Battletoads in Battlemaniacs is the third game of the Battletoads series. It was released by Rare for the Super Nintendo home console. A port for the Sega Master System was also released by brazillian company Tec Toy in 1994, this was an incomplete build of the game with music, pallete and scrolling glitches during the motorcycle bonus stages.
In addition to obvious graphical and audio improvements, Battlemaniacs also has a slightly more involved plot, based on characters and concepts introduced in the Battletoads comic seen in Nintendo Power magazine.
At a secret testing facility in the Himalayas, the Battletoads and Professor T-Bird have been invited by Psicone CEO Yuriko Tashoku and her daughter Michiko to witness the development of TRIPS 21, an all-new Games Generator providing a virtual reality experience like none other.
As the demonstration starts, a Psyko-Pig dubbed "Pig of the Apocalypse" suddenly bursts out of the Generator field and steals Michiko away. Zitz immediately leaps into action, but is ambushed by a blow to the head and is carted away with Michiko back to the Gamescape.
As the dust settles, a prerecorded message from Silas Volkmire appears, illustrated by a gruesome image of what looks like a mutated Silas. He announces his plan to expand the Gamescape into Earth, creating a kingdom for himself and the Dark Queen to rule. Pimple and Rash are forced to play Silas' sinister game in order to rescue their friends.
Battlemaniacs uses many of the same stage themes as the NES game, though with obvious improvements in audio and visual effects. There are only six levels, but their size and length is increased to help compensate. There are also two bonus levels and a final stage against the Dark Queen. As before, much of the difficulty comes from the various vehicle levels, which require near-perfect memorization and reflexes to survive.
In this game, Smash Hits vary in appearance with each 'Toad. Pimple uses simple transformations into blunt objects to reflect his preference for brute strength. Rash uses more flamboyant transformations to reflect his own show-off attitude. This concept would later appear in the arcade game.
One or two players can play. Oddly, there is no character select option. Instead, Pimple is always controlled by controller 1, while Rash is reserved for controller 2 unless you use a glitch where you use controller 2 to select your 1 player mode and then quickly connect player 1's remote and disconnect player 2's remote. As with the NES game, they each get three lives, but must share three continues. A secret code can extend it to five lives and five continues. Also, there are now two 2-player modes, one in which the 'Toads can hurt each other, and the other where they're immune to their own attacks.
Stage 1 - The first stage is in the Khaos Mountains, where Psyko-Pigs roam and skeletons lurk. Beware of active volcanoes and crumbling terrain, and don't get underfoot of the Giant Stone Pig at the end.
Stage 2 - The action now shifts to a vertical descent through a giant tree. Instead of rappelling, the 'Toads use anti-gravity platforms. Careful piloting is needed to avoid getting skewered on the sharpened logs. Repeatedly bouncing the Wasplings off the walls can be worth extra lives with practice.
Bonus Stage 1 - Collect pins for points, avoiding rats and black pins. Collisions will cost you points. If you don't have any points, it'll come out of your life meter. At the end, extra lives may be awarded depending on how many points you have.
Stage 3 - The Turbo Tunnel returns, and it's more lethal than ever. Now, you need to watch out for decoy ramps that send you straight into walls, as well as skim the surface of the deadly liquid until you find a rock to jump off of.
Stage 4 - This stage takes the 'Toads back to Karnath's Lair. Ride the giant snakes to the exit and beware the instant-kill spikes. The snakes themselves are much more mobile than before, so look sharp.
Stage 5 - Grab the jet-propelled handlebars and ride the track to the exit, just like in Clinger-Winger. Don't slow down, or you'll get to meet Rip the Rat as his bladed unicycle shreds you in two. Also, be ready to jump gaps and dodge barricades.
Bonus Stage 2 - You're collecting dominoes this time, and the obstacles are more numerous. This is your last chance for extra lives.
Stage 6 - Deep in the Dark Tower, Scuzz the Rat returns for a new three-part Rat Race. The course is nothing short of brutal, so don't slow down.
The Dark Queen - If you made it this far, then the Dark Queen isn't too tough. Avoid her magic staff's attack and counterattack before she teleports away.
Ending - Silas Volkmire has escaped back to Earth, and the 'Toads need to catch him fast! Take aim and fire the missiles to stop his plans once and for all...Whether they player manages to shoot down Silas's ship affects whether the game's ending is triumphant of bittersweet, although Silas and the Dark Queen escape either way.
- Zitz was rumored playable after defeating the game
- The sprites of this game were reused and modified for Super Battletoads
- Although the designers never confirmed it, the music for Stage 1 is akin to a synth-pop version of "Life's Been Good", the 1978 Joe Walsh hit.