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Toaplan Co. LTD.

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Toaplan Co. LTD. was a prolific game developer that formed in the late 70s, and were responsible for many influential shooting games in the late 80s/early 90s that were released in arcades. They declared bankruptcy in 1994, and several former members of the company would go on to form their own companies, such as CAVE, Raizing, and Takumi.

In 2017, a Japanese company known as Tatsujin was formed, which is currently the rights holder of all Toaplan IPs. "Tatsujin" is also the Japanese name of the shooting game series known as Truxton in Western territories.

General Play Style

Toaplan games have a tendency to favor using high-speed bullets with minimal pattern density (with the exception of their later games that are considered progenitors to the bullet hell subgenre of shooting games, featuring slightly higher amounts of bullets at slightly slower speeds).

Toaplan shooters also tend to have a decent amount of variety in bullet behavior, often incorporating bullets that swirl, have light homing properties, and fly in erratic patterns, as well as bullets with bigger hitboxes and shape variety.

Player hitboxes tend to be bigger than later shooting games, often requiring macro-dodging and solid routing in order to proceed further. Toaplan shooters often contain a variety of weapon selections and the ability to power up your ship, but on death, you tend to lose all of the power-ups you acquired. Toaplan shooters also very often feature a checkpoint system, respawning the player to a previous point in the stage, and due to the power-up system, they are often under-powered. Many of Toaplan's titles, such as Same! Same! Same! and Tatsujin Ou, are known to be exceptionally challenging due to these factors, for better or for worse.

Shooting games developed by Toaplan

Game Year Publisher(s)
Tiger-Heli 1985 Taito (JP), Romstar (NA)
Slap Fight 1986 Taito
Hishōzame / Sky Shark / Flying Shark 1987 Taito (JP), Romstar (NA), Electrocoin (EU)
Kyuukyoku Tiger / Twin Cobra 1987 Taito (JP/EU), Romstar (NA)
Tatsujin / Truxton 1988 Taito (JP/EU), Midway (NA)
Hellfire 1989 Taito (JP), USA Games (NA)
Daisenpuu / Twin Hawk 1989 Taito
Zero Wing 1989 Toaplan (JP), Williams (NA)
Same! Same! Same! (Same3) / Fire Shark 1989 Toaplan (JP/EU), Romstar (NA)
Vimana 1991 Tecmo (JP), Romstar (NA)
Dogyuun 1992 Toaplan
Tatsujin Ou / Truxton II 1992 Toaplan
V-V (V-Five) / Grind Stormer 1993 Toaplan
Batsugun 1993 Toaplan