Strikers 1945 is a 1995 manic shooter developed by Psikyo. It is the first in the Strikers series of shooting games, followed by Strikers 1945 II (+ Strikers 1945 Plus) and Strikers 1999 (Strikers 1945 III).
It follows a post-World War II plot where a mysterious organization known as C.A.N.Y. tries to take over the world with new super-weapons, and the "Strikers" team blast off to destroy the new threat. Like many Psikyo titles, it is known for its high bullet speeds and aggressive bosses.
Strikers 1945 was ported to the Sega Saturn, PlayStation, Android platforms, Nintendo Switch, and PC. The game is also included in the (currently upcoming) 2022 Sega Astro City Mini V platform.
Strikers 1945 contains eight stages of play, with the first four stages played in a random order. There is a second loop that can be played simply by completing the first eight stages, for a total of 16 stages. The actual stages in Strikers 1945 are often quite brief, with some being shorter than 60 seconds, with the bosses often taking up more time than the stages themselves. A single loop takes about 15 to 20 minutes on average.
Six ships are available to select, each one with its own shot type, option type, special weapon, and bomb attack.
Can only be performed when the player has options with them.
Bomb functionality varies between ships.
Note: Ship stats are rough guesstimates until more concrete data is found. Research needed.
|Power-up item. Dropped by red planes and specific stage objects.|
Collecting one increases the power of the ship's main weapon by 1, and adds one option.
A maximum of 4 can be acquired at once, with excess P icons worth 4000pts.
|Bomb item. Adds a bomb to the stock.|
Six bombs can be held at once, with every following bomb pickup being worth 10,000pts.
|Primary score item. Dropped by grounded enemies and objects.|
Worth 200, 500, 1,000 or 2,000pts. See Strikers 1945#Scoring.
Rank increases or decreases based on the ship's current power level. It mostly influences the speed of bullets fired by enemies. Rank is adjusted immediately upon the power level of the player ship changing.
Additionally, the first four stages have different difficulty depending on the order of stages, with the "hard" version of each stage being 1-3 and 1-4.
Rank is lowered by death (causing your player ship to drop back down to level 1), or by colliding with an airborne enemy, which lowers the player's current power level by 1.
Strikers 1945 features a second loop with denser and faster bullet patterns. Additionally, enemies that are destroyed will release clusters of revenge bullets.
There are no conditions to enter the second loop, and like the first loop, the second loop's first four stages are in a random order. Unlike the first loop, the game's rank is already at max, so the four stages do not vary in difficulty.
The primary scoring trick in Strikers games involves collecting Gold Bars that are left behind by some ground enemies and destructible objects.
Gold is worth 200, 500, 1,000 or 2,000pts depending on what frame of animation it is on. In Strikers 1945, one animation frame lasts for 7 frames each.
For ideal score play, the player wants to collect the gold bars on the frame that they flash white, as this will always reward the player with 2000pts.
Aside from that, scoring revolves primarily around maximizing enemy destruction and item collection. Excess bombs and power-ups reward bonus points, but can be risky to hold onto due to the ferocity of enemy attacks and bullet speeds later on in the game.
See Strikers 1945/Strategy for stage maps, enemy and boss descriptions, walkthroughs, and advanced play strategies.
The Gunbird Train
In the Germany stage, it is possible to make a train appear that was previously seen in one of the random stages of Gunbird. It's very lucrative for scoring, as each of its three parts is worth 8,000 pts. Moreover, since the train parts hold two power up items each, it can also be useful to boost your power level to max early on. If the items are picked up when already at max power, this makes an additional 24,000 pts.
In order to trigger the train, the player has to avoid destroying a couple of tanks and trucks during the opening part of the stage. These vehicles are not firing at the player and are marked with red dots in the image on the left. Notice that you can still carefully take out the two tanks that are firing at you, as the upper one also holds a gold bar.
In the next step, the player has to hover over a specific tree when the stage music makes a jingle noise. Depending on whether the Germany stage is played as stage 1, 2, 3 or 4 the player has to hover over a different tree. The trees are marked accordingly on the image to the right.
While being exceedingly more difficult, it's likewise possible to trigger the train in the second loop under the same conditions.
At the end of World War II, world peace seemingly returned to mankind, until an organization known as C.A.N.Y. rose to take over the world with a new breed of superweapons of mass destruction. A team of ace pilots known as the "STRIKERS" were formed in order to destroy this new foe and stop their plan for world conquest.
Later on, it is revealed that the organization was created by aliens who specialize in brainwashing human brains, intending to invade planet Earth. The leader of the organization, also called CANY, is destroyed by the Strikers, alongside the alien base.
World Version (vs. Japan Version)
- The easter egg revealing the identities of the Strikers pilots does not occur.
- The Japanese text on the high score table does not appear.
See Strikers 1945/Gallery for our collection of images and scans for the game.
References & Contributors
- Page text, info, and formatting by CHA-STG
- Additional info provided by Plasmo
- Special thanks to STG Rev. 2020 Discord for fact-checking.