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)
Developer:
Original system(s): Arcade boards
Genre: Shooting[1][2]

















Number of players: 1-2
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega Drive
JP
¥8,400 (8,652)8,400e[3] T-49043
Sega Mega Drive
US
49106
Non-Sega versions

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. It is 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 canceled.

Story

In 1999, a terrorist organization known only as DAGGER has occupied the city of New York where they have hacked into military defenses world-wide, established their own military command and gained access to nuclear missile silos. They hold the world hostage in this position and promise to cancel their threats of destroying the Earth only until the world's governments relinquish their power to DAGGER.

A Special Forces Air Unit is called in to attack DAGGER and cripple their strongest defenses and headquarters in New York. Until then, the city remains silent. The organization name was changed from Ragnarok in the Japanese original.

Gameplay

The game is a vertically scrolling shoot-'em-up. The player can select from three different jets with different classes of speeds and firepower. A second player can man a second ship for two-player simultaneous combat. Jets are moved in any direction with the D-pad and fire a single shot with A or rapid-fire with B. Every jet is equipped with a roll device that allows them to dodge projectiles and hostiles with C. The roll grants temporal invincibility and must be recharged after every use.

There are numerous different weapons that can be collected and equipped. The player can also upgrade the jet's attack power and movement speed through collecting power-ups. Additionally, players can collect the S-Unit, a weapon attachment that empowers the jet's firing no matter which weapon is picked up previously. Every jet's S-Unit attack differs from the others. Once the S-Unit is equipped, the player cannot use their previous weapons unless the S-Unit is detonated. Detonating the S-Unit does not harm the player, but it does harm the enemy as the unit will detonate in a large and powerful explosion.

Some levels, such as the first level, have a form of depth; certain enemies, like tanks, are on the ground. The player can fly over them harmlessly, though their missiles can attack the player.

The player's jet has three hit points and loses one whenever it takes damage from enemy fire or collides with an enemy. The jet is destroyed if it loses all of its hit points, costing the player a life. The game ends if the player runs out of lives.

Jets

Vapor Trail, Jets.png
Silph
The Silph is a medium-speed attacker/fighter. Its regular shot is shooting three shots straight ahead. It has balanced speed and attack power.
Vapor Trail, Jets.png
Valkyrie
The Valkyrie is a low-speed attacker. Its regular shot is a fan of four shots in front of it. It is the slowest of the three jets but has the most powerful shot.
Vapor Trail, Jets.png
Seylen
The Seylen is a high-speed fighter. Its regular shot is two shots straight ahead and two shots straight behind. It is the fastest jet and the only one that can shoot in both directions initially, but its shots are weaker.

Weapons

Vapor Trail, Weapons, V Silph.png

Vapor Trail, Weapons, V Valkyrie.png

Vapor Trail, Weapons, V Seylen.png

  • Vapor Trail, Weapons, V Silph.png

  • Vapor Trail, Weapons, V Valkyrie.png

  • Vapor Trail, Weapons, V Seylen.png

V
The standard weapon.

Vapor Trail, Weapons, B.png

B
Shoots missiles straight ahead, which are very strong but cover a small area. The explosion radius of the missiles upon impact can eliminate enemy bullets, including laser attack of the Stage 3 boss.

Vapor Trail, Weapons, M.png

M
Shoots homing missiles in all directions. The dispersal pattern is different for each jet.

Vapor Trail, Weapons, D.png

D
Releases ring-shaped projectiles in a circle around the jet. Covers a large area but does relatively little damage, making it good against many small enemies but ineffective against bosses.

Vapor Trail, Weapons, S Silph.png

Vapor Trail, Weapons, S Valkyrie.png

Vapor Trail, Weapons, S Seylen.png

  • Vapor Trail, Weapons, S Silph.png

  • Vapor Trail, Weapons, S Valkyrie.png

  • Vapor Trail, Weapons, S Seylen.png

S
Equips a ship-specific special attack that replaces the standard weapon. It can be disarmed with C, which releases a large bomb that attacks enemies and negates enemy bullets.

