Cobra Command (1984 video game)

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Cobra Command
Cobra Command 256px.jpg
Cobra Command Mega-CD cover
Developer(s)Data East (arcade version)
Wolf Team (Mega-CD version)
Ecseco (Saturn/PS1 versions)
Revolutionary Concepts (iPhone OS version)
Publisher(s)Data East (arcade version)
Wolf Team, Sega (Mega-CD version)
Ecseco (Saturn/PS1 versions)
Revolutionary Concepts (iPhone OS version)
Designer(s)Yoshihisa Kishimoto
Platform(s)Arcade, Video Challenger, Sega Mega-CD, Sega Saturn, PlayStation, iOS
Sega Mega-CD
  • JP: 1992
  • NA: October 15, 1992
  • EU: April 19, 1993
Sega Saturn
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Cobra Command, known as Thunder Storm (サンダーストーム) in Japan, is an interactive movie game originally released by Data East in 1984 as a LaserDisc-based coin-operated arcade game.


Terrorists are threatening the Free World and have amassed a diabolical force. Only the brave pilot of Cobra Command can vanquish the terrorist threat and save the free world from total destruction. The player assumes the role as pilot of the LX-3 Super Cobra helicopter.

The missions go across the New York City streets, the Statue of Liberty, the Atlantic Ocean, Italy, the Grand Canyon and the enemy's headquarters on Easter Island.[1]


The original arcade version is an interactive movie and shooter game, where the player watches scenes as the helicopter flies by the conflict zone. The game screen is represented by the helicopter's cockpit, and the player controls a crosshair that can be moved to aim at the enemy forces. The game features a joystick and two buttons: one Machine Gun and one Missile. The game can be played with 1 or 2 players.

In certain moments, the voice of the pilot's commanding officer helps the player out with completing each mission by firing at enemy forces and dodging both enemy fire and natural surroundings, by pressing the joystick or directional pad in the correct direction and at the right time.

If the pilot makes a mistake, the anime sequence shows the Cobra helicopter blown up and the player loses a life. If all lives are lost, the "Game Over" screen shows the Cobra in smoldering ruins and its pilot is presumably dead from the crash.

Ports and related games[edit]

A Mega-CD port of Cobra Command developed by Wolf Team was released in 1992. Cobra Command was later re-released in Japan for the PlayStation and Sega Saturn in 1995 in a two-in-one compilation with Road Blaster, another FMV game produced by the same team. Data East released a second game titled Cobra Command in 1988. Unlike the 1984 version, the 1988 arcade game is a side-scrolling shoot-'em-up. In November 2009, Revolutionary Concepts developed and published an enhanced iPhone OS version of the LaserDisc original.

Yoshihisa Kishimoto, the director of Cobra Command, also directed the arcade versions of Double Dragon and Double Dragon II: The Revenge. The battle chopper from Cobra Command makes a cameo inside the garage Billy and Jimmy walked out of in the opening sequence of Double Dragon II.


Kunio-kun and Double Dragon series creator Yoshihisa Kishimoto designed an entirely new game, Cobra Command, using Data East's Bega's Battle hardware.[citation needed] Therefore, Bega's Battle has become somewhat rare, even among LaserDisc games.[citation needed] Cobra Command was developed by Data East in co-operation with the external company Toei Animation. It was first published in Japan in 1984 as Thunder Storm, then released later the same year in North America as Cobra Command. As such, it is one of the few Data East interactive movie games.

Despite the name and the similarities in animation, there is no relation to the organization Cobra Command or any of the other elements from the G.I. Joe Franchise. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (1985 TV series) was also largely animated by Toei animation, hence the similarities in animation style. In this game, the Cobra Command is the hero pilot.


Reviewing the Sega CD version in Wizard magazine, Glenn Rubenstein praised the high number of levels and unique interface. He gave the game a B-.[2]

On release, Famicom Tsūshin scored the Sega Saturn version of the game a 25 out of 40, giving the PlayStation version a 23 out of 40.[3]


  1. ^ "Cobra Command". Mobygames. 1984. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
  2. ^ Rubenstein, Glenn (January 1993). "At the Controls". Wizard. Wizard Entertainment (17): 21–24.
  3. ^ NEW GAMES CROSS REVIEW: サンダーストーム&ロードブラスター. Weekly Famicom Tsūshin. No.358. Pg.31. 27 October 1995.

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