Meet Spanky, the fighter pilot dolphin from the Aero Fighters series

Meet Spanky, the fighter pilot dolphin from the Aero Fighters series

Imagine for a moment a world where fighter jets such as the Northrop YF-23 Gray Ghost could be piloted by a talking dolphin.

That world would be a cool place, right? If it sounds like somewhere you’d like to be, you should check out the Aero Fighter series of games. Starting with Aero Fighters 2 in the arcades, Spanky (or Whity as he is known in Japan) is a “genius dolphin” who joined the United Nations Peacekeeping Force and fights on the side of nature!

Aero Fighters

The Aero Fighters series, better known as Sonic Wings in the East, are vertical shooters, similar to Capcom’s 1942. The first game is mostly a serious shoot-em-up where “the world’s hope hinges on your combat skills and sheer determination as an Aero Fighter“.

I say mostly serious, but you do have the option of playing as Rabio and Lepus, the twin mechanical rabbits hailing from the world of Bunnyland.


The second game, Aero Fighters 2, changes the tone considerably. For a start you can play as Spanky the dolphin, or as Arthur Sid Pride, the baby pilot with a milk bottle! Later games also have much funnier character stories, especially when “Engrish” creeps into the narrative.

I never thought I’d be frying over a jungle!

Spanky is a pretty popular dolphin, he even gets his own fan-art, like this from Jacquelline M. Kimminau.

Jacquelline M. Kimminau - Spanky the Dolphin

The best thing about Spanky though is his positivity. What should a dolphin say when faced with mass destruction? The Capitol was destroyed, but hey, what can you do?. Exactly!

Spanky Go Home

If you want to see Spanky in action for yourself, I’d play through the two Neo Geo titles in the series – Aero Fighters 2 and 3. You can also read loads more about him on his own character page on the Sonic Wings Wikia.

Sonic Wings 2 and 3

You could also watch Spanky paired with the baby pilot in this Let’s Play video:

Baby Power! Dolphin Power!

This post continues a new series from me:
An irreverent and artistic A-Z of Neo Geo Gaming.

Hayden Yale

Child of the 80's. Born, raised and living in the Cheshire countryside, England. Lover of fan art, especially if it is based on my childhood heroes from Masters of the Universe, Thundercats, Transformers and TMNT. Penchant for almost anything retro, especially movies, games and art.
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