screen moves forward if and only if you walk or jump to the
right while in the right half.  Any moving attacks will not move the screen.
Thus, you can use the whole screen, if you only use dive kicks and similar
things to get to the right, and be careful not to walk rightwards while over
there.  This can be more difficult than it sounds at first, but you'll get the
hang of it.

IV.  Enemy strategies

I'll now talk about some of the ways to effectively fight each enemy in the
game, also covering any technical details that you should know.

IV.A.  Foot soldiers

3 stamina, 3 health

There are a couple of efficient strategies for taking down a horde of foot.
One alternative is to use non-knockdown attacks (all of which do 3 damage)
until their stamina runs out, the last hit killing them.  This is advantageous
as it's a faster way of taking them down (basic attacks in chains are the
fastest attacks).  The alternative is to rely on knockdown attacks like dive
kicks.  This has the advantage of keeping enemies down, making it easier
to control large groups and not get swarmed.  It is unwise to mix these unless
the situation forces it, since if you hit with a basic attack, then with a
dive kick, the basic attack is essentially "wasted" having no effect on how
long it takes you to kill the foot soldier.  Thus, you should choose at the
beginning of each battle whether you will be relying primarily on knockdown
or non-knockdown attacks.

Should you choose non-knockdown attacks, your main tools are basic
attacks, which you can sequence into a 3 hit chain for the kill.  You can also
initiate this chain with a horizontal jump kick, landing for a 2 hit chain
followup.  Do not be afraid to cut a chain short and move away if someone else
approaches.  You can always return and finish them later.  On account of his
long range basic attack, Don is the best turtle for this strategy.

Should you choose knockdowns, your main tool is the dive kick, which you
should use to knock down groups of enemies and control them so you don't get
mobbed.  3 knockdowns in this manner will kill them.  Raph can also mix in
his special to effectively count as 2 knockdowns towards the tally, which is
especially effective against projectile enemies.  In fact, having also the
best dive kick, Raph is the best overall turtle for using this strategy.

Whichever method you go with, you also have access to instant kill specials
(if you're not Raph), throws, and jump swinging attacks.  These are a quick
way to thin out the numbers, but be sure to set them up primarily in
situations where you will not be hit by someone else while you are doing them.

Throws, in my opinion, are best saved instead of using them whenever you get
them.  There are some situations where they can be very useful, and you
want to have one available whenever you need it.  Firstly, in a large crowd,
if you can separate a foot soldier from the group, a throw can kill
him quickly.  Also, if you do happen to get hit, all your timing goes out the
window and it's time to start mashing attack back.  In this situation, if you
have a throw, you can kill the enemy as soon as you recover, whereas if you
don't you'll accidentally start a combo attack and possibly get counterhit
again.  Finally, there are many situations where the alternate vertical and
horizontal range of a throw allows you to tag a foot soldier you'd not
normally be able to reach.

In multiplayer, it's possible to be much more aggressive with walk up basic
attacks or even specials, because you have friends covering your back.
So you might as well charge right in and try to get as many points as you can.
Also, in multiplayer, when you're competing for points, a throw is the only
attack that will hit a foot soldier while they are recovering from another
attack, so it's a good way to "steal" a point from someone else who is already
comboing an enemy.  Many think the best way to get points in multiplayer
is to run around with Don special attacking everything in sight.  However
against good players this is a poor way to score.  A basic attack comes out
faster AND will prevent anyone else's special from hitting by making the foot
soldiers invincible.  Usually the first person to reach the enemy or group of
enemies with a basic attack will initiate his three hit chain and get the
points, unless someone else steals a kill via throw.  Donatello IS still the
best guy for getting points in multiplayer, but he should do it by using his
long-ranged basic attacks.

