|Parts of this article (those related to tecnosoft.com) need to be updated. (February 2014)|
- For the American company, see Technosoft Corporation.
|Industry||Video games industry|
(bought by Twenty-one Company)
|Headquarters||Sasebo, Nagasaki, Japan|
|Website||www.tecnosoft.com (archived version 1998-06-25) (Translated)|
The company's most commercially successful franchise was the Thunder Force series. It was a series of scrolling shooter video games. The series began with the original Thunder Force in 1983. The games are known by fans of the genre for their hardcore appeal, pleasing graphics, and generally well composed synthesizer-based chiptune music soundtracks.
The series' first game, Thunder Force, appeared in 1983 on a variety of Japanese computers, such as the Sharp X1, NEC PC-8801 mkII, and FM-7. Technosoft also released a level editor, or game creation system, entitled Thunder Force Construction, for the original game on the FM-7 computer in 1984. Since Thunder Force II, the majority of installments in the series appeared on the Mega Drive console, where the series gained much of its popularity. The most recent entry was released on PlayStation 2.
|Designer(s)||Katsunori Yoshimura |
|Release date(s)||PC-8801 / PC-6001 / X1
|Genre(s)||First -person racing game
Space flight simulator
Plazma Line (プラズマライン) is a first-person space racing game released by Technosoft for the NEC PC-8801 and FM-7 computers in 1984. The objective of the game is to race through outer space in a first-person view while avoiding obstacles (rendered in 3D polygons) along the way. Plazma Line is notable for being the first computer game, and home video game in general, with 3D polygon graphics. It also featured an automap radar to keep track of the player's position.
The game was created by Katsunori Yoshimura, who also created the original Thunder Force. Yoshimura later left the company in 1985 to start the development studio Arsys Software along with fellow Technosoft member Osamu Nagano.
Herzog (German: "Duke") is a strategy video game released by Technosoft in Japan for the MSX and NEC PC-88 computers in 1988. It was a real-time tactics and tactical shooter game with real-time strategy elements.
The series' best known entry is the Sega Mega Drive (Genesis) title Herzog Zwei (1989), which is regarded as the world's first real time strategy game. It was the first game with a feature set that falls under the contemporary definition of the real-time strategy genre, predating the genre-popularizing Dune II. The producers of Dune II acknowledged Herzog Zwei (meaning "Duke 2" in German) as an influence on the game.
Other notable titles
In 2006, the URL Tecnosoft.com was registered and updated. However, as of January 2008, no updates other than "We will restart soon! Please wait for a while." and "THUNDERFORCE is a registered trademark." have been added to the website. However, with the announcement of Thunder Force VI, the copyright for the game has been apparently turned over to one of the series' creators and may no longer apply.
Some staff members left Technosoft to start the game development companies Arsys Software in 1985 (founded by Katsunori Yoshimura, creator of Thunder Force and Plazma Line), CAProduction in 1993, and Ganbarion in 1999.
In 2016, at the Tokyo Game Show, it was revealed that Sega now holds the rights of all Technosoft's games. To commemorate this, Sega announced that they are re-releasing Thunder Force III in Sega 3D Fukkoku Archives 3: Final Stage for Nintendo 3DS.
List of known releases
- Batten Tanuki no Daibouken; MSX
- Blast Wind; Sega Saturn
- D' (pronounced "dee-dash"); MSX
- Dragon's Fury aka Devil's Crush/Devil Crash; Mega Drive/Genesis (port from PC Engine)
- Elemental Master; Mega Drive/Genesis
- Fantasic Pinball Kyutenkai; PlayStation, Sega Saturn
- Feedback; MSX
- My Garden; PlayStation
- Nagai Dankon; MSX
- Herzog; MSX
- Herzog Zwei; Mega Drive/Genesis
- Hyper Duel; Arcade game, Sega Saturn
- Hyper Reverthion; Sega Saturn
- Kaze no Oka Kouen Nite; PlayStation
- Kotetsu Reiki: Steeldom; PlayStation
- Kumi Mitachi Table Tour Cuts Set; Sega Saturn
- Kuttu Ketto; PlayStation
- Nekketsu Oyako; Sega Saturn, PlayStation
- Neorude; PlayStation
- Neorude 2; PlayStation
- Neorude: Kizamareta Monshou; PlayStation
- Omise de Tensyu; PlayStation
- Plazma Line; FM-7
- Reverthion; PlayStation
- Shin Kyuugyokuden; MSX
- Koutetsu Reiiki:Steeldom; Sega Saturn, PlayStation
- Thunder Force; Sharp X1, NEC PC-8801, Fujitsu FM-7
- Thunder Force II; Sharp X68000, Mega Drive/Genesis
- Thunder Force III; Mega Drive/Genesis, Arcade
- Thunder Force IV; Mega Drive/Genesis
- Thunder Force V; Sega Saturn, PlayStation
- Thunder Force VI; PlayStation 2
- Thunder Force AC; Arcade game
- Thunder Force Gold Pack 1 includes TF II + III; Sega Saturn
- Thunder Force Gold Pack 2 includes TF AC + IV; Sega Saturn
- Thunder Spirits slightly varied port of TF AC; Super Nintendo Entertainment System
- Arsys Software, founded by former Technosoft staff
- "Corporate Profile". Technosoft. Archived from the original on June 25, 1998. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
- "Thunder Force Construction". Oh!FM. Archived from the original on 1 September 2012. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
- "Plazma Line". Oh!FM. Archived from the original on 1 September 2012. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
- "Wibarm". Oh!FM. Archived from the original on 1 September 2012. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
- "Corporate profile". Cyberhead. Archived from the original on October 24, 2001. Retrieved 30 August 2012.
- "Are Real Time Strategy Games At Their Peak?". www.strategyplanet.com. 2001-05-09. Retrieved 2011-01-22.
- Sharkey, Scott. "Essential Top 50: Herzog Zwei". 1UP.com. Retrieved 2007-09-27.
- Geryk, Bruce. "A History of Real-Time Strategy Games: Part I: 1989-1998". GameSpot. Retrieved 2009-01-09.
- Clarke-Willson, Stephen (August 18, 1998). "The Origin of Realtime Strategy Games on the PC". The Rise and Fall of Virgin Interactive. Above the Garage Productions. Retrieved 30 January 2012.
- "The Making of... Dune II". Edge. Next-Gen.biz. December 9, 2008. Retrieved July 27, 2011.
Herzog Zwei was a lot of fun, but I have to say the other inspiration for Dune II was the Mac software interface. The whole design/interface dynamics of mouse clicking and selecting desktop items got me thinking, ‘Why not allow the same inside the game environment? Why not a context-sensitive playfield? To hell with all these hot keys, to hell with keyboard as the primary means of manipulating the game!