Another great 8-bit NES game. It was released by RareWare, who have since created such classics as Donkey Kong Country, GoldenEye 007, and Banjo-Kazooie. The Battletoads, Zitz, Rash and Pimple were a group of mutant toads who could make their limbs grow to humorously large proportions. Their mentor was Professor Bird Guy, who provided tips and the SS Vulture for transportation.

No matter what, the controller in the player 1 port got to control Rash. Player 2 took control of Zitz. You couldn't actually play as Pimple because, along with Princess Angelica, he had been kidnapped by The Evil Dark Queen. As Rash and/or Zitz your goal was to rescue them.

The game was very ahead of it's time featuring many innovative levels. Hoverbikes, unicycles, surfing, and riding giant snakes provided some of the more difficult challenges. Other levels involved racing a rat to a bomb, climbing a tower, rapelling down a cavern, and riding dragons to fight evil pigs. It's also the first game I know of where you fought a boss from the boss' perspective, a device which has been used many times since.

Though an SNES BattleToads was released, it was essentially the NES one with spiffed up graphics. The game also crossed over with Double Dragon in a game known as, Battletoads/Double Dragon: the Ultimate Team. It was the same Battletoads game, but now you could control Billy and Jimmy Lee. This made minimal gameplay difference. The game was released for the NES, SNES, Genesis, and Gameboy. If you get one Battletoads game it might as well be this one, though it really isn't much of an improvement.
One of the largest drawbacks to the Battletoads series was that the origin of the 'toads changed quite frequently. The original Battletoads game for the NES depicted the 'toads as mighty space heroes that partied their way around the universe.

However, the Nintendo Power comic strip than ran around the time of the game's release explained that the Battletoads were once normal computer-programming humans that were sucked into an interactive video game that had been tampered with by the demented Silas Volkmire and then transformed into large toads.

To make matters more confusing, the Battletoads cartoon pilot that ran on Thanksgiving Day 1992 explained that the 'toads were once normal sloppy teenagers that were sprayed with Toad Essence by Professor T. Bird and transformed into toads. The comic book that ran parallel to the (unproduced) series was consistent with this origin story.

So who are the Battletoads really? We may never know.

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