Operation Thunderbolt (video game)
|Platform(s)||Arcade, Amiga, Commodore 64, Super NES|
|CPU||68000 @ 13 MHz|
|Sound||1 × Z80 @ 4 MHz|
YM2610 @ 8 MHz
|Display||Raster, 320 x 240 pixels (Horizontal), 4096 colors|
Operation Thunderbolt is a shooting gallery video game made by Taito and released in arcades in 1988. It is the sequel to Operation Wolf. Like its predecessor, the game uses mounted positional guns as controllers. It also adds two-player simultaneous play. Versions of the game were released for Amiga, Commodore 64, and Super Nintendo. An arcade exclusive sequel was released in 1994: Operation Wolf 3.
Roy Adams and Hardy Jones, two green berets, must save American hostages from a hijacked airliner which was forced to land in the fictional African province, Kalubya. To accomplish their mission, they must capture six different bases, shoot enemies such as soldiers, jeeps, tanks, and helicopters using their machine gun or grenade launcher, and try to save the hostages along the way. Enemies attack with bullets, grenades, or rockets. In stages 4 and 6, killing one of the hostages will decrease the player's life. At least one hostage must be rescued in those stages or the game is over. Once Stage 8 is reached, the players must engage with the lead hijacker holding the pilot hostage. At this point continues are no longer permitted and if the player dies, he obtains a game over screen which is also seen when the player fails to insert coins before the continue timer reaches 0. The player can accidentally kill the pilot, which triggers a bad ending. If he kills the hijacker, the good ending is shown with the credits.
Operation Thunderbolt was ported to:
The Super NES version also works with the SNES Mouse and the Super Scope. In addition, the player can choose from a variety of different characters. The storyline was altered in that the hijackers were members of a fictional country known as the Bintazi People's Republic, ruled by General Abul Bazarre, ruler for life. General Bazarre demands that his comrades be freed or else the hostages will be executed.
In Japan, Game Machine listed Operation Thunderbolt on their February 1, 1989 issue as being the second most-successful upright arcade unit of the year. The game won the award for best graphics of the year according to the readers of Crash magazine.
Reviewing the Super NES version, GamePro criticized the repetitiveness of the gameplay and the slowness of the aiming reticule, but praised the colorful and detailed graphics and strong sound effects, and concluded that "This Operation is a success, generating plenty of shootin' thrills for intermediate soldiers." A reviewer for Next Generation dismissed it as "another shooting-gallery game, just like Operation Wolf ... It's good for a mild adrenaline rush–barely–but that's it."
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- "Game Machine's Best Hit Games 25 - アップライト, コックピット型TVゲーム機 (Upright/Cockpit Videos)". Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 349. Amusement Press, Inc. 1 February 1989. p. 25.
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- "ProReview: Operation Thunderbolt". GamePro. No. 76. IDG. January 1995. p. 74.