Taken from the NES manual:
On a fateful day in 20XX, the Earth's moon exploded into four large fragments and a multitude of meteors. Aliens from afar had succeeded in destroying the West's moon base. One after another, mankind's other military industrial space complexes were being lost. What mankind dreaded had come to pass. Scores of unidentified fighters were in the area. In addition, the moon's main computer, still intact after the explosion, had a strange vegetation coiled around it. Their trademark evil exploits being a dead giveaway, invaders from the Boondoggle Galaxy had arrived to take over the Earth. To counter these evil forces, leading scientists from all over the globe created the "OF-1" Fightership. Combat pilots depart the Earth to fend off the invaders and earn everlasting glory.
The ending of Image Fight consists of a report by the pilot detailing what transpired during the mission. At the end of the report, a tow-ship comes and picks up the OF-1 to return it to Earth. However, if this is the second playthough, the OF-1 spontaneously blows up.
About the OF-1Edit
The OF-1 is capable of adjusting it's speed up through 4 levels. The thrust can actually damage enemies, making it a very risky but possibly effective rear weapon. The OF-1 is able to use up to 3 Pods of either Red or Blue in any combination. However, they will all change type if three were already collected. Red Pods can shoot in any direction while Blue can shoot only upwards. If the Fire and Thrust buttons are pushed at the same time, the left and right Pods will shoot out a short distance and return.
The OF-1 can also equip armors that enable it to use different weapons. Each armor can take 1 hit before being destroyed, also only 1 armor can be equipped at a time and can only be swapped out by being destroyed.
Image Fight is unique in that the first 5 stages are a Simulation designed to prepare the pilot for actual combat. Each of these stages is graded based on % of enemies destroyed and how many times the OF-1 is destroyed. The cutoff for all of the stages is 90%.
Should the player fail the simulations, then they must enter a Penalty Area in which various enemies are fought continuously and with no weapons available. Eventually, the pilot will get a PASS and move on to the last 3 stages which are Real Combat.