MAME WR No. 6 – 1943 – The Battle Of Midway

1943 – The Battle Of Midway. Released in 1987 and the sequel to Capcom’s 1984 smash hit 1942.  The current MAME top score is 3,533,100 held by Francois Daniel. On first impressions it’s business as usual.  Back in the trusty P-38, you take off from your aircraft carrier (although this has just been fired upon and is now crabbing into the sea somewhat), shoot the green planes for points, red ones for power ups and don’t get killed.  Simple.

This time round there’s no single shot and you die shenanigans.  No way.  This time you get a lovely power gauge / fuel tank which is nice as it gives you some leeway in terms of getting shot at but it’s also another bloody thing to worry about.  This issue is compounded when the power ups arrive.  Collect the POW left by the red planes and it replenishes your power gauge.  However, shoot the POW and it will alternate between a POW and a different weapon.   So it becomes judgement call time.  Power up and shit weapon or superior firepower and risk getting though it?

My first go and I make it through to level 2 whilst achieving a score of 112,170 which would place me at 15th out of the 21 scores already submitted.  Unlike 1942 and in what is a nice touch, halfway through each stage you are taken further down towards the sea where the battle is then taken to the boats as well as the planes.  Destroy enough of the ships and you progress through to the next stage.  Don’t destroy enough and you’re sent back to the start of that section (not stage) to do it all again without any extra energy.  Oddly, when beginning level 2 your aircraft carrier is still crabbing into the sea like some kind of dilapidated Russian oil tanker.  You’d have thought it would have either sunk by now or the pilot would have picked a different, safer option to land and take off from…

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After a handful of attempts I make it part way through level 4 with a score of 392,380 and puts me at 13th.  Not a bad score but not even a top ten score so in fact it is a bad score.  Nine of the top ten are above a million so it’s going to take some  improvement yet.

…………

With a score of 1,003,490 I limp my way into the top 10.  My saving grace was collecting an odd spinning cat which seemingly turns up when it can be arsed, jumps all over the place and then buggers off again (much like a real cat then…). Should you manage to collect this feline trinket you are rewarded with a laser upgrade.  A laser on a plane in 1943?  I ask you…  Mustn’t grumble though. This helped me progress past the end of level 4 with ease and from then on in, with more than a bit of luck, I managed to survive until the 8th level.  At which point, for want of a better phrase, I was shot to shit.

For most 1942 is the classic and for the most part it is but this is a better balanced game and one which I’m far more likely to return than it’s predecessor.  Given time I don’t think that the current record is too far off either given that I breached the one million mark in just over a weeks worth of sporadic playing.

Next up 1944: The Loop Master

Download the inp for playback in WolfMAME 0.106

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