The ''1942'' series is a series of arcade vertical-scrolling {{Shoot Em Up}}s developed by Capcom, set mainly in WorldWarII. The player is an American "Super Ace" in a P-38 Lightning who spends a surprising amount of time kicking the spit out of the Japanese Navy for a series made in Japan.

* '''1942''' (Arcade, 1984)
* '''1943: The Battle of Midway''' (Arcade, 1987)
** '''1943 Kai''' (Arcade, 1988)
** '''1944: The Battle of Midway''' (Famicom, 1988) -- A limited release version of 1943 that featured an extra weapon[[note]]a powerful laser shot represented by a "cat" sprite, of all things[[/note]] for the P-38 and nothing else
* '''1941: Counter Attack''' (Arcade, 1990)
* '''19XX: The War Against Destiny''' (Arcade, 1996)
* '''1944: The Loop Master''' (Arcade, 2000; developed by 8ing / Raizing)
* '''1942 Joint Strike''' (XboxLiveArcade and PlayStationNetwork, 2009)

[[IThoughtThatWas Do not confuse with]] ''[[VideoGame/{{Battlefield}} Battlefield 1942]]'', which is a whole different ballgame, ''Film/NineteenFortyOne'', ''{{Strikers 1945}}'' (despite that also being a shmup series), or (heaven forbid) ''[[Literature/NineteenEightyFour 1984]]''. Also has nothing to do with the video game company {{Midway}}.[[note]]The "Midway" referred to here is Midway Island, which was part of the Pacific Theater of WorldWarTwo.[[/note]]
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!! The ''1942'' series contains examples of:
* AnachronismStew -- The series has weapons that should not have existed in WWII, such as a space shuttle-like rocket boss and ''FrickinLaserBeams.''
** 1944 has [[SuspiciouslySimilarSong Jimmy Hart Versions]] of rock songs that wouldn't exist for another 20-30 years.
* AttackItsWeakPoint: In ''1943'', the Ayako bombers can only be damaged in their engines, but you can keep shooting the same engines even after they have been [[DamageIsFire set on fire]]. They are defeated once all their engines go down.
* BattleshipRaid -- A lot of the series' bosses are battleships.
* BladderOfSteel -- ''1942'' has 32 stages, ''1943'' has 16 stages, and ''1944'' has 15 stages. If you plan on one-crediting any of these in the arcade, make sure you use the bathroom in advance.
* BossSubtitles: In ''1943'', each stage is preceded by a message saying "Offensive target: [Boss name]. May you fight bravely!"
* CainAndAbel: The 1P player, Matt Laratt, in ''19XX'' is the brother of the otherwise unnamed pilot of the F. Blackr--the stealth fighter that keeps harassing you and ultimately serves as the FinalBoss.
* ClipItsWings: See AttackItsWeakPoint above.
* CriticalAnnoyance -- In ''1943'' and ''1941'', an alarm goes off whenever your health runs low. The NES port of ''1943'' is worse: it replaces the current BGM with a [[NightmareFuel Jaws-like tune]] when your health falls below 20.
* DamageIsFire: The Ayako bombers show their damage level by how many engines are on fire. Ayako I's engines catch fire in pairs, Ayako II's engines catch fire as such: First, second, and 3rd/4th together, Ayako III's engines catch fire one at a time.
* EverythingsBetterWithCows -- In ''1943'', there are hidden cow icons that, upon collection, refill your LifeMeter.
* FrickinLaserBeams -- In ''WW [[{{Pun}} frickin']] II'', no less!
* InstantWinCondition -- In ''1942'', upon completing a stage, all on-screen enemies will explode.
* {{Irony}} -- Meta example: In ''1942'', ''1943'', and ''1944'', you're fighting the Japanese military. [[Creator/{{Capcom}} The company behind this series]] ''is Japanese itself.'' According with Yoshiki Okamoto, who worked in the game, Capcom got into really ''hot water'' in Japan for having the Japanese players controlling an American plane and destroying Japanese planes and that was the reason why the NES version, ''1941'' and ''19XX'' features different kind of enemies, like the Germans in 1941.
* UsefulNotes/KatanasOfTheRisingSun -- The enemy in most of the games except ''1941'' and ''[=19XX=]''.
* KaizoTrap -- In ''1943'', most ship bosses will explode into shrapnel when defeated. Better avoid it, especially if you manage to beat the final boss and forget all about the shrapnel...or you can shoot it for extra points.
* LifeMeter -- Varies. In ''1943'', you get a LifeMeter that drains over time (though you can't die of time drain). ''1941'' offers HitPoints that you lose one of with each hit. ''1944''[='=]s and ''Joint Strike''[='=]s are more similar-looking to ''1943''[='=]s, without the time drain.
