Image: Konami

The water stage in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for the Nintendo Entertainment System was always one of the toughest in the game. And now, thanks to an in-depth breakdown from the YouTube channel Displaced Gamers, we finally have a clear explanation as to why.

In a video published earlier this month, he took it upon himself to dissect the now infamous water level, taking a much closer look at everything from object collision to the controller input code. And this has resulted in some fascinating discoveries.

For instance, due to some dodgy hitbox placement and calculation, certain obstacles in the level actually register damage in areas where they don't overlap with sprite work. Displaced Gamers uses the example of a revolving underwater trap to demonstrate this. In this instance, the hitbox will always float slightly above the art, which means taking the higher path through the level ends up being significantly harder than taking the lower one.

Elsewhere in the video, the YouTuber also shared some interesting observations about the controller input code too, revealing that it is actually impossible to swim downwards unless you are in one of the currents within the level. This is due to where the game's controller checks are located.

We recommend watching the full video above for a detailed breakdown. It's some top-notch detective work and will likely give you some validation if you struggled to beat the level back in the day.

Do you remember playing TMNT on NES? Did you struggle to beat the water level? Let us know below!