Batsugun (バツグン) is a Toaplan vertically scrolling shmup. It is regarded as an important step in the future development of bullet hell games. It primarily feels like a classic Toaplan shmup in the beginning but it eventually turns into a more bullet hell affair later on. It also features a RPG-like level up system where your shot increases in power as you shoot down enemies and gain experience points.
It was developed and released by Toaplan in Japan in 1993 and would be their last shoot 'em up they developed before declaring bankruptcy. The game was published by Taito in Europe and Unite Trading in Korea.
Batsugun Special Version was shown at the Amusement Machine Operators' Union (AOU) show in 1994 but was never released due to Toaplan's financial situation. The Special Version did eventually find its way onto the secondary market. It is prototypical of later CAVE games and arrange modes. It features multiple loops which increase in difficulty with faster and a high number of bullets. Ships hitboxes are smaller, bombs are better clearing the screen, and the scoring is different.
A home console version was released for the Sega Saturn in 1996. It was developed Toaplan partner Gazelle and published by Banpresto.  The version features both the original version of Batsugun and Batsugun Special Version as well as an arranged soundtrack.
Batsugun is a vertically scrolling shmup with 8 way directional movement, a shot button and a bomb button. It is similar in gameplay to other Toaplan shmups like Same! Same! Same! and Tatsujin but adds elements to them. There are 3 ship types to choose from, each with a different type of standard shot.
- Directional: 8 way directional movement
- A: Shot Button
- A (Press): Fire a bullet stream for ship A, fire a lightning stream with ship B, fire a wide shot for ship C
- A (Hold): Fire a bullet stream and then nothing for ship A, fire a continual lighting stream with ship B, and fire a narrow shot for ship C
- B: Bomb Button. Launches screen clearing bomb.
Characters / Ships / Styles
This game features 3 ship types (A,B,C) with different types of fire. Each ship is piloted by a 1P character and a different character for 2P.
- Piloted by Jeeno for 1P and Schneider for 2P.
- Fires a spread shot. The fire button must be tapped for continuous fire.
- Piloted by Beltiana for 1P and Alteeno for 2P.
- Fires a lightning stream. Holding the fire button emits a continual stream.
All ships can level up by gaining experience points by shooting down enemies, bosses, or parts of the stage environment. Additionally, ships can gain experience by dying and upon continuing, ships maintain their experience level even if the ship type is changed. Once enough experience points are acquired and the bottom meter is filled, the ship level goes up by 1 and its fire power is greatly increased. Ships can be leveled up twice to reach a maximum level of 3.
Batsugun Special Version has 4 loops. Each time a loop is completed the player is given an extend.
Loop 1 contains stages 1-5.
Loop 2 contains stages 2-5. It introduces suicide bullets from defeated enemies.
Loop 3 contains stages 3-5. Suicide bullets become larger.
Loop 4 contains stages 4-5. Suicide bullets are much larger when spawned, and then reduce to the size in loop 3.
Batsugun original does not loop.
The basic scoring methods include blowing up enemies and backgrounds and collecting "V" medals. More advanced scoring methods include chaining Power Up pickups, hovering over peach pigs, and bombing particular enemies. This game also can be exploited and milked in several ways to really tally up a score.
Small V medals: Small "V" medals are worth 500 points upon pick up. All the ones collected are worth 3000 points at the end of the stage. All medals gained before a death are lost in the end stage tally.
Large V medals: Large "V" medals are worth 1000 points upon pick up. All the ones collected are worth 5000 points at the end of the stage. All medals gained before a death are lost in the end stage tally.
Power ups: Collecting power ups increases shot power for each up to 4 pick ups. The fifth power up collected before death is worth 1000 points. Subsequent power ups acquired add 1000 points to the previous pick up point total up to a maximum of 10,000 points. So the 8th pickup is worth 4000 points and the 14th, 15th, etc. power up is worth 10,000 points.
Peach colored pigs: 110 points for every 1/60th of second you hover near them.
Bombing enemies: Particular enemies can be bombed for a 59,630 score bonus in Batsugun Special Version but not in the original. An icon appears when this happens.
On a distant planet in the universe, not unlike Earth, Renoselva A. Gladebara created the Epsilon Project. This project's purpose was to transport all humans into space since the planet had become overpopulated and over-polluted. The government rejected this plan and enraged Gladebara. Gladebara then initiated a deadly coup d'etat and swiftly defeated much of the government's military resistance. Tens of millions of people died in this conflict and the coup's take over was eminent.
However, a secret undersea base was not damaged in the conflict. The government quickly assembled the elite fighter pilots of the remaining fleets. The were called the Skull Hornets and were the planet's last hope to stop Gladebara and restore peace.  
- Junya Inoue was involved with the graphic design of Batsugun before joining Cave later on.
- A manga entitled Truth Story Batsugun was released in 2017 and covers the first 3 stages of the game story. It also includes a CD of the original and arranged soundtrack as well as an interview with the developers of the game.
- 59630 stands for GOKUROSAN which can be translated as "Good Job"