* [[MidSeasonUpgrade Mid Game Upgrade]] -- Partway through ''1944'', your {{Attack Drone}}s, which up to this point have been WWII-era planes, are upgraded to little jet fighters with FrickinLaserBeams.
* NintendoHard
* NoSwastikas -- ''1941'' pits you against [[UsefulNotes/NazisWithGnarlyWeapons the Germans]], yet not a single swastika is in sight.
* NukeEm -- In ''19XX''[='=]s final stage, [[spoiler:the RecurringBoss escorts a pair of nuclear missiles aimed at Tokyo. [[AlwaysClose Even if you time him out in the final battle, you'll always destroy the nukes in time in the ending cutscene.]]]]
* OneManArmy -- Whatever incarnation of the game, it's you in your one fighter plane against the entire Japanese (or whatever) fleet.
* OrwellianRetcon: As already mentioned before, the game was pretty controversial in Japan when it was released in arcades, so Capcom had to make some modifications on the NES version of the game, including changing the name of the Japanese battleships using the Japanese names of ''Chinese'' warlords from ''Literature/RomanceOfTheThreeKingdoms'', with the sole exception of the Ayako bombers, since [[{{Tuckerization}} they're probably named after the music composer of the game, Ayako Mori]],[[note]]Ryofu refers to LuBu, per example.[[/note]] not to mention the titular ''Battle of Midway'' was named ''The Battle of Valhalla'' in the Japanese version. Oddly, the American game box still keeps the ''Battle of Midway'' subtitle, even if the English version also use the changed Japanese names too.
* RecurringBoss -- In ''1941'', Leviathan, the [[WarmUpBoss Stage 1 boss]], makes an upgraded reappearance in Stage 5. In ''19XX'', there's F. Blackr, the black fighter that destroys your mothership and harasses you on every level. You finally get to [[FinalBoss settle the score with it in the end]].
* {{Retraux}} -- ''Joint Strike''[='=]s graphics are made to resemble a film from the early 20th century.
* RPGElements -- The NES port of ''1943'' allows you to upgrade your plane's stats by touching certain hidden icons.
** Most specifically, it is a PointBuildSystem
* SequelEscalation -- Inverted and played straight at the same time; up to ''19XX'', each game has less levels (''1942''[='=]s 32 stages -> ''1943''[='=]s 16 stages -> ''1941''[='=]s 6 stages), but each newer game has stages that are more varied and have more complex gameplay than "fight waves of enemies in the sky until you reach the next end-of-stage carrier."
* ShownTheirWork -- The Japanese versions of 1943 featured accurately modeled (as accurate as a Famicom could, anyway) versions of actual WWII IJN capital ships. A diligent player could recognize many Japanese battleships & carriers including the ''Ise'', ''Nagato'', ''Yamato'' (post refit), ''Akagi'', ''Hiryu'', and several others. On the other hand, the Ayako bombers are completely original-made for the game, albeit they could be inspired in the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitsubishi_Ki-67 Mitsubishi Ki-67 ''Hiryu'' heavy bomber]], despise the Ayako bombers are four-engined, while the ''Hiryu'' used only two.
** Sadly, [[OrwellianRetcon these were all changed to generic made-up names when it was ported to the NES]] both in the U.S. and Japanese versions, due to the Japanese controversy regarding this.
* SmartBomb -- ''1943'' and ''1941'' have special attacks that damage everything on-screen at the expense of health. ''19XX'' and ''1944'' instead give you bomb items, with the former allowing you to charge up a bomb attack that deals more damage than simply tapping the bomb button.
* SpentShellsShower: The fifth boss of ''19XX'' uses this ''with a twist'' after he fires out his [[GatlingGood machinegun]]... He fires out the shells forward towards you, making you have to avoid (or just shoot) them!
* StupidJetpackHitler: Certain enemies, not to mention some bosses (such as the [[spoiler:Gotha[=/=]HO-IX]]) in ''1941'' fit this trope.
* VideoGameLives -- ''1942'', ''19XX'', and ''Joint Strike''
* WaveMotionGun: ''19XX'' has both the fifth boss and the [[SequentialBoss final form]] of the FinalBoss use this on you. Especially dangerous is the final boss' one, as his spins and sucks the player towards it!
* YearX -- ''19XX''.
* YourPrincessIsInAnotherCastle -- In ''1943'', you are congratulated for winning the war after defeating the first 16 or so stages. And then you find out that all those bosses were a diversion from the ''real'' army.
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