Hellfire (ヘルファイヤー) is a 1989 scrolling shooter video game developed by Toaplan and published by Taito. The game was initially released in the arcades before it was ported to the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis and the PC Engine CD-ROM², the latter under the name Hellfire S. Hellfire S contained notable differences from the other versions, including a remixed, more orchestral soundtrack, animated cut scenes, and the replacement of the leading male character Lancer with a female character called Kaoru (voiced by voice actress Yumi Tōma).
Hellfire is a horizontally scrolling shooter, one of Toaplan's two alongside Zero Wing (compare to their library of vertical games).
Players take control of a small spaceship named the 'CNCS1' and manoeuvre through several different locations set in space. In similar fashion to many other space shooters of the late eighties and early nineties, the game is split up into a series of stages that automatically scroll along on a 2D plane as players destroy basic enemies, middle bosses part of the way through some of the stages, and a tougher boss at the end.
The story to Hellfire takes place in 2998, where man has reached a great point in galactic travel and colonization with the help of a peaceful society. However, a mysterious space matter known as Black Nebula appears and starts engulfing different stars before reaching man's latest colonized galaxy. It is eventually revealed that the force behind this matter is Super Mech, a mysterious robotic dictator from the farthest regions of space with the only intention to destroy any resistance that it and its massive space armada faces.
A Space Federation member known only as Captain Lancer decides to initiate a surprise attack against Super Mech by piloting the only available space fighter craft, the CNCS1, loaded with the strongest weapon available in the galaxy: Hellfire.
In the arcade and Mega Drive versions, Lancer returns safely to Earth after having defeated the Black Nebula. The PC Engine CD-ROM version features a more poignant ending, with the main character Kaoru taking her own life in a heroic act of self-sacrifice in order to save the Earth.