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This monumental game perfected this style of vertically scrolling shooters and served as a template for future game developers. This seminal title established Toaplan as a leader in the shooting game genre.



Japanese title: 究極TIGER

Release 1987
Genre Vertically scrolling shooting
Platforms Arcade
PlayStation 4
Nintendo Switch


It's been many years since the legendary battle was fought... At the time, Tiger-Heli was our hero. However, immediately after the operation ended, we lost all contact and have yet to receive any updates on our savior's whereabouts. What happened? Meanwhile, an evil entity is sending numerous machines our way... Suddenly, a new battle helicopter appears before us. It is a new hero, born of courage, and worthy of the Tiger-Heli name. It went by the name Battle Tiger. However, the skills of this new pilot were about to be immediately tested in the forge of battle...

Controls & How to Play

The game is played with an 8-way joystick, a Shot button, and a Bomb button.
Use the Shot and Bomb buttons to destroy enemies.
If your helicopter is hit by enemy fire or collides with an airborne enemy, it will be destroyed and you will lose a life.
You will not lose a life for colliding with enemies located on land or on the sea.
When you restart after losing a life, your power-ups will be reset and you will begin with the Red Gun and three bombs equipped.
The game is over if you lose all of your lives.
There are a total of ten stages.


"S" item

“S“ item

These appear when you destroy certain enemies.
Pick this up to power up your shot by one level (maximum of 10 levels).

"B" item

“B“ item

These appear when you destroy certain enemies.
Pick this up to add one bomb to your inventory.
You can store up to seven of these bombs.

Star icon

Star icon

You will receive 100 points for each one that you pick up.
When you clear a stage, you will receive 3,000 bonus points for each one you picked up, and your acquisition quantity will be reset.
Also, the count will be reset if your helicopter is destroyed.

Shot switching items
The item changes in color from red→green→blue→yellow and loops back to the beginning after progressing through them.

When red: Red Gun

When red: Red Gun

Fires a shot that spreads out to the sides and attacks in front of you.
Each time you power up, the shots will expand to the side and also fire more bullets at once.
This is the standard shot that you start the game with.

When green: Green Storm

When green: Green Storm

Fires a laser-like shot that pierces certain enemies.
It only fires a linear shot straight ahead.
Each time you power up, the amount of damage it inflicts will increase.
This is a powerful shot to use against the enemy.

When blue: Blue Eye

When blue: Blue Eye

Fires a shot that attacks in a fan-shaped path to the front of your helicopter in a maximum of five directions.
Each time you power up, the amount of damage it inflicts will increase as will the number of directions it can fire.
This shot is capable of covering a wide area in front of you.

When yellow: Yellow Cross

When yellow: Yellow Cross

Fires a shot to the front, back, left, and right of your helicopter.
Each time you power up, the width of the shots will expand slightly and you will be able to fire more bullets at once.
This shots covers your helicopter in the four main directions.

If you pick up an item that is the same color as your equipped shot type, you will receive 2,000 points instead.
Even if you change your shot type, your current power-up status will be carried over.
When you restart after losing a life, your power-ups will be reset and you will begin with the Red Gun equipped.

“1UP“ item

“1UP“ item

These appear when you defeat certain enemies.
Pick it up to receive an extra life.

You can score extra points by collecting the star icons and clearing the stages without dying.



At the time, there were many hit titles in the genre released by various companies, but a reader poll in a game magazine that primarily focused on arcade games ranked Twin Cobra fourth in a Best Shooter Award competition held in 1988, and ninth in the annual hit titles competition. It was also awarded the Pure Shooter Award (Editor's Choice Award), thereby demonstrating the game's popularity at the time. In addition, the game was highly praised for its level of quality and completion, resulting in it receiving high review scores in other game publications as well. The high level of detail and refined enemy AI helped distinguish it from the many other vertically scrolling shooters at the time. It's no exaggeration to say that Twin Cobra is a game that stood atop what is commonly known as the Golden Age of shoot-'em-ups. Naturally, Twin Cobra was also a big hit overseas. The fact that the game was later ported to various other platforms is just another sign of how great this vertically scrolling shooter really was.