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U.N. Squadron (Arcade)

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Title Screen

U.N. Squadron

Also known as: Area 88 (JP)
Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Platform: Arcade (CP System)
Released internationally: August 1989

GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
Sgf2-unusedicon1.png This game has unused abilities.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.

U.N. Squadron, a.k.a Area 88, is a horizontal shoot 'em up loosely based on the manga of the same name (Area 88 that is, not U.N. Squadron). This game is notable in featuring a shop before each level, with the inventory and shop prices changing based on which of the three starting character you pick.

Extended Service Menu

Not as interesting as the Mega Twins menu
Normally, only the first four options (Dot Test, I/O Test, Dip Sw Test, and Color Test) are available in the service menu. To access the full service menu, set the Game Mode dip switch to "Game", Hold 1P Coin and then press the Service Mode button (Default F2 in MAME).

Scroll Test

Background to be added later.
This is a simple level foreground / background layer viewer.

I need to use my griddle more often.

  • 1P Button 1: Selects between free-movement mode, 16x16 movement mode, and 32x32 movement mode.
  • 1P Start: Selects between the following modes: Scroll 2 (Foreground), Scroll 3 (Background), Scroll 23 (Foreground + Background), and Cursor.
  • 2P Start: Jumps to next round and resets mode to Scroll 2.

Scroll 2 / Scroll 23

  • 1P Joystick: Moves camera.
  • 1P Button 2 + 1P Joystick: Moves camera four times faster.

Scroll 3

  • 2P Joystick: Moves camera.
  • 2P Button 2 + 2P Joystick: Moves camera four times faster.


  • 1P Joystick: Moves camera.
  • 1P Button 2 + 1P Joystick: Moves camera two times faster.
  • 2P Joystick: Moves cursor.

Object Test / Scroll 1 Test

Airplane heavy testing Total pow, man.
View the Object (sprite) and Scroll 1 (HUD and font) graphics.

  • 1P Up / Down: Cycle through tiles.
  • 1P Up / Down + 2P Start: Cycle through tiles four times as fast.
  • 1P Left / Right: Cycle through color palettes.
  • 1P Button 1: Splits tiles for easier viewing (Object Test only).
  • 1P Button 1 + 1P Down: Exits test.
  • 1P Button 2: Toggles horizontal flipping.
  • 1P Button 3: Toggles vertical flipping.
  • 1P Start: Hold to cycle through eight rows of tiles every eight frames.

Scroll 2 Test / Scroll 3 Test

Scrolling through deep space. This isn't particularly useful.
These should be used to view Scroll 2 (Foreground) and Scroll 3 (Background) graphics, but they both seem to be broken at this point.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Unused Items & Shop Content

Thunder Laser(s)

To add the Thunder Laser (which is only available in Mission 5 through a bonus item and never in the shop) and Thunder Laser Ⅱ (which is completely unused) to Round 1's shop, put the following code in MAME's unsquad.xml cheat file:

  <cheat desc="Add T Laser Items to Shop">
    <script state="run">
    <script state="off">
Icon Item Name Description
UNSquadronArcTLaserIcon.png THANDER LASER It discharges lasers in 3 directions.
UNSquadronArcTLaserIIIcon.png THANDER LASERⅡ The most destructive laser.

UNSquadronArcTLaserII.png UNSquadronArcTLaserIISmallIcon.png
As you might expect, Thunder LaserⅡ is almost exactly the same as the normal Thunder Laser, but it's stronger and the lasers are yellow instead of blue.

Shop Prices

Shop prices are controlled by a byte that ranges from 00 to 0E. Values in bold in the table below are unused:

00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 0A 0B 0C 0D 0E
FREE 2,000 3,000 10,000 12,000 20,000 25,000 30,000 15,000 35,000 40,000 28,000 33,000 45,000 50,000
(Source: Original TCRF research)

Unused Graphics

Ambivalent sunfish.
There are a number of filler graphics in the graphics banks. These are in the object bank...

Happy shapes.
...these are in the foreground bank...

Numbers and a pair of eyebrows or something.
...and all of these are in the background bank.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Regional Differences

The Japanese version of the game has a special mission that comes after Rounds 3-5. The exact trigger to access this level isn't known at this point.

After going through a short bit of level, the player(s) will encounter a large aircraft that has three rectangular bombs attached to its hull. The player(s) must carefully shoot the bombs off the plane before the 60 second timer expires to clear the level. The faster they do it, the more points and cash they get at the end of the level. If the plane takes too much damage or the timer runs out, the level ends, but the player(s) get no point or cash bonuses.