1942 (video game)

1942 (video game)

Infobox VG

caption="1942" arcade flyer
developer = Capcom
publisher = Capcom
designer=Yoshiki Okamoto
released=December vgy|1984 (arcade)
genre =Vertical scrolling shooter
modes =Single player, 2 player Co-op
platforms= Arcade
media =
input= 8-way Joystick, 2 Buttons
cabinet = Upright
arcade system =
cpu =Zilog Z80 (@ 4 MHz)
sound = Zilog Z80 (@ 3 MHz)
2x AY8910 (@ 1.5 MHz)
display = Raster, 224 x 256 pixels (Vertical), 256 colors

"1942" is a vertically scrolling shoot 'em up made by Capcom that was released for the arcade in vgy|1984. It was the first game in the 194x series, followed by "".

"1942" is set in the Pacific theater of World War II. Despite the game being created by a Japanese company and staff, the goal is to reach Tokyo and destroy the entire Japanese air fleet. The player pilots a plane (dubbed the "Super Ace", although its appearance is clearly that of a Lockheed P-38 Lightning), and has to shoot down enemy planes. Besides shooting, the player can also perform a "Roll" or "loop-the-loop" to avoid enemy fire.

The game was later ported to the NES (developed by Micronics), MSX, NEC PC-8801 and Game Boy Color.It was ported by the European games publisher Elite Systems to the Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64.The game was included as part of "Capcom Classics Collection" for the Xbox and PlayStation 2 in 2005.

Game modes

"1942" can be played in either one or two player mode. In two player mode, players alternate turns, each receiving a separate score. Under standard settings players start with three planes. An extra plane is awarded at 20,000 points, 80,000 points, and thenceforth at each following multiple of 80,000 points. The number of remaining planes is indicated by the pale blue plane silhouettes at the bottom left of the screen.

Gameplay and scoring

In "1942" the player receives an unlimited number of shots, without having to replenish this in any way, other than reaching the end of the stage. Standard fire-power consists of the plane firing two bullets per shot, which always travel straight ahead of the plane; up to three sets of bullets can be on the screen at a time. A player gets three "rolls" per plane, reset at the end of each stage - the number of remaining rolls are designated by the red uppercase "R"s at the bottom right of the screen.


Players have to travel through eight World War II Pacific locations on their journey through the game. The following locations are used: Midway, Marshall, Attu, Rabaul, Leyte, Saipan, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa, before reaching the ultimate goal of Tokyo, although there are no actual Tokyo stages. Note also that despite the name of the game, not all these real-life battles occurred in 1942.

The eight locations each cover four levels or stages, making a total of 32 stages to complete the game. Each stage typically increases the difficulty, and planes become more plentiful and aggressive as you move through the 32 stages. There are some exceptions to the progressively increasing difficulty, for example "Percentage and points-up" stages occur from time to time, where the enemy planes do not fire (with the exception of the bombers), thus making these stages somewhat easier.

Each stage finishes with the plane landing upon an aircraft carrier, and receiving a debriefing and a briefing for the next mission. Hypothetically the plane is also being refueled and resupplied with ammunition at this time.

Enemy planes

Enemy planes come in a variety of sizes, designs, formations, and flying patterns. In general small planes that require a single shot to destroy earn 50 points, although this can vary from 30 - 200 points. Larger planes requiring multiple hits earn 100 points per hit, plus a bonus of from 1,000 to 10,000 points for destroying the plane.

Some of the smaller 'large' planes require as few as four hits to destroy, while the common large bombers that appear on all levels require twenty shots to destroy. There are also rare small planes that slowly come from the bottom corners of the screen and rapidly accelerate out the top; these planes only require a single hit, but when hit they turn into the familiar Yashichi icon seen in many Capcom games, which earns a bonus 5,000 points when flown over.

The final enemy plane on four of the stages is the Japanese Mother Bomber or boss plane "Ayako" (based on an actual Japanese bomber, the Nakajima G8N), which must be shot down to complete the stage. This plane requires many hits and earns 20,000 points when destroyed on its first appearance, increasing by 10,000 points each time, up to 50,000 points on its final appearance.

