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Battletoads (NES)/Regional Differences

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This is a sub-page of Battletoads (NES).

The game received a massive amount of level adjustments between the US/European version and the Japanese version. Many enemies were removed, obstacles were replaced, and bosses were nerfed in the Japanese version, making this brutal game significantly easier overall in Japan.

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Changes between US and Japanese versions


  • In the US and European versions, a second player can join by pressing Start on the map screen. As the Famicom lacks a Start button on Controller 2, a menu was added to the title screen in the Japanese version that allows you to choose the number of players.
  • In the US and European versions, pressing Down + A + B and Start at the title will start the player with an additional two lives. The Japanese version provides them without the code.
  • In the Japanese version, players start off with 5 lives and 5 continues, instead of only 3 lives and 3 continues in the US/European versions.
  • In the US version, there is a glitch on Stage 11 (Clinger Winger) where Player 2 is unable to move, and as a result the stage cannot be completed with two players, since the level resets if even one of the two players dies. The Japanese and European versions fixed this, as did the emulated version from Rare Replay.
  • In the US and European versions, a short drum beat plays while the game is paused. This was removed from the Japanese version for unknown reasons.

Level Design

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When the game was localized in Japan, the difficulty was toned down considerably, which particularly shines in levels that are notoriously hard in the US/European versions. The Genesis port is based on this localization, so a few level changes as well as other changes above carry into said version.

Stage 3: Turbo Tunnel

  • The second-to-last Rat located on a platform was removed.
  • The overall speed seems to have been altered to be slower.
  • Segment 1: A string of three short walls became two; the remaining two were spaced out more. The last wall before the checkpoint was removed and the previous two spaced out.
  • Segment 2: The last short wall before the first jump was removed. After the first jump, the first of three walls was removed and the others spaced out more. After the second jump, the string of six alternating walls was reduced to just four—all spaced out more. Finally, the last short wall before the checkpoint was removed.
  • Segment 3: The second string of four alternating walls became just three, which were spaced out more (noticing a pattern yet?). Immediately thereafter, three short walls were reduced to two at (you guessed it) more generous spacing. Both elevated ramps were moved to the ground. In the section with the wall-dropping camels/chickens/rats, the short wall was removed.
  • Segment 4: The shifted ramp and the elevated ramp were both moved to normal positions. The particularly fast-moving robot enemy was removed. All five blind jumps (accompanied by the exclamation point (!)) were given normal ramps and the flashing exclamation point removed.
  • Segment 5: This section's speed was reduced.
  • All in all, the Japanese version relocated four ramps to easier positions, added five ramps to replace blind jumps, removed five tall walls, and removed five short walls. Needless to say, the Japanese Turbo Tunnel is considerably easier than its international counterpart.

Stage 4: Arctic Caverns

  • The second icicle was removed at the beginning of the stage.
  • The ceiling was reshaped at the first ice block to make the ice easier to jump over.
  • The Snowmen wait longer between snowball throws. This has the additional effect of making the section with cascading snowballs much easier.
  • All yellow spiky shells are slower, except the one immediately following the fifth checkpoint which was slow to begin with.
  • The surprise snowball encountered while riding the moving platform after the fourth checkpoint is gone.
  • In the moving platform section where the 1UP is found, both stalactites are removed.
  • In the section where the player has to throw the ice block over a pillar to break a wall, the ice block is no longer in motion when first encountered. Furthermore, the spiky yellow shell that pursues you is missing.
  • The tricky jump from the ice slope after the fifth checkpoint now has a raised ceiling to make it considerably easier.
  • The descending platform after the sixth checkpoint no longer has an array of spikes to its left at the bottom. Instead, the ceiling is reshaped.
  • There are no longer any spikes above the first purple spiky shell section. This makes it possible to jump over the yellow walls entirely.
  • The jump over spikes after the first purple shell has been removed and replaced by a harmless ramp.
  • The entire platform holding the second purple shell has been moved down a tile, making it much harder to strike one's head on the spikes above. Because of the additional clearance, one can now jump over the yellow walls without concern. Further, a low-hanging spike at the right end of this section was removed.
  • Some spikes at the very end of the level were relocated to facilitate the jump from the dropping platform.

Stage 5: Surf City

  • The logs are spaced much further apart.
  • The last two forward-moving logs before the jump were removed.
  • Big Blag's HP was reduced from 15 pole hits to only 9.
  • The Minefield section no longer gradually speeds up.
  • The Mines spawn at a consistently timed rate as they no longer use RNG to time when they are spawned (the mines still use RNG for placement), and the mines only move at one speed in the Japanese version, instead of two seperate speeds. (the default single speed in the Japanese version is of course, the slower of the two speeds).

Stage 6: Karnath's Lair

  • Several of the snakes now take different routes that are much tamer than their US/European counterparts; for instance, the first snake in the second room goes above a spike ball it originally went under.
  • Midway through the second room, the toad(s) was required to jump three spike balls in a row in quick succession. The one in the middle was cut from the Japanese version.
  • The fast snakes now travel at the same speed as all the others.
  • The spike ball hugging the wall in the fourth room was removed.
  • Two spikes sitting next to each other towards the top of the fourth room were removed.

Stage 7: Volkmire's Inferno

  • Two Rats were removed from the beginning of the level.
  • The three logs that you were required to ride across have been replaced by solid platforms.
  • Segment 1: The electric barrier's openings are much larger. The speed has been reduced, and the closing barriers are also much slower.
  • Segment 2: The fireballs are spaced out further and their speed has been reduced.
  • Segment 3: There is a two-second delay between the falling and rising missiles and vice versa.
  • Segment 4: The electric barriers are spaced out more.
  • Segment 5: The speed is greatly reduced and the flashing barriers give you more warning before appearing.
  • This level's difficulty has been greatly reduced, although the changes aren't as apparent as Turbo Tunnel.

