The story opens with the 'Toads visiting the Gyachung-La fortress in Northern Tibet, where the Psicone Corporation is demoing their new virtual reality game system, TRIPS. Suddenly, a pig lackey working for the evil Dark Queen and her partner Silas Volkmire, leaps out of the system and kidnaps Michiko Tashoku (daughter of Psicone Corporation head honcho) and Zitz. Now the remaining Battletoads must make chase into the Gamescape, rescue the two captives, and stop Volkmire and the Dark Queen from fulfilling their plans to control the world.
In this game of up to 2 players, you control Pimple or Rash. Both Battletoads have combos and moves to help them defeat their enemies. The artistic style is decidedly cartoony, with exaggerated weapons protruding from the 'Toads' limbs to deliver the coup de grace.
The levels vary from the usual side-scrolling beat 'em up fare to more exotic types, such as the superfast Turbo Tunnel race, the Snake Pit, and the Rollercoaster, where a rat chases you along the course with a circular saw, always ready to move in for the kill. Overall, Battlemaniacs' difficulty is considered in the uppermost strata of the SNES library; many players make it no further than the Turbo Tunnel, which is level 3.
The game was ported to the Sega Master System by Syrox Development and was going to be published by Virgin Interactive for a 1994 release in Europe, but was eventually cancelled, probably due to the system's dying lifespan even in that region. However, it was released in Brazil by Tec Toy, despite not being completely finished. It is playable, but there are minor problems, such as some stages not having background music.
From the game's manual:
At a converted fortress, Gyachung-La, high in the Tibetan mountains, the Psicone Corporation is testing its latest invention - the T.R.I.P.S. 21, an acronym for Total Reality Integrated Player System. T.R.I.P.S. 21 allows a person to actually enter the Gamescape through a unique, computer-generated portal; anyone passing into the portal will have his or her atoms integrated into the Gamescape by a complicated process of quantum-mechanical osmosis. Present at the test are Mrs. Yuriko Tashoku, President of the Psicone Corporation, her daughter Michiko, Professor T. Bird, and the 'toadally awesome trio, Zitz, Rash and Pimple, otherwise known as the BATTLETOADS. The portal is switched on and the Gamescape is revealed: a rolling plain with four figures barely visible in the distance. Gradually, the figures get closer and are seen to be four Psyko Pigs mounted on horseback - the Pigs of the Apocalypse. Suddenly, the Pigs gallop straight at the portal, bursting through it and into the test room. One of them grabs Michiko Tashoku and leaps back through the portal. When Zitz tries to stop them, he is clubbed senseless and draped over a saddle. Before anyone else can do anything, the Pigs of the Apocalypse are galloping away into the Gamescape with their two captives - and to make matters worse, the Gamescape begins to leak through the portal into our world! A prerecorded message flashes up on the Gamescape screen, confirming Professor T. Bird's suspicion that the evil genius, Silas Volkmire, and his malevolent partner, the Dark Queen, are behind the kidnapping and the Gamescape leakage, and it is soon revealed that he is correct: Silas has hooked himself up to a Gamescape Generator somewhere beyond the portal, with the wicked intention of transforming the entire world into his very own Gamescape Kingdom, over which he and the Dark Queen will rule. Meanwhile, Michiko and Zitz are being conveyed to his dreaded lair, the Dark Tower, where they will be destined for doom if anyone tries to stop him. But he must be stopped! - and Rash and Pimple are the 'toads to do it.