Battletoads is the first game of the Battletoads series. It is developed by Rare and published by Tradewest. It was originally released for Nintendo Entertainment System in 1991, with ports for the Sega Mega Drive, Sega Game Gear, Amiga, Amiga CD32 and Nintendo Game Boy (with the subtitle Battletoads in Ragnarok's World so as to separate it from the earlier-released Game Boy sequel).
Battletoads is considered to be a game that shows the true potential of the NES' graphics, mainly due to the year of its release, when developers were focusing more on 16-bit consoles. Not only is it graphically-advanced, but it is also considered to be one of the hardest games of all time, appearing in possibly every listing of difficult video games. It is currently listed at 8th place in IGN's "Top 10 Most Difficult Games to Beat."
After her defeat by the Galactic Corporation at the battle of Canis Major, the Dark Queen and her renegade space troops retreat to the outer reaches of the universe, hiding out in the dark spaces between the stars.
Meanwhile, on board the spaceship Vulture, Professor T. Bird and the Battletoads - Rash, Zitz and Pimple - are escorting the Princess Angelica back to her home planet, where her father, the Terran Emperor, awaits her safe arrival.
Along the way, Pimple, the biggest Battletoad, takes Angelica out for a cruise in the Toadster to a nearby Leisure station. Pimple and Angelica burn space, but the Dark Queen ambushes them before they can get there. Luckily, Pimple manages to send out a distress signal before the Toadster is gobbled up and carried away to Ragnarok's World, the Dark Queen's planet...
So, there's the situation, 'toad: the Dark Queen's kidnapped the Princess Angelica and your best buddy Pimple - what're ya gonna do about it?! You're gonna get real MAD, that's what you're gonna do - and then you're gonna get EVEN!
Professor Bird's gonna set you down on Ragnarok, but from there it's up to you. You've got a long way to go, 'tod, thru ice and fire and nightmares so terrible you don't even want to imagine 'em - thru a monstrous Gargantua and ultimately to the Tower of Shadows, where the Dark Queen awaits you.
Have you got the guts, 'toad? We'll soon see, one way or another...
The gameplay of Battletoads is considered a mix between side-scrolling games of the beat-em-up genre (similar to that seen in Double Dragon) and arcade-styled vehicle stages. Fighting areas require the 'Toads to punch enemies to weaken them, then finish them off with a Smash Hit, a technique that usually involves comical transformations (such as using giant boots to bash an enemy off the screen). Occasionally, the 'Toads can use their tongues to snag life-replenishing flies and can also find extra lives and level warps.
There are four vehicle stages in the game. All of them require precision reflexes and pattern memorization in order to evade all the incoming obstacles, almost all of which are fatal to collide with. Between this and the speed in which they appear, these stages provide much of the game's intense challenge level.
Once you start the game, you start with three lives, which look like pink hearts. Each life gives you 6 HP for your character. If you lose all your lives, you will be brought to the Game Over screen. You will have to press start to try again. You only get 3 continues, and the fourth "Game Over" is complete Game Over, and you will have to start back at Level 1, Ragnarok's Canyon. There is also no save file or anything that you can save to, so you will not be able to go back to the stage you are on if you turn off the game.
You can also play with another person by pressing start on the second controller. Both players have the same amount of lives and continues. One of the cons of the 2-player mode, though, is that if one dies on a stage with checkpoints, both players will have to start back at the latest checkpoint.
Levels and Bosses
|1||Ragnarok's Canyon||Boss Walker|
|5||Surf City||Big Blag|
|10||Rat Race||General Slaughter|
* The fight with the Dark Queen is considered it's own level.
Tips and Tricks
- Six lives trick: You normally start out with four lives, but by holding down Down+A+B while pressing Start you will be able to get six lives. This method only works on the title screen and on the Game Over screen.
- Rat Race trick: Race the rat and reach the bomb normally. Once you have kicked the bomb, wait for the rat to drop down face-down. Before he falls, headbutt him and use the kick Smash Hit to blast him offscreen. If you do it in time the Victory Music will play and you will progress to the next level. This glitch is only present in the original version of the game.
Throughout the game, you can go to a warp in certain levels, which lets you skip the current level and the one after that.
- Stage 1: When you enter the stage, quickly headbutt the two Psyko Pigs and quickly run to the next part of the stage. Above at the top of the screen is a warp on top of top of the ledge. Jump on it, if you make it in time, you will be teleported to Stage 3, the Turbo Tunnel.
- Stage 3: Reach the near-end of the Turbo Tunnel and try to avoid the swag that come without warning. Near the beginning of the last part, there will be a warp at the bottom of the screen. If you make it, you will skip the Artic Caverns and go to Stage 5, Surf City.
- Stage 4 - Reach one of the parts where you try to avoid the spikes. Jump onto the suspending step and jump again so it goes up and doesn't bring you into the spikes. If you jump the right way, you will see a warp right above you. Touch the warp and you will reach Stage 6, Karnath's Lair.
- Stage 6 - Go through the first section with just the snakes, and go to the second part of Karnath's Lair. Wait for the next snake to come out, climb on it, fall diagonally across the spikes, and dash to the warp. This one takes you to Stage 8, Intruder Excluder.
Several ports of Battletoads were released later on after the success of the NES game.
- The Sega Mega Drive/Genesis version was released in 1993. The added processing power of the 16-bit console enabled slightly better graphics and sound and the difficulty was slightly toned down, but is still considered challenging.
- Battletoads in Ragnarok's World was released for the Game Boy in 1993. It contained fewer stages, but maintained the challenge of the NES original. The subtitle was given to separate the port from the previous Battletoads game for Game Boy, which was a completely different game altogether.
- The Game Gear version was released in 1993. Like the Game Boy version, several stages were removed from the original.
- A port was released on the Amiga and Amiga CD32 in 1994. Though graphically better, it suffered several sacrifices, mainly in the removal of nearly all the in-game music. This version features two exclusive stages, Pot Holing and Backpackin', which replace Turbo Tunnel and Surf City respectively. Because of this, this is the only version of the game where Big Blag is never fought.
- The last port was released on the Xbox One in 2015, as part of the Rare Replay collection.