Battletoads

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EXTREEEEEEEEEEME!

"Hello, Gamestop? Do you have a copy of Battletoads?"

A side-scroller that hitched a ride on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles craze of the late 80s and early 90s, this was Rare's first major franchise. To many people, the pinnacle of Nintendo Hard games, Battletoads is the story of Zitz, Pimple, and Rash, three poorly-named heroes who fight the Dark Queen with the assistance of their Mentor, Professor T. Bird. When Pimple gets kidnapped along with Princess Angelica, Zitz and Rash go forth to rescue their comrade.

Nintendo Power ran a comic based on the game that was divergent in several areas, which was later used as backstory for later incarnations of the franchise. There was also a failed pilot for a Battletoads Animated Adaptation which used a notably different backstory.

While the game did have several sequels (including a Intercontinuity Crossover with Double Dragon and an arcade game that played as a straight Beat'Em Up), most of these were not nearly as popular, and for the most part only the original is remembered at all. Despite the rapid downturn of popularity -- not necessarily quality -- for later games, quite a few people still want to see the franchise revived.

NOTE: There is a "trailer" on Youtube for a supposed Wii sequel, but don't get your hopes up; it's a hoax, and a rather bad one at that.


Tropes used in Battletoads include:
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer
  • Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: The toads wear some shin guards and bracelets and nothing else. Subverts the classical trope to make them more Stripperiffic and dripping with testosterone.
  • Acrofatic: Big Blag is impossibly fast and agile for someone so morbidly obese.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Robo-Manus inexplicably becomes 76 feet tall and puts on six and a half tons for his appearance in the arcade game, as opposed to his considerably smaller appearances in the previous games.
  • Badass: So badass.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: The arcade game, which includes decapitations, vomiting and blood spills with every hit. You can even drill through downed rats.
  • Bloody Hilarious: The bloody and gory arcade game.
  • Bottomless Pits: Particularly on the racing levels.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: in the original NES game, the Space Invader-esque creatures, if left alone, will literally steal pieces of your health bar and leave.
  • Cap: Part of the difficulty lies in the limit of nine extra lives in some versions (not applicable to the NES and SNES versions, particularly as the second level is a perfect place to rack up more).
  • Chain-Reaction Destruction: First boss in Battlemaniacs.
  • Classic Video Game "Screw You"s: The whole NES game is a CRUEL and UNUSUAL punishment.
  • Color-Coded Multiplayer: The SNES and Arcade use these distinct colors to differentiate (other 2-player versions just use green and brown):
  • Crosshair Aware
  • Cut Song: You know how the Dark Queen uses the regular boss music for her battle? Well, there was apparently going to be a song specifically for the final battle, "The Armageddon", but it was cut.
  • Cyber Cyclops: Robo-Manus, in his earliest appearances.
  • Did Not Do the Research: Out of all of Double Dragon's cast, only the Lee Brothers, Abobo and Linda resemble their source material, but Abobo shaved off his Badass Mustache for this outing.
  • Difficulty by Acceleration: In the race levels.
  • Difficulty by Region: The Famicom version is easier compared to its NES counterpart. The Genesis version, which was ported by a Japanese team, used the Famicom version as its base.
  • Difficulty Spike: As soon as you jump on the riders in level 3. Most people won't get past this thing (you must time your jumps exactly as the speed increases, to the point you've got fractions of a second to time it right.) And when you finally press on and beat it, you get another difficulty spike. And another. And another.
  • Down the Drain
  • Ermine Cape: The Dark Queen likes to wear it for when you fight her.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: Princess Angelica is a princess for the sole reason of having a princess to save, apparently.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Given the difficulty, not terribly surprising. This also includes the second player thanks to uncontrollable moves and friendly fire. Later games had the option of turning friendly fire off; this doesn't help the SNES version, where player deaths during the racing, snake, and clinger winger levels force both restarting from the last check point.
    • Friendly fire isn't even close to the worst thing about two-player. Moving the screen too far up, or not jumping down at exactly the same time when there's a chasm you have to fall into with OHKO spikes on both sides and an icicle that makes you bounce upwards if it hits you, causing you to pull up the screen and kill your partner? Two-player mode is just unbearable.
  • Excuse Plot: Save the Princess and its variations amount to what resembles plot in these games. Not that what plot there is particularly matters much.
