Classic arcade game Flying Shark (updated)

Published by Supertortuga on 2002-12-21 and updated on 2016-02-01
3012
4

Flying Shark

Introduction

The arcade version of Flying Shark has throughout the years been one of my favourite shoot'em up games, and I still rank the game as one of the best in its genre. Simple in design, its gameplay will keep you addicted for hours - or simply make you loose your mind because of its challenging levels.

Many are the quarters I spent trying to beat this game in the late 1980's. I still remember how sore my wrist felt after half an hour pounding at that fire button. Now I would like to introduce Flying Shark to you all so that so that you can also feel what it's like to be addicted to a great game. Browse through the areas below, and then follow the links and download the Shark emulator (or MAME) and have a go yourself.

Overview of the game

Flying Shark was released in 1987 by the Japanese company Taito. Taito was at this time most famous for their helicopter shoot'em up Tiger Heli (1985) and their breakout clone Arkanoid (1986?), which both were ported to many other platforms and also were often imitated. The game was originally designed by Toaplan (famous for their shooters) and licensed to Taito.

Taito has made some of the most memorable arcade game classics. Besides Flying Shark some of their best games are Operation Wolf, Twin Cobra, Elevator Action, Tiger Heli, Arkanoid, Rastan, Wardner and not least the Bubble Bobble family including Rainbow Islands, Parasol Stars and Puzzle Bobble.

Flying Shark logotype

Flying Shark logotype

What the game is all about

Not surprisingly, your mission (should you choose to accept it) is to leave your safe home base with your trusty old double winged Shark and enter enemy ground and beat the heck out of the zillions of enemy tanks and aircraft. When first leaving the runway, you have only a double machine gun and three smart bombs, which when dropped will wipe out enemy vehicles and bullets. As you make progress into enemy land, the number of enemies increase and they get tougher to beat. Luckily you can by shooting down formations of red planes improve your fire power. Shooting certain ground objects will reveal extra smart bombs for you to pick up. These smart bombs you will most certainly need to beat the end of level bosses - bigger and more dangerous enemies with lots of fire power. Succeed to finish the boss and you can land safely on the runway of a allied outpost base.

The game consists of five vertically scrolling levels, each with different characteristics. One of the things which I was most impressed with when I first saw the game was that the playing area is actually wider than the screen because the play fields scrolls horizontally as the plane moves to the left or right. This gives you more room to escape the bullets than in a normal vertically scrolling shoot'em up. Even though the game is 12 years old its graphics is still some of the best I have seen. The colours have been used with care and all the enemies are nicely drawn. Even though some graphic elements repeat, the levels are very unique and well composed.

Battle scene from level 2

Battle scene from level 2

I suggest you try this game. In my own opinion they just don't get much better than this.

Tips for playing the game

Master your shark!

Moving the plane from side to side is a good strategy in order to avoid bullets, since all enemies (except the bosses) always aim at your current position. Knowing that the enemies (except for the bosses) do not fire if you are close enough can also save a plane in some situations.

Learn the enemy behaviour

Learn when the red planes enter the screen and quickly pick up the 'S' - but don't chase it!

Likewise learn which ground objects to shoot to collect extra smart bombsBR.>R
Having sufficient firepower and smart bombs is vital when you reach the later stages, and the enemies increase in number and get tougher. Unused smart bombs are also rewarded with a bonus score at the end of the levels.

Collect score and extra planes

Shoot down all yellow planes to collect a bonus score - this helps you get enough score to collect extra planes. Sometimes the red/yellow planes are replaced with white ones. Shoot down all white planes and collect an extra plane.

Don't get killed!

This one seems pretty obvious, but once you have learned the enemy movements the first four levels are fairly easy (well, yeah) and when reaching the last level you will need all the firepower, smart bombs and lives you can get.

Links

Screen shots

Level 1

This level is fairly easy once you have learned it. The enemy tanks seldom enter the area from more than one side, making it easy to shoot them. Spare a bomb on the boss only if you want to be certain to make the level - be cool and collect 3000 points extra for the smart bomb.

