|Genres||Beat'em up, platform game|
|Creators||Tim and Chris Stamper|
|Platform of origin||NES|
|Latest release||Super Battletoads
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. 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 was well received 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. Most titles in the series do not feature all three toads as playable characters, with one or two members of the team being captured by the Dark Queen. The exceptions to this were Battletoads & Double Dragon and the Battletoads arcade game.
- 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 (retitled as Battletoads in Ragnarok's World), and by Mindscape to the Amiga CD32 in 1994. Battletoads in Ragnarok's World, a more accurate adaptation of the original NES game, released a year later for the Game Boy. 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 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's 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 it's up to the five heroes (the three toads, Zitz, Rash and Pimple, and the two Lee brothers, Billy and Jimmy) to 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) aka Super Battletoads: An arcade game released in 1994. 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 while Rare was still owned by Nintendo. 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.
|Created by||DIC Entertainment
|Developed by||Phil Harnage
|Written by||David Wise
|Directed by||Kent Butterworth|
|Voices of||Kathleen Barr
Ian James Corlett
|Theme music composer||Kip Lennon
|Country of origin||Canada|
|No. of episodes||1|
|Executive producer(s)||Andy Heyward
|First shown in||1992|
|Original run||1992 – 1993|
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 (despite the fact that the comic's story revolved around three video game testers). 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 developed and written by Phil Harnage and David Wise (Wise has no relation to the Battletoads video games composer of the same name but was the main writer of the 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV cartoon series). A comic with the backstory of Battletoads, written by Rare employee Guy Miller, was also published in Nintendo Power.
In 2010, Game Informer included Battletoads among ten gaming franchises that deserve a revival, and precisely, "a true HD sequel". 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. The series' return was also demanded by others, including Complex and Maxim.
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 and eight "awful TV shows that were clearly doomed to fail" by WhatCulture in 2013.
- Battletoads Retrospective | What happened to Rare's popular hardcore beat-'em-up, IGN, January 13, 2009.
- "Battletoads GBA - Proto / Cancelled". Unseen 64. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
- "Battletoads GBA". RareWareCentral. 2011-11-13. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
- "Microsoft asks fans what Rare should do next, points towards Battletoads". Gimmegimmegames.com. 2013-09-12. Retrieved 2013-12-09.
- "Ten Franchises That Deserve A Revival - Features". www.GameInformer.com. 2010-06-30. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
- "5 Video Game Franchises That Need To Come Back From The Dead". Forbes. 2012-09-23. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
- "Battle Toads — 20 Game Franchises We Want to See Make a Triumphant Comeback". Complex. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
- "5 Classic Video Games That Deserve Awesome Remakes". Maxim. 2013-10-04. Retrieved 2013-12-20.
- Rob Bricken. "The 5 Best (and 5 Worst) One-Shot TV Cartoons Ever Made". Topless Robot.
- "8 Awful TV Shows That Were Clearly Doomed To Fail". Whatculture.com. 2013-11-12. Retrieved 2013-12-20.
- Battletoads series at MobyGames
- Battletoads at TV Tropes
- Battletoads at TV.com
- Battletoads at the Internet Movie Database