P-47 Aces

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P47aces logo.png
P-47 Aces
P47aces title.png

Title screen

Developer: NMK
Planning: Morio Kishimoto
Music: Manabu Namiki
Hideya Kazunori
Akira Hirokami
Program: Youichi Koyama
Art: Kenji Yokoyama
Eisaku Origami
Hiromi Seki
Akemi Tsunoda
(and others?)
Release date: 1995
Previous game: P-47

P-47 Aces is a horizontally scrolling shoot'em up arcade game developed by NMK and published by Jaleco in 1995. It is notable for its obtuse "bumping"-based scoring system, highly detailed pixel art, and high degree of difficulty.

It has not been ported as of September 2020.

Controls[edit]

P-47 Aces is a 2 button game with a typical 8-way lever movement. It's worthwhile to have an autofire A button at 30Hz, as it's faster than the internal autofire. Keeping the internal autofire button is useful both for handling slowdown more effectively, and to reduce gaps in the firing pattern.

For scoring, it is also common to add frame buttons on movement, to make positioning for bumping simpler and more consistent.

  • A: Shot (internal autofire at 20Hz)
  • B: Bomb

Characters[edit]

Thunderbolt
Sergeant Jody S. Age 21
P47aces thunderbolt portrait.png

P47aces thunderbolt firing.png

P47aces thunderbolt ship.png

P47aces thunderbolt char.png

Speed: Medium (2.5px / f)

Hitbox: 13x5

Anti-Air: 5-way

Anti-Surface: Normal Bomb

Strengths:

  • Anti-air is very effective on zako at long range
  • Highest scoring potential

Weaknesses:

  • Non-integer move speed makes bump positioning tricky
  • Anti-air attack does very low damage unless at extremely close range
  • Anti-surface does very little damage
  • Second-largest hitbox
Blackwidow
Sergeant Kim Blair Age 28
P47aces blackwidow portrait.png

P47aces blackwidow firing.png

P47aces blackwidow ship.png

P47aces blackwidow char.png

Speed: Medium (3px / f)

Hitbox: 17x7

Anti-Air: 1-way

Anti-Surface: Smart Bomb

Strengths:

  • Good damage at long and medium range, extremely high damage at close range (from anti-surface)
  • Homing anti-air and semi-homing anti-surface make targeting extremely easy
  • Good speed

Weaknesses:

  • Homing makes targeting unreliable
  • Anti-surface is limited in range as it does not "travel"
  • Very large hitbox
Swordfish
Captain Uncle Age 52
P47aces swordfish portrait.png

P47aces swordfish firing.png

P47aces swordfish ship.png

P47aces swordfish char.png

Speed: Low (2px / f)

Hitbox: 9x5

Anti-Air: Sidewinder

Anti-Surface: Dispenser

Strengths:

  • Anti-air is very effective on zako at any range
  • Speed makes bump positioning relatively easy
  • Smallest hitbox

Weaknesses:

  • Slow speed makes many situations dangerous without extensive planning
  • Anti-surface is unreliable as it does not always drop bombs
Spitfire
Sergeant Harry B. Age 24
P47aces spitfire portrait.png

P47aces spitfire firing.png

P47aces spitfire ship.png

P47aces spitfire char.png

Speed: High (3.5px / f)

Hitbox: 11x5

Anti-Air: 1-way

Anti-Surface: Napalm

Strengths:

  • Extremely high damage at nearly any range from both anti-air and anti-surface
  • Very high speed easily makes up for lack of range
  • Second-smallest hitbox

Weaknesses:

  • Anti-air does not spread, so zako can become more dangerous
  • Bump positioning is extremely difficult due to high, non-integer move speed

Tier List[edit]

For a 1 credit clear, with S being easiest to clear and D hardest to clear.

S P47aces spitfire char.png
Spitfire
Extremely high damage at medium range allows for quick and safe dispatch of bosses and large enemies, the hardest parts of the game.

High speed makes zako rarely a problem, and combined with its small hitbox, reaction dodging is often not a problem.

A P47aces blackwidow char.png
Blackwidow
Great damage at medium range and homing allows for a lot of simple and safe strategies to be very effective.

Large hitbox can make some dodges difficult.

C P47aces swordfish char.png
Swordfish
Has a hard time dealing with bosses and large enemies without some point-blanking, and does not have reliable tools for dealing with zako easily.

