Flying Shark (also known as Sky Shark in North America) is a vertical scrolling shoot 'em up. The game was developed by Toaplan and published by Taito for the arcades in 1987. The same year, it was converted (by Firebird) to the 16bit home computers Amiga, Atari ST, Sharp X68000, Fujitsu FM Towns and FM Towns Marty and the 8bit home computers Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum.
STORY / GAMEPLAY The story here is pretty simple; fly your plane and destroy everything that moves (or shoots at you). You control a bi-winged plane (that looks like a WWI plane) through five vertically scrolling levels swarmed by enemy forces like planes, tanks, gun emplacements and even battleships! You take off from your military base and fly over a variety of environments like forests, oceans or even cities. When the going gets a little tough, you can launch one of your limited (up to 3) supply bombs to explode every enemy craft around in pieces. Occasionally, a squadron of red planes appears and you must shoot them all down, to gain essential extra firepower! If you let just one of those planes to fly away, you won't get the bonus (shown as a big S). You can boost your firepower with a spread fire comprising of a maximum of nine projectiles a shot. While flying, you will also find some extra bombs (shown as a huge red B) by destroying ground or airborne enemies. In terms of gameplay, the game is very tough, especially when too many enemies occupy the screen and shooting at you in frenzy. And its toughness doesn't end there since the enemy planes move in "confusing" and frustratingly fast patterns that provide an infuriatingly addictive challenge! The truth is, it's hard to avoid enemy fire and, every time you lose a life, your firepower goes back to default (two projectiles per shot), which means that soon you'll be history. So, your best bet is to find a joystick with an auto-fire function, build up your firepower enough and then, virtually, nothing will stand in your way! Given its sharp graphics and addictive gameplay, Flying Shark is a great shoot 'em up game, though (as already said) it's among the most difficult of its time.
GRAPHICS / SOUND Despite not being 100% faithful to the coin-op (in terms of graphics and sound), the Amiga conversion features some detailed and colorful backdrops and sprites, although the game runs in 16 colors on screen (it seems it's a direct port from the ST). The sprites move fast and smooth too (no slowdowns here). It should be noted that the Sharp X68000 version is technically the only conversion that's identical to the original. Sonically, your missions are accompanied by some great sound effects and a music score that sounds almost like the original. Overall, Flying Shark is a great shooter game for the Amiga.
CPU: Motorola MC68000 7.16 MHz MEMORY: 512KB of Chip RAM (OCS chipset - A500), 512 KB of Slow RAM or Trapdoor RAM can be added via the trapdoor expansion, up to 8 MB of Fast RAM or a Hard drive can be added via the side expansion slot. The ECS chipset (A500+) offered 1MB on board to 2MB (extended) of Chip RAM. GRAPHICS: The OCS chipset (Amiga 500) features planar graphics (codename Denise custom chip), with up to 5 bit-planes (4 in hires), allowing 2, 4, 8, 16 and 32 color screens, from a 12bit RGB palette of 4096 colors. Resolutions varied from 320x256 (PAL, non-interlaced, up to 4096 colors) to 640x512 (interlace, up to 4 colors). Two special graphics modes where also included: Extra Half Bright with 64 colors and HAM with all 4096 colors on-screen. The ECS chipset models (Amiga 500+) offered same features but also extra high resolution screens up to 1280x512 pixels (4 colors at once). SOUND: (Paula) 4 hardware-mixed channels of 8-bit sound at up to 28 kHz. The hardware channels had independent volumes (65 levels) and sampling rates, and mixed down to two fully left and fully right stereo outputs