Rare Made an Unreleased Battletoads for Game Boy

Super Battletoads Might Never See the Light of Day

Known for their classic 90s games like GoldenEye 007, Banjo-Kazooie, and Donkey Kong 64, Rare was one of the top studios for Nintendo back in the N64 days. Another one of their well-known franchises is Battletoads, and apparently Rare made a game called Super Battletoads for Game Boy that was never released.

Paul Machacek, a veteran Rare developer, talked about the long-lost game to RareFanDaBase.

“Probably the most annoying is Super Battletoads on the Gameboy,” he said. “Heard of it? No, nor has almost anyone else. It was the fourth one I’d written in the serious, was a spinoff from the arcade game of the same name, and was 100% finished and signed off by Test. Then it got cancelled shortly after I moved onto Donkey Kong Land because the arcade game had underperformed in market and Tradewest pulled the plug on the whole franchise.”

Apparently, the game was discovered again after 20 years, even though Machacek was the only one of remembered it.

“In 2015, during Rare Replay development, with long term members of Rare saying to me “don’t be silly, that game never existed”, we found it sitting on an old disc,” he sad. “A finished copy of the game. One of the engineers here happened to have a Gameboy emulator and we dragged the file into it and waited with bated breath. It ran!…”

Machacek created an infinite lives cheat using the game’s original source code so that another staff member could play through the game quickly. And although the playthrough revealed a complete game with no bugs, it still hasn’t been made public. Maybe the ROM will get released in the future, but as of now, it remains a secret.

Machacek also touched on the development process behind Battletoads games, and how Rare made them so difficult.

“As I’d develop I’d boot the game directly into the level I was working on and obviously played it to death,” he said. “Each time I completed a level (to ensure it worked) I’d then tweak something to make it harder, then I’d get a member of our test team to sit next to me and if they completed the level I’d make it a bit harder. So, we deliberately create individual levels that were designed to be “rock hard” on their own, let alone strung together into a sequence of nine that made up a game. Good luck everyone.”