Editor’s note: What was wrong with us when we were children? Back then, kids were like little, 8-bit, ascetic monks. We would sit in our living rooms and self-flagellate ourselves for not eking every bit of enjoyment that we could out of Nintendo’s original “fun machine.” Screw those stupid Ninja Turtle knock-offs, I want easy mode! – James

BattletoadsThe other day, I was discussing rage quitting with a colleague of mine. In the dialogue, we talked about Demon Sword for the NES and how ridiculously difficult that game was. This train of thought eventually brought my mind around to the king of all hard-ass NES games: Battletoads.


I hadn’t thought about Battletoads for quite some time. It’s just mean. Even if you haven’t ever played this rage-inducing game, you’ve probably heard the legends. And they aren’t the good kind of legends like Nessie, Bigfoot, or Bagger Vance.

I remember renting this game from my local video joint, getting home, and sitting down to play it. I couldn’t get past the god damn speeder bikes — stage three! The tirade of profanity that spewed from my prepubescent mouth was not unlike that featured in this video. It no doubt sent my parents in search of an old priest and a young priest.

You might say that Battletoads is a lot like buying a ticket at an awesome water park that you’ve only read about in a magazine. Except when you get there, the super-happy-fun corkscrew slide has rusty, jagged razor blades all along its inside, and the swimming pool at the end cushions your fall with saltwater and lemon juice…and underfed great white sharks

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9Pe2rQHd10&feature=related 480×385]

Watch one man’s trip down this slide of pain. I haven’t posted the whole series — just what people almost universally consider the most punishing portion of the game. Beware the naughty language.

Still think today’s titles are too easy? Here is the reality of your glimmering, cheerful childhood memories laid bare. Would you really rather games were like this? Not a chance.