Thunder Blade

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Thunder Blade
Developer(s) Sega
Publisher(s) Sega
Platform(s) Arcade, Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, DOS, MSX, Sega Master System, TurboGrafx-16, Sharp X68000, ZX Spectrum
Release date(s) Arcade
JP 1987
NA 1987
EU 1988
Genre(s) Scrolling shooter
Third-person rail shooter
Combat flight simulator
Mode(s) Single-player
Arcade system Sega 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 using guns 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
Publication Score
CVG 82%[8]
Crash 91%[6]
Sinclair User 87%[7]
Your Sinclair 9/10[5]
The Games Machine 85%[9]
Publication Award
Crash Crash 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 for 1988-1989.


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