Is there a harder game on the NES than the original Battletoads? Maybe, but we probably haven’t played it. That difficulty is exponentially increased if you decide to play with a friend. The reason for that increase is that you can a) hurt each other and b) share continues. As a result, many friendships have been seriously tested while playing this game.
That said, a retro game hacker decided to go the extra step and create a four-player update for Battletoads. That’s right, you and three of your best friends can now battle the Dark Queen, ride those annoying bikes, climb across snakes, and swear at each other as you punch each other off those annoying three-dimensional cliffs.
So should you try it out? We think so. Why? Let us explain that for you below.
How Battletoads Works
For those who’ve never played this game before, it is a good idea to pause a moment and explain just what the heck a Battletoad is and why you should care. Released during TMNT mania, Battletoads featured three large anthropomorphic toads fighting to save the Earth from the evil (if hot) Dark Queen. Along the way, you travel across two-dimensional words, fight a first-person boss, ride those terrible bikes, and pull your hair our and curse at the television.
Frankly, the game is a blast to play as long as you know what you’re getting into when you start. It has that same Ghost and Goblins level of difficulty, but with more game worlds and no infinite continues. Players have long cursed the designers who made this game while pressing start one more time to give it another shot. Those who won enter the hallowed NES halls reserved for those who’ve beaten Mike Tyson in Punch-Out!!
So the gameplay still holds up quite well, but what kind of insanity does four-player add to the game? Let’s take a look at what this hack does, how well it holds up, and whether or not it is worth a download or even a purchase, as it is for sale by the hacker.
The biggest change in this game is the most obvious: you can now play with four players instead of two. This addition of two players stresses the NES out sometimes and required some careful programming to manage the confusion. For example, background colors and even Toad colors have been limited to avoid taxing the system.
While not a major deal, this toad color swap can cause confusion when players move between levels. That said, the game more or less holds up and provides the kind of madness you’d expect from four-player Battletoads. See your friends pummel each other for extra health! Feel your temper rise as you crash into the walls on the bike again! Hear your friends groan as you run out of continues!
It’s fair to say that this hack is successful and definitely worth a look. It is especially nice for retro gamers who can’t get enough of Battletoads. Beating this game by yourself is a major test of patience. Doing it with two is a Herculean feat of strength. Frankly, beating it with four is probably impossible, but we’re excited to see people try!
So why not give it a download and post your videos of your four-player Battletoad mania here? We always love when retro gaming fans post their awesome gameplay videos.