After Burner is a 1987 combat flight simulator arcade game by Sega AM2. It is one of the first games designed by Yu Suzuki (one of the forefathers of 3D graphics in games). The player flew an F-14 using a specialized joystick (with moving seat, in some installations), and the game spawned several sequels.
The game allows the player to control a F-14 Tomcat jet, which must destroy a series of enemy jets throughout 18 stages. At the start of the game, the player takes off from an aircraft carrier called the SEGA Enterprise, which shares a similar name to the one used in the 1986 film Top Gun.
The jet itself employs a machine gun and a limited set of missiles. These weapons are replenished by another aircraft after beating a few stages. The aircraft, cannon and missile buttons are all controlled from an integrated flight stick.
After Burner was followed by After Burner II, which was released on the same year. Some consider this game to be more of a revision of its predecessor, rather than an entirely new game, a practice later repeated by Sega for Galaxy Force and Galaxy Force 2.
“After Burner” is a stage hazard in the final stage of MadWorld, shown as a replica jet spewing flames that immediately incinerate any enemy thrown into them.
The music from After Burner appears in a remix in Chapter 8, entitled “Route 666”, of Bayonetta (2009, developed by Platinum Games and published by Sega).
A level based on After Burner appears in the 2012 racing game, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. The F-14 Tomcat also appears as the air vehicle for the unlockable character, AGES.