Slow movement speed makes reaction dodging difficult, but small hitbox somewhat alleviates this issue.

D P47aces thunderbolt char.png
Thunderbolt
Has an extremely hard time dealing with bosses and even medium sized enemies without constant point-blanking, due to very low damage output.

Items[edit]

Power-ups[edit]

P47aces item aa.png
P47aces item as.png

These items increase the Anti-Air and Anti-Surface weapon power levels by one. These items also serve as a bomb fragment system, and every time 6 of these (combined) are collected, a bomb item is generated.

Bomb[edit]

P47aces item bm.png

Increases bomb stock by 1. Up to 8 bombs may be stocked, and there is a small bonus (10'000 points) when collecting extra bombs.

Hyper[edit]

P47aces item hyp.png

Increases the Anti-Air and Anti-Surface weapon powers to maximum. This item is only spawned by a player running out of lives, and is provided as a continue service. In a multi-player game, it's possible for the remaining player to pick up this item anyways.

Rank[edit]

P-47 Aces features a simple rank system, based entirely on survival time. Rank only affects enemy firing patterns, by removing bullets at lower rank values. It has 4 steps, from 0 to 3. Difficulty settings only adjust the rank minimum, maximum, and increment time. Each stage has a different setting for minimum and maximum rank. When a player dies, the value is subtracted by 3, effectively resetting the rank to 0.

EASY NORMAL HARD VERY HARD
Increase every 45*60 frames Increase every 30*60 frames Increase every 15*60 frames Always maximum
Stage Minimum Maximum Stage Minimum Maximum Stage Minimum Maximum Stage Minimum Maximum
1 0 2 1 1 3 1 2 3 1 3 3
2 0 2 2 1 3 2 2 3 2 3 3
3 1 2 3 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
4 1 2 4 3 3 4 3 3 4 3 3
5 1 2 5 3 3 5 3 3 5 3 3
6 1 2 6 3 3 6 3 3 6 3 3
7 1 2 7 3 3 7 3 3 7 3 3
8 1 2 8 3 3 8 3 3 8 3 3

Scoring[edit]

Score is primarily gained from many individual tricks that are generally unrelated to each other. As such, it's possible to avoid difficult tricks and only lose the points from the trick itself.

Hidden Score Areas[edit]

One of the most prominent score sources are the hidden score areas in each stage, which range in value from 100 to 10'000 points (mostly in increments of 1'000 points). These score areas are destructible objects with no graphics, generally placed on the top or bottom of the screen, or next to ground scenery. The higher the value of the area, the more damage is required to uncover it.

Tick Points[edit]

There are also significant amounts of points from the mere act of hitting objects with your shots. The object being hit does not need to be destructible, so it is possible to milk points out of scenery by getting close and firing repeatedly.

Enemy Destruction[edit]

Enemy destruction points are also not exactly obvious, as some enemies are built out of a multitude of parts. When an enemy is destroyed, it only awards points if the part being destroyed has been hit by the player. As such, some parts will not award their points unless the player has shot the part at least once before destroying the enemy.

Bumping[edit]

In addition to the above mechanics, 100 points are awarded every time the player touches a non-enemy, non-item object, which causes the player to bounce away from the center of that object. On its own, this is a rather hard source of points, but due to the design of the system, it's possible to put the player ship in a position where it will rebound between multiple objects quickly, causing a rapid rise of points. There are a few bosses, notably the stage 6 and stage 7 bosses, where it's possible to completely wedge the player ship inside the boss, making the player invincible for the duration, and causing a dramatic point gain.

Strategy[edit]

See P-47 Aces/Strategy for stage maps, enemy and boss descriptions, and advanced play strategies.


Version Differences[edit]

There are two versions of P-47 Aces, the original release (V1.0) and a relatively rare bug-fix update (V1.1). The differences are:

  • V1.1 fixes a bug that can cause severe sound effect cuing lag.
  • V1.1 fixes the sound test to actually work.

Trivia[edit]

  • The working title for this game was P-47 Kai
  • The stage 1 layout is a rough recreation of the stage 1 layout from the original P-47
  • The stage 7 boss theme is an arrangement of Theme of Bismarck from the original P-47

Gallery[edit]

See P-47 Aces/Gallery for our collection of images and scans for the game.