1943 - The Battle of Midway: Classic Arcade Game Video, History & Game Play Overview


The second title in the 19xx series is 1943 – The Battle of Midway. Released three years after the original, 1943 continues from where 1942 left off. After the Super Ace fighter plane successfully destroys an entire fleet of Japanese jets, its next mission is to take out an enemy battle ship. Taking place during World War II, 1943 has 16 levels divided into five stages. This war themed arcade video game uses two action buttons and eight-way directional controls.

U.S. based players were among the first to play 1943. After receiving high praises, several special editions of1943 – The Battle of Midway were introduced to gamers in subsequent years. Just like in 1942, the objective is to pilot a jet across the Pacific Ocean, in search of your enemy target. The Yamato battleship is the final boss, and it must be destroyed in order to beat the game.  One and two player modes are available in all versions of this video game.

Because 1943 – The Battle of Midway is the precursor to 1943 Kai, the music and developers are exactly the same. Capcom developed and published this game approximately one year before releasing it as 1943 Kai. Designer Yoshiki Okamoto, is well known for his work on several other hits that emerged from Capcom during the 1980s. Composers Hiroshige Tonomura, Yoshihiro Sakaguchi and Junko Tamiya collaborated on the soundtrack.


Game Play Overview

Categorized as a 'shoot 'em up' video game, 1943 uses the same standard set of controls seen in similar titles. The 'A' button is used to shoot weapons, and the 'B' button engages rolls and loops or other special features. Since 1943 is also a vertical shooter game, players are able to maneuver with great ease.

Featuring both enemy airplanes and sea vessels; 1943 – The Battle of Midway offers more in the way of action and variety than its predecessor. Massive Japanese airships and battleships make periodic appearances in 1943, releasing a large cache of fighter planes and unique challenges. Instead of using extra lives, this arcade classic gives players access to an energy gauge that can be refilled repeatedly.

Players can shoot down their enemies with the standard equipped weapon. Simply tapping on the 'A' key will cause a series of bullets to fire in staggered succession. Holding down the 'A' button results in a solid and steady rapid-fire. The 'B' button should only be engaged when you want to use a power-up, or quickly roll and loop away out of the way of an oncoming enemy.

Special Features

In 1943, there are four different weapons available. Exploding shells are the most powerful weapons that you can collect. They can destroy small enemy planes with only one shot. The shotgun is the standard weapon equipped on the Super Ace at the start of the game. A three-way gun can be used to take out jets and ships in multiple directions. Lastly, the auto weapon comes in handy when you want to send of a large amount of rounds in a short period.

In addition to traditional power-ups, 1943 also features a wide range of bonus icons that are worth thousands of extra points. Most of these bonus point icons automatically spawn when you encounter certain levels. For example, the special fruit icon only appears on the Ise and Kaga stages.


Cats – These symbols appear at random and rotate quickly in mid-air. If you are able to shoot a cat icon, you will have access to the laser weapon.

Astronauts – This is another icon that yields bonus points. The astronaut symbol is not guaranteed to appear during game play, but it is worth a total of 100,000 points.

Super Ace – Although the default fighter plane is a different model, the Super Ace is almost identical in appearance.

Power-ups – Full power, full ammunition, escort and various other power-ups appear in almost every stage.

Battleships and boats – Battleships are much larger than enemy fighter boats, but they both pose a threat to the Super Ace.

Enemy planes – Coming in four sizes, enemy jets and enemy battleships can complete tricky maneuvers and attack with heavy gunfire at the same time.

How to Play 1943

Level 1 – Tone
At the beginning of 1943 – The Battle of Midway, the Super Ace is being housed in a U.S. air ship. As numerous enemies engage the airship, you will pilot the Super Ace as it takes flight to avoid crashing.
With the Super Ace now being fully controllable, you can make use of the standard shotgun weapon to destroy the three enemy ships that wait below.

Two small to mid-sized boats sail slightly ahead of a larger enemy. While the two escort boats can be eliminated with a few rounds, the large heavy cruiser is equipped with five rapid-firing guns. When the main enemy has been shot down, level 1 is complete.

Level 2 – Kaga
On this stage, the Super Ace must shoot boats, planes and an aircraft carrier. The special fruit icon can be collected at the beginning of Kaga. It is strategically located in the middle of the first two boats that you encounter. When the aircraft carrier has been disabled, no more fighter jets will be released and you can move onto the Akayo stage.

Level 3 – Akayo
This is a boss stage that rewards successful players with a larger energy gauge and bonus points. The enemy airship can only attack in two different ways; by shooting in a pattern that alternates between three and five shots. Use the directional keys and your roll and loop power-ups to avoid gunfire from the Akayo airship. Once you have disabled the Akayo, your next target will be the Fuso.

