Ghost Pilots
Cover art
Developer(s) SNK
Publisher(s) SNK
Platform(s) Arcade Game, Neo-Geo
Release date(s) July 1, 1991
Genre(s) Shooter game
Mode(s) Single-player, 2 player co-op
Cabinet Upright
Arcade system SNK Neo-Geo MVS hardware
Display Raster, 320 x 224 pixels, 4096 colors

Ghost Pilots is a vertical-scrolling shoot 'em up arcade game released in 1991 by SNK.


File:Ghost Pilots Screenshot 01.png

The gameplay is straightforward with elements similar to that of Capcom's 19XX games, but it is incredibly difficult even on the easiest difficulty level. Unlike most scrolling shooters, the vehicle is a seaplane instead of spaceship or airplane. As the in-game instructions indicate, move the joystick around to maneuver the seaplane. Press the A Button to fire bullets. The player can also hold the A button for a semi-automatic fire. Press the B Button to launch bombs from the inventory. The player starts with three bombs.

Next the player has to choose the bomb types for the seaplane. In the first and last stage, the player has a choice to start with either the mega bomb or the magnetic warhead. In the sea strike stage, the player also has the gas flame bomb to choose. In the air strike stage, the player also has the air mines to choose. In a two-player game, both players cannot choose the same bomb type.

The player has to battle airplanes, tanks, gunboats, jets and many other units. Along the way Power ups can be collected for stronger and more widespread firepower, star medals can be collected for bonus points and bombs can be added to the inventory for more bomb attacks. A player can have a maximum of nine bombs. Soon the player has to face a big boss, consisting of jumbo bombers, Godzilla-sized tanks and other large war machines. The player needs to aim for weak points to destroy the bosses. Some bosses fire dangerous fireballs that split when shot by the player, making the battle more difficult. The player is destroyed when shot once by enemy fire or rams into an enemy unit, then the player has to continue with the next seaplane left in the inventory. The first stage is two part which means there is no checkpoint in between. When the player reaches a checkpoint, the overall score is boosted. After the first stage the player can choose to do either the sea strike stage or the air strike stage first. The sea strike stage consists of mostly sea and land units while the air strike stage consists of a majority of air units. If the player makes it past both stages, the last stage is two part and then the player must face a tank boss the size of a city to win the game.


On release, Famicom Tsūshin scored the Neo Geo version of the game a 24 out of 40.[1]


  1. NEO GEO GAMES CROSS REVIEW: ゴーストパイロット. Weekly Famicom Tsūshin. No.332. Pg.25. 28 April 1995.

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