Shoot Em Up

The Thunder Force Series (also spelled Thunderforce, Japanese) is a series of free-roaming, horizontal-scrolling shoot em' up video games developed by the Japanese software company Technosoft. 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. 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 in 2008.

Plot and Gameplay

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. 

In Thunder Force V,  a different storyline occurs when the discovery of Galaxy Federation technology by Earthlings. In doing so, they build their own series of "starfighters" as well as a supercomputer called Guardian. Soon however, the computer goes rogue and attacks mankind with the said technology.

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 become more defined by the series.


  • Thunder Force (1983)
  • Thunder Force II (1988)
    • Home port on Sharp X68000 (1988)
    • Thunder Force II MD (Sega Megadrive/Genesis) (1989) (port of Thunder Force II)
  • Thunder Force III (Sega Megadrive/Genesis) (1990)
    • Thunder Force AC (Arcade) (1990) (port of Thunder Force III retooled into an Arcade game)
    • Thunder Spirits (Super Nintendo Entertainment System) (1991) (port of Thunder Force AC)
  • Thunder Force IV (Sega Megadrive/Genesis) (1992) (a.k.a. Lightening Force: Quest for the Darkstar)
  • Thunder Force Gold Pack 1 (Sega Saturn) (1996) It contains Thunder Force II and Thunder Force III.
  • Thunder Force Gold Pack 2 (Sega Saturn) (1996) It 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)

All items (10)