1942 is a vertically scrolling shoot 'em up made by Capcom that was released for the arcade in 1984. It was the first game in the 19XX series, followed by 1943: The Battle of Midway.
1942 is set in the Pacific theater of World War II. Despite the game being created by a Japanese company and staff, the goal is to reach Tokyo and destroy the entire Japanese air fleet (as is historically accurate). The player pilots a plane dubbed the "Super Ace", (though it's appearance is clearly that of a Lockheed P-38 Lightning). The player's duty is to shoot down enemy planes and avoid enemy fire. The player is given a simple machine gun fire attack, as well as a "Roll" attack that will destroy all enemies on screen.
The game was later ported to the Nintendo Entertainment System (developed by Micronics), MSX, NEC PC-8801, Windows Mobile Professional, and Game Boy Color. It was ported by the European games publisher Elite Systems to the Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64. The game was included as part of Capcom Classics Collection for the Xbox and PlayStation 2 in 2005.
Martin Bedard of Saint-Lazare, Quebec, Canada holds the record for this game with 13,360,960 points on November 19, 2006. Anthony Papamatheos clocked the iOS version of the game on 20 October 2009.
1942 is set in World War II. The player (the American 'Super Ace') controlled a plane. The players goal was to destroy enemy planes.
The music of the Commodore 64 version is based on the main verse of Ron Goodwin's 633 Squadron movie score.
1942 was one of Capcom's first breakaway hits, eclipsing in popularity the company's preceding three titles: (Vulgus, Sonson, and Pirate Ship Higemaru). While not as popular as some of Capcom's series that would debut later in the 1980s (Street Fighter and Mega Man in particular), 1942 would become one of Capcom's hallmark games throughout the arcade era.
Although not the first game to receive a sequel (with Pirate Ship Higemaru receiving a Japan-only console semi-sequel, Higemaru Makaijima, in April 1987), 1942 was the first Capcom title to spawn a successful series of sequels, with five titles in the 19XX line released from 1987 to 2000. Additionally, many of Capcom's other vertical shooters featured very similar gameplay to the series such as Varth: Operation Thunderstorm.
1942's longevity has shone through in many re-releases since its introduction, principally in Capcom Generations 1 for the PlayStation and Saturn consoles. It was also featured in Capcom Classics Collection for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox, as well as Capcom Classics Collection: Reloaded for the PlayStation Portable.