Batsugun is a vertically scrolling shoot 'em up hailing from the now defunct Japanese game developer Toaplan. It was their final release.

Originally developed for the arcade, Batsugun saw two revisions—the first being released in 1993. The latter named Batsugun Special Version was shown at the AOU (Arcade Operators Union) show in Japan but was never released as Toaplan slid into bankruptcy. After Toaplan's bankruptcy the Special Version appeared on the secondhand market. The two revisions were released on the Sega Saturn in 1996 as a single package coded by Toaplan offshoot Gazelle.

Heralded by some as the first "manic shooter", Batsugun involved employees who would go on to form and work at Cave and continue to work in this subgenre. Batsugun saw an evolution in the use of complex enemy wave and bullet patterns, and player firepower and hit-box.


As is the standard with most arcade shooters, the player controls their ship with a joystick and two buttons. One button (Fire) shoots the main guns, and the other button (Bomb) releases a smart bomb that spreads huge energy balls all around the player's ship.

As enemies are destroyed, the player gains experience points that are separate from the score. For every 288 experience points gained, the main gun will 'level up', becoming much stronger. This is analogous to experience points and levelling up in role playing games. The weapon can only level up twice, so after it has achieved its maximum level, 288 experience points will grant the player an extra bomb.

The player can also grab "P" icons to increase the power of the current level gun. A maximum of five "P"s can be collected per experience level; getting more after this gives extra points instead.

Collecting "B" icons increases the number of bombs, to a maximum of 7.


There are three ship types to select from, with alternate characters for player 2, giving 6 characters in total.

  • Type A: has a simple array of rapid-fire lasers that spread evenly. As it levels up, the laser shots become thicker and more powerful, and the ship fires missiles as well.
  • Type B: shoots a straight beam of lightning for as long as the Fire button is held. Tapping the Fire button causes sparks to appear and travel along the lightning beam. (This may or may not do more damage.) As it levels up, the lightning beam itself turns thicker and changes colors, and secondary projectiles are shot as Fire is tapped.
  • Type C: this ship is fairly adaptable: holding Fire will shoot laser waves straight forward, whilst tapping Fire will fire many spreading bullets. As it levels up, it will also fire homing projectiles, and gain small drone ships that fire their own laser beams.


Apart from destroying enemies, points can be gained from collecting golden V-shaped medals. After the level is finished, 3000 points are awarded for every small one, and 5000 points for every large one.

If the player's ship is destroyed during a level, all medals collected are lost.

An extra life is awarded at 1,000,000 points.

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