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Vapor Trail: Hyper Offence Formation

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VaporTrail MDTitleScreen.png
Vapor Trail: Hyper Offence Formation
System(s): Sega Mega Drive
Publisher:
Developer:
Original system(s): Arcade boards
Genre: Shoot-'em-Up






























Number of players: 1-2
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega Drive
JP
¥8,400 T-49043
Sega Mega Drive
US
$? 49106




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Vapor Trail: Hyper Offence Formation, called Kuuga: Operation Code "Vapor Trail" (空牙) in Japan, is a 1989 shoot-'em-up by Data East, originally released internationally in arcades before being ported to the Sega Mega Drive in 1991; this release would only come out in the US and Japan.

A UK release, set to be distributed by Ubisoft for £44.99 in November 1991, was planned[2] but cancelled.

Story

Unidentified forces have taken over New York City, and a network of airborne military fleet is manned to reclaim the city. You play as one of three ships in the network: Sliph, a medium-speed attacker/fighter, Valkyrie, a low-speed attacker, and Seylen, a high-speed fighter. A second player can man a second ship for two-player combat.

Gameplay

Each of your jets has three main attacks: a single shot (A), rapid fire (B), and "Roll Bom" (C). Roll Bom appears is a charge with a trail effect left behind that does not to do damage but grants temporal invincibility. Each fighter's regular shot is in a certain configuration: Silph shoots three shots straight ahead, Valkyrie fans four shots out in front of it, and Seylen shoots two shots straight ahead and two shots straight behind it.

Some levels, such as the first level, have a form of depth; certain enemies, like tanks, are on the ground and you cannot get hurt by running into them (though their missiles can hurt you), while running into other jets will hurt you.

A total of 6 stages need to be cleared to complete the game. Unlike other shoot'em ups of that time, this game doesn't go to another loop after clearing it.

Weapons

  • V - standard vulcan spread shot
  • B - straight missile, the explosion radius can eliminate enemy bullets (including stage 3 boss' laser attack)
  • H - homing missile
  • D - circular attack
  • S - ship specific super weapon. Can also be sacrificed using the C for a full screen bomb, which also negates enemy bullets

Tips and tricks

  • After picking up the "S" power up, shots don't fire at rapid speed, pushing the buttons rapidly gives a higher firing rate than holding them down

History

Sequels and re-releases

Two sequels were released — Wolf Fang: Kuuga 2001 (1991, ported to Saturn 1997) and Skull Fang: Kuuga Gaiden (1996, ported to Saturn 1997).

Versions

Aside from the expected and unavoidable graphical and sound differences, there are some other differences compared to the arcade version

  • Enemies don't flash white when being hit
  • The female navigator in the opening sequence has been redrawn
  • The aircraft selection screen is missing some images, like the launch sequence
  • After clearing a stage, your ship is not picked up by a green carrier ship but flies away on it's own
  • The first boss fight doesn't take place in front of a skyscraper
  • The rocket in stage 3 doesn't attack, the way to the rocket has been made longer and more enemies were added.
  • The carrier in stage 4 (reused stage 2 boss asset) is not present, although the graphics are already in the game as demonstrated by stage 2 boss
  • Stage 5 is largely different. The city section is much longer, while the underground base part is missing. Enemy layout has also been drastically changed. The stage boss is a recolored stage 1 boss instead of a the defense facility
  • The final boss is missing one attack phase before the cockpit section gets sepparated
  • The ending is different

Localised names

Also known as
Language Localised Name English Translation
English (US) Vapor Trail: Hyper Offence Formation Vapor Trail: Hyper Offence Formation
Japanese 空牙 Kuuga: Operation Code "Vapor Trail"

Magazine articles

Main article: Vapor Trail: Hyper Offence Formation/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

EGM US 030.pdf

PDF
Print advert in Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #30: "January 1992" (199x-xx-xx)

BeepMD JP 1991-06.pdf

PDF
Print advert in Beep! MegaDrive (JP) #1991-06: "June 1991" (1991-05-08)

BeepMD JP 1991-07.pdf

PDF
Print advert in Beep! MegaDrive (JP) #1991-07: "July 1991" (1991-06-08)

BeepMD JP 1991-08.pdf

PDF
Print advert in Beep! MegaDrive (JP) #1991-08: "August 1991" (1991-07-08)

Physical scans

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
70 №1991-08, p35[3]
75 №, p83[4]
92 №2
68 №139, [1]
80 №18
50 №3, p49
30 №1991-08, p89
71 №19, p144
70 №1, p81[5]
67 №15, p99
75 №1, p54[2]
Sega Mega Drive
68
Based on
11 reviews

Mega Drive, US
Vapor Trail MD US box front.jpg
Cover
Vapor Trail MD US cart.jpg
Cart
Vaportrail md us manual.pdf
Manual
Mega Drive, JP
VaporTrail MD JP Box.jpg
Cover
VaporTrail MD JP CartTop.jpg
VaporTrail MD JP Cart.jpg
Cart

References