Vapor Trail: Hyper Offence Formation

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VaporTrail MDTitleScreen.png

VaporTrail MD JP TitleScreen.png

Vapor Trail: Hyper Offence Formation
System(s): Sega Mega Drive
Publisher: Riot (JP), Renovation Products (US)
Original system(s): Arcade boards
Genre: Shooting[1][2]

Number of players: 1-2
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega Drive
¥8,400 (8,652)8,400e[3] T-49043
Sega Mega Drive

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Vapor Trail: Hyper Offence Formation, known in Japan as Kuuga: Operation Code "Vapor Trail" (空牙), is a Sega Mega Drive shoot-'em-up developed by Data East. A port of the developer's titular 1989 arcade game Vapor Trail: Hyper Offence Formation, it was originally published in Japan by Riot in August 1991, and was later published in the United States by Renovation Products two months later.

A United Kingdom release, scheduled to be published by Ubisoft in November 1991 for £44.99, was planned[5] but eventually cancelled.


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.


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.


  • 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


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).


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

Print advert in Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #30: "January 1992" (199x-xx-xx)
Print advert in Beep! MegaDrive (JP) #1991-06: "June 1991" (1991-05-08)
Print advert in Beep! MegaDrive (JP) #1991-07: "July 1991" (1991-06-08)
Print advert in Beep! MegaDrive (JP) #1991-08: "August 1991" (1991-07-08)

Physical scans

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
{{{{{icon}}}|L}} Division by zero.
Based on
0 review
Sega Retro Average 
Publication Version Score
1700 igr dlya Sega (RU)
Aktueller Software Markt (DE)
Beep! MegaDrive (JP) NTSC-J
Consoles + (FR)
Console XS (UK) NTSC-J
Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) NTSC-U
Famitsu (JP) NTSC-J
Games-X (UK)
Game Zone (UK) PAL
Hippon Super (JP) NTSC-J
Joystick (FR) PAL
Mega Drive Fan (JP) NTSC-J
MegaTech (UK)
Mean Machines Sega (UK)
Player One (FR)
Power Play (DE)
Sega Pro (UK) PAL
Sega Pro (UK)
Sega Pro (UK) NTSC
Sega Saturn Magazine (JP) NTSC-J
Tilt (FR)
Tricks 16 bit (RU)
Sega Mega Drive
Based on
22 reviews

Vapor Trail: Hyper Offence Formation

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

Technical information

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
Sega Mega Drive
1991-05-26 Page


  1. File:VaporTrail MD JP Box.jpg
  2. 2.0 2.1 (Wayback Machine: 2020-07-02 23:21)
  3. Beep! MegaDrive, "June 1991" (JP; 1991-05-08), page 19
  4. Electronic Gaming Monthly, "October 1991" (US; 1991-xx-xx), page 113
  5. 5.0 5.1 Sega Pro, "November 1991" (UK; 1991-xx-xx), page 54
  6. 1700 igr dlya Sega, "" (RU; 2003-xx-xx), page 255
  7. Aktueller Software Markt, "Dezember 1991" (DE; 1991-11-15), page 140
  8. Beep! MegaDrive, "August 1991" (JP; 1991-07-08), page 37
  9. Consoles +, "Octobre 1991" (FR; 1991-10-05), page 74
  10. Console XS, "June/July 1992" (UK; 1992-04-23), page 136
  11. Electronic Gaming Monthly, "November 1991" (US; 1991-1x-xx), page 24
  12. Famitsu, "1991-08-16" (JP; 1991-08-02), page 1
  13. Games-X, "22nd-28th August 1991" (UK; 1991-08-22), page 40
  14. Game Zone, "January 1992" (UK; 1991-12-18), page 49
  15. Hippon Super, "August 1991" (JP; 1991-07-04), page 89
  16. Joystick, "Septembre 1991" (FR; 1991-0x-xx), page 144
  17. Mega Drive Fan, "October 1991" (JP; 1991-09-XX), page 107
  18. MegaTech, "Xmas 1991" (UK; 1991-12-06), page 81
  19. Mean Machines Sega, "October 1992" (UK; 1992-09-xx), page 142
  20. Player One, "Décembre 1991" (FR; 1991-xx-xx), page 99
  21. Power Play, "12/91" (DE; 1991-11-13), page 175
  22. Sega Pro, "April 1992" (UK; 1992-03-19), page 31
  23. Sega Pro, "April 1993" (UK; 1993-03-11), page 68
  24. Sega Saturn Magazine, "September 1995" (JP; 1995-08-08), page 85
  25. Tilt, "Décembre 1991" (FR; 1991-1x-xx), page 38
  26. Tricks 16 bit, "Tricks Sega Gold 800 igr" (RU; 1998-xx-xx), page 216

Vapor Trail: Hyper Offence Formation

VaporTrail MDTitleScreen.png

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Prereleases: Prototype 1991-05-26