IV.A.1 Purple foot

Attacks: Punch (1 force, 2 damage)
         Kick (1 force, 2 damage)
         Jump Kick (3 force, 2 damage)

These can easily be approached head on with any attack, due to their short
range.  However, they have a grab, which can be deadly in crowds.  First off,
grab is one of the few things that can hit you while you move vertically past
enemies.  Most enemies are completely incapable of hitting you while you do
this.  Second, grab ignores height, it can get you while in the air (which
looks very odd).  And finally, you can be hit by other enemies while grabbed
and as you escape, meaning it can be potentially fatal.  Thus, purple foot
are high priority targets in mixed crowds.

IV.A.2 Red foot

Attacks: Punch (1 force, 2 damage)
         Kick (1 force, 2 damage)
         Jump Kick (3 force, 2 damage)
         Shuriken (1 force, 3 damage)

Their projectile attack means you must pay attention to them while hitting
other enemies.  Otherwise, no major concern.  Easy pickings for Raph and his

IV.A.3 Yellow foot

Attacks: Punch (1 force, 2 damage)
         Kick (1 force, 2 damage)
         Jump Kick (3 force, 2 damage)
         Boomerang (1 force, 2 damage)

See "Red foot".  Note that the boomerang does not return if they get hit
before it turns around.

IV.A.4 Knife foot

Attacks: Throw (1 force, 2 damage)
         Stab (1 force, 2 damage)
         Kick (1 force, 2 damage)
         Jump Kick (3 force, 2 damage)

See "Red foot".

IV.A.5 Sword foot

Attacks: Slash (1 force, 3 damage)
         Other slash (3 force, 3 damage)
         Jumping slash (3 force, 4 damage)
         Jumping stab (3 force, 5 damage)
         Kick (1 force, 2 damage)
         Jump Kick (3 force, 2 damage)

No great strategic threat, you are completely safe while moving up and down. 
But beware of their high damage attacks.

IV.A.6 Hammer foot

Attacks: Smash (3 force, 3 damage)

Although easy to kill, I usually play it safe and use dive kicks, since
it is easy to screw up other attacks and eat 3 damage.  Do not Raph special
them unless at its very max range.

IV.A.7 Spear foot

Attacks: Stab (2 force, 2 damage)
         Throw (3 force, 3 damage) (becomes a purple foot afterwards)

Annoying; unless you are Don they outrange you. And they use it by backing up
constantly.  Also their stab is fast and not safe to walk past vertically.
And, their throw turns them into a purple foot, which is very dangerous in

The safest way to kill them is to dive kick, then line up a special or basic
chain as they get up.  A faster way which takes a bit of practice is to line
up a jump swinging attack.  You can position yourself outside their range
while jumping (use your shadow as a guide), and execute the swinging attack
just after the apex of your jump to take them out in one hit.

Donatello can just use his standing special from outside their stab range, but
watch out in case they decide to throw.

IV.A.8 Machine gun foot

Attacks: Shoot (1 force, 2 damage) (self chains)
         Swing (1 force, 2 damage)

Dive kick and special, or use the jump swinging attack if you're cool.

IV.A.9 Fan foot

Attacks: Fan beams (1 force, 3 damage) (self chains)
         Kick (1 force, 2 damage)

Projectiles that Raph can't special through.  Otherwise, nothing too tough,
just dive kick them.

IV.B.  Robot thingies

6 stamina, 1 health

Attacks: Laser (1 force, 2 damage)

I don't know if there's an official name for the robots with the drills on
their heads that come out of the ground.  They'll run around you in circles
and stop to shoot lasers or grab you with their electric whip.  Learn what
the whip animation looks like, because you cannot dodge it by moving up or
down, you must hit them away before they do it, or be out of range or in the
air.  This can be especially deadly if you're jumping around in a large crowd
of foot soldiers, because you might not notice this and land in it, and get
comboed some more by the other foot soldiers as you break free.  So learn
this animation so well you'd spot it even out of the corner of your eye, and
be sure to dive kick them instead of landing.  For this reason, knockdown
attacks are also a better strategy than non-knockdown attacks if there are
robots in the crowd.

