Strikers 1945 is a vertically scrolling shoot 'em up arcade game released in 1995 by Japanese company Psikyo. Many fans consider it to be an homage to Capcom's classic shooter 1942. It was followed by two sequels, Strikers 1945 II in 1997 and Strikers 1945 III (also known as Strikers 1999 in Japan), as well as a version for SNK's Neo Geo called Strikers 1945 Plus (which is actually an alternate version of Strikers 1945 II).
Each plane in Strikers 1945
has three attacks: A normal shot, a charged shot, and a bomb
that clears the screen of minor enemies and bullets. Both the normal shot and the charged shot can be strengthened by grabbing power-ups and extra bombs can be collected. Gold bars, which are found by destroying certain buildings or enemies, can be collected for bonus points. After the defeat of the final boss, the player's time, number of gold bars, and number of enemies killed are added up for each level and, if high enough, marked with a silver or gold medal.
Originally in the arcade version, if one beat the game by earning all gold medals on every level, the revealed pilots would appear topless. This bonus feature was cut in most releases, which may explain the lack of immediate distribution in North America (as the sequel was released under the name of its predecessor in the US), while the Sega Saturn home version released in Japan avoided the issue completely by clothing all of the pilots and re-arranging their poses, save for the pilot of the Shinden, as he is male.
In Japan, Strikers 1945
was ported to both PlayStation and Sega Saturn in 1996 by Atlus
and later ported to PlayStation 2 as part of Psikyo Shooting Collection Vol. 1: Strikers 1945 I & II
. The US PlayStation release of Strikers 1945
is actually the sequel Strikers 1945 II
under the name of its predecessor. The evidence for this is told mostly through the fighter plane line-up, different levels, bosses and endings.