Twenty-six years after defeating The Dark Queen and sending her off spinning into the depths of space, the Battletoads continue their adventures stopping villainy wherever they go and ascending to acclaimed heroes.
Or so they thought...
The Toads discover they've only been living in a fantasy simulation for those past twenty-six years and are practically nobodies now. Determined to rise back up to gain recognition, The Toads set off to locate The Dark Queen to show the galaxy just how famous they were in the past.
Battletoads (2020) have examples of:
- 0% Approval Rating: Absolutely no one likes the Topians and are quick to criticize how badly they run the galaxy, though they are also so powerful they don't have much of a choice but serve them. No one sheds a tear when the Battletoads and Dark Queen kill them.
- Adaptational Modesty: The Dark Queen now wears a black coat that hides her figure and makes her look like one of the Shitennou from Sailor Moon.
- And the Adventure Continues: The game ends with the Toads heading off to track down a planet-eater.
- The Bad Guy Wins: Played with. The Dark Queen not only gets her powers back, she also succeeds in becoming ruler of the galaxy. But since she got the position by overthrowing the Topians and with a little lying on Rash's part, everyone thinks it was for altruistic purposes, meaning she has to be a good ruler now. Meanwhile, the Toads are content with more humble lives and have another chance at fame later.
- Bait-and-Switch Comment:Zitz: Okay, Rash, where do we find The Dark Queen?
Rash: Not where - when!
Pimple: Ohh... Time travel?!
Rash: No, we'll leave when I've cleaned myself up. Then we're renting Turbo Bikes baby!
- Beauty, Brains, and Brawn: The battletoads themselves are a rare male example:
- Rash - Beauty; He's the flashiest of the three and tries to keep up appearances.
- Zitz - Brains; Leads the group and invents much of the high-tech weaponry.
- Pimple - Brawn; Has the strongest melee attacks in the game.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Pimple is a Gentle Giant and a Technical Pacifist — he will fight, but not needlessly, and unlike Zitz and Rash, he prefers to seek out peaceful solutions whenever he can. Though he is revealed to have a lot of bottled-up anger, and if you push him too far you have an Unstoppable Rage on your hands.
- Beware the Silly Ones: Uto and Pia are lazy hedonists who spend more time teasing each other than ruling the universe, but that's because of their incredible power; the moment they decide to bother with things, they get serious.
- Bittersweet Ending: While the Battletoads defeat the Topians, Rash realizes that getting fame from it would come at the expense of the galaxy, so the Toads are unsung heroes, while the Dark Queen becomes the re-empowered ruler of the galaxy - at the cost of Rash having done a last minute Batman Gambit to make the Dark Queen look like a heroic ruler, so she has to rule benevolently.
- Boredom Montage: After the Toads are pulled out of the simulation bunker, they're left to get jobs. Zitz and Pimple handle theirs with ease, while Rash is shown handing out stamped papers with a smile that drops down after it's shown his job is handing the papers to a celebrity doing autographs.
- Bound and Gagged: The Topians tie up the Dark Queen when she reconstitutes herself and shortly do the same to Pimple and Zitz to keep them from trying to influence Rash.
- Bread and Circuses: After being captured, the Toads are forced to do this by the Topians by being promoted as an entertainment sensation. Zitz and Pimple see through it, but Rash is taken by the fame until he's confronted by the effects.
- Broken Record: Every time you fail in the "Emergency Stations" level, we get, "Gonna need another energy drink." It gets old fast.
- Canon Discontinuity: Naturally, being a reboot. Dialogue suggests that the events of the NES game still happened in some manner though.
- Character Development: The Toads didn't have much personality in the original games. The game gives each of them more definite personalities and character arcs.
- Rash is revealed to be a Glory Hound and wanted to be a hero for the fame. He grows out of this when his new fame cames at the expense of the greater good and even willingly lets the Dark Queen take credit for defeating the Topians to ensure she becomes a good ruler, showing an air of a Guile Hero.
- Zitz has self-confidence issues, worried that his role as The Leader is a mere formality. Much of his focus is on him trying to assert his position and prove himself. He eventually needs to learn to swallow his pride.
- Pimple doesn't really develop much, but his character is explored quite a bit in the third act. He's shown to be a Gentle Giant who only fights when needed, but push him too far and you get Unstoppable Rage and a trail of corpses.
- All three also show a deal of genuine brotherly love for each other. Several times throughout the game showcase how they're willing to risk their lives for the team.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Professor T. Bird is not spoken of in this game. However, Word of God says that he, along with Robo-Manus, at least exists in the rebooted setting.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Rash has always been described as the "crazy" Battletoad, and in this game he definitely demonstrates time and time again that he's not all there. Especially early in the game he can even come across as downright dense... but later in the game he gets his act together and shows that "crazy" doesn't necessarily mean "stupid."
- Comically Missing the Point:Pimple: The Queen has been in this park for twenty-six years, we were in the bunker for twenty-six years... (gasp) do you know what this means?
Rash: Oh my God..! It means she's not famous either!
Zitz: More importantly, it means The Topians locked us in the bunker.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: All three of the Battletoads. They are scatterbrained and tend to fumble about most of their adventures, but when they get serious they are almost unstoppable. The Topians are actually aware of this, they started their conquest after trapping the Toads and only stopped registering them as threats when the Topians got the whole galaxy under their control.
- Decoy Protagonist: While Zitz is the official leader, Rash gets the most Character Development, and is the one who turns around a potential Downer Ending via last minute Batman Gambit.
