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A top-down scrolling Shoot'Em Up series by Video System, known as Sonic Wings in Japan (and sometimes in the rest of the world) (Not to be confused with Sonic the Hedgehog). Known for having a variety of characters, ranging from stock nationality clichés to a dolphin and an infant.

The series spans six games, the first being on dedicated arcade hardware and the latter two being on the Neo Geo arcade platform. Aero Fighters 1 and 2 utilize modern fighter jets, but 3 has the cast using World War II-era planes instead. The next game, Sonic Wings Limited stayed exclusive to the Zinc arcade board, while Sonic Wings Special was released for the Sega Saturn and the Playstation. The last installment, Aero Fighters Assault, was exclusive to the Nintendo64 and strayed from the formula, being an halfway realistic 3D flight simulation instead of a vertical shoot'em up,

The Aero Fighters / Sonic Wings series provides examples of:

  • Spiritual Successor: The first Sonic Wings was one to Turbo Force.
    • Samurai Aces and Gunbird are this to the first game. Both are made by a different company (Psikyo instead of Video System) but share a very similar engine and have the same director (Shin Nakamura).
  • Time Stands Still: Mao(-Mao)'s bomb.
  • Video Game 3D Leap: Assault
  • The Walls Have Eyes: Lar is a giant, disembodied, floating eye.
  • Widget Series: Mainly because of the huge contrast. The characters and some of the final bosses are wacky, but the rest of the game looks like any other generic millitary shoot'em up.
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