Stage 8: Intruder Excluder

  • The timing between the Balls was greatly increased.
  • Removed a Sentry-drone on a precarious platform.
  • Removed a Snotball on the left side of the platform.
  • Removed a Fan, making the jump to the spring next to it a lot easier.
  • Removed another Sentry-drone above the gasser.
  • Removed the bottom Fan on a two-Fan jump on the left side of the elevator shaft.
  • Removed another Fan on the right side of the elevator shaft.
  • Replaced the long-range gasser with a shorter gasser.
  • Replaced an electric barrier above the spring with a normal one.
  • The last electric barrier of the level was also replaced with a normal one.
  • Robo-manus' HP was reduced from 21 to 16.

Stage 9: Terra Tubes

  • Checkpoint 1:
    • Two spike balls were removed in the first descent.
    • Another spike ball was removed in the ascension before the second checkpoint, making the gap required to take the landing at the next checkpoint much less strict.
  • Checkpoint 2:
    • Three floor spikes were removed in the second gear chase section. This means that you no longer need memorisation for a part of this section.
    • Another four spike pits were removed in the fourth section before the third checkpoint.
  • Checkpoint 3:
    • One spike was removed in the first swimming area, making the jump far easier.
    • Removed a HammerHead spawner in the beginning of the second swimming area.
    • Removed an Elec-eel spawner in the beginning of the Third swimming area and replaced it with a single Elec-eel.
    • Also Removed a submerged spike ball.
  • Checkpoint 4:
    • Removed a line of spikes in the first gear chase.
    • Also removed a pit of spikes in the safe area making it much easier to avoid the gear.
    • Removed two spikes in the second gear chase.
    • Removed another pit of spikes used to block the player from making a narrow entrance.
    • Removed another line of spikes in the bottom tunnel.
    • Removed another pit of spikes in the safe area before the fifth checkpoint making it much easier to avoid the gear.
  • Checkpoint 5:
    • Relocated the descending propellers underneath the above platform. You no longer need to jump in order to grab both descending propellers in 2-player mode.
    • The Steelbeaks (also known as rubber ducks) take one punch instead of six to defeat.
    • Five spike balls became four in the final swimming section.
    • Two more floor spikes were also removed.
    • Eight spike balls in the upper area became six.
    • Another spike ball was removed to make the tube wider.
    • Removed one of the two the bottom spikes in the second descent. This fixed an odd (but purely visual) oversight where touching the exit made the toad(s) walk on top of the spikes without dying.

Stage 10: Rat Race

  • All three Rats have reduced speed.
  • A Fan and a third Gasser were removed from the start in Section 2.
  • General Slaughter consistently moves slower. This is the only boss aside from the Level 1 boss that did not have its HP reduced.

Stage 11: Clinger-Winger

  • The 2-Player glitch mentioned above was fixed.
  • The Buzzball moves at a much slower speed. This also means that the player no longer needs to jump in order to avoid it's stomping attack, only run.
  • The Buzzball's HP was reduced from 13 to 8.

Stage 12: The Revolution

  • Some platforms don't disappear as quickly.
  • The toad starts off a lot closer to the death point, if they happen to die.
  • The Horn-head at the beginning take one hit instead of three.
  • Three of the four disappearing platforms were replaced by solid platforms.
  • Another disappearing platform was replaced by a solid one.
  • The Horn-head directly above takes two hits instead of three.
  • The Horn-head after the spring climb takes one hit instead of three.
  • The Horn-head after the bouncing spike ball on the floor above takes two hits instead of four.
  • The Swellcheek takes one hit instead of four.
  • The red Horn-head takes three hits instead of four.
  • The red Horn-head above takes two hits instead of three.
  • The red Swellcheek takes one hit instead of four.
  • The red Swellcheek above takes two hits instead of five.
  • One of the two red Swellcheeks on the floor above have been removed.
  • The regular Swellcheek above takes two hits instead of nine.
  • The Spike ball is much slower.
  • The fast moving Spike ball at the end of the spring climb above has been removed.
  • One of the two disappearing platforms after the hanging poles have been (you guessed it) replaced by a solid platform.
  • Two of the four disappearing platforms on the floor above have been replaced by solid platforms.
  • The red Horn-head after the nerfed platforms takes two hits instead of three.
  • The regular Horn-head above the hanging poles takes two hits instead of four.
  • The surprise Swellcheek takes three hits instead of five.

Stage 13: Armageddon

  • The Dark Queen's HP was reduced from 25 to 21.

Changes between US and European versions


Rare adjusted the position of the status bar and removed the border from the bottom of the screen in the European version. The status bar is moved closer to the very top of the screen so that it makes better use of the lack of vertical overscan present on PAL televisions. Oddly, the Japanese version's status bar is 1 pixel taller than the US version.

Japan (37 pixels tall) USA (36 pixels tall) Europe (21 pixels tall)
Battletoadsjp 2017-04-16 15.30.47.png Battletoadsus2017-04-16 15.33.56.png Battletoadseu 2017-04-16 15.35.19.png

Level Changes

The European version retains all the level designs of the US version, barring one (also present in the Japanese release): in Level 7: Volkmire's Inferno, the moving logs of the US version are replaced by solid platforms.