Choplifter started out as a game developed and released for the Apple II in 1982, and later as a coin-operated version by Sega in 1985. In this bi-directional scrolling game, the user pilots the “Hawk-Z” helicopter in an effort to rescue hostages that have been captured by the Bungeling Empire. The pilot must bring the hostages back to the safe zone, while at the same time battling tanks, jets, and other enemies.
The game required a bit of caution in that hostages, after being freed from the hostage buildings, could be killed by enemy or friendly fire. Because the helicopter could only hold a set number of hostages, many trips back and forth were needed to rescue everyone, and the return trip was increasingly more difficult as the enemy re- grouped in anticipation.