"Battletoads is a video game developed by Rare Ltd. Starring three anthropomorphic toads named after skin conditions (Rash, Zitz and Pimple), the game was created to rival the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles games.
The first game was developed by Rare for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1991. It was subsequently ported by Mindscape to the Amiga in 1992, by Sega to the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis and Sega Game Gear both in 1993, by Rare to the Game Boy in 1993 retitled as Battletoads in Ragnarok's World, and by Mindscape to the Amiga CD32 in 1994. Ports for IBM PC and Atari ST were planned by Mindscape but never released. A fully developed Sega Master System version was also reportedly kept unreleased by Sega.
It is arguably one of the most graphically advanced video games ever released for the NES, at a time when the video game market was turning to the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis and Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The game became famous for its extreme difficulty and humorous ways of beating enemies, as during finishing attacks, the character's body parts transform into gigantic, exaggerated appendages for devastating attacks and comic effect.
See also: List of characters in the Battletoads series
After her defeat by the Galactic Corporation at the battle of Canis Major, the evil Dark Queen and her renegade space troops retreat to the outer reaches of the universe, hiding out in dark spaces between the stars. Meanwhile, on board the spaceship Vulture, Professor T. Bird and the trio of Battletoads - Rash, Zitz and Pimple - are escorting the Princess Angelica back to her home planet, where her father, the Terran Emperor, awaits her safe arrival. Along the way, Pimple, the biggest Battletoad, takes Angelica out for a cruise in the Toadster to a nearby Leisure Station, but the Dark Queen ambushes them before they can get there, and they are kidnapped and carried away to Ragnarok's World, the Dark Queen's planet. Professor Bird sends remaining Battletoads down on Ragnarok to save Pimple and Angelica, but it will be a hard battle against planet's dangerous environments, traps and Dark Queen's troops. They have to go a long way from planet's rough surface to deep caves and landed Gargantua and ultimately to the Tower of Shadows, where the Dark Queen awaits.
The comic with the backstory of Battletoads, written by Rare employee Guy Miller, was also published in a Nintendo Power.
Different levels of the game have very different play styles. There are a few 3D and traditional 2D "beat-em-up" levels in which the player progresses by defeating enemies, though even these levels tend to have many lethal obstacles. The most difficult levels are the obstacle course and race levels, where the character must dodge a series of obstacles while driving or flying at high speed, or outrun an enemy that can instantly kill the player. These levels typically required the player to memorize the sequence of obstacles in the way, and to have extremely rapid reflexes. Other levels include a climbing/jumping "snake maze", an underwater level with lethal spikes and dangerous monsters, and two difficult "tower climb" levels, including the final climb of the Dark Queen's tower.
Part of the series' marketable appeal is due to its exaggerated ways of finishing off enemies. These include a headbutt that has the Battletoad sprout ram horns (or, in Pimple's case, a football helmet in the arcade game), a punch with an extremely enlarged fist, a two-handed smash into the ground that yielded only the enemy's head sticking out, a kick move with the character sprouting a very enlarged boot, and on climbing/falling levels, the ability to transform into a wrecking ball by having your character line up with the wall on either side of the screen.
Source: Wikipedia, "Battletoads," available under the CC-BY-SA License.