Capcom Database
Capcom Database

1941: Counter Attack is an vertical scrolling shooter arcade game made by Capcom in 1990, first released for the arcades on the CPS-1 hardware. It is part of the 194X series of shoot-em-up games. Counter Attack was followed by 19XX: The War Against Destiny in 1996.


Key artwork.


The plane is controlled with the eight-directional joystick, and there are two buttons, one for firing the primary weapon and the other for a secondary function. The player can press and hold down the fire button to build up power, and release it to fire a charged shot. The damage dealt by a charged shot depends on the time spent charging it. Each special weapon power-up provides a different charged shot.

Screenshot of the game.

The second button allows the player to perform a Mega Crash attack that can deal damage to all enemies on screen. But, this maneuver takes away one point from the vitality meter. One interesting mechanic, is the ability to make the player's plane spin in place by flying into a wall. The player can fire while spinning, but landing accurate shots is not an easy task, unless he is surrounded by multiple enemies from all directions.

Player 1 controls the P-38 Lightning seen in the previous games, while Player 2 pilots a new plane; a deHavilland DH.98 Mosquito Mk. IV.


The weapon power-ups work like in the previous 194X games, in which their usage is timed, and when the timer runs out, the player revert back to his/her normal guns. Grabbing additional weapon icons can increase usage time. Getting weapon icons of the same type allows the player to use that weapon longer. The weapon usage time maxes out at 99 seconds.

  • POW icon: This refills one point to the vitality meter.
  • Machine Gun: A rapid-fire weapon stronger than the standard guns. Easy to use. Its charged shot attack features homing missiles.
  • Missile: This power-up essentially behaves like a sub-weapon, in which missiles are added to the standard guns. The missiles themselves can travel along side walls. Its charged shot works similarly to the Machine Gun's, but features non-homing rockets.
  • Super Shell: A laser-based weapon that fires an energy beam that pierces through enemies and even bosses. Fires in a straight path, making it difficult to line up accurate shots and dodging enemy fire at the same time. Its charged shot is a three-way blast.
  • Side Fighter: This power-up returns from 1943: The Battle of Midway. When collected, this equips the player's plane with two drones that can fire diagonally in two directions, providing extra firepower. They are not invincible, however. With enough hits (from colliding with an enemy or from enemy fire), and a Side Fighter is destroyed. Grabbing another icon of this power-up can repair and/or provide new Side Fighters.
  • After Image: This power-up allows the player to maneuver his plane to create afterimages. When the player fires, the afterimages fire, as well. The afterimages themselves fire the standard guns, and can also rotate when the player spins from hitting a side wall. If the player already have an After Image power-up active and they grab another icon, it will award them 20,000 bonus points.
  • Yashichi: This pick-up, which originally appeared as an enemy in Vulgus, completely refills the vitality meter. If the player's vitality level is at full, it would give a large 100,000 point bonus.
  • Bamboo shoot: A hidden item that provides bonus points. Can be revealed by shooting at certain spots in some levels.

Vitality meter[]

The energy meter from 1943: The Battle of Midway is replaced by a new vitality meter system. It starts out at three bars, and as the game goes on, it increases by one bar at certain points, up to six bars. Taking damage from enemy fire or performing a Mega Crash takes away one point from the vitality meter. When the meter is completely empty, beeping noises sound out to warn the player that one more hit would result in a game over. There are no extra lives in this game, so he would have to be quick on the draw, and dodge as much enemy fire as he could.

End Level Bonus[]

At the end of each level, the player is judged by his performance in the following criteria; the number of enemies destroyed, hit-miss ratio, and how thoroughly that a boss is destroyed. The player becomes promoted to a new rank, and the number of times he advances in rank depends on his overall performance.


The game consists of six levels: North Atlantic Ocean Sky, European Sea Port, V3 Rocket Site, Brandenburg Gate, Open Plains and The Enemy Base. There are 6 bosses: Leviathan, German battleship Bismarck, V3 Rocket, Krote, Super Leviathan and Gotha (a Horten Ho 229). Also, there are common enemies like: Ju 87 Stuka, Bf 110, Me 262 Schwalbe, Focke-Achgelis Fa 223, Sdkfz 251, Flak 88, Tiger I and U-boats.


1941: Counter Attack was ported to the NEC PC Engine SuperGrafx console in 1991 and to GameTap. It was also released as part of the Capcom Classics Collection Vol. 2 for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox and Capcom Classics Collection: Remixed for the PlayStation Portable in 2006 and on Capcom Arcade Stadium for Nintendo Switch in 2021.


  • It was the first shoot 'em up game to add +1 to the score when a continue is used.[1]



Arcade Version[]

Character Designer - Object: S.Thing, Yokozo Yokota, Terukun, Kuribow
Character Designer - Scroll: Sadakichi, Marilyn, Yuki, Kintarou, Harusan


Planner: Poo, Rekite
Character Support: Akiman
Character Coordinator: Rekite
Character Effect: Yokozo Yokota
Sound Composer: Hifumi
Programmer: Makkow, Babel-2, Dome
Game Analyzer: Nin, Doda Nda Uda
Director: Kihaji Okamoto



  1. 1941 - Counter Attack. Retrieved 2007-11-22.

External Links[]