Battletoads & Double Dragon: The Ultimate Team is a 1993 beat 'em up developed by Rare and published by Tradewest. It was originally released for the NES and later ported to the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, Super NES and Game Boy.
It is a crossover of both Technos Japan's Double Dragon and Rare's own Battletoads game franchises, although Technos had little or no credited involvement in the production of the game outside of the Double Dragon license.
The game features the characters from the famous Double Dragon series, Billy and Jimmy Lee, two young martial arts experts. Also included are the three humanoid toad protagonists from the Battletoads game. Some enemies are from the Battletoads and Double Dragon games while others are original. The game's engine and design are directly based upon the Battletoads series.
The player has a choice of five playable characters: Billy and Jimmy Lee (from Double Dragon), and Zitz, Pimple and Rash from Battletoads. The player must then proceed through seven stages, kicking and punching each enemy that comes onscreen. A boss is included at the end of each stage, challenging the player before they can progress to a higher level of the game.
The Mega Drive/Genesis and Super Nintendo versions of the game are quite similar, the only differences being the Super Nintendo version has better graphics and higher quality sound, while the Mega Drive/Genesis version runs smoother, features more music tracks, has sharper sprites for the toads, and more comical reactions from defeated enemies.
The NES version of the game features 3D scrolling and other advanced special effects not commonly found on the console.
The Game Boy version is similar to the NES version, but it is only for one player. Also, the sprites are the same size although the screen is smaller, leaving less room for movement.
With two players, the continues are overlapping. Whenever one player continues, then both players have to start at the beginning of the level. This is the opposite of games like Contra, where a strong player can tow a weak player along to advanced levels. In Battletoads & Double Dragon, a weak player will hold a strong player back.
After being defeated by the Battletoads, the humiliated Dark Queen flees to the outer reaches of the universe. The 'Toads and their mentor get on with their lives. However, one day the Earth's military is neutralized and a giant spaceship called Colossus emerges from the moon. Apparently, the Dark Queen is back in another plan to dominate the galaxy, and she has allied herself with the Shadow Warriors (from the Double Dragon series) to supplement her forces.
Deciding to even the odds, the Battletoads get in contact with Billy and Jimmy Lee and asks them for their help. The brothers agree, and all five immediately take off for the Colossus in a mission to stop this two-pronged threat.
Although the game uses the Double Dragon license (which Tradewest owned at the time), the original developers of the franchise (Technos Japan) were not directly involved with the development of the game. As a result, there are several inconsistencies between enemies from the Double Dragon series that were featured in this game and how they're usually presented in Technos Japan's canon. With the exception of Abobo and Linda (who is given the surname Lash), almost all the Double Dragon enemies are either misnamed or original creations passed off as Double Dragon characters.
- While the Shadow Boss was Jimmy Lee's title in the NES version of Double Dragon, the Shadow Boss in this game is an original character. However, this character bears a passing resemblance to Burnov, the first stage boss from Double Dragon II. Like Burnov, the Shadow Boss wears shoulder pads along with a mask that conceals his face. When defeated, the Shadow Boss leaves behind only his mask, just like Burnov. Unlike Burnov, the Shadow Boss is lean and muscled, whereas Burnov is merely fat.
- Linda is given the surname Lash in the game. While not used in any of the Double Dragon games, the name would show up again in the live-action Double Dragon film released during the following year.
- Roper, the boss of Stage 3, is actually a misnamed Willy, the machine gun toting final boss in the original Double Dragon.
- A character resembling the real Roper appears as a common enemy in Stage 2 named Guido.
- A fodder enemy named Lopar (which itself, was an alternate romanization of Roper's name used in the manual for the NES game) appears in Stage 5. This character attacks by doing cartwheels and throwing knives, similar to Williams in Double Dragon II.
- The Shadow Marines, Doorman and Windowman of Doom and the Ryders are not characters from any previous Double Dragon and were created specifically for this game.
The Battletoads series is known for its extremely high level of difficulty; the most notable being Battletoads and Double Dragon the Ultimate Team for the Sega Genesis. Upon its creation in 1993 many avid gamers attempted to complete the seemingly unobtainable goal of beating the entire game. From 1993 till the first quarter of 2009 there are no documented records of Battletoads and Double Dragon the Ultimate Team ever being completed. The following summer of 2009 Brooks Stratman and Austin Walker were recorded completing the game for the first time in history. In a local news interview with weather forecaster Jeff Lyons when asked about their emotion after finishing the game Brooks replied, "I feel as though my life is complete." Austin replied, "We have done the unthinkable."
The game has three unofficial sequels titled Battletoads & Double Dragon: The Revenge, Battletoads & Double Dragon: The T.Bird Mission and Battletoads & Double Dragon: Return of the Dark Forces. All three are fan-made games.
- Battletoads & Double Dragon at MobyGames
- Battletoads & Double Dragon instruction manual
- Battletoads & Double Dragon Speedrun at Speed Demos Archive