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Battletoads — the Video Game series

  • Awesome Music: It may just be a kick and a snare, but when we say that, we are by no means implying that it's bad... the pause music.
  • Breather Level: Not that the final level, Revolution, is easy at all, but compared to its predecessor, Clinger Winger...
    • Much like its Turbo Tunnel predecessor, Clinger-Winger isn't too difficult once you get a knack for it. While the final third of Rat Race is extremely difficult with even less margin for error and The Revolution is going to be arduous no matter what.
    • Inverted with 2 player mode in PAL version (in which both players can beat Clinger Winger and continue the game) - in that case Revolution becomes the hardest level.
    • Surf City is pretty easy compared to the Turbo Tunnel and Ice Caverns levels before it. The only real hard part is the fight with Big Blag halfway through.
  • Broken Base:
    • Fans are split on how the Genesis/Mega Drive version of the first game compares to the NES original. In the "superior" department: the game has better graphics and audio, and is much more forgiving in its difficulty (this is due to the game using the easier Japanese Famicom version as a base). In the "inferior" department, the toads' sprites weren't redrawn like others, enemies have missing animations, the intro sequence is missing and the game's ending is shortened.
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    • Whether the games are still fun in spite of their infamous difficulty or if they're ruined by it.
    • A lot of fans weren't happy that Battlemaniacs was nowhere to be seen in Rare Replay, seeing it as a worthy entry in the franchise and the collection. Others argued that the game did little more than copy certain levels from the first game and gave them a 16-bit facelift.
  • Catharsis Factor: Oh yes. Every time you beat Turbo Tunnel, Karnath's Lair or Rat Race you will feel like a badass.
    • Speaking of Karnath, he is That One Boss in the arcade. He can eat you and it shows him munching you. Also, he has a ton of health. Decapitating the fucker and kicking his head out of the screen is worth it.
  • Common Knowledge: Turbo Tunnel is merely where the game starts to get Nintendo Hard, yet is still mistakenly believed by many players to be the single most difficult part of the game. Those who have beaten the Turbo Tunnel are very quick to point out that players who believe this are just the ones who gave up early.
  • Demonic Spiders: In the NES version of the first game, pretty much any enemy that can kill you in one hit.
    • The sharks in Terra Tubes. They chase you constantly, can knock you into spikes or kill you in three bites, and can only be killed after an insane amount of hits.
    • In the same stage, the ducks. Take them out from behind and you'll be fine. If they see you and land a hit, consider yourself done for.
  • Even Better Sequel:
    • The SNES title, Battletoads in Battlemaniacs, is a big improvement over the first game. Featuring more balanced difficulty, better controls, an amazing soundtrack, and, best of all, the ability to turn the "friendly fire" option off. The only flaw it really has is a low number of bosses. Sadly, not as many people remember this entry.
    • The arcade game, a.k.a Super Battletoads, is often considered better than the games on the consoles due to easier (though more challenging enemies) difficulty, abandoning the gimmicky platforming or racing stages, and for having all three toads playable in the same game and not one of them be captured (this is the only game where this is the case other than Battletoads & Double Dragon). Not to mention they look and play differently enough from each other. The only downside is that you don't fight the Dark Queen in this title and Robo-Manus is the final boss instead, similarly to the first Gameboy game.
  • Evil Is Sexy: The Dark Queen. It's easy to forget after all these years, but as one of the earliest examples of a sexy villain in a video game, one of the reasons many young players fought so hard to reach the end of the first game was so they could finally see her in action. She's received a lot of fan art over the years and is often seen as an icon for her sex appeal in gaming. You could imagine the disappointment when she wasn't fought in the arcade version, and even fans of the reboot aren't fond of her new design where her sex appeal is completely nonexistent.
  • First Installment Wins: An unusual example. Though it is generally agreed nearly every game after it is considerably better, the NES version is still the one that everyone remembers and it represents the franchise in Rare Replay.
  • Franchise Original Sin: The newest game has received a lot of flack for its new more cartoony art style, but many fans have pointed out the series has always been exceedingly exaggerated with its animation and style.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The series is very popular in Russia, where the first game was released for the Dendy, a popular Famicom clone. When the gameplay trailer for the reboot was shown on Youtube, to the surprise of many English speakers, several fans from Russia filled the comments section to express their thoughts on the next entry of a series that they remember fondly as part of their childhoods. It's not very positive.
  • Good Bad Bugs: In Level 10 (the Rat Race), there is a bug that allows you to kill Giblet before the level is over, and the game will consider the level finishednote . It's very hard to pull off, but if you can, you can skip the third race.
