Strikers 1945

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S1945 Logo.png
Strikers 1945
S1945 Title.png

Title screen

Developer: Psikyo
Music: Masaki Izutani
Program: Person B
Art: Person C
Release date: 1995
Previous game: Gunbird
Next game: Sengoku Blade

For replay videos, visit the Video Index.

Strikers 1945

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.

Gameplay Overview

The ship select screen in Strikers 1945.

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.


Button Function
A (Tap)
Fire the player's Shot weapon.
A (Hold)
Charge up the Super Shot. Release to fire.
Can only be performed when the player has options with them.
Releases a screen-clearing Bomb.
Bomb functionality varies between ships.


Note: Ship stats are rough guesstimates until more concrete data is found. Research needed. Speed is measured by the number of frames it takes the ship from going from one corner to the other, the smaller the number, the faster the ship is (90F would mean it takes the ship 90 frames or one second and a half for example)

P-38 Lightning Power Charge Bomb Movement
S1945 Ship P38.png High Fastest Explosive [90F] Slow

Main Shot: Fires a straight shot with a low shot limit. Options fire homing missiles.

Super-Shot: Options stay in place and fire concentrated straight shots.

Bomb: Performs an invincible somersault and drops a screen-covering explosive. Ship cannot move while bombing.

Lightning is a very solid ship in both stages and bosses thanks to its homing capabilities and heavily increased damage when performing shotgun strats. It has the fastest Super-Shot charge,which is a really desirable trait no matter the Stage, as it allows it to quickly switch between Normal and Super-Shot very quickly, without much downtime. Its main weaknesses are slow turning speed and really poor damage if the player is forced to hug the screen border

P-51 Mustang Power Charge Bomb Movement
S1945 Ship P51.png High Slowest Explosive [83F] Average

Main Shot: Fires a wide shot with a low shot limit. Options fire straight-shot missiles that deal high damage.

Super-Shot: Options deploy around the ship and spin in a circle, then slowly move upwards. The options destroy enemy fire and deal constant collision damage.

Bomb: A squad of heavy aircraft flies in and performs a bombing run.

Mustang has the potential to trivialize certain portions of the game thanks to its high damage and great Super-Shot. Erasing the bullets that come from certain parts of the screen while dealing damage is great for routing and to practically negate some boss attacks. Its weakness come in the form of low main shot damage, meaning that mistiming your Super-Shot comes in a severe drop of damage, and its Super-Shot, while great, has a very slow start-up, so it is a major commitment you must go through in order to make use of it.

Spitfire Mk.VII Power Charge Bomb Movement
S1945 Ship Spitfire.png Average Fast Action [74F] Fast

Main Shot: Fires a wide shot with a low shot limit. Options trail ship movement, firing drill missiles that slow down and deal constant damage to targets.

Super-Shot: Options deploy in front of the ship and fire concentrated splits shots at a slight angle.

Bomb: Releases a massive, narrow flame beam. The beam destroys enemy fire. Ship movement is slowed while beam is present.

Spitfire's options can be used have both good screen coverage and high concentrated damage depending on the situation. It being fast helps with lining up the options quickly. Its charge shot is really valuable in stage portions as well, and to top it all of, it sports a bomb that has invul very quickly into the animation. Its main weaknesses are serviceable but not remarkable damage output, and having to previously set up your options to be as effective, which can't be always be done. Also, against some small bosses that zip around the screen (Stage 7 midboss, Stage 6 and 8 Boss' last pattern, to name a few), Spitfire will easily deal the least amount of damage of any ship due to how the options function.

Messerschmitt Bf-109 Power Charge Bomb Movement
S1945 Ship Bf109.png Average Average Explosive [83F] Average

Main Shot: Fires a straight shot with a high shot limit. Options lock on automatically and target enemies.

Super-Shot: Options group up and fire a concentrated volley of shots while crawling up the screen.

Bomb: Performs an invincible somersault as support aircraft performs a bombing run. Ship cannot move while bombing.

Messerschmitt (Bf-109) is a very versatile ship in how it approaches enemy formations. It can either choose to have its options be rapid-firing homing bullets, or a stationary turret with a high concentrated barrage in front of them. It is truly the jack of all trades, with average stats across the board, and with ways to comfortably with the different stage layouts. It doesn't have as big of a weakness as the other ships, more so it doesn't push its strengths as much as the rest, which is to expected for a Balance type.

Zero Fighter Power Charge Bomb Movement
S1945 Ship Zero.png High Very Fast Explosive [92F] Slowest

Main Shot: Fires a wide shot with a low shot limit. Options fires bombs/mines that explode on contact with enemies, or shortly after being fired.

Super-Shot: Options lock on to nearby enemies and fire concentrated shots up close.

Bomb: Summons a massive lightning storm that instantly destroys enemy fire and deals constant damage.

Zero Fighter is a ship that rewards players that already have knowledge of the game due to the way its options operate. It has amongst the highest shotgun damage, but also the shortest range of all ships, although its Super-Shot is amongst the best in the game to compensate, charging up really quickly and instantly locking into any available enemies, which it really necessitates in stages due to its poor spread and effective range. Just like with Lightning, its main weaknesses are slow speed and taking a severe drop in damage if its too far from enemies, although this can be circumvented with its Super-Shot to a degree.

J7W SHINDEN Power Charge Bomb Movement
S1945 Ship Shinden.png High Slow Action [70F] Fastest

Main Shot: Fires a narrow shot with a high shot limit. Options fires straight-shot missiles that deal high damage. Options stay directly behind ship.

Super-Shot: Options line up in the front of the ship and then crawl upwards, shooting concentrated shots to the sides.

Bomb: Performs an invincible somersault and fires a fast blast of energy shaped like the ship. High damage, but narrow and short. Cannot move while bombing.

Shinden fulfills the "low spread, powerful speedster" role found in many shmups. It has really good concentrated damage, the fastest speed in the game, and an invincible bomb, making it one of the best ships for boss killing, or any enemy with high HP in general. It has poor spread in both the main and sub shots, and while its Super-Shot can be useful depending on the Stage (Stage 6 being one of the main ones), it is quite a weak one when compared to the rest of the roster.


Item Description
S1945 Item PowerUp 2x.gif
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.
S1945 Item Bomb 2x.gif
Bomb Item
Bomb item. Adds a bomb to the stock.
Six bombs can be held at once, with every following bomb pickup being worth 10,000pts.
S1945 Item Gold 2x.gif
Gold Bar
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 BarsS1945 Item Gold 2x.gif 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 enemy and boss descriptions, walkthroughs, and advanced play strategies.
See Strikers 1945/Stages for a detailed information on the stages in Strikers 1945.
See Strikers 1945/Bosses for a detailed discussion on the boss fights in Strikers 1945.

The Gunbird Train

1. Don't destroy the tanks marked with red dots.
2. Hover over one of these trees, depending on the stage number you are on.

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.

Development History


Version Differences

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.


  • In the I/O test menu in service mode, there appears to be remnants of a possible 4 player mode, as evidenced by the 3P and 4P controls being "disconnected". It is unknown if it was confirmed or simply a leftover from another Psikyo game.
  • The P-38 Lightning appears to make a cameo alongside other ships in the series in Space Bomber. The ship can be captured for 100,000 points by shooting certain background graphics at specific times.


See Strikers 1945/Gallery for our collection of images and scans for the game.

References & Contributors

  1. Page text, info, and formatting by CHA-STG
  2. Additional info provided by Plasmo
  3. Special thanks to STG Rev. 2020 Discord for fact-checking.