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Thunder Blade

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Thunder Blade Title.png
Thunder Blade
Publisher: Sega, TurbografX-16/PC Engine NEC Avenue,
Commodore Amiga
MSX
US Gold
Developer:
System(s): Sega X Board, Sega Master System, Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, DOS, MSX, Sharp X68000, TurboGrafx-16, ZX Spectrum
Genre: Shoot-'em-Up






























Release Date RRP Code
Arcade
JP
1987-12 ¥?  ?
Arcade
US
1987 $?  ?
Arcade
EU
1988-01[1] £?  ?
PC Engine
JP
1990-12-07 ¥?  ?
Sega Master System
JP
¥5,500 G-1360
Sega Master System
US
$? 7011
Sega Master System
UK
£24.95[2] MK-7011-50
Sega Master System
FR
?F MK-7011-50
Sega Master System
DE
DM ? MK-7011-50
Sega Master System
ES
?Ptas MK-7011-50
Sega Master System
BR
R$? ?
Sega Master System
KR
₩? GB-2360



Commodore Amiga
US
$49.95[3] ?
Commodore Amiga
UK
£24.99[4][5][6] ?
Commodore Amiga
UK (Kixx)
£7.99[7] ?
Atari ST
US
$49.95[3] ?
Atari ST
UK
£19.99[4][5] ?
Atari ST
UK (Kixx)
£7.99[7] ?
Amstrad CPC
UK (Cassette)
£9.99[5][6] ?
Amstrad CPC
UK (Disk)
£14.99[6] ?
Amstrad CPC
UK (Kixx)
£3.99[8] ?
Commodore 64
US (Disk)
$34.95[3] ?
Commodore 64
UK (Cassette)
£9.99[4][5] ?
Commodore 64
UK (Disk)
£14.99[4][6] ?
Commodore 64
UK (Kixx)
£3.99[8] ?
ZX Spectrum
UK (Cassette)
£8.99[4][5] ?
ZX Spectrum
UK (Disk)
£12.99[4][6] ?
ZX Spectrum
UK (Kixx)
£3.99[8] ?
IBM PC compatibles
US
$? ?
IBM PC compatibles
ES
? ?
MSX
ES
?Ptas MSX 309
Sharp X68000
JP
¥? ?



Thunder Blade (サンダーブレード) is a 1987 arcade shoot 'em up game designed for Sega X Board hardware. It is heavily inspired by the Blue Thunder franchise of the early 1980s.

Gameplay

Thunder Blade has the player pilot a helicopter which can fire with either its machine gun or missile launcher to destroy various enemy vehicles.

The game was notable for its differing view changes and sprite scaling techniques. Though the game starts off as a top-down shooter, the player can adjust his/her height, zooming in and out of battle while doing so. Half way through the level, the viewpoint changes to a third-person perspective, creating a game that is similar to Space Harrier or After Burner (though with improved graphics as the technology is more advanced).

History

Legacy

The game was ported to a variety of platforms including the Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, DOS, MSX, Sega Master System, Sharp X68000, TurboGrafx-16 and ZX Spectrum. Surprisingly most of these ports retain the sprite scaling, albeit with less detailed graphics, but often require the user to manually adjust the speed of the helicopter (unlike in the Arcade game where it was done for you). The Sega Master System version of the game omits the overhead scaling entirely.

Thunder Blade was followed by Super Thunder Blade, a launch title of the Sega Mega Drive which is essentially the same game but without the overhead segments.

Production credits

PC Engine version

Source: In-game credits
  • Executive Producer: Makoto Sakio
  • Producer: Toshio Tabeta
  • Director: Takashi Ozama
  • Programmer: God Hand
  • Graphics: Nori-P Hide
  • Sound: Funky
  • Assistant: Quite Person, C. Willow
  • Special Thanks To: K. Matsuda, Tacs Tax and other staff
  • © Sega 1988
  • Reprogrammed Game © NEC Avenue, Ltd. 1990

Gallery

Magazine articles

Main article: Thunder Blade/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

