Battletoads

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This article is about the franchise. For other uses, see Battletoads (disambiguation).
Battletoads
Battletoads logo.png
Genres Beat 'em up, platform game
Developers Rare
Creators Tim and Chris Stamper
Platform of origin NES
First release Battletoads
1991
Latest release Super Battletoads
1994

Battletoads is a video game media franchise by Rare that began with the original beat 'em up game Battletoads in 1991. Starring three anthropomorphic toads named after skin conditions, Rash, Zitz, and Pimple, the series was created to rival the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles games.[1] The series as a whole has been quite popular and at its apex spawned an animated television pilot.

The initial Battletoads game for the NES was renowned for its difficulty, but also received a cult following and spawned sequels for various platforms including a crossover with the Double Dragon series. In each of the games, the objective is to defeat the toads' nemesis the Dark Queen and her army of space mutants.

Video games[edit]

Battletoads arcade cabinet
  • Battletoads: The Battletoads have to defeat the evil Dark Queen on her planet and to rescue their kidnapped partners, Pimple and Princess Angelica. Originally released for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1991 and subsequently ported by Mindscape to the Amiga in 1992, 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, and by Mindscape to the Amiga CD32 in 1994. Despite having the same box art and title as the original NES release, Battletoads for the Game Boy was in fact an almost completely different game from the NES version. Battletoads in Ragnarok's World, a more accurate adaptation of the original NES game, was released in 1994 for the Game Boy.
  • Battletoads in Battlemaniacs: Released in 1993 for the SNES and in 1994 for the Sega Master System. 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: A crossover 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 game): 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.

A canceled sequel/remake game was being developed for the Game Boy Advance.[2][3] In 2013, Phil Spencer from Microsoft's Xbox team mentioned his fondness of Battletoads while asking the fans what games RARE should work on for the Xbox One.[4] On November 10, 2014, "Battletoads" was re-trademarked in the United States.[5]

Cartoon[edit]

Battletoads
Battletoads cartoon title screen.jpg
Title card
Genre Comedy
Created by Tim and Chris Stamper (original characters)
Written by David Wise
Directed by Kent Butterworth
Voices of Kathleen Barr
Ian James Corlett
Michael Donovan
Andrew Kavadas
Lalainia Lindbjerg
Scott McNeil
Jason Michas
Alvin Sanders
Theme music composer Kip Lennon
Ron Hicklin
Susan Boyd
Jon Joyce
Jim Haas
Opening theme "Battletoads"
Composer(s) Murray McFadden
Michael Watts
Country of origin Canada
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes 1
Production
Executive producer(s) Andy Heyward
Robby London
Producer(s) Kent Butterworth
Editor(s) Mark A. McNally
Cindy Horness
Running time 22 minutes
Production company(s) DIC Entertainment
Tradewest, Inc.
Rare Ltd.
Broadcast
Original channel Syndicated
Original airing November 1992

Battletoads spun off a Canadian half-hour animated television special produced by DIC Entertainment, that aired in syndication in the United States on the weekend of Thanksgiving 1992 in an attempt to capitalize on the popularity of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (DiC would try this again later on by producing Street Sharks and then later Extreme Dinosaurs). However, only the pilot episode made it to the airwaves; it was never picked up as a full animated series, despite comic-style ads in GamePro magazine claiming otherwise. A VHS tape with the pilot was released in the United States on January 15, 1994.

The story served as a prequel to the video game franchise. Set in Oxnard, California, it stars three junior high schoolers. The trio is given the ability to transform into anthropomorphic toads with superhuman strength and the ability to change their arms and legs into weapons in techniques called "Smash Hits". They are charged with protecting Professor T. Bird and Princess Angelica from the Dark Queen, who wants to steal Angelica's magical amulet for her plans of universal conquest.

The cartoon was adapted and written by David Wise (Wise has no relation to the Battletoads video games composer of the same name, but was the main writer of the 1987 TMNT TV cartoon series). A comic with the backstory of Battletoads, written by Rare employee Guy Miller, was also published in Nintendo Power.

Characters[edit]

Reception[edit]

In 2010, Game Informer included Battletoads among ten gaming franchises that deserve a revival, and precisely, "a true HD sequel".[6] In 2012, Forbes listed it as one of five video game franchises "that need to come back from the dead", adding that a modern Battletoads "should retain its side-scroller qualities while adopting the 2.5D style" similar to Mark of the Ninja.[7] The series' return was also demanded by other outlets,[8][9] including Complex, Maxim and GameRevolution.[10][11][12]

On the other hand, the animated version of Battletoads was very badly received. It was included on the lists of five "worst one-shot TV cartoons ever made" by Topless Robot in 2008[13] and eight "awful TV shows that were clearly doomed to fail" by WhatCulture in 2013.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Battletoads Retrospective | What happened to Rare's popular hardcore beat-'em-up, IGN, January 13, 2009.
  2. ^ "Battletoads GBA - Proto / Cancelled". Unseen 64. Retrieved 2013-08-25. 
  3. ^ "Battletoads GBA". RareWareCentral. 2011-11-13. Retrieved 2013-08-25. 
  4. ^ "Microsoft asks fans what Rare should do next, points towards Battletoads". Gimmegimmegames.com. 2013-09-12. Retrieved 2013-12-09. 
  5. ^ "New Battletoads Trademark Appears In United States Trademark Database". GamerInformer.com. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  6. ^ "Ten Franchises That Deserve A Revival - Features". www.GameInformer.com. 2010-06-30. Retrieved 2013-08-25. 
  7. ^ "5 Video Game Franchises That Need To Come Back From The Dead". Forbes. 2012-09-23. Retrieved 2013-08-25. 
  8. ^ Melton, Steve (2010-07-24). "XBLA’s Most Wanted: Battletoads". Xblafans.com. Retrieved 2014-06-29. 
  9. ^ "Back from the dead: Five franchises the Xbox 360 could resurrect". Siliconera. 2006-02-16. Retrieved 2014-06-29. 
  10. ^ "Battle Toads — 20 Game Franchises We Want to See Make a Triumphant Comeback". Complex. Retrieved 2013-08-25. 
  11. ^ "5 Classic Video Games That Deserve Awesome Remakes". Maxim. 2013-10-04. Retrieved 2013-12-20. 
  12. ^ "Xbox One: A Rare Opportunity". Gamerevolution.com. Retrieved 2014-06-29. 
  13. ^ Rob Bricken. "The 5 Best (and 5 Worst) One-Shot TV Cartoons Ever Made". Topless Robot. 
  14. ^ "8 Awful TV Shows That Were Clearly Doomed To Fail". Whatculture.com. 2013-11-12. Retrieved 2013-12-20. 

External links[edit]