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North American box art.

Battletoads is a beat 'em up game developed by Rare and published by Tradewest, originally on the NES in June 1991, and then to several other platforms in the following years. It is the first game in the series.


I first played Battletoads at my cousin's house. I think he was borrowing it from a friend. I thought it was really funny how the toads created giant fists and boots when they killed the enemies. It didn't take us too long to get to the Turbo Tunnel (stage 3), where we kept dying over and over again in the racing portion. Every so often we would get to the warp and jump to Karnath's Lair, or finish the stage and do the Arctic Caverns, but I gradually grew to hate the game because of its difficulty.


I own this game on the NES and have my cart signed by David Wise and Kevin Bayliss. I have not beaten it. Excluding warping, I think I've only ever made it to level 4.


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5 5 6 6 4

Best Version: ?

— This section contains spoilers! —


  • The graphic art is wonderful. The backgrounds are large and detailed, and the over-exaggerated comic book character animations are hilarious.
  • David Wise's music is not only really good, but the soundtrack works well as a cohesive score.
  • There is a fair amount of varied game play across the levels.
  • The large enemy sprites for various enemies and bosses look great.
  • There are some very creative levels and bosses. Fighting the first boss, for example, is a really interesting switch where you see the world from the bosses eyes. Also, the giant snakes were quite a feat for the NES.
  • I like how the game sometimes breaks the fourth wall, like with the invaders that rob your health bar.


  • As you get further into the game, enemies do massive amounts of damage even with their basic attacks making your health meter almost pointless.
  • In the Turbo Tunnel, my intuition kept telling me that I needed to hit the jump button on the ground ramps, and I died countless times because of it before finally discovering I just had to line up my character with the ramp.


  • A lot of the levels are dedicated to riding where you're required to memorize much of the level and have extremely fast reflexes. I don't care for that style of game for the same reason I don't like rail shooters. You don't have much control over your character, and it doesn't really fit with the beat-em-up genre.
  • The game is obnoxiously difficult. Far too hard to be enjoyable.
  • By stopping progress whenever either player dies in riding levels, it makes it especially difficult to play the game with 2-players.
  • There are a few game-breaking glitches to the game. The big rat in level 10 sometimes falls through the floor making it impossible to progress further in the game requiring you to restart. In the US port, level 11 doesn't handle the second player's input correctly, so it makes a 2-player warp-free game impossible.


Box Art



Fan Art


Longplay, Amiga.
Longplay, Genesis.
Longplay, NES.


Language Native Transliteration Translation
English Battletoads
Japanese バトルトード Batorutodo Battletoads


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