1942 (Nineteen Forty-Two) is the first game on Capcom's 1940 series, initially released on Arcades in 1984 and later ported to the NES, MSX, Commodore 64, Game Boy Color, FM-7, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, X1 and Wii Virtual Console. It was also included on the Capcom Generations Vol. 1, Capcom Classics Collection and Capcom Arcade compilations. It was the first title designed by Yoshiki Okamoto, the fourth title developed by Capcom, after Vulgus, Son Son and Pirate Ship Higemaru, and their first title to spawn a series of sequels.
Players have one button to shoot down enemies and a second button to perform loops: a evasive maneuver which renders the player invincible for a brief moment but unable to shoot. By defeating enemy formations the player can obtain power-ups which raises the plane's firepower, bonus point icons or a item which summons the Side Fighters, two smaller ships which attach to the player's sides and add to the firepower. The game is 32 stages long.
Small planes are 30, 50, 70, 100, 150, or 200 points each.
The small red planes that fly formations of five or ten are 100 points each. Shooting all the planes in the five-plane formation awards 500 bonus points. Shooting all the planes in the ten-plane formation awards 1,000 bonus points. In both cases, when the last plane of a formation is destroyed, a power-up marker appears and is worth 1,000 points when picked up.
Occasionally a small airplane comes slowly out of the lower left or lower right hand side of the screen and flies towards the top. When hit, it turns into a special figure which awards 5,000 points when picked up.
Medium size planes are 1,000 or 1,500 points each.
Large bomber planes start at 2,000 points each. The score for each consecutive bomber destroyed without the player dying is 500 points more than the previous one, up to a maximum of 9,000 points. When the player’s ship is destroyed, the score for the bombers is reset back to 2,000 points.
There are four boss planes. They appear at the end of stages 26, 18, 10, and 02 :
- The stage 26 boss plane is worth 20,000 points.
- The stage 18 boss plane is worth 30,000 points.
- The stage 10 boss plane is worth 40,000 points.
- The stage 02 boss plane is worth 50,000 points.
For all enemy planes that require more than one hit to kill, each hit on them gives 100 points.
At the end of each stage a bonus is awarded for shooting down percentage and for unused loops : 100% = Special bonus 50,000 points (in older revisions, the game displays 10,000 points bonus but 50,000 points are actually awarded).
- 95-99% = 20,000 points
- 90-94% = 10,000 points
- 85-89% = 5,000 points
- 80-84% = 4,000 points
- 70-79% = 3,000 points
- 60-69% = 2,000 points
- 50-59% = 1,000 points
- Under 50% = 0 points
- Unused loops are 1,000 points each.
Finishing the final stage awards 10,000,000 points.
- Green POW: Powers up the main weapon.
- White POW: Destroys all enemies on screen.
- Gray POW: Adds the Side Fighters.
- Orange POW: Enemies become unable to shoot for a limited time.
- Yellow POW: Increases the number of loops for the current stage.
- Black POW: Adds one extra life.
- Red POW: 1000 points.
- Yashichi: 5000 points.
- Stages 32–29: Midway
- Stages 28–25: Marshall
- Stages 24–21: Attu
- Stages 20–17: Rabaul
- Stages 16–13: Leyte
- Stages 12–09: Saipan
- Stages 08–05: Iwojima
- Stages 04–01: Okinawa
- Zero (Kuro-den and Kuro-den Kai) (Mitsubishi A6M Zero)
- Fukusuke (Mitsubishi J8M Shūsui)
- BVD (Nakajima Kikka)
- Shoryu (Yokosuka P1Y Ginga)
- Akamizu (original)
- Qing (original)
- Raizan (original)
- Daihiryu (Mitsubishi G4M)
- Ayako (boss, original (based on the Nakajima G8N))