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<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Home computers print advert in
Electronic Game Player (US) #4: "September/October 1988" (1988-xx-xx)
also published in:
  • Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) 1989 Buyer's Guide (1989-xx-xx)[9]
  • Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #1: "May 1989" (1989-xx-xx)[10]
</div>
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<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Home computers print advert in
ACE (UK) #14: "November 1988" (1988-xx-xx)
</div>
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<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Home computers print advert in
Computer & Video Games (UK) #85: "November 1988" (1988-10-15)
</div>
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<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Home computers print advert in
Crash (UK) #58: "November 1988" (1988-10-20)
</div>
Expression error: Unexpected < operator.
<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Home computers print advert in
Computer & Video Games (UK) #86: "December 1988" (1988-11-xx)
</div>
<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Home computers print advert in
Computer & Video Games (UK) #86: "December 1988" (1988-11-xx)
also published in:
  • ACE (UK) #15: "December 1988" (1988-xx-xx)[11]
</div>
Expression error: Unexpected < operator.
<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Home computers print advert in
Computer & Video Games (UK) #87: "January 1989" (1988-12-xx)
also published in:
  • Computer & Video Games (UK) #88: "February 1989" (1989-01-xx)[12]
</div>
Expression error: Unexpected < operator.
<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Home computers print advert in
Computer & Video Games (UK) #87: "January 1989" (1988-12-xx)
</div>
Expression error: Unexpected < operator.
<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Home computers print advert in
ACE (UK) #17: "February 1989" (1989-xx-xx)
</div>
Expression error: Unexpected < operator.
<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Home computers print advert in
Computer & Video Games (UK) #111: "February 1991" (1991-01-16)
</div>
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<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Home computers print advert in
Computer & Video Games (UK) #111: "February 1991" (1991-01-16)
</div>

Physical scans

X Board version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
90 №54, p105/106
85 №5, p100[13]
Arcade
88
Based on
2 reviews

X Board, US (deluxe)
ThunderBlade XBoard US Manual.pdf
Manual
X Board, US (upright)
ThunderBlade XBoard US Manual Upright.pdf
Manual
X Board, JP (deluxe)
X Board, JP (upright)

Master System version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
64 №16, p76[14]
79 №1, p74[15]
80 №4, p109[16]
80 №1, p62Media:TheCompleteGuideToSega UK.pdf[17]
80 №85, p131[18]
76 №13, p39[19]
80 №1, p136[20]
70 №2/20
86 №11, p24
60 №23, p60
70 №6, p30[21]
100 №1, p20[22]
Sega Master System
77
Based on
12 reviews

Master System, US
ThunderBlade SMS US cover.jpg
Cover
ThunderBlade SMS US Cart.jpg
Cart
Thunderblade sms us manual.pdf
Manual
SegaAdventure SMS US Poster Back.jpgSegaAdventure SMS US Poster Front.jpg
Poster
Master System, EU
ThunderBlade SMS EU cover.jpg
Cover
Master System, EU
® variant
ThunderBlade SMS EU R cover.jpg
Cover
Master System, EU
"no limits" variant
ThunderBlade SMS EU Box.jpg
Cover
Master System, JP
Thunder Blade SMS JP Box Back.jpgNospine.pngThunder Blade SMS JP Box Front.jpg
Cover
Thunder Blade SMS JP Cart.jpg
Cart
Master System, BR
ThunderBlade SMS BR cover.jpg
Cover
ThunderBlade SMS BR Cart.jpg
Cart
ThunderBlade SMS BR Manual.pdf
Manual
Master System, KR
Thunderblade SMS KR cover.jpg
Cover
ThunderBlade SMS KR Cart Top.jpg
ThunderBlade SMS KR Cart Back.jpgThunderBlade SMS KR Cart.jpg
Cart
Master System, SE

Amiga version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
84 №17, p68[23]
84 №64, p24[24]
85 №15, p56/57[25]
69 №4, p90-92[26]
80 №18, p74
80 №47, p74[27]
Commodore Amiga
80
Based on
6 reviews

Amiga, US
ThunderBlade Amiga US Box Back.jpgNospine.pngThunderBlade Amiga US Box Front.jpg
Cover
Amiga, UK

Amiga, UK (Kixx)
ThunderBlade Amiga UK Box Kixx.jpg
Cover
ThunderBlade Amiga UK Disk Kixx.jpg
Disk
Amiga, UK (Kixx) (alt)

