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This vertically scrolling shooter features a realistic military setting and utilizes a novel “Helper“ system that allows players to call in multiple allied planes to aid them in battle.



Japanese title: 大旋風

Release 1989
Genre Vertically scrolling shooting
Platforms Arcade
Mega Drive


In the year 193x, a fascist government planned to conquer the country of “R“. The target was “S“ City, a small city that had arisen out of an oasis. In an effort to prevent the city's residents from retaliating if they were to ever learn of the plan, the fascists poisoned the city's food and water supply with a drug that slowly introduced a sense of lethargy in the people. However, a small, suspicious group of people avoided the food and water, and in an effort to inform the outside world about their plight, sent out distress signals via carrier pigeons and fish they were able to catch, but all of their messages were intercepted. The people, who were left with no other choice but to fight, erected a simple base in the forest away from the fascist army, and formed the rebel army known as the “Great Whirlwind“. However, the base was discovered by the fascist forces before it could be completed. The fascists immediately mobilized in an effort to destroy the base. Time had run out... Left with no other choice, the “Great Whirlwind“ squadron took flight, despite their base still under construction.

Controls & How to Play

The game is played with an 8-way joystick, a Shot button, and a Helper button.
Use the Shot and Helper buttons to destroy enemies.
If your plane is hit by enemy fire, 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 two Helpers.
The game is over if you lose all of your lives.
There are a total of four stages, which are separated by boss battles.


"P" item

“P“ item

These appear when you destroy certain enemies.
Pick this up to power up your shot by one level (3 levels).

"H" item

“H“ item

These appear when you destroy certain enemies.
Pick one up to receive an additional Helper.
When you press the Helper button, six allied fighters will join your formation.
Once the formation is complete, the Helpers will continue to fire forward until they are shot down.
If a Helper is hit by enemy fire, it will crash into the enemy that shot it and take them out, but will also be destroyed in the process.
If you press the Helper button again, you can send all of the allied fighters at the enemy.
The Helpers will inflict massive damage on the enemy if they crash into it.

After summoning the Helpers, if you press the Helper button again before the formation is formed, the Helpers will turn into bombs, which can inflict great damage on the enemy and destroy any enemy bullets on the screen.
This will cause you to lose all of your Helpers though.

"1UP" item

“1UP“ item

These appear when you destroy certain enemies.
Pick one up to receive an extra life.



Compared to previous Toaplan vertically scrolling shooters, this game doesn't feel as flashy in terms of visuals or gameplay. However, like the name “Great Whirlwind“ implies, the game eventually crashes into you with great force! It may not be to the level of a tornado, but it is definitely a swirling vortex of action and excitement. The realistic graphics were drawn with a great sense of originality that was the hallmark of Toaplan graphical artists. The sound also had a different feel from other titles at the time, and it grew increasingly tense as the game progressed. The game's most famous feature was the Helper system. You can use the six minion-like Helpers to attack the enemy alongside you. Expert use of this feature helped add an interesting layer of strategy to the gameplay. This masterpiece placed high in arcade game magazines' hit title rankings, and also received solid review scores from various home console game magazines.