Leave that safe home base...

Leave that safe home base...

...to shoot those enemies

...to shoot those enemies

Level 2

The second level starts off at the shore... Here you encounter repeated attack waves of small vessels equipped with fast shooting guns. Finish off those larger boats and drop a bomb on the big plane. With one or two power ups the two bosses should be no problem. Just move the plane from left-right-left in small moves to avoid the bullets. If you have not finished the first tank before the second one enter - drop a bomb.

The shark enters its right element

The shark enters its right element

Two against one! That

Two against one! That's not fair!

Level 3

The need to learn the levels increases as the enemies get tougher. Early on this level you need to know exactly how to beat the big boats - it's very easy to loose a plane. Drop a bomb on the second set of cannons on the first boat. Unless you have insufficient firepower, the rest of the level can easily be completed using no bombs. The end of level boss is the big boat. First shoot the tower until it burns - when the ship returns, concentrate on eliminating the tower before it starts to pump bullets at you! Keep to the left and shoot those tanks as they enter the screen (else you risk losing a plane here).

Ouch! That hurt!

Ouch! That hurt!

End of level boss - shoot that tower!

End of level boss - shoot that tower!

Level 4

This is the first really tough level. You meet two tough bosses, each on which you will have to drop at least two bombs (three to be safe). In-between and after the bosses you will encounter medium sized planes and lots of tanks, which make it really hazardous to make it to the end without losing at least one plane. The end of this level is a real bitch - lots of heavy ground based cannons and tanks pump their bullets at you while the enemy plane strikes in continuous attack waves.

Let me introduce you to Mr Mean

Let me introduce you to Mr Mean

And meet Mr Mean

And meet Mr Mean's big brother...

Level 5

This is the last level, and by far the toughest one. The tanks and planes are now greater in number, and attack from all sides of the playing area. The need for fire power is now greater than ever, but chances are that you will not benefit from this for long before you loose a plane and have to build the fire power up again. Also, you must save the precious smart bombs until when you really need them. After the two great ships, which can be beat without using smart bombs, you must drop a bomb on the two bomb carriers in order to eliminate them while avoiding the bullets from the small gun boats. When reaching the heavily entrenched beaches mid-level you will have to drop a bomb or two - the tanks are a few to many! Use one bomb at the last big ship and then use what you have on the last boss - the huge plane. After beating the last boss, collect a power up, and meet the plane attack waves high up on the screen in order to prevent them from firing too many bullets. Wipe out the many tanks from left to the right and... You have made it!

Hot lead! Hot sun! Hot damn!

Hot lead! Hot sun! Hot damn!

Houston, we have a problem

Houston, we have a problem

One second before the Shark is blown to pieces

One second before the Shark is blown to pieces

The last boss to beat - a tough one!

The last boss to beat - a tough one!

...but the level is not over yet. Zillions of bullets!

...but the level is not over yet. Zillions of bullets!

Mission accomplished! Landing on base again!

Mission accomplished! Landing on base again!

Comments

Showing 4 of 4 comments.

#4
Erich
2016-09-07 21:25:31

The orginal ROM works Just fine on the MAME emulator!

#3
Carlosc
2016-08-08 03:38:55

Hola amigos como puedo descargar este juego? he tratado de bajarlo pero no puedo me ayudarian muchisimo GRACIAS

#2
Juan Luis
2016-06-09 06:29:11

La verdad es que el juego es una viciada. Lo recordaba de la época de recreativas y quién me iba a decir que en 2016 iba a engancharme a él. Siempre me han gustado este tipo de juegos, como el mítico 1942, y la verdad es que el tiempo parece que no pasa por ellos, son intemporales, por eso son verdaderos clásicos.

#1
Skurt!
2015-12-31 13:15:01

¡Qué juego más grande!

Showing 4 of 4 comments.

Write a comment…
Post comment
Cancel

Permanent links

All articles

©2006-2017 Supertortuga • Published by Supertortuga on 2002-12-21 • Contact usCondition of use