Items

Vapor Trail, Items.png
Power-Up
Upgrades the attack power of the weapon, up to three times.
Vapor Trail, Items.png
Speed-Up
Increases the movement speed of the jet, up to three times.
Vapor Trail, Items.png
Life Recovery
Recovers one point of life or gives the player 2,500 points if already at full life.
Vapor Trail, Items.png
S-Unit
Equips the ship-specific special attack.
Vapor Trail, Items.png
Weapon Change
Changes the ship's weapon. Shoot to cycle between weapons.

Stages

Vapor Trail, Stage 1-1.png

Vapor Trail, Stage 1-2.png

Vapor Trail, Stage 1-3.png

Vapor Trail, Stage 1 Boss.png

  • Vapor Trail, Stage 1-1.png

  • Vapor Trail, Stage 1-2.png

  • Vapor Trail, Stage 1-3.png

  • Vapor Trail, Stage 1 Boss.png

Stage 1

Vapor Trail, Stage 2-1.png

Vapor Trail, Stage 2-2.png

Vapor Trail, Stage 2-3.png

Vapor Trail, Stage 2 Boss.png

  • Vapor Trail, Stage 2-1.png

  • Vapor Trail, Stage 2-2.png

  • Vapor Trail, Stage 2-3.png

  • Vapor Trail, Stage 2 Boss.png

Stage 2

Vapor Trail, Stage 3-1.png

Vapor Trail, Stage 3-2.png

Vapor Trail, Stage 3-3.png

Vapor Trail, Stage 3 Boss.png

  • Vapor Trail, Stage 3-1.png

  • Vapor Trail, Stage 3-2.png

  • Vapor Trail, Stage 3-3.png

  • Vapor Trail, Stage 3 Boss.png

Stage 3

Vapor Trail, Stage 4-1.png

Vapor Trail, Stage 4-2.png

Vapor Trail, Stage 4-3.png

Vapor Trail, Stage 4 Boss.png

  • Vapor Trail, Stage 4-1.png

  • Vapor Trail, Stage 4-2.png

  • Vapor Trail, Stage 4-3.png

  • Vapor Trail, Stage 4 Boss.png

Stage 4

Vapor Trail, Stage 5-1.png

Vapor Trail, Stage 5-2.png

Vapor Trail, Stage 5-3.png

Vapor Trail, Stage 5 Boss.png

  • Vapor Trail, Stage 5-1.png

  • Vapor Trail, Stage 5-2.png

  • Vapor Trail, Stage 5-3.png

  • Vapor Trail, Stage 5 Boss.png

Stage 5

Vapor Trail, Stage 6 Boss 1.png

Vapor Trail, Stage 6 Boss 2.png

  • Vapor Trail, Stage 6 Boss 1.png

  • Vapor Trail, Stage 6 Boss 2.png

Stage 6

History

Legacy

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 its 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 separated.
  • 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"

Production credits

  • Program: Kazunori Ishiguri, Yasuhiro Matsuda, Toshiyuki Sakai, Syuji Ishimaki, Hiroyasu Fujimaru
  • Graphic: Manapu Yokoi, Yukie Shiraiwa, Mao, Megumi Shinya, Mutunori Sato
  • Game Design: Eisuke Tsuzawa
  • Special Thanks: Hozumi Yoshida, Hiroshi Inoue, Kohji Sasamoto, Akira Ohtani, Ayumi Kitazawa, Mari Matsuzaka, H.Ohta
  • Sound: Shogo Sakai, Naoki Matumuru, Daisuke Inoue at Joe Down Studio
  • Director: Yasuro Koideya
Arcade Staff
  • Program: MIN, HAL, HYA, HMD
Source:
In-game credits[6]

