Game title:
Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
Rare, Ltd.
Action, Platform
David Wise
Game manual:
115,729 times
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Battletoads is a platformer video game created by Tim and Chris Stamper and developed by Rare as the first installment of the Battletoads series. It was originally released for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1991 and subsequently ported to numerous other platforms. In the game, two space mutant warriors known as the Battletoads, Rash and Zitz, embark on a mission to defeat the evil Dark Queen on her planet and to rescue their kidnapped friends: fellow Battletoad Pimple and Princess Angelica.

Battletoads is arguably one of the most graphically advanced video games ever released for the NES, at a time when the video game market was moving on to 16-bit consoles. The game became famous for its extreme difficulty and humorous ways of beating enemies, as during finishing attacks, the main characters' body parts transform into oversized appendages for devastating and comical attacks.

Professor T. Bird and the three Battletoads, Rash, Zitz, and Pimple, are escorting Princess Angelica to her home planet using their spacecraft, the Vulture. Pimple and Angelica decide to take a leisurely trip on Pimple's flying car. They are ambushed and captured by the Dark Queen's ship, the Gargantua. Pimple sends out a distress signal to the Vulture, alerting Professor T. Bird, Rash, and Zitz that himself and Angelica had been captured. Learning that the Gargantua is hidden beneath the surface of a nearby planet called Ragnarok's World, Professor T. Bird flies Rash and Zitz there in the Vulture to rescue them.

Between levels, the toads receive briefing comments from professor T. Bird, along with teasing from the Dark Queen. During the game's 13 levels, the Battletoads are faced with Dark Queen's minions Big Blag, Robo Manus and Major Slaughter as bosses, ultimately facing the Dark Queen herself at the top of the Dark Tower, the game's final level. Once the Queen is defeated, she claims it will not be the last they woud see from her, later turning into some sort of tornado and flying into space, 'retreating into to the shadowy margins of the galaxy to recoup her losses'. With Pimple and Princess Angelica rescued, the four are brought back into the Vulture and the game ends.

Players start with three lives each time the game is started, and get replenished every time the player continues after reaching game over. While, the levels of Battletoads vary greatly in gameplay style, the game is generally presented as 'beat-em-up' in which the players progress by defeating enemies while avoiding the hazards in the environment. The players can finish off enemies in special ways, such as punching or kicking with an enlarged fist or boot, head-butting with huge ram horns, or by transforming into a wrecking ball.

Side-scrolling stages are generally presented as having an isometric perspective, while platforming stages that feature vertical progression are presented with no depth, which allows the player characters to crouch. Several levels in the game feature sections in the form of an obstacle course, where the character rides a vehicle and must dodge a series of obstacles with speed increasing as the level progresses. Other types of level include two 'tower climb' levels, a descent to a chasm while hanging from a rope, an underwater level populated by lethal spikes and dangerous creatures, a maze chase riding a unicycle-like vehicle trying to escape from a deadly orb, a climbing/jumping 'snake maze', and a race level in which the player has to fall as quickly as possible through countless platforms to reach the bottom of a tower before an opposing rat does. Hidden in four of the levels are 'mega warp' points, which, when found, allow the player to automatically advance by two levels.

How to play:

Click on the joystick icon in the Battletoads online emulator to see how to control the Battletoads game

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