  • Final Boss: The Dark Queen and, in two games, Robo-Manus.
  • Finishing Move: Rather vivid ones for the time period, which contributed to the game's popularity.
  • Friendly Fire Index: All games in this series, except for the single-player only ones, are Category B.
    • Partly averted in the Arcade version. Although you can't attack each other, you can still use the giant club to squash a teammate, intentionally or by accident.
  • Game Breaking Bug: The game is impossible in two-player mode because a bug prevents the second player from even moving when you reach the second-to-last level. This was fixed for the PAL version.
  • Gameplay Roulette
  • Groin Attack: General Vermin is an unfortunate victim of this.
  • Guest Fighter: Although Battletoads & Double Dragon is a cross over, the game engine is pure Battletoads game mechanics.
  • Hard Levels Easy Bosses: Beating the bosses is generally much easier than getting to them. (Not having to go back to a checkpoint each time a boss kills you helps.)
  • Hell-Bent for Leather
  • High Collar of Doom: The Dark Queen.
  • Hitbox Dissonance: Player collision area is significantly smaller than player sprites.
  • Impossibly Low Neckline: Dark Queen.
  • Infinite 1-Ups: It's pretty bad when the second stage has one and people still get stuck on the third level.
  • Interface Screw: The first boss battle.
  • Invincible Minor Minion: A few, most notably the duckies.
  • It Got Worse: Just when you thought things couldn't possibly get any harder, the next level will prove you wrong. The few hardass gamers who've passed the speeder bike challenge can vouch that it is most certainly not the hardest part of the game.
  • It's All Upstairs From Here: The final level is climbing the Dark Queen's tower.
  • James Bondage: Unless you're playing the arcade game or one of the versions of the Double Dragon crossover, odds are one of the Battletoads has gotten himself captured.
  • Kaizo Trap: The Dark Queen does one final spin attack after you defeat her. If you happened to be standing in the center of the arena at the time, pray you weren't on one health and your last life...
  • Lampshade Hanging: The arcade game's ending goes out of its way to point out the Toads' suspiciously convenient teleportation devices that they just so happened to have on them.
  • Leap of Faith: Ad nauseam, especially in the Turbo Tunnel and Karnath's Lair.
  • Leather Man: Some of those outfits almost have to be more than just a little Hell-Bent for Leather Badass. In particular, The Dragons General Slaughter, General Vermin and Big Blag seem to get by with some increasingly heavily gaydar-tripping outfits, especially in the arcade game.
    • If you're not a furry, this isn't nearly as noticeable; most people are used to seeing anthropomorphic animals completely naked, after all.
  • Let's Play: One done by Diabetus who would later become known for working on Retsupurae with Slowbeef.
  • A Load of Bull: General Slaughter.
  • Marathon Level: In some levels, you're really starting to wonder when the level is going to end.
  • Mascot with Attitude: The titular 'toads.
  • Megaton Punch: Kiss My Fist, one of the Smash Hits.
  • The Millstone: If you're playing with a second player, chances are the two of you will be this to each other.
  • Minecart Madness
  • Misbegotten Multiplayer Mode: As pointed out by the AVGN.
  • Mr. Fanservice: The 'Toads and General Slaughter.
  • Ms. Fanservice: The Dark Queen.
  • Nerds Are Sexy: "I know that you are wise, handsome, noble members of your planet's race."
  • Nintendo Hard: The first game is widely considered one of the hardest ever made (just the single player, as two player is broken). It routinely shows up in Top Ten Lists of the hardest games ever made. The sequels are only a tad easier.
  • No Kill Like Overkill: You finish off Karnath by decapitating him and kicking his head like a giant soccer ball. Over-the-top Brutal but he kinda deserves it.
  • Oh Crap: When the toads have this reaction, it's boss fight time!
  • 108: There are 108 obstacles to dodge in the first hoverbike section. Appropriately.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Robo-Manus, most notably in the Gameboy game and Arcade game, is capable of fighting, even after losing a limb or two. In fact, in the Gameboy game, he can fight even after being decapitated.
  • Recycled Premise: Battlemaniacs for the SNES is similar to the NES original in terms of overall aesthetic, just with more polish.
    • In terms of gameplay, it's nearly identical to the arcade game.
  • Save the Princess: Not that they really explain what she's the princess of, mind you.
  • Sensible Heroes, Skimpy Villains: The Toads fall under Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal, so their clothes standard is lax, but even just comparing humans the Dark Queen's outfit is notably skimpier than Angelica's.
  • Serial Escalation: Once you reach the third level, Turbo Tunnel, you might think there's no way the game can get any harder. But then you get to Karnath's Lair, also known as the Snake Pit. And then Volkmire's Inferno. And Terra Tubes. Then the Rat Race. And if you somehow manage to get past those too, there's still Clinger Winger.
