Tiger Heli

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Tiger-Heli
Tigerheli 01.png
Title screen
Developer(s) Toaplan
Publisher(s) Taito (Japan)
Acclaim (North America)
Distributor(s) Romstar (North America)
Composer(s) Tatsuya Uemura
Platform(s) Arcade, NES, PlayStation
Release date(s) 1985
Genre(s) Vertical scrolling shooter
Mode(s) Up to two players, alternating
Cabinet Upright
CPU 2 x Z80 @ 6 MHz
M68705 @ 2 MHz
Sound 2 x AY8910 @ 1.5 MHz
Display Raster, vertical orientation, 240x280 resolution

Tiger-Heli (タイガー・ヘリ?) is a 1985 scrolling shooter developed by Toaplan and published by Taito for the arcades. It is a predecessor to Twin Cobra. The player controls the helicopter "Tiger-Heli" in a fight against various enemies.

Gameplay[edit]

The game is a vertical scrolling shooter where the player controls a helicopter taking on hordes of enemies which include tanks, battleships, and artillery. It is interesting to note that, besides some airplanes taking off, there are no flying enemies in the entire game. The player's main weapon is an unlimited supply of missiles which travel a max distance of half the screen's height. The player also has two bombs which destroy all objects within a large circular radius. These bombs can be blown off by enemy bullets. The player is killed after only one hit, and is re-spawned to a point approximately one whole vertical screen-length later, thus progressing the player past the obstacle that had killed him, albeit at a high cost. The player is given three lives initially and bonus lives are awarded at 20000 points and every 80000 points thereafter. Flashing crosses scattered throughout each level award players power-ups depending on which color the cross is. A red cross will gives the player one side-firing mini-heli which shoots perpendicular to the player's helicopter. A white cross yields a forward firing mini-heli. It is possible to have a mix and match of side-helis, totaling no more than two. The green cross will award the player with an additional bomb, if the player currently has less than two. Grabbing power-ups when not necessary yields 5000 points.

There are a total of four stages, all of which start and end with a helipad. After completion of the last stage, the game will restart in a more difficult mode starting on stage 2. Most of the game's areas contain unnecessary objects to destroy for bonus points, such as oil drums and houses. This was uncharacteristic for shoot 'em ups at the time.

Ports[edit]

In 1986, a Nintendo Entertainment System port of Tiger-Heli was released in Japan, developed by Micronics and distributed by Pony Canyon. It was later released in North America by Acclaim Entertainment, where it sold one million copies.[1]

In 1995, Banpresto released Toaplan Shooting Battle 1 for the PlayStation, a compilation of Tiger-Heli and Twin Cobra.

Reception[edit]

Computer Gaming World called Tiger-Heli for the NES an excellent port, and concluded that it was "one of the most exciting arcade shoot-'em-ups to turn up".[2]

Sequels[edit]

Tiger-Heli had two sequels, Twin Cobra and Twin Cobra II. In addition, the Tiger-Heli craft makes an appearance in Let's! TV play classic series in Slap Fight Tiger as an alternative to the default aircraft Leopard.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kent, Steve L. (2001). The ultimate history of video games: from Pong to Pokémon and beyond : the story behind the craze that touched our lives and changed the world. Prima. p. 310. ISBN 0761536434. Acclaim exceeded 200,000 in sales of its next game, 3D World Runner, and more than one million copies of Tiger Heli—a game that Taito released in Japan but decided against releasing in the United States. 
  2. ^ Worley, Joyce; Katz, Arnie; Kunkel, Bill (September 1988). "Video Gaming World". Computer Gaming World. p. 50. 

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