FAQ by JHarring

Updated: 08/08/00 | Printable Version

1942 FAQ written on 8/8/00 by Joshua Harring (harring2@home.com)

1942 is an ancient NES shooting game based on an equally ancient 80's arcade 
shooter from Capcom.  Supposedly it is based on World War II, where you, the 
daring Super Ace, must fight through 32 stages of dogfights to reach Tokyo and 
destroy all of Japan's aircraft.  Kind of odd how a Japanese game company would 
create a game on Japanese hardware about the Japanese losing, isn't it?  Oh 

Storyline aside, the game is at its heart a basic vertical shooter.  And I mean 
really basic.  The graphics are, at most, functional, with your white plane 
flying over water, sand, forest, and city on a gradually auto-scrolling screen.  
Dozens of enemy planes of several colors (green, gray, and red) kamikaze towards 
you or fly in formation, with an occasional larger plane appearing behind you.  
Only a few power-ups are available.  The 32 levels have minimal difference 
between them, with only a screen-filling boss plane appearing occasionally to 
break up the monotony.

Let's further discuss what you're up against:


Gray plane - This basic fodder plane just flies toward you, and then either goes 
off the screen or half-loops (in other words, turning upside-down) and going 
back in the opposite direction before coming back towards you again.  They fire 
bullets with increasing frequency depending on the stage.  There's nothing very 
special about them, although their sheer numbers and the fact that they 
continously appear throughout a level means you're probably crash into one or 
get hit by a stray bullet every so often.

Green plane - This plane flies in wide circles and can come back on-screen if it 
leaves, so you can't dismiss it as gone if it does that.  They fire bullets too 
and may prove difficult to avoid with several of them circling around.  In rare 
instances one of them will be a "secret enemy bomber" (according to the manual), 
which, when hit, will spin several times before exploding and turning into a 
Yashichi.  This symbol is worth a cool 5,000 points.  A telltale sign of this 
secret bomber is a small green plane coming up from the bottom of the screen 

Red plane - This plane always appears as part of a formation of six or so 
planes.  The formation will do things like fly from one end of the screen to the 
other, or circle around, or sometimes fly downwards toward you and then loop 
back.  They aren't usually very aggressive.  These planes are important because 
destroying the entire formation will net you a Pow (power-up).  If you fail to 
shoot them in a timely manner, however, they'll leave the screen.

Mid-sized plane - This plane appears from the bottom of the screen and will 
slowly fly towards the top.  They're just there to get in your way, mostly.  
Once they reach the top of the screen and fly off of it, they're gone.  Six 
bullets or so will cause them to explode and give you 1,000 points.

Large plane - This plane (usually green) also approaches from the bottom of the 
screen but is faster than the mid-sized plane.  Once it reaches near the top of 
the screen, it will stop and move from side to side, firing bullets at you.  
They take about a dozen hits and are worth at least 2,000 points, sometimes 

Boss plane - At the end of stages 7, 15, 23, and 31 there is a boss plane which 
shoots many bullets at you.  The key is pretty much just to avoid them and 
shoot, shoot, and shoot some more.  It doesn't matter where you hit the plane.  
The plane doesn't actually move, althrough the screen scrolls up and down to 
give the thinly-masked illusion of movement.  About 30 hits are required to 
bring this baby down, but it's worth 20,000 points.

Power-ups will help even the odds a little bit against the endless waves of 
planes.  Here's a look at what they are (note that all power-ups are gained by 
grabbing a Pow which appears after destroying a formation of red planes):

Bullets (green) - Two extra bullets are added to each shot, so that you are 
shooting four at a time.  This is helpful for increasing the width of your 
firing area (since most planes take one bullet anyway) and speeding up the time 
it takes to destroy a larger plane.

Planes  (white with white outline) - Two smaller white planes appear by your 
side, and fire when you do, thus giving you a more wide area of shooting than 
does the Bullet power-up.  It's important to note that your planes aren't 
invincible, and will die just like you do from a bullet or being crashed into.  

Explosion (white with red outline) - This one wipes out all of the planes on the 

Points (red) - 1,000 points.  You also get 1,000 points for picking up any 
power-up, but this one doesn't do anything else.

The Loop ability is a special feature of your plane that allows you to escape 
being hit.  Your plane presumably flies up to a higher altitude while turning 
upside-down, and during this time you are immune to other planes and bullets.  
You can't fire while looping, although you can move.  You start with three uses 
of this ability with each new life.

You have three lives and can earn more at certain point plateaus.  Getting shot 
by a bullet or crashing into another plane causes you to lose a life.  
Fortunately, you have unlimited continues, so beating the game is really just a 
matter of attrition.  When you die, you don't reappear exactly where you 
started.  Instead, you're pushed back to a predetermined checkpoint within the 
stage, so you'll have to repeat some terrain.  You don't have to start at the 
beginning of the level when you continue, either; it takes you to the same 
checkpoint where you would have started from.  When you lose all your lives, the 
game tells you the total number of planes you destroyed as well as your shooting 
percentage.  You're then taken back to the title screen where you can continue 
the game.  When you continue, your score goes back to zero.

At the end of each stage is an aircraft carrier that you will land on.  When you 
approach it, all the other planes on the screen explode, and you still get the 
points from them.  What's amusing is that more planes usually try to come on the 
screen and end up exploding too.  :)  After you land, you get bonus points based 
upon your shooting percentage and number of Loop uses you have remaining.  Then 
you start the next stage from there.  When starting a stage, the game tells you 
the number of lives and stages remaining.

And there's really not a whole lot more to say about this most basic of shooting 
games.  There really isn't too much a FAQ on this game can assist someone with.  
It's pretty much all about your reflexes, grabbing power-ups, and having the 
attention span to fight through 32 stages of pretty much the same action.  Of 
course, you can always try to beat your high score if that appeals to you.

So if you have something to add, please email me at harring2@home.com or post on 
the 1942 GameFAQs message board about it.