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By Capcom Arcade 1989


(Right) Your pilots for this mission are..
(click on the pic for pilot bios!)

The arcade game featured three selectable characters,
each one piloting a plane of varying attributes (weapons,
power & speed): Shin Kazama (Japan - F20 Tigershark),
Micky (sic!) Simon (USA - F14 Tomcat) and Greg Gates (Denmark - A10 Warthog). Player aircraft all had an 'energy' guage which diminished with each enemy collsion, however,
and uniquely, on hitting an enemy or bullet you become vulnerable for a second or two from any further hits which will kill you outright. This leads to frantic moments at hectic points in the game (of which there are many) of dodging wildly if you are unlucky enough to get hit while flak bursts and enemy aircraft circle all around you!

Between levels a 'Weapon Shop' is available to purchase a
range of cool devices of doom to kit out your plane for the
next mission. Some weapons are specific to certain planes,
for instance Greg's A-10 has a nice line in ground attack weaponry while Shin's F20 has some nice air-only power-ups and Shields. This is all of course dependant in 'earning' money during missions from destroying key enemies, and believe me you'll need to earn as much cash as possible in order to get past some of the later stages in the game.

UN Squadron is probably best known in the West from its conversion to the
SNES, a very competent port of the game
which added some new features such as being able to purchase different planes later in the game (the arcade version only allows you one plane per character) as well as being able to select levels of play in a bolt-on strategy section. An arcade-only sequel to the game (minus the
Area 88 Anime licence) called
Carrier Airwing was released in 1990 (basically more of the same, but with a more 'Top Gun' atmosphere and slightly more detailed graphics). The latter never received a home version I'm afraid but both games are definitely most enjoyable today when played on the excellent Callus CPS Sytem 1 emulator.

'The fighting in this area is ferocious. Only
fate will determine if we live or die..'

UN Squadron is one of Capcom's most famous and beloved
shoot em ups. Originating from a Japanese Anime (Cartoon)
called 'Area 88' about a group of three daredevil pilot mercenaries drafted into service by the millitary the game is an enjoyable side-scrolling shooter with colourful, evocative graphics and backgrounds, varied levels and bosses and an intriguing
weapon 'shop' feature (see also
Forgotten Worlds).

(Above) Stage one and two bosses - Flame Tank and
Stealth Bomber are releatively simple affairs

(Above) Your first real boss 'test' is this enormous enemy fortress (Left) Stage 4 plonks this enormous 'Land Carrier' in your path..
(Right) Boss number Four is this wierd Helipcopter-Plane hybrid. Lovely parallax here on those mountains..

(Above) Awww.. why do I always have to end up flying my mult-million pound jet
into some blasted cave eh? The huge tracked Land Carrier at the end of
the cavern isn't too keen on you being there either..

  (Left) Stage Five. Disrupt the lovely formation flying of this SuperBomber and her escorts with a few AA missiles ho ho ho..

(Above) End of Stage 6 - Now that's a big ship.. (
Click for even bigger one!)

Right, I wanted to finish off showing ALL the UN Squdron bosses (the Level 8 final boss,
very much a tribute (nay, plagiarism) of the famous
R-Type Level 3 mothership is HUGE)
but I've misplaced the ROM for now so can't take any more screenies. Hey - this should
be enough to keep you lot happy for a bit though. Still if anyone lets me know they
want to see it I might be persuaded to finish them all soon.. :)

For scans of both the Japanese and European SNES versions click here

See also: CAPCOM

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