From Sega Retro
Toaplan (東亜プラン) was a video game developer from Japan. They were responsible for the creation of a wide array of relatively famous scrolling shooters and arcade games.
Toaplan originally began as a small arcade company called Orca, which made games such as Changes/Looper (inspired by Pac-Man), The Bounty / River Patrol, the platformer Springer and two shooters: Espial, which can be described as a mix of Star Force and Xevious, and Zodiack, which features multi-directional scrolling. After Orca failed in 1984, the development team moved to create a new company, Crux, which developed two games, Taito's Gyrodine, a shooter with peculiar gameplay: players direct a helicopter in the air or on land in the direction one moves, and Sega's Repulse. Crux ended up going bankrupt within less than a year of its founding due to major financial problems.
After the failure of Crux, the chief programmer and designer of Orca teamed up with the programmer of Gyrodine to form a development branch called Toa-KIKAKU Toaplan ("Project East Asia") and Toaplan was born.
After developing a couple of games for SNK and Data East, Toaplan became a contractor of Taito from 1985 to 1989. From there, Toaplan became their own independent publisher, even going so far as to develop an official mascot, "Pipiru," who can be found hidden in Zero Wing, Truxton II and Out Zone. In 1994, the company filed for bankruptcy, but its developers created several spin-off development studios, including Cave, Eighting, Gazelle and Takumi.