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After Burner (NES)

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Title Screen

After Burner

Also known as: After Burner II (JP)
Developer: Sunsoft
Publishers: Sunsoft (JP), Tengen (US)
Platforms: NES (JP), Unlicensed NES (US)
Released in JP: March 30, 1989
Released in US: 1989

DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
SoundtestIcon.png This game has a hidden sound test.
LevelSelectIcon.png This game has a hidden level select.

No, your eyes aren't deceiving you, this is indeed a Sega game on the NES. So are this, this, both of these, and this.

Sound Test

USA Japan
Afterburnernes-soundtest.png AfterBurnerIINESSoundTest.png

In the Japanese version, press A + Start on the title screen to enter a sound test. The sound test is also present in the US version, but the method to access it was changed to holding B while starting the game (before the title screen appears).

(Source: CaH4e3)

Background Test

After Burner (NES) bgtest.png

In the US version, hold B + Left on controller 1 and A on controller 2 at the same time while starting the game (before the title screen appears).

There is no proper initialization for initial values for the menu, so on some emulators you just get the black screen. On controller 1 press Down a couple of times then press Left to start displaying something. If displayed correctly, use the D-Pad buttons on controller 1 to select backgrounds, CHR data for it and proper palette. There is no data what patterns and palettes belongs to the particular background. Press and hold Select to temporarily hide the menu.

Stage Select

After Burner (NES)-stageselect.png

In the US version, during gameplay, press Select to pause it, then press A + Down + Left on controller 2 and Down + Left on controller 1 at the same time. Press Up / Down to select a stage, press Select to return back to the game. This cheat can be done in all levels except 8 and 17. But you can still get to these stages with this cheat from any other stages.

Regional Differences

To do:
There's a lot more, this is just a head start.

Note: The exact date of the US version is unknown but it was most likely made before the JP version.

USA Japan
Afterburnernes-title.png AfterBurnerIINESTitle.png
  • Font was changed.
  • Background was changed from blue to black.
  • An exclamation point was added to "PUSH START BUTTON".
  • Logo was changed to look more like the arcade logo.
  • The II was added.
  • TENGEN was changed to SUNSOFT.
  • "(C)1989" and "(C)1987 SEGA" are now blue.
  • The intro is different. In the US version, the logo just drops from the top and bottom to the center. The JP version is more accurate to the arcade version; the logo appears backwards, then the balls form a II and the logo changes to normal while the II rotates.
USA Japan
AfterBurnerNESStart.png AfterBurnerIINESStart.png
  • The number 65 was changed to 3.17.


The graphics were almost completely changed, looking more polished.


The music was completely changed and not only that, but music that was missing in the US version is in the JP version.