(Link to video)
Sonic Wings, also known as Aero Fighters is an arcade Shmup/STG released in 1992 by Video System. It's a very basic shoot em up with large hitboxes, soul, and a lot of jank. The developers of the Sonic Wings franchise would later go on to form Psikyo.

Objectives of this TAS

  • Aims for the highest score
  • Manipulates RNG
  • Stalls bosses for 2 minutes for 1,000 points
  • Jank

Configurations on Bizhawk 2.9.1

All defaults.

Pre-requisites to run this movie.

Aero Fighters rom is required (aerofgt)

Example of the movie

Scoring System & Game Mechanics


Sonic Wings is a basic vertical scrolling shmup with 7 stages, once stage 7 is completed, the game will loop; where enemy patterns and aggressiveness are heightened. There are 8 playable ships in the game, I use Tee-Bee/JAS 39- as it's the highest scoring ship in the game.


Move n shoot, also bombing

The Scoring

Normally, this game lasts 20 minutes for a 2-ALL (2 loops cleared 1cc), but with the power of scoring, this is increased to 43 minutes. Sonic Wings scoring system is very basic, shoot things, get items, dont bomb. It's how you actually gain points that things become interesting.

Items And Ammunitions

There are 3 types of items, Power-ups, Bombs, and Medals. Medals are spawned when killing certain ground targets, they give 1,000 points. No tricks here.
Bombs are dropped by a specific enemy, once per stage. You start with 2 of them, and can hold up to 6; but what happens when you have 6 bombs and get another? You are awarded 10,000 points.
Power-ups are the last item type, you have 4 power levels in the game, so collecting 3 power ups puts you at max power. But there's a twist! When you're at max power, you have a limited supply of ammo before you drop down to Level 3. For Tee-Bee, this amount is 1,800 Ammo. Every tap of fire uses 20 ammo, but mashing the button uses more (but spams more secondary shots for higher damage).
When you collect a power up at Level 4, you are awarded 2,000 points and the ammo will reset back to 1,800. So it's pivotal to stay max power for as long as possible, conserving the ammo the game gives you.

Ok now why is the game 40 minutes long

Every boss in the game will spawn additional "zako" (Small enemies) that can be killed for extra points. How much? Usually 100 points an enemy, sometimes 200! But every point matters- and while I'm stalling these bosses, the rank (internal difficulty) rises very fast, so quickly the game will become unmanageable and I need to do hell dodges to survive.
Sometimes, especially on 1-6, 2-6, 1-7 and 2-7, youll see me missing a few missiles that are fired, well this is because..

The game is jank

The hitbox for your ship is quite a bit larger than your sprite, about 5 pixels around it is the full hitbox, on top of this, any large bullets also have hitboxes the average size of the canadian skyscraper, so this makes dodging through bullets as you've seen in my Raiden Fighters TAS, impossible. Not everything is killable, so I make do with what my slow ass, huge hitbox ship can do.


I lose 800 points because I forgot a specific boss target gives 800 points when the other instances of it give 0 (cool)

Ending Comments

This score surpasses the RTA score of 1,807,500 by D.I set in February on 2020. Ending Score of 1,843,600. I think 1,850,000 is possible with a different ship.

ThunderAxe31: Claiming for judging.
ThunderAxe31: File replaced with a version that removes 1593 unnecessary and blank inputs.
Good job. Accepting for publication.
Note for the publisher: the original movie file inserted the high score name after the end, use that for the publication encode. You can find it here.
fsvgm777: Processing.

Experienced Forum User, Moderator
Joined: 8/3/2004
Posts: 14657
This topic is for the purpose of discussing #8869: PearlASE's Arcade Aero Fighters "maximum score" in 43:30.52
Active player, Editor, Experienced Forum User, Reviewer (474)
Joined: 3/9/2019
Posts: 549
Good job! Enjoyed seeing this max score tas. Definitely looks like one of those games that eats lots of quarters later on too. Yes vote.
discord: CoolHandMike#0352
Experienced Forum User
Joined: 10/2/2005
Posts: 3992
You can really feel the proto-Psikyo vibes, especially in the amazing 7th stage. It's clear they tried their hardest, just that the meta and tooling wasn't there yet (the music especially is being held back, and you can only make the patterns so good with physics this limiting), but the seed was planted for their iteration in the later games. Fun watch. The ship just always finds a way to not get hit by bullets.
My Chiptune music, made in Famitracker: http://soundcloud.com/patashu My twitch. I stream mostly shmups & rhythm games http://twitch.tv/patashu My youtube, again shmups and rhythm games and misc stuff: http://youtube.com/user/patashu
Post subject: Movie published
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Joined: 8/3/2004
Posts: 14657
This movie has been published. The posts before this message apply to the submission, and posts after this message apply to the published movie. ---- [5802] Arcade Aero Fighters "maximum score" by PearlASE in 43:30.52