  • Growing the Beard: The arcade game amped up the violence while doing away with the nerve-wracking obstacle course levels. It's definitely worth a few of your quarters should you ever stumble across a cabinet.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The Pokémon series now has at least three amphibian pokemon, Poliwrath/Politoed, Seismitoad, and Toxicroak. A small-but-significant number of fans jokingly nickname them after the legendary Battletoads themselves.
    • A rather popular trend on the internet, particularly YouTube, was for let's players to have races in Battletoads with an infinite lives code through emulators. The Rare Replay version of the game outright has "infinite lives" as a cheat you can turn on and off from the settings menu. This may even veer into a form of Ascended Meme.
    • At the start of almost every boss battle in the Battletoads series, Rash, Zitz, or Pimple lets out a Jaw Drop and a terrifying scream as an "Oh, Crap!" reaction when they know they're in trouble while encountering a boss. Cuphead would borrow the same "Oh, Crap!" reaction that the titular character and his brother Mugman get when they encounter the Devil who pulls off a Death Glare on them at the start of the final battle.
    • GameStop has Battletoads! In 2019.
    • It's been pointed out that the Dark Queen's spaceship looks a lot like Serenity.
  • It's Hard, So It Sucks!: The NES game is perhaps the most notorious example of this trope of all time with its plethora of instant kill hazards, levels with gratuitous trial and error, and a metric ton of cheap moments that have to be completed with a piddling amount of lives. Even fans who have immense nostalgia for the game will admit that 90% of the stages are prime examples on how NOT to design game levels.
  • LGBT Fanbase: Mostly Big Blag, who appears in gay fanart every now and then.
  • Memetic Mutation: "Is this Battletoads?"
    • "No, it's Doom 3."
    • When someone on 4chan asks for the name of an anime, the common response is a combination of Boku no Pico, Bible Black, and Battletoads, leading to such titles as Boku no Bibletoads.
    • Would GameStop happen to have a copy of Battletoads? (Some people add "for the Wii", owing to Arby 'n' the Chief.) GameStop seems to have been replaced by Gold and Silver Pawn Shop in recent years.
      • Ascended Meme: In Rare Replay, the achievement for playing Battletoads for the first time is "Do You Have Battletoads?".
      • At GameStops promoting Rare Replay, employees wore buttons reading "Ask me about Battletoads". The pre-release box art for the collection was also comprised of just the Battletoads logo.
    • Fighting Frogs, Combat Amphibians
    • The Primarch of the Angry Marines, a fan-made Space Marine chapter, drifted alone in a space capsule, which was empty save for a copy of this game (and presumably a console on which to play it). So unsurprisingly he became one angry motherfucker.
  • Polished Port: The Genesis version. Among the improvements: The graphics are more colorful, the music is better (sounding more rock-inspired than the NES), there are some bug fixes, and most importantly, the game is more forgiving than the NES version, particularly in the levels "Turbo Tunnel" and "Volkmire's Inferno".
  • Popular with Furries: They have have their fans because they're muscular, anthropomorphic frogs.
  • Porting Disaster:
    • The Amiga version and its CD 32 offshot, though the remixed music of the latter is pretty kickin'.
    • Some fans said this was the case with the Rare Replay version of the arcade game in regards to the sound emulation, as all of the game's audio plays at a higher pitch. The issue was since been remedied with a patch.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: The ability to hurt and even kill your teammate and the fact that if one player Game Overs, they both do are frequently cited as the worst parts of 2 Player mode (other than the whole "Clinger Winger is Unwinnable" thing.)
    • One particular move within the Unfriendly Fire Scrappy Mechanic: In Level 2 (the pit), the 'Toads will quickly attack laterally across the width of the screen at the single press of the attack button if there's an "enemy" lined up. You both need to have this on your minds at all times to avoid constantly killing each other in one hit.
  • Signature Scene: For various reasons, the Turbo Tunnel segment.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: The theme for the first level of Battletoads in Battlemaniacs [1] is heavily based on Joe Walsh's 1978 hit "Life's Been Good" [2].
  • That One Boss:
    • Karnath, that giant snake from the Arcade version can kill you in one-hit if you're playing in Co-Op (two if you're going solo). You'd better hope that you're quick enough to dodge his nasty bite attack —which he is frighteningly good with timing— or else you'll be out several dollars worth of quarters.
    • In the NES game, Robo-Manus from Intruder Excluder. The fact that he ignores your Mercy Invincibility should tell you enough. He also has a Goomba Stomp. Instant kill, ignores your Mercy Invincibility. Hope you got a lot of juggling practice back in level 5.
  • That One Level: Nearly every single level, but several levels particularly stand out:
    • The most infamous level is the Turbo Tunnel, the third stage of the game, which is when the difficulty goes through the roof for the first time. You ride on a hoverbike, with walls and enemies heading towards you. At first it's pretty reasonable; the difficulty curve doesn't try to actively kill you until after the second checkpoint. What gets most people is when they place several short double walls in succession, as they require consistently timed jumps, or the section near the end with a bunch of high single walls, as it requires a delicate rhythm to weave through. Of course, once you finally manage to get through it, some of the later stages turn out to be be even harder.
