1943: The Battle of Midway (1943: Midway Kaisen in Japan) is a vertical scrolling shooter arcade game released by Capcom in June . Capcom released their own port for the NES, but the game has also been ported to the Atari ST, the ZX Spectrum, the Amstrad CPC, the Commodore 64 and the Amiga. In it was re–released for Xbox and PlayStation 2 as part of Capcom Classics Collection. The overall faithfulness and quality of execution of these third party versions varies greatly. 1943 is the second game in the 1940s series, following the successful 1942.
The game is set in the pacific theater of World War II, off the coast of the Midway Atoll. The goal is to attack the Japanese Air Fleet that bombed the players' American Aircraft Carrier, pursue all Japanese Air and Sea forces, fly through the 16 levels of play, make their way to the Japanese battleship Yamato and destroy her. 11 Levels consist of an Air-to-Sea battle (with a huge battleship or an aircraft carrier as an End-Level Boss), while 5 levels consist of an all-aerial battle against a squadron of Japanese Bombers and a Mother Bomber that needs to be destroyed.
As in 1942, players pilot a P-38.
Two buttons are used: one for regular attacks (with several weapons) and one for special actions that executes either a loop like in 1942 or one of three special attacks that damage the plane.
Unlike 1942, the player only has one life, with one refillable energy meter. Energy is reduced by:
The game is over when all of the P-38's energy is gone.
Special weapons replace the default twin gun, are obtained as powerups (see below) and last for a limited time before the shots revert to normal. They include:
Special attacks include:
Using either the Lightning, Tsunami, and Cyclone will decrease the player's energy meter rapidly, but not to death (they will stop working instead).
If the level ends with a surface attack, the ship targets will count towards the score; otherwise all air targets are accounted for. The player must succeed in destroying 70% of the boss or face a return to the scene to finish the job. Upon level's completion, most of the energy meter is replenished and points are awarded according to the percentage of destroyed targets and the number of loop moves remaining.
Destroying a complete formation of red enemy planes will result in a power-up, the most common type of which is the POW icon, which will replenish a little of the energy meter. Optionally, the player can fire at the POW icon to turn it into a variety of weapon power-ups as described above. As the weapon power-up currently in effect wears out with time (one point per second), replacement power-ups need to be picked up on a regular basis, or weapons will revert to the stock guns. The last of the regular power-ups, the rare double canister, will replenish most of the energy gauge. Apart from chance encounters straight from a red squadron, it is acquired by firing at a regular power-up icon for a very long time - it finally turns into one.
Other rarer power-ups exist. Occasionally a red squadron will yield Capcom's famous "Yashichi" symbol, which will replenish the energy meter completely. A plane symbol will provide reinforcements in the form of two wingmen. Sometimes a small, green plane will enter from behind, destroying it will reveal a star-shaped score bonus. Every level also contains hidden bonus items that can be spotted by firing randomly. When bullets hit this invisible target, a bonus will appear. The most noteworthy of these is the curious cat-shaped statue, which will teleport randomly around the screen. Picking it up will enable the P-38 to use the laser weapon for roughly 65 seconds.
The NES version varies from the arcade version somewhat, introducing the gradual improvement of the player's plane by permanently upgrading certain aspects of its abilities. These include the plane's offensive and defensive powers, the energy level, its special weapons and their durations. This somewhat alters the game balance and a different tactic is required to survive the game. For example, initially very few weapons are made available; more can be attained from power-ups by putting statistic points into "special weapons ability". Likewise, there are statistics for offensive ability, defensive ability, total energy, and special weapon time limit. The statistics modify the rates of change for the energy reserve, damage inflicted, and special weapon time limit.
Moreover, the names of the targets have changed as follows (from start to finish):
As opposed to the arcade version which had 16 stages, the NES version has 24 stages.
This updated version was released exactly one year after the original game's debut. 1943 Kai is an enhanced, "wild" version of 1943 that was made only available in Japan. Most of the graphics and sounds have been reworked, the weapons have been made more extreme and some fairly strange things (laser-firing WWII planes and ships that run on ground) have been added. The trademark P-38 has been replaced with a biplane Boeing Stearman E75 N68828.