Saturday, June 11, 2022

Ports of Entry: Rare

Unknown lead platform:


Battletoads / Double Dragon

First released for NES in June 1993

Released for SNES in October 1993

Released for Gameboy in December 1993 

Released for Genesis in September 1994

In what would be an otherwise perfectly straightforward Ports of Entry list, where every single other game by Rare was unambiguously developed for one platform, Battletoads / Double Dragon is the one aberration. If I hadn't played its various versions, I'd assume NES-centric development based on the release date, the reuse of NES sprites from previous games (with unimpressive 16-bit upgrades to their respective versions), and a plethora of 8-bit technical wizardry, including pseudo-3D scrolling effects, which are mundane on 16-bit consoles. On top of that, the NES version also features faster, more fluid gameplay than the SNES, better hit detection, and it looks more colorful (the later Genesis version is more similar to NES than SNES in these regards).

But there are some inconsistencies. For one, the music sounds correct on SNES, and nowhere else. The SNES version also feels incomplete compared to other versions - it has less dialog between-levels, is almost completely missing the intro cut-scene, and the soundtrack has fewer songs (even if it is overall much higher quality). These things make it feel like the NES version had more development time, even if it came out earlier.

My best theory is that NES was the base platform, but SNES conversion started off an early and incomplete NES build without music or its final cutscenes. And that Wise composed the SNES soundtrack first before converting to NES. Further developments on NES did not work their way back into the SNES port, but the later Genesis port used NES as a base.

Select chronology: 

Ultimate Play the Game era

Title Lead platform Date Contemporary ports
Dingo Arcade 1983
Jetpac ZX Spectrum 1983-5 1984 ports to BBC Micro & VIC-20
Lunar Jetman ZX Spectrum 1983-11
Atic Atac ZX Spectrum 1983-12
Sabre Wulf ZX Spectrum 1984-5 Same-year port to BBC Micro
1985 ports to Amstrad CPC & C64
Knight Lore ZX Spectrum 1984-12 1985 ports to Amstrad CPC, BBC Micro, & MSX
Alien 8 ZX Spectrum 1985-2 Same-year ports to Amstrad CPC, BBC Micro, & MSX


NES era

Title Lead platform Date Contemporary ports
Wizards & Warriors NES 1987-12
R.C. Pro-Am NES 1988-2 Same-year port to PlayChoice-10 arcade system
WWF Wrestlemania NES 1989-2
Cobra Triangle NES 1989-7
Who Framed Roger Rabbit NES 1989-9
The Amazing Spider-Man Game Boy 1990-7
Solar Jetman: Hunt for the Golden Warpship NES 1990-9 1991 port to PlayChoice-10 arcade system
A Nightmare on Elm Street NES 1990-10
Captain Skyhawk NES 1990 Same-year port to PlayChoice-10 arcade system
Snake Rattle N Roll NES 1990
Battletoads NES 1991-6
Super R.C. Pro-Am Game Boy 1991-10
Battletoads Game Boy 1991-11


SNES era

Title Lead platform Date Contemporary ports
Battletoads / Double Dragon ??? 1993-6 Same-year releases on NES, SNES, & Gameboy
1994 release on Genesis
Battletoads in Battlemaniacs SNES 1993-6
Killer Instinct Arcade 1994-10 1995 ports to Gameboy & SNES
Donkey Kong Country SNES 11/1/1994
Donkey Kong Land Game Boy 1995-6
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest SNES 11/21/1995
Killer Instinct 2 Arcade 1996-1
Donkey Kong Land 2 Game Boy 1996-9
Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double
SNES 11/1/1996

N64 era

Title Lead platform Date
Killer Instinct Gold Nintendo 64 1996-11
Blast Corps Nintendo 64 3/21/1997
GoldenEye 007 Nintendo 64 8/23/1997
Diddy Kong Racing Nintendo 64 10/31/1997
Donkey Kong Land III Game Boy 1997-10
Banjo-Kazooie Nintendo 64 5/31/1998
Jet Force Gemini Nintendo 64 10/12/1999
Donkey Kong 64 Nintendo 64 11/22/1999
Perfect Dark Nintendo 64 5/22/2000
Perfect Dark Game Boy Color 2000-8
Banjo-Tooie Nintendo 64 11/20/2000
Conker's Bad Fur Day Nintendo 64 3/5/2001

6th gen

Title Lead platform Date
Star Fox Adventures GameCube 9/24/2002
Grabbed by the Ghoulies Xbox 10/21/2003
Conker: Live & Reloaded Xbox 6/21/2005

Xbox 360 era

Title Date Contemporary ports
Perfect Dark Zero 11/22/2005
Kameo: Elements of Power 11/22/2005
Viva Piñata 11/9/2006 2007 port to PC


  1. You gonna tackle the next whale soon? Also trying to play the hooks at

    1. I just had my first go at GATO. On the lowest difficulty I managed to cruise to a hot sector, sink a cargo ship with a salvo of torpedos and be told "mission complete," only for mere seconds later to see my damage lights go haywire, my cockpit crack, and lines of blue fill my screen from bottom to top.

      GATO could take awhile or come very soon depending on how much patience I have to figure it out.

  2. The snes version of Battletoads/Double Dragon is obviously the best


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