Heavy Metal Thunder (video game)

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Heavy Metal Thunder
Publisher(s)Square Enix
Artist(s)Harold Sakuishi
Platform(s)PlayStation 2
Genre(s)Action game

Heavy Metal Thunder (ヘビーメタルサンダー, Hebī Metaru Sandā) is an action game developed by Media.Vision and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation 2 console. It was released in Japan exclusively. Production companies Satelight and How Full's participated in the creation of the game.


The game pits futuristic robots against one another in wrestling matches. The player controls a robot during battles using a four-icon menu. Three actions—strike, guard and grapple—can be executed at any time and augments the player's "beat meter". The fourth action, called "beat attack", can be performed once the beat meter is filled and inflicts special damage according to how hard the button is pressed.[2] Icons sometime shake to indicate that they are recommended, but the player must react quickly as each turn is timed. A rock-paper-scissors set of rules determined the winner of each pair of actions.[3]

Anime cutscenes and fictional sponsor information are displayed before the start of each match. The player's robot can be customized to alter its appearance.[3]


The game is set in a fictional Japan in the year 2980, in which competitive fights between radio-controlled robots has become a popular sport called "Robot-ress". The player takes on the role of Denki Akihabara, a high-school student whose family runs a butcher shop. Denki decides to become a Robot-ress master after learning about Heavy Metal Thunder, the world's strongest robot. At the beginning of the game, he receives a robot and an invitation to the Titan Fight tournament from his father, who is actually the world champion and owner of Heavy Metal Thunder. The Titan Fight is a competition in which losing robots are destroyed and their owners buried on Death Island.[2] The plot spans roughly thirty years in total, with Denki over forty years old at the end of the game.[4]


Heavy Metal Thunder was announced at a special event held by Square Enix in Shibuya, Tokyo on March 2, 2005, with the presence of Japanese band Sex Machineguns.[5] It is loosely adapted from Heavy Meta-san, a metal/hard rock show broadcast on TV Tokyo, hosted by gravure idol Yoko Kumada and sponsored by Square Enix.[6] The characters of the game were designed by Harold Sakuishi, creator of the Beck manga series.[5]

The game was showcased in playable form at the Square Enix Party 2005 in Japan.[7]


Album cover art

The music of Heavy Metal Thunder was composed by various heavy metal bands and musicians, including Michael Schenker and ex-Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman.[2] The eponymous song "Heavy Metal Thunder" written by Sex Machineguns serves as the theme song of both the game and the Heavy Meta-san TV show.[5] The soundtrack of the game was published in Japan by Toshiba EMI on September 7, 2005.[8]

Heavy Metal Thunder: The Recordings track listing
1."Heavy Metal Thunder"Sex Machineguns feat. Michael Schenker5:22
2."Robot's Ballad" (#ロボットのバラード)Garlic Boys4:03
3."The Beauty Power"Rolly Teranishi & Komikurimo Pichnskey3:58
4."Wandering the Byways" (流離い裏街道)Saburō Tokitō with Marcy & Shara from Earthshaker4:21
5."We are..."Delta Throb5:10
6."A Straight Shot to the Caterer's" (出前道一直線)Sex Machineguns4:12
7."Madness" (狂気)Kow Otani & Hiroko Shigezumi from Smooth Ace4:31
8."Love Terrorist"Nanase Aikawa with Marty Friedman3:48
9."Mask of Glory" (栄光のマスク)Michael Schenker with Hiroyuki Namba5:36
10."Riding a Dolphin" (イルカに乗って)Sex Machineguns4:24
Total length:45:25


Heavy Metal Thunder sold 3,367 copies in Japan the week of its release.[9] Regional sales topped out at just 18,443 units by the end of 2005, according to Media Create.[10] The game's producer, Takehiro Ando, stated that although he was proud of the work that was done on the project, he would accept the blame for its commercial failure due to his own inexperience in the field at the time.[11]

Critically, it received a score of 30 out of 40 by the Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu.[1] American multimedia website IGN considered the gameplay simple, but praised the amount of animation used and called the theme song "catchy".[3] American website GameSpot echoed the comments, stating that the game relies on its atmosphere and cut scenes more than gameplay.[2] IGN noted that the game would appeal to fans of Heavy Meta-san and hard rock in general.[3]


  1. ^ a b "Heavy Metal Thunder" (in French). Gamekult. Retrieved 10 July 2008.
  2. ^ a b c d Hirohiko Niizumi (1 August 2005). "Heavy Metal Thunder Hands-On". GameSpot. Retrieved 10 July 2008.
  3. ^ a b c d Anoop Gantayat (31 July 2005). "Square Enix 2005: Heavy Metal Thunder Playtest". IGN. Archived from the original on 29 September 2011. Retrieved 10 July 2008.
  4. ^ Anoop Gantayat (14 May 2005). "Heavy Metal Thunder Revealed". IGN. Archived from the original on 29 September 2011. Retrieved 10 July 2008.
  5. ^ a b c Anoop Gantayat (2 March 2005). "New From Square Enix: Heavy Metal Thunder". IGN. Archived from the original on 9 February 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2008.
  6. ^ Rob Fahey (2 March 2005). "Square Enix launches 'variety' show". Eurogamer. Retrieved 11 July 2008.
  7. ^ Hirohiko Niizumi (1 June 2005). "Square Enix to showcase FFXII this summer". GameSpot. Retrieved 10 July 2008.
  8. ^ "Heavy Metal Thunder -The Recordings-". Chudah's Corner. Archived from the original on 9 September 2007. Retrieved 10 July 2008.
  9. ^ Famitsu staff (16 September 2005). "ゲームソフト販売本数 TOP30(集計期間:2005年8月29日~2005年9月4日 )" [Top 30 Game Software Sales (aggregation period: August 29, 2005 - September 4, 2005)]. Famitsu (in Japanese). Enterbrain. Archived from the original on 23 October 2012. Retrieved 11 April 2023.
  10. ^ "2005年テレビゲームソフト売り上げTOP500" [2005 Weekly Famitsu Top 500] (in Japanese). Geimin.net. Archived from the original on 27 January 2009. Retrieved 28 November 2023.
  11. ^ Sato Kazuya (29 December 2012). "スクエニ「特モバイルニ部」に聞く--スマホゲームのこれまでとこれから" [Interview with Square Enix's "Special Mobile 2 Department"--The past and future of smartphone games]. CNET (in Japanese). Red Ventures. Archived from the original on 20 June 2023. Retrieved 28 November 2023.

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