    • Considering most of the game is one ginormous obstacle course, it is theoretically possible to finish the game reliably if you memorize all the necessary movements by rote. It mainly gets less predictable during boss fights, like against Big Blag.
    • You want real escalation? Finishing the game is hard enough by yourself. Playing it with TWO players is even worse! You can hurt each other, and when one of you runs out of lives, you BOTH continue at the START of the stage! Which makes stages like Turbo Tunnel even harder! Not to mention at one point of the game, a Game Breaking Bug makes the 2nd player unable to move and dies instantly as the stage starts (fixed in the PAL version)! This game is Nintendo Hard Up to Eleven!
  • Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: Only for the SNES version (Battlemaniacs) -- should anyone dare to hit a skeleton, it will vindictively chase after the offender and will beat it to death. It is entirely possible to leap out of the way of a skeleton's attack so it hits another, then stand back and watch the two fight to the finish. They will IGNORE the players until they've extracted their vengeance.
  • Shapeshifter Weapon: The toads morph their arms and legs into various weapons to attack.
  • Shout-Out: The NES game features Space Invaders aliens as enemies. The little bastards harm you by flying up to the HUD and literally stealing pieces of your life meter.
    • When sufficiently damaged, Robo Manus in the arcade version starts singing Daisy Bell in text form, much like HAL.
  • Spike Balls of Doom: Rather irregular ones, but they're there.
  • Spikes of Doom: Most notable in level 6, where almost the entire level was coated with them.
  • Springs Springs Everywhere: Especially during the final level.
  • Stripperiffic: The Dark Queen, oh so very much.
    • While we're at it, how about nearly every male character, sometimes to the point of Fan Yay (particularly with Big Blag).
  • Swiss Army Weapon: Robo-Manus, who is generally armed to the teeth with a variety of ranged weapons, including eye lasers, forearm-mounted blaster cannons, missile launchers, flamethrowers, and bombs, most of which are integrated into his cyborg body.
  • Testosterone Poisoning: The entire series, start to finish.
  • That One Boss: Since Karnath of the Arcade version can kill you in one-hit, you'd better hope that you're quick enough to dodge his nasty bite or else you'll be out several dollars worth of quarters.
  • Timed Mission: The Rat Race level; you have to beat an Invincible Minor Minion to the bottom of the stage (three times!), or you lose. A well-timed smack will delay him, however (and will make the runs much easier, if you can pull it off). It's possible to beat the rat to all the bombs without striking it once, but the rat is so fast, you need to perfect the third run, because it falls faster and moves faster than you do.
    • Technically speaking, you can kill him. Just let him get into the room with the bomb (but make sure you get there first) and kick the bomb out. He will flip over, and if you manage to ram him twice before he leaves the screen, you will end up kicking him out just like the other rats, the "level beaten" ditty plays, and you fall through the floor (but beat the level nonetheless).
    • Snake Pit, Intruder Excluder, and Terra Tubes stand out in the Genesis version (which relaxes the challenge a lot overall).
  • Theme Naming: The main characters are named for skin disorders.
    • This is a reference to the old wives' tale that touching frogs and toads gave you skin problems. (It doesn't.)
  • Trial and Error Gameplay: Most of the obstacles are based on a pattern, and learning them is key to get through the game.
  • Ultra Super Death Gore Fest Chainsawer 3000: The arcade game, when you think about it. The finishers are gorier, the end level score result is called "Korpse Kount" (probably a nod to Mortal Kombat), and there is a little more adult and dirty humor. The only reason this game probably passed the Moral Guardians' radars was because games like Doom and Mortal Kombat were taking all the heat during the 90s.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: The vehicle levels, which is part of why they're most frequently cited as That One Level.
  • Unwinnable: The game is literally unwinnable from the start if you select the co-op function in the NTSC version of the game. Once you reach level 11, (as mentioned in the Game Breaking Bug section), player two's clinger-winger doesn't even move, which means the boss of the level always runs you over. Rinse and repeat until you run out of lives (of course, you can just continue on your own after player 2 is gone).
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Although every Battletoads game has this, the Arcade version is the most noteworthy example.
  • Welcome to Corneria: Inverted. The intra-level NPC text is different from game-to-game.
  • A Winner Is You: The ending is somewhat of a letdown, but that's to be expected. After the punishment that this game dishes out, even the most awesome ending in the world would still feel like a letdown (not to say they didn't totally phone it in anyway, though).
  • You Don't Look Like You: Robo-Manus, whose appearance and size (and abilities) tends to change rather drastically in each game with only a few key features remaining intact.