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1942 (video game)

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1942 arcade flyer.png
North American arcade flyer
Developer(s)Digital Eclipse
  • WW: Capcom
Elite Systems (C64)
Designer(s)Yoshiki Okamoto
Composer(s)Ayako Mori
Platform(s)Arcade, Famicom, MSX, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, NEC PC-8801, FM-7, Sharp X1, Game Boy Color
  • WW: December 1984
  • JP: December 11, 1985 (1985-12-11)
  • NA: November 1, 1986 (1986-11-01)
Game Boy Color
  • NA: May 2000 (May 2000)
  • PAL: 2001 (2001)
Genre(s)Scrolling shooter
Mode(s)Single player, 2 player Co-op
Arcade systemCapcom Z80[3]
CPU1 × Z80 @ 4 MHz
Sound1 × Z80 @ 3 MHz
2 × AY-3-8910 @ 1.5 MHz
DisplayRaster (vertical),
224×256 resolution,
60 Hz refresh rate,[4]
256 colors on screen,
1536 color palette[5]

1942 is a vertically scrolling shooter made by Capcom that was released for the arcade in 1984. It was the first game in the 19XX series. It was followed by 1943: The Battle of Midway.

1942 is set in the Pacific theater of World War II. Despite the game being created by Japanese developers, the goal is to reach Tokyo and destroy the entire Japanese air fleet.

In 1944, however, the Zeroes are used for wingmen.


Arcade version screenshot.

The player pilots a Lockheed P-38 Lightning dubbed the "Super Ace". The player has to shoot down enemy planes; to avoid enemy fire, the player can perform a roll or vertical loop. During the game, the player may collect a series of power-ups, one of them allowing the plane to be escorted by two other smaller fighters in a Tip Tow formation. Enemies included: Kawasaki Ki-61s, Mitsubishi A6M Zeros and Kawasaki Ki-48s. The boss plane is a Nakajima G10N.

Other Platforms[edit]

The game was released to the Famicom in 1985 in Japan and North America in 1986. The Famicom version was developed by Micronics, MSX, NEC PC-8801, FM-7, and Sharp X1.

A Game Boy Color version was also released in North America in May 2000 and the PAL region in the year 2001.

The European games publisher Elite Systems later released versions for the Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum, and Commodore 64.

The music of the Commodore 64 version is based on the main verse of Ron Goodwin's 633 Squadron movie score,[6] with arrangement by Mark Cooksey.[7]


Aggregate score
GameRankingsGBC: 53%[8]
Review scores
AllGame2/5 stars[9]
TouchArcadeiOS: 3.5/5 stars[10]

In Japan, Game Machine listed 1942 on their January 1, 1985 issue as being the fourth most-successful table arcade unit of the year.[11] 1942 was Capcom's breakaway hit, eclipsing in popularity the company's preceding three titles: Vulgus, Sonson, and Pirate Ship Higemaru. In 1987, it was number-one on Euromax's UK arcade chart (followed by Wonder Boy at number-two).[12]


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. Many of Capcom's other vertical shooters featured very similar gameplay, such as Varth: Operation Thunderstorm.

It was re-released in Capcom Generations 1 for the PlayStation and Saturn consoles. It was featured in the Capcom Classics Collection for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox, as well as Capcom Classics Collection: Reloaded for the PlayStation Portable. The arcade version was added to the Wii Virtual Console in Japan on December 21, 2010, the PAL an North American regions in January 2011. It was also re-released for Windows Mobile Professional.

1942: Joint Strike was released for Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network in 2008. 1942: First Strike was released for iOS in 2010.

The game series has sold a total of 1.4 million units worldwide as of December 31, 2019, and stands as Capcom's 18th best-selling franchise.[13]


  1. ^ "The Arcade PCB by Williams Electronics, Inc. (EXPORT VERSION)". Gaming History.
  2. ^ Daniel Hower and Eric Jacobson. "The Arcade Flyer Archive - Video Game Flyers: 1942, Romstar". Archived from the original on 2014-07-08. Retrieved 2015-01-13.
  3. ^ "CAPCOM Z80 BASED HARDWARE". System 16.
  4. ^ "The Arcade PCB by Capcom Co., Ltd". Gaming History.
  5. ^ "1942 (First Version) (MAME version 0.147)". Archived from the original on 27 April 2016.
  6. ^ "(Review for 1942: Arranged/Remixed tunes by Sabal Do'Ghym)". MIRSOFT. Archived from the original on 30 October 2016. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  7. ^ Archived March 5, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "1942 for Game Boy Color". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  9. ^ Miller, Skyler. "1942 - Legacy". AllGame. Archived from the original on December 11, 2014. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
  10. ^ Musgrave, Shaun (March 17, 2017). "'1942 Mobile' Review – Whoa-Oh, We're Midway There". TouchArcade. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  11. ^ "Game Machine's Best Hit Games 25 - テーブル型TVゲーム機 (Table Videos)". Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 251. Amusement Press, Inc. 1 January 1985. p. 37.
  12. ^ Arcade Action Archived 2015-01-17 at, Computer and Video Games, December 1987
  13. ^ "CAPCOM Game Series Sales". Retrieved February 15, 2020.

External links[edit]