    • Level 6, Karnath's Lair, otherwise known as the snake pit. Giant snakes come out of the tunnels in the level, and you need them to climb to the top of each portion of the stage to advance. It becomes stupidly hard, even with a guide, because in the later segments you must drop from one snake to the next, and it must be timed perfectly or you will miss the next snake and land on Spikes of Doom. Also, good luck on the fourth room. The Genesis version is arguably even worse, mostly due to malicious changes in the physics that make your foundation to stand on disappear faster, as well as a newly installed glass ceiling in the fourth section that forces you to take the long way to the exit. Thank the Lord the second room has a megawarp, which will also allow you to skip...
    • Level 7, Volkmire's Inferno. It's basically a Shmup version of the Turbo Tunnels with your toad straddling a one-man jet. For the most part it's much easier, and it contains checkpoints, too. However, the last leg where the walls come at you faster and faster (again, similar to the Tunnels) can be nerve-racking.
    • Level 8. Intruder motherfucking Excluder. An elevator shaft from hell, with the elevator replaced with a cornucopia of pixelated nightmares. You see, every stage up to this point technically had a difficulty curve; notice how we were going easy on Turbo Tunnel and Volkmire's Inferno. Intruder Excluder throws that out the window. Every enemy in this level chops off half your life bar, and every non-enemy hazard is instant death - fans in the walls suck you in or blow you into a bottomless pit, and gas dispensers dispense their instant death gas pretty much the instant they appear on screen. It's also a Rise to the Challenge level with Ratchet Scrolling; if you miss a jump, or get hit by knockback at the wrong moment, you're dropping into the abyss with almost no chance for recovery. Robo-Manus isn't much better, since both his bullets and his insta-kill Goomba Stomp ignore Mercy Invincibility. You will rue the day you ever witnessed this level with your own eyes, even if you're playing the Genesis or Famicom version.
    • Level 9, Terra Tubes. It's an Absurdly Spacious Sewer covered in Spikes of Doom, but in this case you're swimming just to make it even worse. It's littered with fish and sharks who will knock you into the spikes for a one-hit kill. The only areas without spikes have ducks that can kill the toads in one hit with no need for spikes. There are also sections where you grab a helicopter-like device and float down a tunnel full of spikes. However, what makes most people throw their controller at the screen are the Advancing Wheels of Doom, primarily for being extremely trial-and-error based and the fact that at one point, you have to make it past four in a row until you reach the next checkpoint, and, of course, so much as graze the wheel or any of the large number of spikes and you're dead in one hit. Obstacle dodging, fighting, swimming, floating, outrunning wheels... yes, this whole level is a Genre Roulette, where, at virtually any point, the 'Toads are one hit away from being killed, which is a problem as there's a lot of Checkpoint Starvation, and it's the longest level in the game. It's another level that's maddeningly difficult even in the comparatively easier Famicom and Genesis versions, let alone the infamous NES version.
    • Level 10, Rat Race. The first two aren't that bad by Battletoads standards, but the third race is an extreme endurance test. You race a rat named Scuzz, whose pattern is running straight until he hits a wall, and then turning around. The problem with the third race is that most of it consists of beams whose openings are at the other end, then falling down to another beam with its opening at the opposite end. Since Scuzz runs faster and falls faster than you, your only bet is to headbutt him on every beam so you can push him up a little and prevent him from falling. The problem is, this requires consistent timing, and you're expected to do this nearly 10 times in a row! There are only two sections of this race where it's a zigzag of falling, giving you a chance to catch up. And even then, the second one is very short. The only way to avoid this is to exploit a Good Bad Bug mentioned above. Worse still, you have to fight General Slaughter at the end of the whole mess, and he means buisness, to say the least.
    • Level 11, Clinger Winger. It qualifies for two reasons: First, due to a bug, it is impossible to win when playing two players in the NTSC NES release (it was fixed in the PAL NES release as well as in the Genesis remake), meaning it is impossible to win the game unless you're playing solo (or wait for the other player to lose all their lives so you can continue on by yourself). The other reason is that it's essentially the aforementioned Turbo Tunnel (there is very little room for error), only made even harder, with absolutely no check points to boot. Again, arguably even tougher in the Genesis version, since the shape of the controller's D-pad makes it much easier to hit a diagonal and completely botch a turn. Oh, and you have to fight the Hypno Orb that chases you at the end. Fortunately, they don't make you go all the way back to the beginning if you die to the Orb. If it helps any — by pausing the game the moment you come to any turn, you can then make a near-perfect turn every time, making this level a breeze. All bets are off with a second player.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The rotation effect on the Dark Queen's Tower looks amazing by NES standards.

