Twin Cobra

From Sega Retro


TwinCobra MDTitleScreen.png
Twin Cobra
System(s): Sega Mega Drive
Publisher: Sega (US), Treco (JP)
Original system(s): Arcade boards
Publisher(s) of original games: Taito
Developer(s) of original games: Toaplan
Genre: Shoot-'em-Up

Number of players: 1
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega Drive
¥7,5007,500 T-24033
Sega Mega Drive
Sega Mega Drive

This short article is in need of work. You can help Sega Retro by adding to it.

Twin Cobra, known as Kyuukyoku Tiger (究極タイガー) in Japan, is a 1987 arcade shoot-'em-up by Toaplan ported to the Sega Mega Drive in 1991 and released in Japan, the US and Brazil.


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 Kyuukyoku Tiger (究極タイガー)
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
Source: In-game credits

Twin Cobra

© 1991 All Rights Reserved
Source: In-game credits

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
{{{{{icon}}}|L}} Division by zero.
Based on
0 review

<meta itemprop="ratingValue" content="Division by zero.">

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Version Score
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
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
MegaTech (UK) NTSC-J
Mean Machines Sega (UK)
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)
Sega Mega Drive
Based on
22 reviews
Mega Drive, US
TwinCobra MD US Box.jpg
TwinCobra MD US Cart.jpg
Twin Cobra MD US Manual.pdf
Mega Drive, JP
TwinCobra MD JP Box.jpg
TwinCobra MD JP CartTop.jpg
TwinCobra MD JP Cart.jpg
TwinCobra MD jp 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 Electronic Gaming Monthly, "June 1991" (US; 1991-xx-xx), page 22
  2. GamePro, "June 1991" (US; 1991-xx-xx), page 42
  3. Beep! MegaDrive, "January 1991" (JP; 1990-12-08), page 16
  4. Beep! MegaDrive, "February 1991" (JP; 1991-01-08), page 16
  5. Mega Drive Fan, "January 1991" (JP; 1990-12-08), page 38
  6. Mega Drive Fan, "February 1991" (JP; 1991-01-08), page 42
  7. Mega Drive Fan, "March 1991" (JP; 1991-02-08), page 105
  8. Beep! MegaDrive, "March 1991" (JP; 1991-02-08), page 36
  9. The Complete Guide to Sega, "" (UK; 1991-05-xx), page 38
  10. Console XS, "June/July 1992" (UK; 1992-04-23), page 136
  11. Computer & Video Games, "May 1991" (UK; 1991-04-14), page 76
  12. Mean Machines: The Essential Sega Guide, "" (UK; 1993-11-18), page 113
  13. Famitsu, "" (JP; 1991-0x-xx), page 1
  14. Hippon Super, "March 1991" (JP; 1991-02-04), page 42
  15. Joystick, "Avril 1991" (FR; 1991-0x-xx), page 127
  16. 16.0 16.1 Sega Mega Drive Advanced Gaming, "January 1993" (UK; 199x-xx-xx), page 95
  17. Mega Drive Fan, "May 1991" (JP; 1991-04-08), page 95
  18. MegaTech, "Xmas 1991" (UK; 1991-12-06), page 81
  19. Mean Machines Sega, "October 1992" (UK; 1992-09-xx), page 142
  20. 20.0 20.1 Sega Power, "October 1991" (UK; 1991-09-05), page 55
  21. Sega Pro, "April 1992" (UK; 1992-03-19), page 31
  22. 22.0 22.1 Sega Pro, "April 1993" (UK; 1993-03-11), page 68
  23. Sega Force, "August 1992" (UK; 1992-07-09), page 90
  24. Sega Saturn Magazine, "September 1995" (JP; 1995-08-08), page 87
  25. Tilt, "Juin 1991" (FR; 1991-xx-xx), page 75
NEC Retro has more information related to Kyuukyoku Tiger.

Twin Cobra
TwinCobra MDTitleScreen.png

Main page | Comparisons | Maps | Hidden content | Magazine articles | Reception | Region coding