Because they only have 1 health, the only value that matters in attacks
is force.  3-force attacks like the dive kick are ideal; it'll only
take 2 to kill them.  However, it is important to remember that if they stop
right in front of you, you shouldn't dive because you'll fly right over their
heads and get hit in the back.  Turn around and use a rear attack which
is also 3-force.  Using the rear attack is a little tricky at first; if you
position yourself wrong you'll attack the wrong way. Once you learn the proper
positioning it's easy.

If you're under pressure from a lot of enemies, though, sometimes it's better
to just use the basic attack so you don't have to spend time positioning
yourself.  Due to fast dive kick, Raph can basic attack then quick dive
to hit them again, and then basic attack, chasing them across the screen
for free.

IV.C.  Mousers

1 stamina, 1 health

Attacks: Grab

Grouped with their own kind, they are no threat and easy to knock away.  Mixed
in with groups of foot soldiers they are more dangerous, as they are likely to
jump at you and grab you unexpectedly while you move around.  Getting grabbed
in a crowd is a painful experience.  Furthermore, it is not safe to
dive kick them, you'll hit them and kill them, but often times you'll hear the
sound effect from them grabbing you anyway, and take 1 damage even though you
didn't see any grab animation.  If you get into this situation, it is best
to maneuver yourself so that you can knock down everybody to one side with a
dive kick, and turn around to swat away the mousers (and anybody standing next
to them) with basic attacks.

If you're aiming to get all the points as they come out of the wall in
multiplayer, again do not mash.  Wait until you see them emerging from the
shadows, and time your basic attack so they come out into it.  Done correctly,
you'll get much more of the kills than somebody standing next to you mashing.
If they're coming out of a high hole, time a jumping horizontal or dive kick
back and forth over the hole so you get them, or use a non-Raph special.
Correct timing always beats mashing.

IV.D.  Helicopters

1 stamina, 4 health

Attacks: Chopper blades (3 force, 2 damage)
         Gun (3 force, 3 damage) (red heli only)
         Bomb (3 force, 4 damage) (purple heli only)

Because these only have 1 stamina, the only value that matters when choosing
attacks is damage.  Horizontal jump kicks and non-Raph specials are ideal.
Two of either will kill them.  When hit, they will be stunned for a bit, and
you can time the second to get them as they recover, killing them immediately.

You can also come in with a jump swinging attack, then jump away, turn around
in mid-air, and come back with a dive kick to finish them.  This is a little
tricky because you must space the first jumping special so you hit them
without getting swatted away by the blades.

Against the red helicopters, it is pretty safe to stay at the top of the
stage.  The purple helicopters have a wide range of coverage and high damage.
The best thing to do is time a dive kick to hit them at the end of their
bombing run (so you don't land on a bomb) and finish with a special or
horizontal jump kick.

It is common belief that Raph is disadvantaged in this part of the game due
to not having a special.  However he can use his horizontal jump kick which
does the exact same amount of damage to them.

Yes, I know you can avoid the bombers by stalling the early fights in the
stage, but that isn't much fun to show off, now is it? :)

IV.E.  Minicopters

1 stamina, 2 health

Attacks: Laser (3 force, 2 damage)

A horizontal jump kick kills them in one hit, and is the most effective weapon
here.  Non-Raph specials also take one hit, but the horizontal jump kick's
approach vector is less likely to get you hit.  Most people like to use dive
kicks, which are a little safer, but take twice as long to kill them off.
It's not too hard to finish them quickly with horizontal jump kicks, imo.

When they first come out the door and begin to fan out, there is a moment when
they are all hittable and very close together.  If you time a Don special
correctly, you can wipe out a large number of them with one swing.  I think it
might even be possible to get all of them, but I usually play as Raph so I'm
not sure.  With Raph, you can pretty easily get 4 of them with the jumping
horizontal kick right as they fan out, and if your timing is spot on you can
get even more.  Note that Raph's dive kick starts early, so you have to press
attack IMMEDIATELY after you jump to get the horizontal kick instead.

