Battletoads is a series of side-scrolling platforming beat 'em ups developed by Rare and published by several companies. Set in a science fiction setting, Battletoads stars the titular group of three anthropomorphic toads, Rash, Zitz and Pimple, who fights against the forces of the Dark Queen to stop her plans of universal conquest.
The first installment, released in 1991 for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), was created as Rare's response to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise's popularity in the early 1990s. The game was renowned for its difficulty and spawned sequels for various platforms, including a crossover with the Double Dragon series of beat 'em games. The Battletoads series as a whole has received a cult following, with six installments up to this date, and it also spawned a comic book and an animated television pilot.
Three young, All American video game testers are transformed into three young, All Amphibian video game heroes when play testing a brand new video game for the Psicone Corporation. The name of the game is Battletoads, and it has a secret hidden in the heart of it's silicon chip - a mysterious virus which acts, not only upon the game's program, but on the players themselves, transforming them into video game characters and thrusting them through the screen into the pixel-populated dimension beyond. A dimension known as the Gamescape.
The Gamescape is a world where anything can happen - where the timeless battle of good and evil is fought with a unique blend of powerful sorcery and high technology. It is a world that has always existed, but which can only now be visited via the portal of computer data. Programmers hold the key to this portal - a key not of metal but mathematics - giving us access to the virtual reality beyond the screen. This is a world of weirdness and wonder, of gigantic games played against a backdrop of galaxies, a world of mystery and magic, frights and fantasy...
New worlds demand new and original heroes. Adventurers and explorers must chart the territory from which its legends and myths are woven. Such heroes are the Battletoads, a unique mixture of man, amphibian and computer technology.
List of games
- Battletoads: The first game in the series. The Battletoads have to defeat the evil Dark Queen on her planet and rescue their kidnapped partners, Pimple and Princess Angelica. The game was originally released for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1991 by Rare and subsequently ported by Mindscape to the Amiga in 1992 (but not released until 1994), by Arc System Works to the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis and Sega Game Gear both in 1993, by Rare to the Game Boy in 1993 (as Battletoads in Ragnarok's World), and by Mindscape to the Amiga CD32 in 1994.
- Battletoads: An LCD game was released by Tiger Electronics in 1991.
- Battletoads: A spinoff of the original NES game. Despite having the same box art and title as the original NES release, it is in fact an entirely different game from the NES version.
- Battletoads in Battlemaniacs: Released in 1993 for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) and developed in 1994 for the Sega Master System (but not released until 1996). In this game, Zitz and the daughter of Psicone Industries' CEO have been captured and it is up to Rash and Pimple to save them from the Dark Queen's clutches. Different from the previous games, in this one each character has its own specific abilities and combos. The Player 1 character, Pimple, is the powerhouse, big and with huge range with punches (like his aerial anvil-fist finisher), while the Player 2 character, Rash, is nimble and smaller, fighting using kicking attacks (like his aerial battle axe finisher attack). Aside from cooperative play, a solo player is able to play as Rash by switching to the second controller.
- Battletoads & Double Dragon: The Ultimate Team: A crossover game with the characters from the Double Dragon series with liberties taken. The Dark Queen and Shadow Boss team up and five heroes (the three toads, Zitz, Rash and Pimple, and the two Lee brothers, Billy and Jimmy) must stop them. The game allows players full and free choice of playable characters for the first time through a selection screen. Released in 1993 for the NES, Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, SNES and Game Boy.
- Battletoads (Arcade): An arcade game released in 1994, also known as Super Battletoads. The arcade game, unlike the other games, featured voiceovers and several other features that distinguish it from the other games, such as an increased level of violence (players could bloodily decapitate some of their enemies with specific attacks). It follows the Battletoads in Battlemaniacs updated formula of each character having his own design and specific abilities and combos, but this time featuring the three toads, Zitz, Rash and Pimple, as selectable characters. While Rash is kept as the nimble and smaller character and Pimple as the powerhouse, Zitz is represented as the intermediate and balanced character. Also, during vehicle levels, combat is emphasized rather than memorizing and avoiding obstacles.
- Battletoads (2020): An Xbox One and Microsoft Windows exclusive developed by DLaLa Studios and the newest installment. It will feature 3-player multiplayer and high resolution hand-drawn 4K 2.5D graphics. In the story of the game, the Battletoads team with the Dark Queen, their archnemesis, to battle more nefarious force in the form of an alien race called the Topians.
- Canceled Battletoads game: A canceled sequel/remake game was being developed for the Game Boy Advance.