Together Retro Game Club: Battletoads


Presented by: Ack, Fastbilly1 & Racketboy
New To Together Retro? Check out the introduction to the club

1991 brought gaming many interesting developments. Sid Meyer released his computer version of the Civilization boardgame, Tecmo gave us Tecmo Super Bowl, iD software was formed, and Nintendo was sued for having a
monopoly on the US videogame market. During June of 1991 Rare Ltd released this months Together Retro, Battletoads. Known at the time for its extreme difficulty yet solid gameplay, Battletoads is never far from the top of any list of challenging games. So choose your amphibian, its time to go show the Dark Queen who’s boss.



Undoubtedly inspired by the brilliant Kevin Eastman & Peter Laird creation Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Battletoads was developed by Chris and Tim Stamper (the brothers who founded Ultimate Play the Game [Rare ltd]). It took elements from beatemups and platformers and merged them to make what is highly regarded as both a fantastic game and an exercise in frustration. As one of the last major releases for the NES, Battletoads brought gamers a 16 bit experience in a 8 bit package. The title was first released on the NES, but was quickly ported to the PC, Amiga, Genesis/Megadrive, and even the Amiga CD32. It spawned almost half a dozen sequels then the series stopped. No amount of finger pointing will bring it back either. So what matters here is that we have several unique titles that are both difficult and enthralling.

Recommended Ports

Most of us will be playing the NTSC-U NES version, but it should be known that there are two bugs in it:
1. If playing two players sometimes in stage 11 the second player willbe stuck and cannot continue.
2. You can “charge” your Battletoad so he is immune to shock damage.
These are apparently not present in the Japanese version

And no, friendly fire is not a bug or glitch. The accidental attacks on your teammate are part of the game. Just chalk that up to the difficulty.

The highest recommended port is the Genesis/Megadrive version.

How to Play/Controls

Battletoads is a beatemup on the NES, so as you can imagine the controls are not that complicated.

  • Dpad – move
  • A button – Jump
  • B button – Attack
  • Double tap in a direction to run
  • When running tab B to execute a smash attack (the exaggerated fist or foot)

If you follow your Beatemup instinct you will be good until you reach the infamous Stage 3:Turbo Tunnel – aka the hoverbike stage. That is why I am going to give yall a hand and tell you the pattern to the first checkpoint:
Down, Up, Down, Up, Down, Up, Up, Down, Down, Jump, Up, Down, Jump, Jump, Jump, Down, Up, Down, Up.

The only other hint I will give is that the exclamation point means timed long jumps.
The game does have a few more stages like the Turbo Tunnel but the first is the worst by far.

Emulation Help

Racketboy Emulation Forum

Together Retro Discussion

Instead of posting in the comments section of the blog, we will be using the forum for all of our discussion in order to keep things more organized. So play Battletoads and talk to us about your thoughts and
play experiences in the forums. We want to know your tactics, your strategies, your successes and your failures.
Discuss The Game in the Forum


Kevman says:

YESSSSS! This is my second favorite NES game of all time (with Mario 3 at number one of course)!

Battletoads brings back big time memories for my and is one of my favorite games of all time. I cannot count the number of hours I spent trying to pass those insane levels. I am not quite sure how dying over and over was so fun and frustrating at the same time.

Alex says:

this is a sadistic choice 😛

fastbilly1 says:

This was a choice by the people. If you have any suggestions we have an open call for rest of this years calender in the TR forum

stratos says:

Brilliant game…..the graphics, music, gameplay….a lot of variety too (bikes etc).

I clearly remember back in 91 playing the bike scene on stage 3 and screaming from anxiety because of the difficulty and speed when the stage is ending. I could never finish the game, but it was so fun to play that the frustration factor was never important.

an A+ game and an endless classic

Sparkster says:

LOL! I just bought this for 4 bucks at goodwill! (NES version)

boringsupreez says:

I’ll have to get this game someday.

nick says:

worst part about the NES battletoads is even if you have a game genie, the codes HARDLY help

Axpert989 says:

My cousing bought this came back then. Not even knowing what it was just a blind purchase. He was maybe twelve and I was 16 at the time or so. We played this for hours and hours. Very frustrating game however we kept coming back and back. Like Charlie Brown kicking the football thing. Like a bad girlfriend that keeps dumping you and dumping you yet you come back but dont know why. Eventually the game wouldnt load right NES bug. My cousin read where using alcohol and applying to catridge will clean it but didnt dilute it with water. This wind up ruining the game. Perhaps it was for the best. We are now in our 30’s I rarely see him but when I do this game usually comes up…Lol…PS…Yea we still piss that this game was so hard…yet enjoyable…If they would just made it a bit easier…Hmmmm……

Gerry says:

I’ve been looking for new…..well, ANY really, online retro gaming buddies. People interested in playing Commodore 64, Atari 2600/400,800, 5200, Intellivision, NES/64, MAME, etc, online via Kaillera Client. Unfortunately, with the exception of 1 person awhile back, I’ve had no luck. :o(
With the whole internet/online thing, I though for sure I would find scores of people, (or at least a few) interested in 2 players games, for online retro gaming. I like Strategy/War, Racing, Fighting, Shoot’em up, Platform, etc, games. Anybody interested can contact me. Looking forward to some retro gaming fun! :o)

Gerry says:

I am looking for fellow retro gamers interested in playing online via Kaillera client. My gaming interests include MAME, Atari 8-bit (2600, 5200, 400/800) Intellivision, MSX, NES, SNES, Sega Genesis, etc.
I like many game genres but for online I prefer shoot/beat’em up, 2 player co-op/team play type games. Any & all interested in doing some online retro gaming, feel free to contact me.


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