V.  Boss strategies

As I mentioned before, boss stamina and health changes based on how many
players there are, or alternatively how many points a single player has
accumulated since the last credit used.  The values I list will be assuming
you are playing 1 credit and killing all enemies on the way, without a large
deviance in the amount of projectiles and other things you hit. (Meaning the
earlier bosses have health as if you were playing 1 player, and the later
bosses as if you were playing 4 player).

V.A.  Rocksteady

5 stamina, 12 health

Attacks: Kick (3 force, 2 damage)
         Invincible kick (3 force, 2 damage)
         Machine gun (1 force, 1 damage) (self chains)
         Charge (3 force, 1 damage)

If he charges, jump AWAY (giving you more time in case you reacted late),
then turn around in the air and go over him.  He is one of the few enemies in
the game that can and should be combo attacked.  HOWEVER, if you hit him 4
times without knocking him down, he will then have access to the invincible
kick until you do knock him down.  Which can break combos, hit you first
even if he's approaching you vertically, and in general is a very bad thing
for him to have.  Thus, your first attack after each knockdown should
always be a 3-force attack, guaranteeing he falls down after a total of 3
attacks and never has access to invincible kick.  Alternatively, if you are
not Raph, combo hit him twice and finish with a well-timed special for
the knockdown.

Raph can quick-dive kick him right at the start, turn around and
hit him twice in the back and knock him down.  Rinse and repeat 4 times for
the very fast kill.  Some people like to trap him at the wall and time a dive
kick so it hits him twice as he gets up for a re-knockdown.  Nifty, but it'll
only do 1 damage.  Meaning you have to knock him down 12 times for the
kill (so boring).

If he pulls his gun out, treat him the same way, until he starts backing up.
Once he starts backing up, he will be trying to get to mid-screen distance and
use his machine gun, if you are Raph this is a perfect opportunity to let him
get that range, and special attack through his machine gun.  Then follow up
with two basic attacks for the knockdown.

For anyone else, the safest thing to do is move forward and force him all the
way into the side of the stage where he will stand still, and then wait him
out.  If you feel like taking risks, you can wait for him to shoot, then jump
over it and dive kick him.  If you jump too early, he'll shoot up and knock
you out of the air, if you do it too late he'll hit you with the ground shot.

V.B.  Be-Bop

6 stamina, 18 health

Attacks: Punch (3 force, 2 damage)
         Gun (1 force, 4 damage) (self chains)
         Charge (3 force, 1 damage)

Bebop is safe to approach on your own vertically.  Move in, and hit him once.
He'll immediately try to retaliate with a punch.  Move up or down to dodge it,
and move in again after the punch.  Rinse and repeat.  Donatello can
move out of range of any punch instead of up or down, and poke him right after
he punches.  In single player ONLY, if you time it right, you can walk right
up to him and hit him 6 times in a row such that each hit stops his punch.
In multiplayer, though, his punches are invincible and cannot be interrupted.
This is the fastest way to take him out.  Or, like with Rocksteady, if your
timing is good you can hit him with 3 basics and finish with a non-Raph

You can also dodge his punch while facing backwards, return with a rear
attack, and then turn around and chain him with 3 more basics for the faster
knockdown. Or, like with Rocksteady, hit him with a quick dive kick as he
gets up and turn around for the chain.  Starting it off with 3-force attacks
like this gets him knocked down faster, just make sure you always finish with
a 3-damage move to kill him with the minimum number of knockdowns.

V.C.  Be-Bop and Rocksteady

Rocksteady: 8 stamina, 21 health
Be-Bop: 9 stamina, 24 health

Attacks: Same as before

When fighting them together, all the same tips apply, you just have to be
careful and make sure one doesn't hit or shoot you while you are attacking the
other.  I prefer to focus on Bebop first, using a combination of chains and
rear attacks to kill him quickly.  If they both charge, they will hit each
other resetting their stamina (does not hurt them).