- Denser and Wackier: This game has more of a Saturday Morning Cartoon vibe with more colorful environments and a greater humor emphasis.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The goal of the Toads and Dark Queen is to destroy the godlike Topians, both as payback for trapping the toads in a Lotus-Eater Machine and to regain the Queen's stolen powers. In the end they succeed in doing this.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Rash decides to implement "street-justice" onto a passerby who littered in space. This backfired horribly as an army of civilians attacked in retaliation and led The Topians' forces to them.
- Enemy Mine: The Battletoads and the Dark Queen work together to face a new threat, the Topians.
- Evil Brit: The Dark Queen now speaks with a British accent.
- Flipping the Bird: The Dark Queen to the Toads, and later Rash to The Topians. Pixelated to match the E10+ rating.
- Gameplay Grading: You get graded for each fight based on your combos and damage taken. Better scores means more bonus points.
- Gameplay Roulette: Like previous installments in the franchise, this game often dips into different genres, including platformers, shmups, and even puzzles.
- Hartman Hips: The Dark Queen's new design greatly toned down her overall curviness, but one thing she kept were her large shapely hips.
- Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: Easy (Tadpole), Normal (Toad) and Hard (Battletoad).
- Idiot Houdini: Zits during Act 2 at acting as the team leader refuses to listen Jeff's request to allow contact with Dark Queen and knocks him out, drags the others into forming a peace treaty with the tribes on Jeff's world to get chased out. By the end, Dark Queen was more focused on getting the map, though Zitz slipped in an apology.
- Instantly Proven Wrong: When Rash denies Zitz and Pimple's claims The Topians are just using them for propaganda, his self-toy speaks out on obeying The Topians.
- Jerkass Gods: The Topians Uto and Pia are two haughty and hedonistic deities who take over the galaxy just because they felt like it.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Both Zitz and Rash are callous, self-absorbed and insensitive, and just a little too fond of violence. They're still ultimately heroic and want to do the right thing. It's also notable that while they often frustrate Gentle Giant Pimple by not listening to him, they're never mean to him, not even in a joking matter.
- Lampshade Hanging: The introduction establishes that the Toads were stuck inside the bunker for 26 years, which was the gap between the reboot and the previous entry. It also calls attention to the fact that the Battletoads aren't exactly iconic since their games were decent to mediocre.
- Mythology Gag: The track "Space Toads", played in the Bullet Hell levels, is a remix of the original's Level 5 Surf City.
- Narrative Profanity Filter: All of Dirtbag's dialogue, while understood by the Toads well enough for them to chase him down for a boss fight over it, is only depicted to the player as "mumbled offensiveness".
- No One Gets Left Behind: In one chapter Pimple can't take his friend's violent lifestyle anymore and ditches them for a clan of space hippies. When he gets in trouble and signals the other Battletoads, though, Zitz insists they turn around to go get him. Even though that means piloting their damaged ship through an enemy fleet.
- The Nothing After Death: After Porkshank's defeat in the prologue, he comments that he sees nothing after dying and tells the Toads to make the most of their time.Then it turns out Porkshank and the battle and the entire environment they were fighting in are all simulation data, so either Porkshank was programmed to say that for some reason, or the data known as Porkshank was referring to its own loss of awareness being recycled back into raw data and thinking the Toads were the same.
- Only Sane Man: Pimple is by far the most reasonable of the toads and is quick to question their more crazy antics. The Dark Queen is a downplayed example, as she's more level-headed and intelligent than the toads but also tends to let her love of destruction override her common sense.
- Pixelation: Used for when some characters are Flipping the Bird or using profanity.
- Promoted to Playable: Certain platforming levels has The Dark Queen as a playable character.
- Punny Name: The Topians; Uto and Pia make Utopia together.
- Rage-Breaking Point: After Pimple leaves the ship to avoid more conflict he joins a group living in the mountains. But when he denies their leader (who is just a painted rock) they oust him from the group and breaks his necklace, sending him into a rage and brutally murders them all.
- Related in the Adaptation: Played with. The toads themselves are clearly brothers in spirit, but none of them seem to know if they're biologically related or not.
- RockPaperScissors: When the Toads get into a split vote they declare a game of "Toad-Sham-Bo!" with (according to their Shambo-Angle) Toaster beating Instrument, Instrument beating Puppet, Puppet beating Toaster. The first round ends interrupted before a winner is decided. In the second round, The Dark Queen issues one to let the BattleToads bring her along and she ends up losing entirely as each of them bring out the same move against her.
- Ruder and Cruder: In addition to being more comedy focused compared to the original game, there's also quite a bit of openly adult humor throughout the game.
- Running Gag: The Battletoads declare many times their brotherly affection for one and another, always bring up the question of whether or not they are actually brothers, and never answer the question.
- String Theory: In The Toads' rundown apartment, Rash compiled clues on a board in their living room to find the location of The Dark Queen for a chance to gain recognition as heroes.
- Take That, Audience!: The Dark Queen has Jeff Thrown Out the Airlock shortly after he criticizes her wardrobe change, in a thinly-veiled response to fans who had the same reaction.
- Time Skip: Six months pass between the third and fourth acts.
- Villainous Breakdown: The Topians are unflappable through most of the game, but by the time the toads finally confront them they are beside themselves with anger. As the toads continue to beat them in the final battle, the Topians get more and more unhinged with one of them even going Laughing Mad.