Amstrad CPC version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
78 №20, p78[28]
54 №15, p56/57[25]
Amstrad CPC
66
Based on
2 reviews

Amstrad CPC, UK (disk)
ThunderBlade CPC EU Box.jpg
Cover
Amstrad CPC, UK (cassette) (Kixx)
ThunderBlade CPC EU Box Cassette Kixx.jpg
Cover
ThunderBlade CPC UK Cassette Kixx.jpg
Cassette
Amstrad CPC, ES (cassette)
ThunderBlade CPC ES Box Cassette Erbe.jpg
Cover

Atari ST version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
66 №87, p22/23/25[5]
84 №15, p56/57[25]
65 №4, p90-92[26]
80 №18, p74
Atari ST
74
Based on
4 reviews

Atari ST, US
ThunderBlade ST US Box Back.jpgNospine.pngThunderBlade ST US Box Front.jpg
Cover
Atari ST, UK
ThunderBlade ST UK Box Back.jpgNospine-small.pngThunderBlade ST UK Box Front.jpg
Cover
ThunderBlade ST UK Disk1.jpg
Disk 1
ThunderBlade ST UK Disk2.jpg
Disk 2
ThunderBlade ST UK Counterpoint Cassette.jpg
Counterpoint
ThunderBlade ST UK Counterpoint Cassette Manual.jpg
Counterpoint Manual
Atari ST, UK (Kixx)

Commodore 64 version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
80 №16, p56/57[29]
71 №64, p22/23[30]
65 №15, p56/57[25]
72 №75
69 №46, p16/17[31]
Commodore 64
71
Based on
5 reviews

Commodore 64, US
ThunderBlade C64 US Box Back.jpgNospine.pngThunderBlade C64 US Box Front.jpg
Cover
Commodore 64, UK
ThunderBlade C64 UK Box.jpg
Cover
Commodore 64, UK (Kixx)
ThunderBlade C64 EU Box Kixx.jpg
Cover

IBM PC version

IBM PC, US (5.25-inch)
ThunderBlade DOS US Box Back 525.jpgNospine.pngThunderBlade DOS US Box Front.jpg
Cover
ThunderBlade DOS US Box Disk1 525.jpg
Disk 1
IBM PC, US (3.5-inch)
ThunderBlade DOS US Box Back 35.jpgNospine.pngThunderBlade DOS US Box Front 35.jpg
Cover
ThunderBlade DOS US Disk 35.jpg
Disk
IBM PC, ES (PC Hits)
ThunderBlade IBMPC ES Box Front PCHits.jpg
Cover

MSX version

MSX, ES
ThunderBlade MSX ES Box Erbe.jpg
Cover

PC Engine version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
46 №112, p77[32]
69 №30, p89[33]
67 №13, p98
72 №5, p79[34]
PC Engine
64
Based on
4 reviews

PC Engine, JP
Thunder Blade PCE HuCard Back.jpgThunder Blade PCE HuCard Spine.jpgThunderBlade PCE JP Box Front.jpg
Cover

Sharp X68000 version

Sharp X68000, JP
Thunder Blade X68000 JP Box.png
Cover

ZX Spectrum version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
79 №16, p56/57[29]
82 №87, p22/23/25[5]
87 №15, p56/57[25]
ZX Spectrum
83
Based on
3 reviews

ZX Spectrum, UK
ThunderBlade Spectrum EU Box.jpg
Cover
ThunderBlade Spectrum UK Cassette.jpg
Cassette
ZX Spectrum, UK (Kixx)
ThunderBlade Spectrum EU Box Kixx.jpg
Cover
ZX Spectrum, ES
ThunderBlade Spectrum ES Box Erbe.jpg
Cover

References

Necretro-round.svg
NEC Retro has more information related to Thunder Blade.
Games in the Thunder Blade Series
Thunder Blade (1987) | Super Thunder Blade (1988) | Electronic Thunder Blade (1989) | 3D Thunder Blade (2014)
Thunder Blade related media
Music
Galaxy Force II & Thunder Blade Original Sound Track (2007) | Galaxy Force II & Thunder Blade (2017)