The Battletoads (from left to right: Zitz, Rash and Pimple) as seen on the cover of Battletoads in Ragnarok's World
|First game||Battletoads (1991)|
|Created by||Tim Stamper and Guy Miller|
|Designed by||Kevin Bayliss|
|Voiced by||Zitz: Ian James Corlett (cartoon)
Rash: Sean Chiplock (KI)
Kathleen Barr (cartoon)
Pimple: Scott McNeil (cartoon)
The Battletoads, also known as just the Toads, are the titular player characters in the Battletoads video game series, introduced in the original Battletoads in 1991. They are a trio of anthropomorphic, mutant toad warriors fighting against the wicked Dark Queen and her forces. They also appeared in the short lived Battletoads cartoon and a few comic strips published in Nintendo Power and GamePro, and gained a sizable fan following.
According to the games' backstory, the Battletoads originally have been human computer technicians and roommates. The trio tested the original Battletoads game by playing the game as the 'Toads in a sort of virtual reality simulation. They became suspicious of both their boss and chief game programmer Silas Volkmire and decided to investigate the office at night. Upon finding the video game unit turned on, they tested it to see if it had been tampered with. This was a trap and they were transported to another planet, permanently transformed into the Battletoads. When the evil Dark Queen attempted to destroy the 'Toads upon their arrival, they fought their way to freedom with the assistance of Professor T. Bird, who became the 'Toads' friend and mentor. The 'Toads decided never to rest until the Dark Queen was defeated once and for all.
The intended Battletoads cartoon series written by Davis Wise (only a TV pilot episode was ever producer) and its GamePro comic sneak peek by Francis Mao have them as a trio of junior high school teenagers who are video game enthusiasts and self-described "biggest loosers in the universe". Suddenly, Professor T. Bird and Princess Angelica from the Planet Cagellian emerge from the arcade game Video Maniacs. Angelica asks them to become "the most legendary warriors in the universe" and join her, and Professor T. Bird then uses his "toad essence" to transform "the three nerds" into the Battletoads against the arriving Dark Queen and her forces.
Each Battletoad has the ability to fight enemies with punches and kicks, as well as transform their limbs into different objects. They can also use various objects as weapons and pilot machines. The Battletoads make a guest appearance in the Xbox One version of Shovel Knight.
Rash (Dave Shar) is the "class clown" and mascot of the 'Toads. He is an extrovert and a show-off and loves to crack jokes. Rash is the smallest of the 'Toads. He always wears his trademark sunglasses and spiked black kneepads. In early artwork he was presented wearing red armbands, but these armbands were never visible in any of the games, and by Battletoads & Double Dragon the armbands had been eliminated entirely, though they were restored in his Killer Instinct appearance. His profile in the arcade Battletoads reveals his height to be 6' 3". Rash's skin has changed in appearance once at the beginning of the series. He began with a medium shade of green, just like the other two 'Toads, and appears that way on the original box art for the Nintendo Entertainment System (with dark spots in the Sega Genesis version). In every game he appears in, his skin is a bright green.
Rash has appeared in every Battletoads game, though not always as a playable character. He was player one's character in the original Battletoads game but was out of action in Battletoads for the Game Boy due to being kidnapped prior to the game's opening. He returned to action as player two's character in Battletoads in Battlemaniacs and continued on as a playable character in Battletoads & Double Dragon and the arcade Battletoads.
Rash appears as a guest character in Killer Instinct: Season Three voiced by Sean Chiplock. Rash has the ability to use several of his abilities from the Battletoads games, including his run, smash hits, and a speeder bike. The character was available to all Rare Replay owners for a limited test period prior to the official public launch on March 29, 2016.
Zitz (Morgan Ziegler) is the leader of the 'Toads. He is a tactical genius and an economical fighter, preferring fighting methods that allow him to conserve his strength. Zitz has a larger build and is slightly taller than Rash. He is always seen wearing black gauntlets (the arcade Battletoads revealed his gauntlets to contain video communication hardware), spiked black kneepads and a black belt with the 'Toads' insignia on the buckle. According to his profile in the arcade Battletoads, he stands at a height of 6' 8". Zitz's skin has changed in appearance several times over the course of the series. He began with a medium shade of green, just like the other two 'Toads, and appears that way on the original box art. In the first game itself his skin was actually tan to tell him apart from Player 1 (Rash). His skin was later changed to a lighter green with hints of yellow (he appeared to be an olive-green in Battletoads in Battlemaniacs), before he was finally presented with a cool bluish-green color for his skin in Battletoads & Double Dragon and in the arcade Battletoads.
Zitz has appeared in every Battletoads game, though not always as a playable character. He was player two's character in the original Battletoads game and took on the Dark Queen's army solo in Battletoads for the Game Boy. Due to a surprise ambush he was knocked unconscious and taken prisoner just prior to the beginning of Battletoads in Battlemaniacs and thus was not playable in that game. He returned to action in Battletoads & Double Dragon and the arcade Battletoads and is immediately selectable in both games.
