Tiger-Heli [Model GX-551]

A 33-year-old Arcade Video Game by Taito

Tiger-Heli [Model GX-551] screenshot

Emulated in MAME !

Information for the following ROM(s): tigerh tigerhb2 tigerhj tigerhb1 tigerhb3


Tiger-Heli © 1985 Taito.

The game is a vertical scrolling shooter where the player controls a helicopter taking on hordes of enemies which include tanks, battleships, and artillery. It is interesting to note that, besides some airplanes taking off, there are no flying enemies in the entire game. The player's main weapon is an unlimited supply of missiles which travel a max distance of half the screen's height. The player also has two bombs which destroy all objects within a large circular radius. These bombs can be blown off by enemy bullets.

The player is killed after only one hit, and is re-spawned to a point approximately one whole vertical screen-length later, thus progressing the player past the obstacle that had killed him, albeit at a high cost. The player is given three lives initially and bonus lives are awarded at 20000 points and every 80000 points thereafter. Flashing crosses scattered throughout each level award players power-ups depending on which color the cross is. A red cross will gives the player one side-firing mini-heli which shoots perpendicular to the player's helicopter. A white cross yields a forward firing mini-heli. It is possible to have a mix and match of side-helis, totaling no more than two. The green cross will award the player with an additional bomb, if the player currently has less than two. Grabbing power-ups when not necessary yields 5000 points.

There are a total of four stages, all of which start and end with a helipad. After completion of the last stage, the game will restart in a more difficult mode starting on stage 2. Most of the game's areas contain unnecessary objects to destroy for bonus points, such as oil drums and houses. This was uncharacteristic for shoot 'em ups at the time.


Tiger-Heli [Model GX-551] the Arcade Video Game
Click to enlarge
(members only)
Board Number : GX-551 (not a Konami board!)
Prom Stickers : A47

Main CPU : (2x) Zilog Z80, Motorola M68705
Sound Chips : (2x) General Instrument AY8910

Players : 2
Control : 8-way joystick
Buttons : 2


Developed by Toaplan. Tiger-Heli was released in October 1985 by Taito.

The working title for this game was 'Cobra'.

This is the first shooter to use a 'Megabomb'.

Pony Canyon released a limited-edition soundtrack album for this game (Kyukyoku Tiger : G.S.M. Taito 2 - D28B0008) on November 21, 1988.


The bootleg machine does not use the M68705 @ 2 Mhz.


* 10000 Points Bonus : At the start of the game, count your shots until arriving at the first railroad. If you've counted every 16 shots (16, 32, 48, 64 ...), a little car should enter the screen on the right side. Destroy it with next shot to get a 10,000 points bonus. There are similar cars throughout the game, but making them appear is a mystery.

* A Second 10000 Points Bonus : Near the beginning there is a 'school house' with a red drum on the top. If you hit the red drum enough times, you'll get a 10,000 points bonus.

* Second Chance : If you get shot soon after starting a new game, the game will often let you off and just fire a super bomb instead.

* Warp : Lose your first player without scoring any points (make sure the second chance super bomb doesn't hit anything). The game puts you forward to a railway where a car will appear that can be shot for 10,000 points.

* Hint : Blast everything. Civilian cars and houses, etc., all give 50 points each.


Music & sound created by : Tatsuya Uemura


[JP] Nintendo Famicom (dec.5, 1986) "Tiger-Heli [Model PNF-TH]"
Nintendo Famicom [KO] (1987)
[US] Nintendo NES (sept.1987) [Model NES-TI-USA]
[EU] Nintendo NES (jan.7, 1990)
[JP] Sony PlayStation (aug.30, 1996; "Toaplan Shooting Battle 1 [Model SLPS-00436]")

FM Towns Marty [JP] (199?) Tiger-Heli
[JP] Sharp X68000 (1993)

Game's ROM.
Machine's picture.