Arrow Flash (アローフラッシュ) is a shoot-'em-up game created by Sega as a Sega Mega Drive exclusive title in 1990, with Renovation publishing it in the US. I.T.L was contracted to do the development of the game for Sega. The game is very common and has been re-released numerous times through various compilations. It was one of the first in it's genre for the Sega Mega Drive.
This game may be part of a series that started with Orguss and Astro Flash (aka Transbot/Transformer), due to the similar names and themes of gameplay.
The player can transform to either a ship or as a mech by pressing . fires a regular shot in both forms. As a ship, shoots a barrage of large laser bullets in all directions; as a mech, thrusts the player forward, making the player invincible for several seconds. This is the so called Arrow Flash. Depending on the options settings, these Button attacks must be collected or charged up.
In mech shape, movement is faster and options (as in Gradius style options) stay in fixed position above and below the ship. In ship shape, the options follow the ship the same way they do in Konami's Gradius series. Options are indestructable, can fire shots and absorb small enemy bullets. The ships firing rate is rather high and the game is fast paced. Dying once removes all collected equipment, but the player can resume gameplay where they died.
Weapons & Pickups
"A" adds one arrow flash. It doesn't appear when the Arrow Flash is set to charge mode.
"E" adds an energy barrier that can sustain 3 hits, very similar to the barrier seen in Thunder Force III
"S" speeds up movement
"F" adds an option, up to two can be held at the same time
Weapons are described by roman numbers:
"I" is a straight forward moving laser, an update of the standard shot
"II" is an arrow shaped shot that covers a wider area, it goes diagonally in robot shape. It's a bit slower than "I"
"III" is a shot very similar to the wavey shot as seen in R-Type. It's the slowest of all shots
The game borrows a lot of elements from other games in the genre, e.g. the background of the second half of stage 2 shows a Darius like hyperspace pattern, while the floating islands look like they belong to Gradius. Stage 4's jungle looks like it was inspired by Thunder Force III. Stage 5 has a wire network in the background, as also seen in R-Type.
Source: In-game credits
Program: CBR---RR, Daddy, Goshikisen
Graphic: Yanto, DT---R, Sod, Noise-Maker, Hana no Oedo