Once Be-Bop's out of the picture, Rocksteady is more manageable.  Hit him
with two 3-force attacks first (must avoid "invincible kick" mode at all
costs), then a 2 hit combo for the knockdown.  If you want to play it safe,
wait for him to pull out his machine gun so he won't charge (which is bad for
you if you committed to a dive kick or Raph special).

V.D.  Baxter

1 stamina, 24 health

Easiest boss ever, 'nuff said.

V.E.  Rock soldiers

42 health

Attacks: Punch (3 force, 2 damage)
         Flame thrower (3 force, 3 damage) (blue soldier only)
         Rocket (3 force, 3 damage) (red soldier only)

Rock soldiers have no stamina, and all attacks do exactly 1 damage to them.

The best strategy for either one is to stand directly above or below, and time
your basic attack to hit them as they approach you.  Then walk up or
down and repeat.  As simple as that sounds, it takes a lot of practice to do
it right, especially for the red one who varies his walking speed.  Once you
learn it though, these become easy fights.  You can also find a 'sweet spot'
just below them and a little to the side where you can just mash on the
attack button until they die.  This however is much less reliable, you can't
really learn to do it consistently without taking some damage while getting
into that spot.  After learning the first approach, I rarely take any damage
while fighting these guys.  Not to mention it looks cooler to any watchers. :)

V.F.  Krang

54 health

Attacks: Laser (3 force, 3 damage)
         Kick (3 force, 3 damage)
         Rocket (3 force, 4 damage)

Krang has no stamina, and all attacks do exactly 1 damage to him.

Just like the rock soldiers, use the vertical hit and run method.  If you are
Don, you can also do this horizontally using your long reach.  If you time the
hits right after his recovery while standing out of range of his kick, you can
prevent him from using lasers or rockets on you.

V.G.  Shredder

? health

Attacks: Slash (1 force, 3 damage)
         Kick (3 force, 2 damage)
         Duck and punch (3 force, 1 damage)
         Turtle beam (instant death)

Shredder has no stamina, and all attacks do exactly 1 damage to him.

For Raph, this fight is a no-brainer because of your ability to special attack
him safely.  Jump around and get the two Shredders off alignment with each
other, then line up a special.  Once you knock the helmet off of one,
concentrate on the other until he dies.  Other turtles have to use dive kicks
instead, which is a little riskier.  Don outranges him, use that to poke.

When he initiates his turtle beam, it only hits across the screen on his own
plane, not everywhere even though that's what it looks like.  You can dodge it
up or down easily if you see it coming.  If you are close enough to interrupt
him, he will often try again and you can keep interrupting him until he gives
up.  Keep him moving up and down while doing this (he'll follow you) so the
other Shredder doesn't slice you in the back while you attack

In multiplayer, this fight is harder, because there will be tons of Shredders
and it's difficult to keep track of who is using the turtle beam.  If the
Shredder in front of you starts a turtle beam, interrupt him and let your
friends know he's trying.  Can't really give much advise here otherwise except
to keep your eyes open, and otherwise treat the fight the same way.

V.  Conclusion

If you master all of the "Essential tools" I listed, and keep your eyes on
everyone on the screen at all times, you can beat this game in one credit.
This, however, takes a lot of practice.  It's not just enough to be able to
use these tools, you have to be able to do them without any effort at all.
For example, if you knock a spear soldier down, and you're standing over him
ready to special him when he gets up, it's no good if you have to carefully
watch his animation to know when to do it.  While you're busy staring at the
guy on the ground, someone else is going to come up behind you and smack you
upside the head.  Learn to do these things without thinking about it, so you
can keep your attention everywhere at once.

The strategies I laid out for the specific enemies are probably not the only
ways to beat them, but they work for me, and are one good way of playing
through the game.  If you've got new tips, or even better new "Essential
tools" to add to my repertoire, let me know, I'll be glad to expand this
guide and credit you with the info. :)