Thunder Force (series)
|Genres||Side scrolling shoot-em-up|
|Platforms||Sharp X1, NEC PC-8801 mkII, FM-7, Sharp MZ 1500, NEC PC-6001 mkII, NEC PC-9801, X68000, Arcade, Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Saturn, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Network, Nintendo 3DS|
|Platform of origin||X1
|Year of inception||1983|
|First release||Thunder Force
|Latest release||Thunder Force VI
The Thunder Force series (サンダーフォース Sandā Fōsu?) is a series of free-roaming scrolling shooter type video games developed by the Japanese software company Technosoft. The franchise is recognized for its distinctive gameplay, graphics, and synthesizer-based chiptune music soundtracks. As of 2016, Sega announced at the Tokyo Game Show that they own the rights to the Thunder Force franchise and all other Technosoft intellectual properties.
The series' first game, Thunder Force, appeared in 1983 on a variety of Japanese computers, such as the X1, PC-8801 mkII, and FM-7. 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.
The setting of the Thunder Force games (excluding the fifth chapter) are centered around the war between inhabitants of the "Galaxy Federation" (protagonists), and the "ORN Empire" (antagonists). The games feature the "FIRE LEO" spacecraft and its iterations, developed by the Galaxy Federation under "Project Thunder Force" to be small, but maneuverable and powerful fighter craft. The Galaxy Federation feels that these ships have the best chance of defeating large forces such as the ORN empire's, as opposed to sending a host of larger ships. Thunder Force V details the discovery of Galaxy Federation technology by Earthlings and the consequences this discovery causes.
Early games in the series had multi directional scrolling, overhead stages where the player would attack airborne and ground targets. These stages were later removed in favor of horizontally scrolling stages that contained various gameplay elements derived from popular horizontal scrolling shooters Gradius from Konami and R-Type from Irem, such as an array of interchangeable and unique weapons, satellite turrets which provide the player additional firepower, and level design which encourages player memorization and skillful ship maneuvering/positioning in order to effectively pass.
Development and History
The original Thunder Force was created by Katsunori Yoshimura in 1983. He later left Technosoft and founded Arsys Software in 1985. In 1984, Technosoft released a level editor, or game creation system, entitled Thunder Force Construction, created by Yoshimura for the FM-7 computer.
List of video games
- Thunder Force (1983)
- Thunder Force Construction (1984)
- Thunder Force II (1988)
- Thunder Force II MD (Mega Drive/Genesis) (1989) (port of Thunder Force II)
- Thunder Force III (Mega Drive/Genesis) (1990)
- Thunder Force AC (Arcade) (1990) (port of Thunder Force III retooled into an arcade game)
- Thunder Spirits (Super NES) (1991) (port of Thunder Force AC)
- Thunder Force IV (Mega Drive/Genesis) (1992) (a.k.a. Lightening Force: Quest for the Darkstar)
- Thunder Force Gold Pack 1 (Sega Saturn) (1996) Contains Thunder Force II and Thunder Force III.
- Thunder Force Gold Pack 2 (Sega Saturn) (1996) Contains Thunder Force IV and Thunder Force AC.
- Thunder Force V (Sega Saturn) (1997)
- Thunder Force V: Perfect System (PlayStation) (1998) (port of Thunder Force V)
- Thunder Force VI (PlayStation 2) (2008)
- Forgotten Franchises: Thunder Force (from Sega-16) - In depth article about the Thunder Force games. Also contains some media (the Thunder Force VI video mentioned above can be found here).
- (Japanese) ThunderForce Forever - Contains artwork/renderings, fanfiction, story information related to Thunder Force. It is also the homepage of Thunder Future, a fan made Thunder Force game currently in development, and contains information about its progress.
- (Korean) Thunderforce Cafe - Fanlisting dedicated to Thunder Force. Contains artwork, music, video, merchandise pictures, etc.
- "Sega announces acquisitions of Technosoft IP's". September 2016.
- "Wibarm". Oh!FM. Archived from the original on 1 September 2012. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
- "Thunder Force Construction". Oh!FM. Archived from the original on 1 September 2012. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
- PSTFV - Official Technosoft PS1 Thunderforce V Webpage (archived 1998-12-05, japanese)