Here’s a game that many of you probably already know, however there are some significant differences in the Japanese version for Famicom. And for you who haven’t heard of Battletoads before here comes an introduction to a great classic!

Battletoads is a platforming action beat ’em up that was created by Rare and released for Nintendo in 1991. The following years it also got released for the Amiga, Sega Mega Drive (Genesis) and Sega Game gear. At the time it was a rival for the popular Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and it became very successful. The game had several sequels, and almost got it’s own cartoon series on TV (unfortunately only the pilot was released).

Battletoads is famous for being an extremely difficult game. You can invite a friend to help you kick the butts of angry minions of the Dark Queen. However this makes the game even more difficult since you will have to share continues with your buddy. This means if one of you loose all your lives you both go to the continue screen and use up a continue even if the other player still had many lives left.

The graphics of the game is really great! The cutscenes in between stages are really detailed and cartoony in a funny way.

One of the biggest differences between the NES and the Famicom version of Battletoads is that you always start off with 5 lives in the Famicom version, instead of just 3. This gives you a lot more chances at trying to reach the end before becoming Game Over.

Another benefit of the Famicom version is that you have way more continues than in the NES version! You only get 3 continues on the NES, while on the Famicom you get.. well I didn’t really count them, but skipping through my recorded material I think I counted it to be at least 7 before reaching a final Game Over!

Stage 1 ends with something like a boss fight. There’s a gun that aims at you and tries to shoot you, after each round of shots a ball falls out, and you are supposed to throw it towards the screen to hit the machine which is shooting at you. It only takes three hits so it’s pretty easy.

In the second stage you are climbing downwards instead of running forward and beating enemies up. You can swing on the rope left and right and also climb upwards or downwards on the screen. The controls of the entire game are very smooth, and you feel that you are in total control of the character.

The third stage is the infamous obstacle race level. There are several racing stages where you have to dodge objects along the way. This one is the hardest in my opinion though. There are checkpoints along the way so you don’t have to clear the whole race in one life, however it’s still pretty long and you lose a life if you make a single miss.

The speed of the race is also really fast, which makes it hard to react in time. I couldn’t even get a clear picture! That’s how fast it is ;D

The fourth stage is called Arctic Caverns, and that’s just what it is. You can even have snowball fights with snowmen! ­čśÇ

Stage 5 contains another race. This time you’re surfing and avoiding logs and other things in the water. At the end of the race you encounter another boss type creature.

This time it’s just a regular battle. You just knock him around a few times and he will die.

I made it to the Snake Pit (Karnath’s Lair). This is a really difficult area that puts your skills to the test. You will have to move along the snakes (that are moving quite ffst) and when they disappear in the walls react and jump to another one not to fall. In the beginning there’s nothing that can hurt you, but in the second room there’s spike balls which kill you in one hit. The third room is the worst where there are spike balls lining the entire floor so you can’t fall down and try again on the next snake. It’s trial and error, you need to memorize how the snakes will move and make as little mistakes as possible.

This is where I got a Game Over. It’s an extremely fun game though and I won’t give up. One day I will beat it!! ^_^



Graphics 10/10

[box_dark]Great and colorful graphics for an 8bit game! The animations of the characters are well made and really funny! Each stage has it’s own color scheme and backgrounds. [/box_dark]

Music: 9/10

[box_dark]The music is great! Each stage has it’s own song, and they are all very catchy and groovy! It makes every stage unique and creates a nice atmosphere suiting each area.[/box_dark]

Gameplay 10/10

[box_dark]The controls are extremely smooth, it’s fast and fun and the toads you control can jump really high. There’s also a lot of variation in the gameplay, one stage is a beat ’em up, then you get a racing stage, next one is a more classic platformer and it just goes on. You never know what to expect and it keeps it interesting. You don’t get tired of doing the same thing because it changes drastically with each stage. [/box_dark]

Japanese 8/10

[box_dark]The story is presented in japanese, except for the character names which are awkwardly spelled out in capital roman LETTERS in the middle of a sentence. But apart from that the actual gameplay requires no knowledge of the language to be able to play the game.[/box_dark]

Total: 37/40

[box_dark]A great score! This game is fun fun fun! And if you have played Battletoads before and found yourself stranded not being able to beat it, I strongly suggest acquiring the Japanese Famicom version since you will have more lives, more continues and just more FUN :D[/box_dark]


  1. Interesting that a Japanese version of a game would be made “easier” by giving the player more lives and continues for once, since it seems it’s usually the other way around, with the west getting “easy” versions of games like FFIV.

    Great game though, certainly hard as hell. Believe it or not, I seem to remember beating the game without Game Genie as a kid. That’s tough stuff right there!

  2. You’ve gotten way further than I have. Then again once I beat the speed bike obstacle part I wasn’t trying too hard, that’s all I wanted to do was get past that evil part as I could never do it in the original NES version. Good job!!


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