Power-ups (POWs)

Despite only requiring a single shot to destroy, the red enemy planes earn 100 points each. These planes only travel in special formations, and do not fire. Destroying a five-plane formation of these red planes will result in 500 bonus points, while a ten-plane formation earns 1,000 bonus points, and in both cases a "POW" or power-up is displayed. Flying over the POW will result in a further 1,000 bonus points and various POW bonuses, as follows::*"Double-snotters" - increased fire-power, firing four bullets at once rather than the standard two. This fire-power is retained until the plane is lost, including continuing onto later stages;:*"Clear screen" - destroy all enemy planes and bullets on the screen, scoring the standard points for each plane destroyed;:*"Sidewinders" - two small side-planes which attach to the main plane, each of which fires a single bullet with each shot. The sidewinders may be lost individually, or are lost if the main P-38 plane is destroyed, but otherwise continue indefinitely, as with the double-snotters. It is possible with precision flying to allow an enemy bullet to pass between the P-38 plane and the sidewinder. Note that they do not roll with the main plane if a roll is used, and peel off before the P-38 lands on the aircraft carrier at the end of the stage, to rejoin the plane at the start of the next stage. They also peel off before the P-38 does battle with the boss plane Ayako;:*"No fire" - enemy planes do not fire any bullets for a short period of time;:*"Free man" - an extra P-38 plane is awarded;:*"Rolls" - replenish used rolls;:*Bonus points only.:Note that it is possible to combine the different power-up bonuses, for example a player with double-snotters can also get the sidewinders, leading to substantial fire-power.

hooting-down percentage

The end of stage debriefing on the aircraft carrier consists of a report on the percentage of enemy planes shot down. The shooting-down percentage is based on the number of enemy planes destroyed out of the number of enemy planes that have appeared on that level.

Players receive bonus points depending on their shooting-down percentage, which is 50,000 points for 100% (despite the display saying 10,000 points), 20,000 points for 95%-99%, 10,000 points for 90%-94%, 5,000 points for 85%-89%, 4,000 points for 80%-84%, 3,000 points for 70%-79%, 2,000 points for 60%-69%, 1,000 points for 50%-59%, and no bonus for below 50%.

Large planes are only counted as one plane in the percentage calculations, despite requiring multiple hits to destroy. Planes destroyed by using the "Clear screen POW" earn the usual points awarded for destroying the plane, but are not included as having been destroyed in the shooting-down percentage calculation.

Each unused roll at the end of the level also earns a 1,000 point bonus, up to a maximum of 3,000 points.

On the Famicom (NES) version, all enemies still displayed when the plane lands on the carrier will explode and earn the player points. This is not so in other versions, such as the original Arcade version, which makes it very hard to attain 100% rating on stage completion.


The music, atleast on the C64 version, is based on the main verse of Ron Goodwin's 633 Squadron movie score. (see Discussion for reference)


"1942" was one of Capcom's first breakaway hits, eclipsing the company's preceding three titles ("Vulgus", "Sonson", and "Pirate Ship Higemaru") in popularity. While not as popular as some of Capcom's series that would debut later in the 1980s ("Street Fighter" and "Mega Man" in particular), "1942" would become one of Capcom's hallmark games throughout the arcade era.

Although not the first game to receive a sequel (with "Pirate Ship Higemaru" receiving a Japan-only console semi-sequel, "Higemaru Makaijima", in April 1987), "1942" was the first Capcom title to spawn a successful series of sequels, with five titles in the 19XX line released from 1987 to 2000. Additionally, many of Capcom's other vertical shooters featured very similar gameplay to the series such as "".

"1942's" longevity has shown through in many re-releases since its introduction, principally in "Capcom Generations 1" for the Playstation and Saturn consoles. It was recently featured in the Capcom Classics Collection for the Playstation 2 and Xbox, as well as for the PlayStation Portable.

1942: Joint Strike

"", is available for Xbox Live Arcade and the Playstation Network. The Xbox Live Arcade version was released on July 23rd 2008 while the PlayStation Network version was released on July 24th 2008.

External links

*KLOV game|id=6766|name=1942
* [http://www.arcade-history.com/index.php?page=detail&id=6 "1942"] at "Arcade-History"
*moby game|id=/1942 |name="1942"
*WoS game|id=0009297|name=1942
*KLOV game|id=6766|name=1942
* [http://cifa.freesitespace.net/1945.html "1945 The World at War"] a nice version of the 1942 game imlemented as Java applet

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