Pimple (George Pie) is the muscle of the 'Toads and prefers to fight instead of talk. Pimple is the largest 'Toad. He wears spiked black kneepads and spiked black arm braces. Early artwork depicted him wearing a spiked black belt, but he was never seen wearing this belt in any of the games and later artwork eliminated the belt. According to his profile in the arcade Battletoads, he stands at a height of 7'4". Pimple's skin has changed in appearance a few times over the course of the series. He began with a medium shade of green, just like the other two 'Toads, and appears that way on the original box art. In the first game itself his skin was a darker shade of green, matching Rash but not Zitz. His skin was later changed to a light tan before finally being presented with a brown color for his skin, which is now considered his official skin color. He appears with his current color in Battletoads & Double Dragon and the arcade Battletoads arcade game.
Pimple has appeared in every Battletoads game, but not always as a playable character. He was out of action in both the original Battletoads game and Battletoads for the Game Boy, having been kidnapped prior to the start of both games. His first appearance as a playable character was in Battletoads in Battlemaniacs in which he was player one's character. He continued to be a playable character in Battletoads & Double Dragon and the arcade Battletoads and is immediately selectable in both games.
The Battletoads have been well received, achieving an iconic status during the early 1990s. According to Computer and Video Games article "Toads V Turtles" in 1991, "There's no doubt about it - the Toads have moved into Turtle territory a big way, and seem certain to give our pizza munching heroes a serious run for their money." That same year, Raze declared: "In the US, the Battletoads are to Nintendo what Christian Slater is to film. These green-backs are the coolest, raddest, most laidback creatures to ever appear on the streets. Put simply, these guys make the Turtles look like pond scum." Pimple was included in GamesRadar's 2015 list of "the '90s raddest gaming mascots" as one of the era's "brightest stars".
Retrospectively, the Battletoads were dubbed the "least terrible Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles rip-off" by Topless Robot in 2008. In 2011, Complex included their boot-to-the-face finishing move the fourth craziest video game Fatality, adding that "inventing the curb stomp LONG before Edward Norton in American History X, the Battletoads [...] may have been knock-offs of the Ninja Turtles, but they definitely kicked more ass." That same year, Complex ranked them at fifth place on the list of "really ugly good guys", adding that "even their names are ugly." In 2012, the Battletoads placed at 81st spot on GamesRadar's list of top 100 "most memorable, influential, and badass protagonists in games". According to Game Revolution, "they'll be remembered as much for their loving-yet-irrational fanboys."
In 2008, Joystiq stated they would not mind seeing one of the Battletoads in a Super Smash Bros. game, while GamesRadar featured them among the "game characters that time forgot" yet "deserved more." Pocket Gamer included the Battletoads among the top ten forgotten handheld video game characters in 2011, adding that "these guys could have been legendary superstars featuring in mediocre CG movies today. Instead, they are consigned to limbo." In 2012, 411mania.com similarly listed them among the video game characters "that need comebacks". EventHubs readers voted Rash a character they would most like to see as a guest fighter in the new Killer Instinct game in 2013.
- Retro Gamer issue 84 page 33.
- Retro Gamer issue 125 page 89.
- "Sean Chiplock - Timeline Photos". Facebook. Retrieved 2015-10-28.
- Duncan, Daniel (2014-02-03). "EXCLUSIVE: Imagining Killer Instinct With Guest Characters". Killerinstinctcentral.com. Retrieved 2014-05-04.
- GamePro issue 47 (June 1993) pages 48-49.
- "Xbox One Releases Tomorrow!". Yachtclubgames.com. 2015-04-28. Retrieved 2015-05-07.
- "Battletoads cover art". MobyGames. Retrieved 2013-07-24.
- "Killer Instinct - Everything You Need to Know About Rash". Retrieved August 4, 2015.
- "Killer Instinct season 3 coming in 2016, Battletoads' Rash joins the game today". Polygon. Retrieved 2015-10-28.
- "100 best heroes in video games". GamesRadar. Retrieved 2016-09-09.
- "Feature: Happy New Year (January 1993) :: TurboPlay Magazine Archives". Archives.tg-16.com. Retrieved 2013-07-24.
- Computer and Video Games issue 120 (November 1991).
- "Raze Magazine Issue 12". Archive.org. Retrieved 2014-05-04.
- "Your A to Z guide to the '90s raddest gaming mascots". Gamesradar.com\accessdate=2015-05-07.
- "The 9 Least Terrible Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Rip-Offs". Topless Robot. 2008-10-24. Retrieved 2013-07-24.
- "Bring the Gore, 50 Craziest Video Game Fatalities". Complex. Retrieved 2014-05-04.
- "Rash, Zitz and Pimple - Battletoads — 10 Really Ugly Good Guys". Complex. Retrieved 2013-07-24.
- "Retro Revolution: Valentine's Day". Gamerevolution.com. Retrieved 2013-07-24.
- Sliwinski, Alexander (2008-05-17). "Remember that character? Smash Bros. Rejects". Joystiq. Retrieved 2013-07-24.
- Cundy, Matt (2012-06-23). "Game characters that time forgot". GamesRadar. Retrieved 2013-07-24.
- "Top 10 forgotten portable video game characters | Other". Pocket Gamer. 2011-07-05. Retrieved 2013-07-24.
- "Games - 411 Games Top 5 03.22.12: Top 5 Characters That Need Comebacks". 411mania.com. 2012-03-22. Retrieved 2013-07-24.
- "EventHubs readers would most like to see Rash from Battletoads guest star in the new Killer Instinct". Eventhubs.com. Retrieved 2014-05-04.