1942 was originally released for arcades in 1984. While the game was ported to several other platforms including the MSX and ZX Spectrum, the most popular version would belong on the NES in 1986 developed by Micronics.
1942 would go on to become Capcom's first franchise, releasing sequels, spin-offs, and even a prequel. 1942 has solidified itself in gaming history, released in several Capcom "greatest hits" collections including Capcom Generations, Capcom Classics Collection, and Capcom Classics Collection: Reloaded.
Players pilot Super Ace, a Lockheed P-38 Lightning, while shooting their way through the Pacific Theater. The primary objective in 1942 is to reach Tokyo in order to destroy Japan's remaining air force. The game featured an evade maneuver, allowing the plane to roll out of the way of incoming fire. There was also a two-player mode, but the series didn't start out with cooperative play. Instead, players would trade off and achieve their own designated scores.
While traversing the Pacific Theater, Super Ace would fly through eight locations split between thirty-two stages, four stages in each. All of the stages are set in true-to-life locations including Midway, Marshall, Attu, Rabaul, Levte, Saiban, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.