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Sharp X1 cover art
Thunder Force (サンダーフォース Sandā Fōsu) is a free-roaming scrolling shooter computer game released by Technosoft in 1983. It is the first game in the Thunder Force series. It was initially released for the Sharp X1 computer, and later appeared on the Sharp MZ-1500, NEC PC-6001 mkII, and in 1985 on the NEC PC-8801 mkII. In 1984, it was released for the FM-7 and NEC PC-9801 computers as Thunder Force Construction, featuring an add-on that allowed players to create custom made areas, like a level editor or game creation system.
The structure of the game consists of overhead, free-directional scrolling areas and the player's ship is armed with main shot to shoot airborne targets and a bomb shot to shoot ground enemies. Gameplay consists of flying the FIRE LEO over ORN occupied areas while destroying enemy base installations and turrets. Each area has a certain number of shield generators hidden under the ground based enemy targets; in order for an area to be completed, the shield generators must be found and destroyed. After doing so, the Dyradeizer will temporally appear and the player must destroy a certain section of it. Once this section is destroyed, the Dyradeizer will disappear and the player will be taken to the next area to repeat the process.
The ORN Empire (antagonists of the game) has built a large asteroid fortress named the Dyradeizer to oppose the Galaxy Federation. In addition to its high firepower capabilities, Dyradeizer is supported by shield generators hidden in various locations by ORN, which render the fortress invisible. In an attempt to destroy Dyradeizer, the Galaxy Federation sends their specially designed fighter, the FIRE LEO (controlled by the player), to locate and destroy the shield generators and defeat Dyradeizer.
The original Thunder Force was created by Kotori Yoshimura in 1983. She 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.
Five sequels have been released to Thunder Force. 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 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.
List of sequels
- Thunder Force II (X68000) (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)
- "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.
- "Sega announces acquisitions of Technosoft IP's". September 2016.
- PSTFV - Official Technosoft PS1 Thunderforce V Webpage (archived 1998-12-05, japanese)
- 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).
- (in 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.
- (in Korean) Thunderforce Cafe - Fanlisting dedicated to Thunder Force. Contains artwork, music, video, merchandise pictures, etc.