Magazine articles

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

Promotional material

Logo-pdf.svg
Print advert in Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #30: "January 1992" (199x-xx-xx)
Logo-pdf.svg
Print advert in Beep! MegaDrive (JP) #1991-06: "June 1991" (1991-05-08)
Logo-pdf.svg
Print advert in Beep! MegaDrive (JP) #1991-07: "July 1991" (1991-06-08)
Logo-pdf.svg
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)
30
[7]
Aktueller Software Markt (DE)
63
[8]
Beep! MegaDrive (JP) NTSC-J
70
[9]
Consoles + (FR)
92
[10]
Console XS (UK) NTSC-J
79
[11]
Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) NTSC-U
58
[12]
Famitsu (JP) NTSC-J
68
[13]
Games-X (UK)
80
[14]
Game Zone (UK) PAL
50
[15]
Hippon Super (JP) NTSC-J
30
[16]
Joystick (FR) PAL
71
[17]
Mega Drive Fan (JP) NTSC-J
67
[18]
MegaTech (UK)
70
[19]
Mean Machines Sega (UK)
70
[20]
Player One (FR)
67
[21]
Power Play (DE)
59
[22]
Sega Pro (UK) PAL
75
[5]
Sega Pro (UK)
75
[23]
Sega Pro (UK) NTSC
57
[24]
Sega Saturn Magazine (JP) NTSC-J
75
[25]
Tilt (FR)
85
[26]
Tricks 16 bit (RU)
71
[27]
Sega Mega Drive
66
Based on
22 reviews

Vapor Trail: Hyper Offence Formation

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

Technical information

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
Sega Mega Drive
 ?
CRC32
MD5
SHA-1
1991-05-26 Page

References

  1. File:VaporTrail MD JP Box.jpg
  2. 2.0 2.1 https://sega.jp/history/hard/megadrive/software_l.html (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. File:Vapor Trail MD credits.pdf
  7. 1700 igr dlya Sega, "" (RU; 2003-03-10), page 255
  8. Aktueller Software Markt, "Dezember 1991" (DE; 1991-11-15), page 140
  9. Beep! MegaDrive, "August 1991" (JP; 1991-07-08), page 35
  10. Consoles +, "Octobre 1991" (FR; 1991-10-05), page 74
  11. Console XS, "June/July 1992" (UK; 1992-04-23), page 136
  12. Electronic Gaming Monthly, "November 1991" (US; 1991-1x-xx), page 24
  13. Famitsu, "1991-08-16" (JP; 1991-08-02), page 1
  14. Games-X, "22nd-28th August 1991" (UK; 1991-08-22), page 40
  15. Game Zone, "January 1992" (UK; 1991-12-18), page 49
  16. Hippon Super, "August 1991" (JP; 1991-07-04), page 89
  17. Joystick, "Septembre 1991" (FR; 1991-0x-xx), page 144
  18. Mega Drive Fan, "October 1991" (JP; 1991-09-XX), page 107
  19. MegaTech, "Xmas 1991" (UK; 1991-12-06), page 81
  20. Mean Machines Sega, "October 1992" (UK; 1992-09-xx), page 142
  21. Player One, "Décembre 1991" (FR; 1991-xx-xx), page 99
  22. Power Play, "12/91" (DE; 1991-11-13), page 175
  23. Sega Pro, "April 1992" (UK; 1992-03-19), page 31
  24. Sega Pro, "April 1993" (UK; 1993-03-11), page 68
  25. Sega Saturn Magazine, "September 1995" (JP; 1995-08-08), page 85
  26. Tilt, "Décembre 1991" (FR; 1991-1x-xx), page 38
  27. Tricks 16 bit, "Tricks Sega Gold 800 igr" (RU; 1998-03-20), page 216


Vapor Trail: Hyper Offence Formation

VaporTrail MDTitleScreen.png

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Prereleases:
Sega Mega Drive
Prototypes: 1991-05-26