Thunder Blade

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Thunder Blade arcade flyer.jpg
Composer(s)Koichi Namiki
Platform(s)Arcade, Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, DOS, MSX, Sega Master System, TurboGrafx-16, Sharp X68000, ZX Spectrum, Nintendo 3DS
Genre(s)Scrolling shooter
Third-person rail shooter
Combat flight simulator
Arcade systemSega X Board

Thunder Blade (サンダーブレード, Sandāburēdo) is an arcade, flight-based, third-person rail shooter originally released for video arcades in 1987. In the game, players control a helicopter to destroy enemy vehicles.

The game was released as standard stand-up arcade cabinet that introduced the use of force feedback, as the joystick vibrates during gameplay. A sit-down unit was also released, replacing the force feedback with a seat that moves in tandem with the joystick.[1]

Versions of the game were later released for the Sega Master System, Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, DOS, MSX, TurboGrafx-16, Sharp X68000 and ZX Spectrum. The Nintendo 3DS remake was released as a 3D Classic in Japan on August 20, 2014,[2] in North America and Europe on May 14, 2015,[3] and in Australia on July 2, 2015.[4]

A follow-up, Super Thunder Blade, was released exclusively for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis.


The game's plot and setting resembles the 1983 film and 1984 TV series of Blue Thunder. The player controls a helicopter gunship using its Gatling gun and missiles to destroy enemy tanks, helicopters, etc., to save his home country. Levels are in both a top-down or third-person perspective view. The boss levels are in the top-down view.


Review scores
Sinclair User87%[7]
Your Sinclair9/10[5]
The Games Machine85%[9]
CrashCrash Smash

The game was well received, with Your Sinclair saying "Thunder Blade is probably the game which took most of your money in the arcades this summer, probably one of the most eagerly awaited coin-op conversions".

The game earned the Golden Joystick Console Award in 1988-1989.


  1. ^ Thunder Blade at the Killer List of Videogames
  2. ^ Brian (August 7, 2014). "3D Thunder Blade hitting the Japanese 3DS eShop on August 20". Nintendo Everything. Retrieved 4 July 2015.
  3. ^ Julian (May 12, 2015). "SEGA 3D Classics – 3D Thunder Blade – Part 1". SEGA Blog. SEGA. Retrieved 4 July 2015.
  4. ^ Doolan, Liam (3 July 2015). "3D Out Run, Thunder Blade And Fantasy Zone I & II Now Available On The eShop In Australia". Nintendo Life. Retrieved 4 July 2015.
  5. ^ "Thunder Blade". Archived from the original on 2015-08-01.
  6. ^ "World of Spectrum - Archive - Magazine viewer".
  7. ^ "World of Spectrum - Archive - Magazine viewer".
  8. ^ "World of Spectrum - Archive - Magazine viewer".
  9. ^ "World of Spectrum - Archive - Magazine viewer".

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