European cover art
Arrow Flash (Japanese: アローフラッシュ Hepburn: Arō Furasshu?) is a scrolling shooter video game developed by Sega and published by Sega in Japan and Europe and by Renovation Products in the United States for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis in 1990. The game's main character pilots a prototype transformable fighter-mecha left from her grandfather to fight against an alien attack on humankind. The game is mostly a horizontal shooter, with one down scrolling stage.
Like many scrolling shooters, the player initially has a basic shot, which can be upgraded and/or exchanged for different weapons, as well as gain smaller ships that follow the player's ship around and copy its attacks. As is usual, these powerups are distributed throughout the levels, and are lost entirely when the player loses a life.
Two additional mechanics differentiate Arrow Flash from similar scrolling shooters, one of which is that the ability to transform the player's ship. The two forms available are a humanoid mecha form and a typical jet form. The player's weapons change depending on the form. The jet form only shoots forward but intensely, it can fly faster horizontally and the helper ships mimic the jet's actions. However the mecha form can fire diagonally and sometimes even from the back, it has a faster vertical speed and the helper ships remain in a fixed formation whilst in this form. The ship is killed by only one hit unless the player picks up an energy shield which can sustain three hits.
The game's titular "Arrow Flash" is a highly powerful attack for each form; the jet fires five large blasts forward, while the mecha form becomes engulfed in flame, rendering it immune to attack for a short while. Depending on the options set at the start of the game, arrow flashes are either required to be charged up with unlimited use or collected out on the field with no charge time.
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