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Arrow Flash (USA, Europe)

Genre

Scrolling shooter

Console

Sega Genesis

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Sega Genesis

Arrow Flash (USA, Europe)

Arrow Flash (Japanese: アローフラッシュ, HepburnArō Furasshu) is a horizontally 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 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.

Gameplay

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 power-ups are distributed throughout the levels. They are retained when advancing to the next stage but lost entirely when the player loses a life.

Two additional mechanics differentiate Arrow Flash from similar scrolling shooters, one of which is the ability to transform the player’s ship. The two forms available are a humanoid mech and a fighter jet, with the player’s weapons changing depending on the form. The jet form only shoots forward but intensely, it can fly faster horizontally, and the helper ships follow the jet in a snakelike pattern. The mech form has a wider shooting angle (sometimes even firing backwards upon getting enough upgrades), has a faster vertical speed, and the helper ships remain in a fixed formation whilst in this form. Missiles will also home on enemies in mech form, whereas they only travel directly forward in jet form. Regardless of form, the ship is destroyed with 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 ability, differing for each form: the jet fires five large blasts forward, while the mech form becomes engulfed in flame, rendering it immune to attacks for a short time. In the default “Stock” mode, Arrow Flashes are instant but limited, and must be used sparingly, while “Charge” mode allows arrow flashes to be used infinitely but with a weaker effect, and must be “charged up” before use.

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