Rebooted Version

  • Author's Saving Throw: The new trailer released on Jul 31st warmed a lot of fans up to the reboot thanks to the gameplay looking better and varied, as well as the art style looking much more polished with better animation. Notably the likes for the new trailer's Youtube video far outnumber the dislikes, in contrast to the original release trailer where the dislikes far outnumbered the likes.
  • Awesome Animation: One thing agreed that the animation for the characters does look pretty gorgeous and fluid.
  • Funny Moments:
    • Rash arguing that the Toads are not puppets, only for him to have a toy of himself shout "Buy our video game!!".
    • After Rash announces over a hi-jacked Topian ship that the Toads are coming to take the new villains out, we get a glimpse of one Topian expressing his concern about the Toads' attack, but another says "Who'd wanna destroy you?! You've got the most amazing shape!".
    • Zitz now summons a cybernetic frog head that burps.
  • Self-Fanservice: The Dark Queen's redesign has been criticized for making her completely unrecognizable from before, prompting several artists to attempt their own take on her in the game's new cartoonish style. These range from depicting her in her original outfit, depicting her in her new design but closer to the original art style, or giving her an outfit that resembles the original and completely covers her up to show that it was possible to tone down her sexiness while retaining her villainous and feminine traits. Of course, she's also gained some new fanart in her new outfit but with feminine curves and more skin showing.
  • Tainted by the Preview: The E3 2019 trailer for the reboot was heavily criticized for its hand-drawn art direction and odd character designs, which many feel doesn't capture the look, the 90s attitude or the grittiness of the previous games (among other changes listed in They Changed It, Now It Sucks! below). The video has more than twice as many dislikes than likes on the official Xbox Youtube channel. Reception of the Gamescom 2019 demo has not fared any better, receiving similar like/dislike ratios, with many viewers criticizing the slow-paced gameplay and the animations.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
    • The new reboot of the series showed a glimpse of the main villain, the Dark Queen, in their E3 2019 reveal trailer. Many, many fans of the Dark Queen's original design were beyond furious when her reboot design was shown off, mainly due to her Adaptational Modestynote . Even disregarding that, the design by itself is regarded simply as being too plain and uninteresting compared to the original design and people who were still looking forward to the game weren't impressed by the art direction to the point of saying it looks like a cheap Flash game.
    • Most fans didn't cotton to the new character designs in general since the toads just look a bit off. Likely because of the new cartoony style.

Battletoads — The animated series that never made it past pilot.

  • Accidental Innuendo: One of the towers in the Dark Queen's fortress looks very... phallic.
  • Les Yay: Some viewers found a strong homoerotic subtext the scene where the Dark Queen grabs princess Angelica, who tries to push her away even though the Dark Queen is grabbing her closer.
  • So Bad, It's Good: If the wonky animation doesn't set an example, then the bad surfer lingo probably will.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: Much of the show's background music consists of genericized versions of old surf rock tunes (e.g. one of the battle scenes has a song that is clearly trying to sound like Dick Dale's version of "Hava Nagila" of all things).
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • The cartoon is quite similar to the manual description of the plot, as the toads are actually three humans who got turned into the characters by some otherworldly occurrence. While it wouldn't have been good necessarily, it definitely had potential.
    • Alternatively, if they followed the manual of the game this closely, why not go all the way with it? Actually making the three protagonists the developers, showcasing differences between the actual protagonists and their avatars, and how the characters in the game world would react to see the three heroes they know having completely different personalities?

How well does it match the trope?

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