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|Developer(s)||SIMS Co., Ltd.
|Series||Sonic the Hedgehog|
Tails' Skypatrol (テイルスのスカイパトロール Teirusu no Sukaipatorōru) is a scrolling shooter video game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series, developed by JSH and published by Sega for the Game Gear. It was originally released on April 28, 1995 exclusively in Japan, but was later released in other regions as an unlockable game in Sonic Adventure DX and Sonic Gems Collection.
The game is a spin-off and a prequel to the Sonic series following the adventures of Sonic's trusty sidekick Miles "Tails" Prower as he tries to save an island from Witchcart, who threatens to turn anyone opposing her into crystals with her magic and also before meeting Sonic.
While flying his plane, Tails discovers a small island and lands to investigate. While initially appearing to be uninhabited, he eventually comes upon an old woman. She declares herself to be the great Witchcart, and claims the island and everything on it as her own, threatening to transform any dissidents into crystal. She then heads off with her henchmen, and Tails, determined to stop her, chases after them.
The gameplay of Tails' Skypatrol is less in line with the familiar platforming style of the traditional Sonic games. There are no rings or emeralds to be collected, Dr. Robotnik is entirely absent and Tails is constantly "suspended" in flight mode and clears each stage simply by completing each course from left to right. The screen is fixed and constantly moves along with him. Should Tails fall, bump into objects or touch the ground, he loses a life.
Across each stage Tails carries a golden ring with him which he can throw as a projectile to defeat enemies or break walls. Using the Ring, he will also latch on to any number of devices the player will encounter in each stage, ranging from gymnastics bars to rail carts.
In order to stay afloat, the player must constantly watch Tails' flight meter, which slowly drops to zero. Scattered across the map are Mint Candies which Tails can collect in groups of either one, two or three to replenish his stamina.
- Witchcart, an old human witch who rides around in a specialised rail cart on an island she claims as her own, and is the main villain. She claims she is able to turn any dissenters into crystal. In the game, the goal of Tails is to free the island and its inhabitants from her tyranny.
Aside from an army of robots, Wendy's main lackeys are:
- Fockewulf, a blue male anthropomorphic wolf who rides a flying bike. He appears to be named after Focke-Wulf, a German company known for manufacturing military aircraft for the Luftwaffe during the second World War. Fockewulf is the first boss of the game, fighting Tails in Rail Canyon, the second level (the first level has no boss). He fights by throwing grenades at Tails, which explode into four pieces on impact.
- Bearenger, a black male anthropomorphic bear who rides a small flying rocket with a shark face similar to the Flying Tigers fighter planes from World War II. He is the boss of Ruin Wood, the third level. Bearenger fights by firing energy projectiles in sets of three from his rocket.
- Carrotia, a white female anthropomorphic rabbit who pilots a flying vehicle shaped like a carrot. She wears blue eye shadow and a large red bow. She is the boss of Metal Island, the fourth level, where she fights by firing small carrot-shaped homing missiles and throwing kisses.
Witchcart later appeared in the Sonic the Hedgehog series from Archie Comics, where she is depicted as a troll witch and the sister of Walter Naugus, who originally appeared as a villain in the Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon. She is here known as Wendy Naugus—Wendy being a fan-given nickname for her game's counterpart—and her minions are referred to as the Witchcarters.
- NEW GAMES CROSS REVIEW: テイルスのスカイパトロール. Weekly Famicom Tsūshin. No.333. Pg.34. 5 May 1995.