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Sales flyer for the arcade version
|Platform(s)||Arcade, Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, SNES, ZX Spectrum|
|Display||Raster, 384 x 224 pixels (Horizontal), 4096 colors|
U.N. Squadron is a 1989 side-scrolling shooting game released by Capcom for the CPS arcade hardware and for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The game was released in Japan as Area 88 (Japanese: エリア88 Hepburn: Eria Hachi-Jū-Hachi), and is based on the manga series of the same name, featuring the same main characters. Here, their mission is to stop a terrorist group known as Project 4. It was followed by a spiritual successor Carrier Air Wing.
The game is a typical side scrolling shooter, going against the trend of other Capcom shooters, such as 1942, and 1943: The Battle of Midway, which are vertically scrolling shooters. However, like other Capcom shooters, the player has an energy bar that is consumed over the course of a single life as the player sustains damage. This trait is highly uncommon among other comparable arcade-style shooters which normally use a system of reserve lives, where one of which is lost upon a single enemy hit. Before entering a level, the player can purchase special weapons or added defenses in the shop. The player earns money to buy weapons by destroying enemy planes and vehicles during levels and, when the level is finished, any unused weapons are converted back into money.
The player can choose between three mercenary pilots: Shin Kazama, Mickey Simon, and Greg Gates. Each pilot flies a specific plane and has slightly different capabilities.
The game was converted to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and Super Famicom in 1991. Unlike in the arcade version, each pilot can use a range of planes. All pilots start out with $3000 and the basic F8 Crusader, and can buy other aircraft and weapons as they progress.
Capcom director Yoshiki Okamoto commented that the game was part of a broader strategy of Capcom at the time to appeal to a wider audience by using established characters from other media, as their original characters could be too niche. In addition to Area 88, he cited games based on Willow and Destiny of an Emperor as part of this strategy.
Area 88 was ported to the home console Super Nintendo and released in Japan on July 26 1991. In America and Europe it was re-titled UN Squadron.
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