Vapor Trail is a vertically scrolling shooter originally developed by Data East for the arcade in 1989. Kuuga: Operation Code "Vapor Trail" is the game's full Japanese name, with the title being changed to Vapor Trail: Hyper Offense Formation overseas. Telenet Japan secured the rights to port the game to Sega's Mega Drive, publishing through its RiOT label for release in 1991. At the time, Telenet also had a North American subsidiary named Renovation Products, who handled the overseas Genesis release in the same year.
This original game spawned an arcade trilogy from Data East. The second game in the Kuuga series is Wolf Fang: Kuuga 2001, and the third is Skull Fang: Kuuga Gaiden. Both of these sequels were ported to the followup of the Genesis, the Saturn. Wolf Fang expanded to Sony's PlayStation, and even took a modern leap to the PlayStation Network, for a PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable release. Wolf Fang switched genre completely when it changed into a run and gun and platforming hybrid; however, Skull Fang returned to the scrolling shooter mechanics of the original.