BattletoadsNES Large

Battletoads NES Box Cover

Battletoads is the first game of the Battletoads series. It is developed by Rare and published by Tradewest. It was originally released for Nintendo Entertainment System in 1991, with ports for the Sega Genesis, Sega Game Gear, Amiga CD32 and Nintendo Game Boy (with the subtitle Battletoads in Ragnarok's World so as to separate it from the earlier-released Game Boy sequel).

Battletoads is considered to be a game that shows the true potential of the NES' graphics, mainly due to the year of its release, when developers were focusing more on 16-bit consoles.

Not only is it graphically-advanced, but it is also considered to be one of the hardest games of all time, appearing in possibly every listing of difficult video games. It is currently listed at 8th place in IGN's "Top 10 Most Difficult Games to Beat."


Fresh from her recent defeat at the Battle of Canis Major, the Dark Queen decides to take out her aggression's on her archenemies, the Battletoads. The Toads and their mentor, Professor T. Bird, are currently escorting Princess Angelica home to her father, the Terran Emperor. During a rest stop, Pimple takes Angelica out for a drive in the Toadster, but the vehicle and its occupants are swallowed up by the Dark Queen's ship, the Gargantua, and taken to her tower on planet Ragnarok.

Rash and Zitz are quickly sent down to Ragnarok's surface to rescue their friends, unaware of the dangers that await them, but willing to chance it all on their rescue mission.


The gameplay of Battletoads is considered a mix between side-scrolling games of the beat-em-up genre (similar to that seen in Double Dragon) and arcade-styled vehicle stages. Fighting areas require the 'Toads to punch enemies to weaken them, then finish them off with a Smash Hit, a technique that usually involves comical transformations (such as using giant boots to bash an enemy off the screen). Occasionally, the 'Toads can use their tongues to snag life-replenishing flies and can also find extra lives and level warps.

There are four vehicle stages in the game. All of them require precision reflexes and pattern memorization in order to evade all the incoming obstacles, almost all of which are fatal to collide with. Between this and the speed in which they appear, these stages provide much of the game's intense challenge level.

Once you start the game, you start with three lives, which look like pink hearts. Each life gives you 6 HP for your character. If you lose all your lives, you will be brought to the Game Over screen. You will have to press start to try again.  You only get 3 continues, and the fourth "Game Over" is complete Game Over, and you will have to start back at Level 1, Ragnarok's Canyon. There is also no save file or anything that you can save to, so you will not be able to go back to the stage you are on if you turn off the game.

You can also play with another person by pressing start on the second controller. Both players have the same amount of lives and continues. One of the cons of the 2-player mode, though, is that if one dies on a stage with checkpoints, both players will have to start back at the latest checkpoint.

Six Lives TrickEdit

You normally start out with four lives, but by holding down Down+A+B while pressing Start you will be able to get six lives. This method only works on the title screen and on the Game Over screen.


Stage 1: Ragnarok's Canyon - The game begins with a short fight across the surface of the planet, battling Psycho-Pigs, Dragons, and Walkers. A massive Mega-Walker (Boss walker) guards the exit.
Stage 2: Wookie Hole - This is a mile-deep hole that leads down into the heart of the planet. The 'Toads must rappel down to the bottom while avoiding birds, Saturn Toad traps, Electro Zaps, and Retro-Blasters.  The Toads must also watch out for a mutant variety of Ravens that can snip their cables with their big beaks and send the Toads falling to their deaths.  Especially skilled players can earn extra lives by bouncing birds off the walls repeatedly. Hit the bird 8 times total to get a 1-up.
Stage 3: Turbo Tunnel - This is the first level where the players ride a vehicle, in this case the Speeder Bikes, and must navigate a dangerous obstacle course at high speed.  It begins sure enough with a short on-foot segment where you have to defeat a few Scuzz characters as well as a barrage of Vaders, but then you must ride the Speed Bikes through the rest of the level, dodging walls, rat rockets, rat pods, and leaping over wide chasms. This is considered the first truly challenging area of the game, and it only gets harder from here.
Stage 4: Arctic Cavern - In this ice level, traction is reduced significantly, making it hard to avoid the attacks of crazed snowmen, flying snowballs, ice cubes, spikebacks, and deadly spikes.
Stage 5: Surf City - This time the 'Toads ride surfboards, dodging logs, whirlpools, and mines as they coast downriver. Halfway through this level, the players encounter another barrage of Vaders, two Tall Walkers, and then Big Blag.
Stage 6: Karnath's Lair - The players must navigate their way out of the stage by riding on giant snakes to reach the top, avoiding spikes as they go.
Stage 7: Volkmire's Inferno - Titled after Silas Volkmire, the stage is aptly named. The 'Toads ride jet-planes this time, flying through electrified force fields and dodging meteorites and missiles, but not before battling more Scuzz guys, another barrage of Vaders, crossing a series of deadly chasms, and dodging more Rat Rockets.
Stage 8: Intruder Excluder - The Toads find themselves in an elevator shaft full of new dangers, such as electrified platforms (Electro-Gaps), sentry drones, bouncing snot balls, slicers ('Suckas') that can suck a toad into their spinning blades and reduce them to ground toad meat, rolling big balls, and toxic Gassers that can leave a 'Toad gasping for air.  Also, the screen only scrolls upwards, so if a toad falls to a lower level, he will lose a life.  At the top is the feared biogen Robo-Manus.
Stage 9: Terra Tubes - The 'Toads run, swim, and fight through a myriad of pipes. Watch out for Krazy-Kogs which can run over a 'Toad if he's not fast enough and flatten a toad into an amphibian frisbee, self-destructing robots (Mechno-Droids) that can either zap a Toad of half his energy or explode, taking a 'Toad with it, hammerfish, sharks, spikes, electric eels, and, worst of all... rubber duckies (Steel Beaks) that will take a toad out in a single hit!
Stage 10: Rat Race - The Dark Queen has sent a mutant Rat (Giblet) to blow up the Gargantua with the Toads inside it!  Here, the 'Toads race Giblet to the bottom of the shaft in order to defuse a series of bombs, but not before dealing with more Sentry Drones, Gassers, Big Balls, and Suckas. After three victories over Giblet, General Slaughter will appear to settle things himself.
Stage 11: Clinger Winger - Once more, the players ride a vehicle, this time a unicycle with handlebars, and this time you must outrun a pursuing obstacle, a Buzzball. You need to keep your speed up, especially around corners, in order to stay ahead of the Buzzball, which is instant death if it runs you over. The Buzzball is always briefly slowed down by the corners, allowing the Toads to gain distance in areas with a lot of corners, but quickly regains its speed on the straightaways and is always slightly faster than the Clinger Winger on straight paths. Once the race is won, you'll be able to exact some revenge on the Buzzball.
Stage 12: The Revolution - Climbing the Dark Queen's tower is a precarious, difficult task, with Swellcheeks (which can do a number of things ranging from knocking the Toads down to spewing poisonous gas to outright blowing them off the tower and sending them skydiving to their deaths), orbiting spike balls, vanishing platforms, sinking/dropping platforms, and hungry Hornheads threatening to ruin the climb. Also once again, the screen only scrolls upwards, so any toad that falls to a lower level will lose a life.
Stage 13: Armageddon - It's just you versus the Dark Queen. Pimple and Angelica are at stake, so don't let them down now.  The only thing the Dark Queen does is simply spin herself around until she turns into a tornado.  But watch out for her tornado as it can flatten a Toad like a speeding juggernaut.


