Twin Cobra

From Sega Retro


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  • NTSC-J

TwinCobra MDTitleScreen.png

KyuukyokuTiger MDTitleScreen.png

Twin Cobra
System(s): Sega Mega Drive
Publisher: Sega of America (US) , Treco (JP) , Tec Toy (BR)
Licensor: Toaplan , American Treco (US)
Original system(s): Arcade boards
Publisher(s) of original games: Taito
Developer(s) of original games: Toaplan
Genre: Shooting[1]

Number of players: 1
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega Drive
¥7,500 (7,725)7,500e[2][3] T-24033
Sega Mega Drive
Sega Mega Drive
Non-Sega versions

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Twin Cobra, known in Japan as Kyuukyoku Tiger (究極タイガー), is a Sega Mega Drive vertical shoot-'em-up developed by GRC. A port of the titular 1987 Toaplan arcade game Twin Cobra, it was first published in Japan by Treco in Feburary 1991[1], and was later brought to the United States by Sega of America four months later.[4][5] Some time later, it was also also published in Brazil by Tec Toy.


The game auto scrolls like most shoot'em ups, A boss awaits at the end of each stage. The game loops after clearing it.

B shoots. A and C drop bombs (which is available in a limited supply). These have very big radius and power, furthermore absorb all bullets while the explosion lasts, but also have a (intentional) delay. Autofire cab be turned on or off. Using an autofire controller can give higher firing rates than the game's internal autofire.

Powerups are collected in the usual manner but are scarce as only green helicopters drop them. Compared to other game's power up carriers, these are exceptionally well armored. It's worth mentioning that weapons and weapon power ups are different items.


  • Red: Standard straight shot, widening the more you power up
  • Green: narrow, strong laser
  • Blue: Spread shot
  • Yellow: forward and sideway shot, becomes cross shaped when powered up



The game was also ported to several others systems of different generations like the NES; FM-Towns and PlayStation as part as Toaplan Shooting Battle Vol.1, the latter being the most faithful port.

In 1995 it received a sequel, Twin Cobra II/Kyuukyoku Tiger II, which would be ported exclusively to the Sega Saturn and released in Japan as Kyuukyoku Tiger II Plus.

A boss in Namco's shoot'em up Dangerous Seed is called "Ultimate Tiger", which is a direct translation of Twin Cobra's name. This could be a deliberate reference.


By default the Mega Drive port of Twin Cobra is harder than its arcade counterpart, but this difficulty it can be adjusted in the options menu. Its overall presentation (complete with the "insert coin screen"), gameplay, levels layout and enemy patterns are faithful to the arcade original, unlike a rival PC Engine version which stripped its gameplay down and offers simplified presentation and stage design.

The Mega Drive Twin Cobra has a very simplistic way of handling colour, choosing a 64 colour palette at the start of the game and sticking with it regardless of what is happening on screen. This leads to some curious design choices, such as the tanks in stage 1 being bright yellow, as their palette is shared with explosions. On top of this, 16 of those colours are reserved for hit confirmation effects (yellow/red flashing when hitting an enemy), giving even less choice for stages and objects.

The helicopter in all home versions of the game is grey as opposed to the original red colour scheme. There is also some noticable load times before boss fights

Localised names

Also known as
Language Localised Name English Translation
English (US) Twin Cobra Twin Cobra
Japanese 究極タイガー Kyuukyoku Tiger
Portuguese (Brazil) Desert Attack Helicopter Desert Attack Helicopter

This Mega Drive variant of the game is slightly misleading. The name "Twin Cobra" (or Twin Cobra: Desert Attack Helicopter as listed on the packaging) originates from the localised arcade name for Kyuukyoku Tiger, but the "twin" implies "two", when it is in fact only a one-player game. In Japan, the arcade Kyuukyoku Tiger was originally released in a single-player only-form - a product which did not make it to the US, but is what this Mega Drive port is derived from.

In Brazil this was partially rectified by simply calling the game Desert Attack Helicopter on its packaging, though it uses the Twin Cobra name in-game.

Production credits

Kyuukyoku Tiger

© 1991 All Rights Reserved
In-game credits

Twin Cobra

© 1991 All Rights Reserved
In-game credits[6]

Magazine articles

Main article: Twin Cobra/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

Print advert in Beep! MegaDrive (JP) #1990-12: "December 1990" (1990-11-08)
also published in:
Print advert in Beep! MegaDrive (JP) #1991-03: "March 1991" (1991-02-08)
also published in:

Physical scans

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
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Based on
0 review
Sega Retro Average 
Publication Version Score
1700 igr dlya Sega (RU)
1700 igr dlya Sega (RU)
Aktueller Software Markt (DE)
Beep! MegaDrive (JP) NTSC-J
The Complete Guide to Sega (UK) NTSC-J
Console XS (UK) NTSC-J
Computer & Video Games (UK)
Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) NTSC-U
Entsiklopediya luchshikh igr Sega. Vypusk 1 (RU)
Mean Machines: The Essential Sega Guide (UK)
Famitsu (JP) NTSC-J
Hippon Super (JP) NTSC-J
Joystick (FR) NTSC-J
Sega Mega Drive Advanced Gaming (UK) NTSC-J
Sega Mega Drive Advanced Gaming (UK) NTSC-U
Mega Drive Fan (JP) NTSC-J
Mega Play (US) NTSC-U
MegaTech (UK) NTSC-J
Mean Machines Sega (UK)
Power Play (DE)
Sega Power (UK) NTSC-J
Sega Power (UK) NTSC-U
Sega Pro (UK)
Sega Pro (UK) NTSC-J
Sega Pro (UK) PAL
Sega Force (UK) PAL
Sega Saturn Magazine (JP) NTSC-J
Tilt (FR)
Tricks 16 bit (RU) NTSC-U
Tricks 16 bit (RU) NTSC-J
Video Games (DE)
Sega Mega Drive
Based on
31 reviews

Twin Cobra

Mega Drive, JP
TwinCobra MD JP Box.jpg
TwinCobra MD JP CartTop.jpg
TwinCobra MD JP Cart.jpg
TwinCobra MD jp manual.pdf
TwinCobra MD JP pcb.jpg
Mega Drive, US
TwinCobra MD US Box.jpg
TwinCobra MD US Cart.jpg
Twin Cobra MD US Manual.pdf
Mega Drive, BR
TwinCobra MD BR Box.jpg
TwinCobra MD BR Cart.jpg

Technical information

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 2c708248
MD5 0006c0c0db9b334b79f1ed20eeb8b9bf
SHA-1 c386c617703a3f5278d24b310c6bc15e3e180bdf
640kB 1991-04 Cartridge (US)
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 61276d21
MD5 c7a3369029237556a342532ffc786a18
SHA-1 cbe207732c6ce5e5e5846e44847ce902315f2bc3
640kB 1991-01 Cartridge (JP)


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 (Wayback Machine: 2020-07-02 23:21)
  2. File:TwinCobra MD JP Box.jpg
  3. Beep! MegaDrive, "December 1990" (JP; 1990-11-08), page 21
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Electronic Gaming Monthly, "June 1991" (US; 1991-xx-xx), page 22
  5. 5.0 5.1 GamePro, "June 1991" (US; 1991-xx-xx), page 42
  6. File:Twin Cobra MD credits.pdf
  7. Beep! MegaDrive, "January 1991" (JP; 1990-12-08), page 16
  8. Beep! MegaDrive, "February 1991" (JP; 1991-01-08), page 16
  9. Mega Drive Fan, "January 1991" (JP; 1990-12-08), page 38
  10. Mega Drive Fan, "February 1991" (JP; 1991-01-08), page 42
  11. Mega Drive Fan, "March 1991" (JP; 1991-02-08), page 105
  12. 1700 igr dlya Sega, "" (RU; 2003-03-10), page 322
  13. 1700 igr dlya Sega, "" (RU; 2003-03-10), page 252
  14. Aktueller Software Markt, "Mai 1991" (DE; 1991-04-26), page 128
  15. Beep! MegaDrive, "March 1991" (JP; 1991-02-08), page 34
  16. The Complete Guide to Sega, "" (UK; 1991-05-xx), page 38
  17. Console XS, "June/July 1992" (UK; 1992-04-23), page 136
  18. Computer & Video Games, "May 1991" (UK; 1991-04-14), page 76
  19. Entsiklopediya luchshikh igr Sega. Vypusk 1, "" (RU; 1999-xx-xx), page 365
  20. Mean Machines: The Essential Sega Guide, "" (UK; 1993-11-18), page 113
  21. Famitsu, "" (JP; 1991-0x-xx), page 1
  22. Hippon Super, "March 1991" (JP; 1991-02-04), page 42
  23. Joystick, "Avril 1991" (FR; 1991-0x-xx), page 127
  24. 24.0 24.1 Sega Mega Drive Advanced Gaming, "January 1993" (UK; 199x-xx-xx), page 95
  25. Mega Drive Fan, "May 1991" (JP; 1991-04-08), page 95
  26. Mega Play, "May/June 1991" (US; 1991-xx-xx), page 43
  27. MegaTech, "Xmas 1991" (UK; 1991-12-06), page 81
  28. Mean Machines Sega, "October 1992" (UK; 1992-09-xx), page 142
  29. Power Play, "5/91" (DE; 1991-04-12), page 139
  30. 30.0 30.1 Sega Power, "October 1991" (UK; 1991-09-05), page 55
  31. Sega Pro, "April 1992" (UK; 1992-03-19), page 31
  32. 32.0 32.1 Sega Pro, "April 1993" (UK; 1993-03-11), page 68
  33. Sega Force, "August 1992" (UK; 1992-07-09), page 90
  34. Sega Saturn Magazine, "September 1995" (JP; 1995-08-08), page 87
  35. Tilt, "Juin 1991" (FR; 1991-0x-xx), page 75
  36. Tricks 16 bit, "Tricks Sega Gold 800 igr" (RU; 1998-03-20), page 208
  37. Tricks 16 bit, "Tricks Sega Gold 800 igr" (RU; 1998-03-20), page 27
  38. Video Games, "2/91" (DE; 1991-06-07), page 91
NEC Retro has more information related to Kyuukyoku Tiger

Twin Cobra

TwinCobra MDTitleScreen.png

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