1943: The Battle of Midway, known in Japan as 1943: Midway Kaisen (1943: ミッドウェイ海戦), is a vertical scrolling shooter arcade game released by Capcom in June 1987. Capcom released their own port for the NES (subtitled The Battle of Valhalla in Japan for the Famicom). The game has also been ported to the Atari ST, the ZX Spectrum, the Amstrad CPC, the Commodore 64 and the Amiga. In 2005 it was re–released for Xbox and PlayStation 2 as part of Capcom Classics Collection, Capcom Classics Collection: Reloaded on the PlayStation Portable and most recently on Capcom Arcade Stadium for the Nintendo Switch. The overall faithfulness and quality of execution of these third party versions varies greatly. 1943 is the second game in the 194X 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 of the levels consist of an Air-to-Sea battle (with a huge battleship or an aircraft carrier as an End-Level Boss), while the other 5 levels consist of an all-aerial battle against a squadron of Japanese bomber planes and a larger bomber that needs to be destroyed.
As in 1942, players pilot a Lockheed P-38 Lightning. Two buttons are used: one for standard fire (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, as well as all on-screen enemies. Unlike 1942, the player only has one life, with one refillable energy meter. Destroying a complete formation of red enemy planes will result in a power-up, such as a health boost or a temporary special weapon which replaces the default guns.
1943 Kai: The Battle of Midway
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 under the name 1943 Kai: Midway Kaisen (or 1943改: ミッドウェイ海戦). 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, the Boeing-Stearman Model 75.
This version was ported by Naxat on the PC Engine as 1943 Kai. It was not available on the U.S. TurboGrafx-16. The PC Engine port contains 5 additional levels (but only 8 of the original Kai levels) and original music. The history of this game in PC Engine is the same as the NES version, but your "biplane" is equipped during this action and the fight with new exclusive enemies and bosses. Though it was never released in the U.S. in arcades, it was included in Capcom Classics Collection for PlayStation 2 and Xbox in 2005.
1943: The Battle of Midway and 1943 Kai features a variety of pick-ups and weapon upgrades. Each weapon upgrade is temporary (20 seconds usage), but it can be extended by picking up either a different weapon or an icon of the same weapon type. Weapon usage time limit maxes out at 64 seconds (80 seconds for 1943 Kai). Some weapons can be upgraded for increased firepower.
- 3 Way: Allows the player's fighter to fire a three-way spreading shot that is useful for shooting down multiple enemies at a time.
- Auto: Rapid-fire, large-caliber machine guns. Easy to use and are more powerful than the standard guns. Replaced by the Laser in 1943 Kai.
- Shell: Fires high-damaging shells in a straight line with no spread. Powerful, but it would take some doing to line up accurate shots. A wider spread can be achieved with the Side Fighters power-up.
- Shot Gun: A short-ranged weapon that fires a powerful spreading blast of anti-aircraft buckshot. Poor reach and slow rate of fire, but useful in the right hands. It can also destroy enemy projectiles. Can be upgraded for improved range and firepower by collecting the Shot Gun icon twice in a row. This power-up was reworked in 1943 Kai, with a more reliable projectile spread and twice the power than in the original.
- Laser: A powerful weapon, it allows the player's plane to fire high-powered, piercing laser blasts. It can be obtained in 1943 by collecting the hard-to-catch maneki-neko icon. In 1943 Kai, the power-up now has its own dedicated icon, which can be collected and is the replacement for the Auto power-up. The maneki-neko also appeared in 1943 Kai, and served the same function as in the original.
- Side Fighters: Equips the plane with two drones that add to the amount of projectiles with certain weapon upgrades (particularly the Auto, Shell, and Laser power-ups), making for extra firepower. They can be destroyed by enemy fire in a few hits, however. It is possible to get new Side Fighters or repair the damage done to them in 1943 Kai, by grabbing another icon of the power-up.
- POW icon: Refills 8 units to the energy bar.
- Energy tank: A more uncommon item that provides more energy than the POW icon at 24 units. If a POW icon is shot enough times, it can be turned into an energy tank.
- Yashichi: Appearing as a power-up, this hidden item, which can be revealed under certain circumstances, completely refills the energy bar.
- Bonus items: There are a variety of hidden bonus items referencing other Capcom games, and are revealed under certain circumstances. They consist of barrels, bamboo shoots, strawberries, and in some cases, cow icons. There is also the maneki-neko, which appears under certain circumstances and teleports around the screen, but when collected, grants the player the Laser power-up. WARNING: The maneki-neko can also act as a distraction to leave you open for enemy attack!
- Sakichi: A five-pointed star icon providing 5,000 bonus points and completely fills up the weapon usage timer upon acquisition. Very rare, and can only be acquired in certain levels by shooting a Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet in way that makes it spin out and turn into a star.
- Mobi-chan: The chibi version of the Mobilsuit from Side Arms Hyper Dyne. This appears when the player completely destroys an enemy aircraft carrier (100% destruction rate), and during the sequence in which it explodes with debris flying around and the bridge blows up. Shooting Mobi-chan earns the player 100,000 points (which happens only in certain levels).
Arcade Version [1943 and 1943 Kai]
Game Design: Poo & Dechikun
Character Design: Sato Chin, Miki Chan, Kawamovan, Aho no Sakata
Sound & Music: Jungle Kumi
Hard Ware: Panchi Kubozoo, Jumbo Saito
Special Thanks: Shinshuudon, Kokusho Savuri, Nanno Yamauchi, Phazer Tae 250R, Piihvara Yumi, Jogging, New Face Ichigo
Presented by: Capcom
NOTE: Because the credits are unchanged for Kai, any and all new staff members are uncredited - which at the very least includes the six composers of the game's eight new tracks (as mentioned in Daimakaimura -G.S.M. Capcom 1-): Tamayo Kawamoto, Harumi Fujita, Junko Tamiya, Manami Matsumae, Takashi Tateishi and Hiroshige Tonomura.
Additionally, 1943, like many other games during this era of gaming, credited its staff in its default Score Ranking Table (the same table is also used for 1943 Kai), which is as follows:
- 1st 200000 TAE
- 2nd 150000 YAM
- 3rd 100000 POO
- 4th 70000 MR.
- 5th 50000 BLB
NEC TurboGrafx-16/PC Engine Version [1943 Kai]
Design: Blue Bird
Music: H.Matsushita, D.Morishima
Special Thanks: Otaka, Mania-Yajima, Gammer-Takahashi
©1991 Naxat Soft