Remember Battletoads for the Nintendo NES? Remember the awesome intro, the awesome Dark Queen villain, the awesome pause music? History shows that some have considered Battletoads an overhyped rip-off of Ninja Turtles, but I disagree. Each level was as unique as it was hard, and boy was the game hard.
In fact, many considered Battletoads to be damn near impossible. Many make it to level 3, the hover bike stage, and simply give up out of frustration. It is by all means not the hardest level, but perhaps the most frustrating.
Luckily, there were mutiple ways to cheat. One was to find warps that would let you jump levels. The warp in level 1 was after headbutting the two enemies at the beginning of the game, then running forward and up. To learn how to headbutt, you just have to tap forward twice to run, then press the attack button.
The other ways to cheat? Why Game Genie of course! A cheat device made for the Nintendo (and integrated into emulators), the device allows the Battletoads, for example, to have infinite lives (code GXXZZLVI). All Game Genie did was alter assembly code.
There was a Battletoads remake for the Sega Genesis that was mostly the same game with improved graphics. The characters, Rash Pimple and Zitz, were all memorable in their own way. Two of them you could play side-by-side with a friend.
Did you know that there was an animated pilot for a Battletoads series? In 1992, DIC Entertainment produced a half-hour pilot that was never picked up by a network. The pilot follows the Battletoads as they try to stop the Dark Queen from stealing Santa Claus’s presents and taking over the world. The animation was impressive for its time and had a similar look to the popular Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon.
In addition to being a hit on the NES and Sega Genesis, Battletoads also spawned an arcade game. Developed by Rare and released in 1994, the arcade game was similar in gameplay to its console counterparts but featured updated graphics and sound. Players could choose to play as either Rash or Zitz and battle through several levels filled with enemies and bosses. Despite its popularity, the arcade game was notoriously difficult, even more so than the NES version.
Battletoads was and still is considered a great game because of its unique gameplay and level design. While it may have been difficult, the challenge only added to the satisfaction of finally beating a level. The cheats and game genie codes were a fun addition, but the true joy came from mastering the game without them. Battletoads served as a memorable addition to the NES library and continues to hold a special place in the hearts of gamers who grew up with it.
Do you have Battletoads? Did you own it as a kid? Leave a comment.