Level 4 – Fuso
The Fuso enemy Japanese mother bomber is easily eliminated. Shoot down the single escort plane that tails Fuso, and then focus on the remaining enemy ship. Defeating the Fuso battleship gives you no additional bonuses, but you can gain a specialty weapon at the beginning of the stage.

Level 5 – Akagi
Akagi is a large aircraft carrier that houses an unlimited number of fighter jets and flies alongside a single escort plane. Enemy planes can launch from one of two compartment levels on the Akagi. You will need to take out all Japanese fighter planes that emerge from the Akagi, shoot down the escort, and finally, defeat the aircraft carrier itself.

Level 6 – Daihiryu
The Daihitryu stage consists of nothing but Japanese fighter jets. The escort power-up also appears on level 6. Shoot and navigate around all enemy planes on the screen in order to beat this level. When Daihiryu is complete, your total energy capacity will become larger, going from 72 up to 80.

Level 7 – Ise
On the Ise stage, a battleship flanked by thee escorts needs to be defeated. The ship is equipped with cannons, and it can send out additional enemies from the rear propeller. On this level, players have the opportunity to find two different special icons. The Yashichi symbol comes up in 1943 for the first time, giving bonus points to all players that can shoot it. The special fruit emblem also yields bonus points.

Level 8 – Hiryu
Level 8 features another Japanese aircraft carrier. The Super Ace has to destroy four flying escorts along with the Hiryu to proceed. Multiple escort power-ups are scattered throughout the Hiryu stage. The Hiryu aircraft carrier fires cannons and sends out fighter jets.

Level 9 – Ayako (2)
This ninth level named Akayo is not to be confused with the fourth stage of the same name. Both Ayako bosses are mother bomber planes, but the enemy appears on level nine is harder to destroy. After you have shot all escort planes, start your assault on the Ayako. It will take more bullets to defeat Ayako 2, but you will also get a special bonus at the end. Total energy storage capacity increases by another 8 points.

Level 10 – Mutsu
At the beginning of the Mutsu stage is a fuel refill icon. It is crucial that this refill power-up is obtained because your fuel stores will be running low. The Mutsu is a Japanese battleship that has a multitude of long-range weapons on board. You will need to maneuver the Super Ace away from gunfire and three escorts to complete this level.

Level 11 – Daihiryu (2)
The second version of the Daihiryu stage also features a squadron of enemy jets. However, large sized planes appearing on this level will have the ability to send out smaller attack planes. Although small, the planes will come directly toward the Super Ace, and cause a large amount of damage.

Level 12 – Yamashiro
Completing Yamashiro will give the Super Ace's energy tank a maximum capacity of 96. First, a battleship named Yamashiro, its two escorts and a bevy of attack planes have to be destroyed. There are no known power-ups on this stage. Use the three-way gun to quickly take out all enemies and go on to the next level in 1943.

Level 13 – Soryu
On level 13, the Soryu aircraft carrier serves as a dual level launch pad for enemy jets. Your objective is to avoid getting hit by cannon fire while simultaneously shooting all of the attack planes that come out of the Soryu. Destroy at least 90% of the aircraft carrier and you will beat level 13.

Level 14 – Akayo (3)
In the Akayo's third appearance, the Japanese mother bomber poses a challenging threat. Shooting more bullets that travel faster, the Akayo 3 is the last enemy plane that you will encounter with this specific set of weapons. The Akayo 3 has to be taken down to 30% health before you can go onto the next stage.

Level 15 – Nagato
Both a Yashichi icon and an increased energy gauge size can be obtained by the end of the Nagato stage. In this mission, the pilot of the Super Ace will be approached by six flying escorts while hovering over the battleship below. The Nagato has to be totally annihilated along with its escorts. This Japanese battleship serves as great practice for the last boss on the final stage.

Level 16 – Yamato
On the 16th and final level of 1943 – The Battle of Midway, you will have one final opportunity to earn a special icon bonus before facing the last opponent. The Yamato is a sizable battleship that is nearly identical in appearance to the Nagato. Again, you will need to take out a Japanese battleship and its six various escorts.

The Super Ace will have to make use of everything in its arsenal to bring the Yamato down. The final boss can be quite deceptive as it appears to use standard weapons. A high velocity cannon on board the Yamato is capable of depleting the majority of your energy with one hit. You may receive bonus points for completing the Yamato stage with a high level of accuracy. No additional features or bonus levels become available after the completion of 1943.

We hope you enjoyed the video and the information shared on this classic arcade game.

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