Throughout the game, you can go to a warp in certain levels, which lets you skip the current level and the one after that.

Stage 1 - When you enter the stage, quickly headbutt the two Psyko Pigs and quickly run to the next part of the stage. Above at the top of the screen is a warp on top of top of the ledge. Jump on it, if you make it in time, you will be teleported to Stage 3, the Turbo Tunnel.

Stage 3 - Reach the near-end of the Turbo Tunnel and try to avoid the swag that come without warning. Near the beginning of the last part, there will be a warp at the bottom of the screen. If you make it, you will skip the Artic Caverns and go to Stage 5, Surf City.

Stage 4 - Reach one of the parts where you try to avoid the spikes. Jump onto the suspending step and jump again so it goes up and doesn't bring you into the spikes. If you jump the right way, you will see a warp right above you. Touch the warp and you will reach Stage 6, Karnath's Lair.

Stage 6 - Go through the first section with just the snakes, and go to the second part of Karnath's Lair. Wait for the next snake to come out, climb on it, fall diagonally across the spikes, and dash to the warp. This one takes you to Stage 8, Intruder Excluder.

Stage 10 - Race the rat and reach the bomb normally. Once you have kicked the bomb, wait for the rat to drop down face-down. Before he falls, headbutt him and use the kick Smash Hit to blast him offscreen. If you do it in time the Victory Music will play and you will progress to the next level. It is unknown if this is an official warp.


Since Battletoads represents a big challenge, this section is created to know the community and their times. So feel free to post your name (or nickname), time and link to your run.

- What are the categories?Edit

  • Any%
  • Any% Warpless
  • 100%

- How do I time my runs?Edit

There is two different timings for the runs:

  • SDA (Speed Demos Archive): starts when you gain control of the toad in level 1 and ends when you lose control of the toad after the Dark Queen goes to the top off the screen once you defeated her.
  • RTA (Real Time Attack): starts when you press the start button in the title screen and ends right after the last hit in the Dark Queen.

- What is difference between the two timings?Edit

Is easy to convert between the SDA and RTA timings, the formula is easy SDA timing is 7 seconds slower than RTA timing.


Rank Name Time Version Date Link
1 JC583 13:20 Console 28/01/14 Twitch
2 TheMexicanRunner 13:40 Console 23/08/13 Twitch
3 MacGyver_987 16:24 Console 21/02/14 N/A
4 Icthus 16:31 Console 10/09/11 YouTube
5 Lepinochftw 17:29 Emulator 05/06/13 Twitch
6 Primal85 22:40 Emulator N/A
7 Emptyeye 22:52 Emulator 14/3/13 N/A
8 Kage 23:33 Emulator
9 Zerst 24:39 Emulator N/A
10 Chaide 24:54 Console 2/2/13 N/A
11 WhenChukAttacks 27:22 Emulator 2/2/13 N/A

Any% WarplessEdit

Rank Name Time Version Date Link
1 JC583 24:39 Console 07/12/13 Twitch
2 TheMexicanRunner 24:47 Console 25/08/13 Twitch
3 Chris 'Shadowknife' Foreman 33:34 Console 19/09/08 SDA
4 Chaide 38:03 Emulator
5 WhenChukAttacks 38:04 Emulator


Several ports of Battletoads were released later on after the success of the NES game.

  • The Sega Genesis version was released in 1991. The added processing power of the 16-bit console enabled slightly better graphics and sound and the difficulty was slightly toned down, but is still considered challenging.
  • Battletoads in Ragnarok's World was released for the Game Boy in 1993. It contained fewer stages, but maintained the challenge of the NES original. The subtitle was given to separate the port from the previous Battletoads game for Game Boy, which was a completely different game altogether.
  • The Game Gear version was released in 1993. Like the Game Boy version, several stages were removed from the original.
  • A port was released on the Amiga CD32 in 1994. Though graphically better, it suffered several sacrifices, mainly in the removal of nearly all the in-game music.
The last port was released on the Xbox One in 2015. This was part of the Rare Replay collection.