Investigating Bootleg Battletoads

The Youtube channel of chirinea mostly hosts cover songs, but they just posted an interesting short video (about 13 minutes), both explaining the Brazilian NES game scene and figuring out why the author’s Battletoads cart skips level 2.

During much of the NES’s life, Nintendo has no distribution deal to release consoles or games in Brazil, leaving the market open for a legion of bootleg cartridge manufacturers. The video author had some of these games, which were usually straight dumps of the originals, but their version of Battletoads was not.

It had been slightly localized, with its intro text translated into Portuguese. But there were some other minor changes too. Players started with an extra life, and had infinite continues. But also, for an unknown reason, the game completely skipped the second level, the one right before the game’s infamous Turbo Tunnel.

Was it a change in the game’s code, or a malfunction caused by his NES hardware? chirinea had a bit of an adventure in figuring out how to get the code off of his cartridge into an emulator so it could be compared with the official release, and ultimately found out that yes, the code was different, and it was probably done to avoid problems with Brazilian bootleg NESes crashing on level two.

It’s an interesting journey, and worth the fairly brief runtime to find out how he did it.

What’s wrong with this Brazilian bootleg Battletoads? (Youtube, 13 minutes)

EDIT: Pronoiac offers this logo for the post and video, from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Logo Generator! You see, the internet is still full of things!

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