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A sting is just the thing!


Mechanical purple scorpions, built by the intergalactic bounty hunter Shogun, that appeared in Konami's (published under the Ultra label) 1990 Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game cartridge (which is an enhanced port of Konami's 1989 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles coin-op arcade machine). Venoms are one of several new enemies that can be encountered by players in the two extra levels that were added to the NES version of the popular title. Specifically, these robotic arthropods are found in Scene Six: "Let's Defeat The Enemy's Ninja Magic!!", which, confusingly enough, is actually level nine.

While their pincers may look fearsome, Venoms never employ them in battle. Instead, the machine relies entirely on its ball-jointed tail for all of its offensive needs, either impaling opponents with it or firing off searing beams from the laser blaster concealed inside the pointed tip. A Venom's steel alloy exoskeleton can withstand a moderate amount of punishment; the Turtles must successfully land a total of six blows in order to destroy one. These units also have impressive reflexes; a Venom can instantly leap several feet backwards to dodge incoming attacks, much to the frustration of their terrapin adversaries.

Newsprint, tissue paper, white glue, super glue, acrylic paint, and ink.

4.0 cm / 1.6 in.  x  3.1 cm / 1.2 in. (widest point x highest point)

Two days: December 7 and 9, 2012.
I modeled just about everything but the tail on the seventh and finished the figure up on the ninth.

For comparison purposes, below are several relevant images (more information on mouse-over):

Black and white Venom artwork from the NES instruction manual.

Animated gif I made of the Venom sprite walking and striking with its tail.

Screenshot of Leonardo fleeing from two Venoms; the lower one has just extended its tail in an attempt to impale our hero.

Screenshot of a Venom leaping backwards to avoid Leonardo's sword slash.

Screenshot of Leonardo taking a laser blast to the chest.


  •   TMNT II: The Arcade Game Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) video game and instruction manual.

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    This is a nonprofit web site. Any and all copyrighted imagery, terminology, etc., depicted here belongs to its respective holders/owners, namely Nickelodeon (Viacom) and Konami.

    The repeating background graphic is a sewer scene from the Sega Genesis video game TMNT: The Hyperstone Heist, and the foreground turtle pattern comes from the NES video game TMNT: The Manhattan Project.

    The midi music playing is the theme from the first stage of the TMNT arcade game.