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After Burner is a home port of the Arcade hit. You play the part of a Navy air captain known as "The Ace." Players pilot an F-14 Thunder Cat capable of Mach 2 and equipped with a targeting computer, missiles, and a Vulcan 20mm cannon.
The enemy plans on taking over the world, and they have a strategy to make it work. Their plan is divided into two parts and has been hidden in various parts of their country. Those plans have been located by Naval Intelligence, and they need you to retrieve them. Enemies you will encounter include jets, helicopters, and flying fortresses (extremely large jets).
From a third-person, behind-the-jet view, players can maneuver up, down, left, and right, as well as perform barrel rolls. A total of 18 stages must be completed in order to win the game. Three lives are provided from the start, and extras can be obtained when a score of 5,000,000 is reached and again when a score of 15,000,000 is reached. Three continues are available. ~ Jonathan Sutyak, All Game Guide