Yet the translation apparently proved a little too profane when it came to an early scene in which Hart, after barking out orders to his girlfriend/partner Christy, notices that a masked superhero is spying on him.
That screen comes from a review in the June 1991 issue of GamePro, and the dialogue differs slightly from the final version.
Yes, Hart’s line was rewritten to keep him from saying “slimeball.” Did Nintendo really object to an insult that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles could freely spout on TV? Or did the translators think that “slimeball” gave away the game’s later (and entirely predictable) plot twists about alien-manufactured green gel? Perhaps someone felt that Hart already came across as too hard-edged. After all, the game’s first level has his Spy Hunter car tearing down a city highway and destroying harmless blue sedans that, for all the player knows, are filled with innocent and terrified families.
A little research suggests that prototypes of Vice: Project Doom are out there. In fact, this guy found a cartridge at a game store in 2006. Nobody's shared one online yet, so we can't see if any other mild epithets were trimmed from Hart's vocabulary. Maybe he called someone a scuzzbucket.