After Burner II

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After Burner II
After burner 2.jpg
European boxart (note erroneous use of F-15)
Developer(s) Sega AM2
Publisher(s) Sega
Designer(s) Yu Suzuki
Composer(s) Hiroshi Kawaguchi
Platform(s) Arcade, Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS, NES/Famicom, Sharp X68000, Mega Drive/Genesis, PC Engine, Sega Saturn, PlayStation 2
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Shoot 'em up
Mode(s) Single-player
Cabinet Standard upright, sit-down hydraulic cockpit
Arcade system Sega X Board
Display Raster

After Burner II is an arcade-style flight game released by Sega in 1987.[1] It is the second game in the After Burner series. In the game, players fly a F-14 Tomcat jet fighter, gunning down enemies while avoiding incoming fire. Like OutRun, another Sega arcade game, After Burner II came in several versions, the most famous being a large, servo actuated, sit-down cabinet which resembled a cockpit and moved according to the motion of the plane onscreen. The cockpit would bank in the same direction the on-screen aircraft was banking. There was also a more basic upright cabinet version.

The differences between After Burner and After Burner II are very small, and it is easy to confuse the two. The differences included:

  • The waiting-for-start sequence (the screen/music after a player inserts credits but before starting the game) is different.
  • After Burner II added a throttle to the controls, allowing players to vary their speed while flying.
  • After Burner has 18 stages; After Burner II has those same stages but adds three additional stages that make 21 stages total.
  • After Burner II added a few minor enemy changes to introduce new speed-based challenges (missiles/aircraft behind the player aircraft) to account for the use of the new throttle control.
  • The player's missiles in After Burner II can be fired considerably more frequently.
  • Musical compositions are the same in both games, though After Burner II's instrumentation is different in spots. The music in After Burner II also makes more use of PCM.

Translations and ports[edit]

Review scores
Publication Score
MegaTech 90%[3]
Compute's Guide 19/25[4]

After Burner II has been translated and ported to numerous home computers, consoles and mobile phones; including versions for the PC Engine, Sharp X68000, Sega Mega Drive, Famicom, FM Towns Marty, Atari ST, Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64 and Sega Saturn. In Japan, it was released on the PlayStation 2 as part of the Sega Ages classic series. Mega placed the Mega Drive version at #38 in their Top Mega Drive Games of All Time.[5] MegaTech magazine praised the smooth and fast gameplay, as well as the sound.

It is notable that the version released for Sega Saturn is a nearly direct port of the arcade code, which at that time, was very rare for a home version.

It can also be played within the game Shenmue II.

M2 ported After Burner II in Sega's 3D Classics series to the Nintendo 3DS eShop in Japan on 2013 and worldwide on 2015. This version is faithful to the original arcade game with additions, including Touch Controls and screen layouts that resemble the Upright as well as the Commander and Deluxe cabinets. An unlockable new Special mode was also added, which used a time-slowing "Burst" system similar to After Burner Climax, and featured a different story and altered stages. This mode has no stage select or continues, and instead depends on frequent acquisition of extra lives over the course of the game in order to complete it.[6]

Notable features[edit]

The Japanese Sega Mega Drive version was one of the only three games to support the AX-1E analog controller.


  1. ^ "After Burner II". The International Arcade Museum. Retrieved 1 Nov 2013. 
  2. ^ After Burner II - IGN
  3. ^ MegaTech rating, EMAP, issue 5, page 78, May 1992
  4. ^ Compute's Guide to Sega, Steven A Schwartz, 1990, ISBN 0-87455-238-9, p5
  5. ^ Mega magazine issue 1, page 76, Future Publishing, Oct 1992
  6. ^ Sega 3D Classics After Burner II page (Japan)

External links[edit]