The Iceman Cometh.
Toaplan, a shooting game developer that flew high in the ’80s with titles like Twin Cobra and Truxton, possesses a formidable resume. Batsugun, the company’s swan-song shooter, and one of its most historically significant works, spearheaded an evolution of the genre that remains prevalent today.
Programmer Tsuneki Ikeda joined Toaplan late in its life cycle. His first project, 1992’s Grind Stormer, acts as a bridge between traditional shooting game motifs and an emergent ‘manic’ gameplay structure. A year later, Batsugun cemented the concept and established the ‘bullet hell’ style — a formula that would underpin everything Ikeda and several other ex-Toaplan staff would go on to achieve at Cave Co. Ltd.
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