The classic Battletoads franchise made an unexpected appearance at Gamescom today, as Microsoft announced that mutant amphibian star Rash is now a playable character in Double Helix’s Xbox One fighter Killer Instinct.
Rash serves as a playable preview for Killer Instinct‘s upcoming third season of content, launching in March next year for Xbox One and Windows 10.
Rash is downloadable for Xbox One owners who have purchased any previously released paid DLC for Killer Instinct. Players who own the recently released retro compilation Rare Replay can also unlock Rash by completing the game’s “Do You Have Battletoads?” achievement, detailed here.
Rash joins the Killer Instinct cast with an array of signature moves previously seen in 1991’s Battletoads for the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System. As in the previous Battletoads games, Rash’s limbs grow to enormous size when performing classic moves like the Big Bad Boot, Wrecking Ball, and Battering Ram within Killer Instinct.
Players can also use Rash’s tongue to snatch and devour projectiles from mid-air. Rash’s Instinct Mode special move pays tribute to Battletoads‘ infamous Turbo Tunnel sequence, equipping players with a hoverbike that they can ram into opponents.
Microsoft notes that the currently available version of Rash is a work-in-progress, and warns that his appearance, animations and moves may evolve drastically by the time Killer Instinct‘s third season launches in 2016.
Microsoft announced at E3 earlier this year that Killer Instinct will launch for Windows 10 as a free-to-play title that enables cross-platform competitive multiplayer with opponents playing the Xbox One edition. The Windows 10 port is compatible with all Killer Instinct controllers and fightsticks, and returning players will retain their purchases and unlocks earned in the Xbox One version.
Rash’s Killer Instinct appearance is the latest in a string of announcements hinting at a forthcoming Battletoads series revival. Two never previously ported Battletoads games are now playable on the Xbox One with this month’s launch of Rare Replay, and a recently issued Xbox One port of indie platformer Shovel Knight includes a bonus level featuring the Battletoads characters.
Rash is available as a downloadable Killer Instinct character until September 8.