Thunder Force II

From Sega Retro


ThunderForceII MDTitleScreen.png
Thunder Force II
System(s): Sega Mega Drive
Publisher: Technosoft
Original system(s): X68000
Sound driver: T.S vx.xx (Technosoft)
Genre: Shoot-'em-Up

Number of players: 1
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega Drive
¥6,800 T-18013
Sega Mega Drive
$? ?
Sega Mega Drive
$? ?
Sega Mega Drive
Sega Mega Drive
Sega Mega Drive
DM ?
Sega Mega Drive
Sega Mega Drive
$? ?
Sega Mega Drive
R$? ?
Sega Mega Drive
₩? GM4010JG

Arcade (Mega-Tech System)
£? ?

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Thunder Force II is a 1988 shoot-'em-up developed by Technosoft for the X68000, and the second installment in their Thunder Force series. The following year, it was ported to the Sega Mega Drive as Thunder Force II MD (サンダーフォースII MD), and this version was released worldwide as simply Thunder Force II. It was the first Sega Mega Drive game in Japan published by a third party.


After the events of the first Thunder Force, the defeated ORN Empire decide to attack the Galaxy Federation again. Using Plealos, their new battleship, ORN is able to destroy the planet Reda and take the planet Nepura as their own. Fortunately, the Galaxy Federation discovers Nepura is used to hold Plealos when it is not being used, and they set out to destroy Plealos with a new version of the powerful "Fire LEO" fighter craft, the Fire LEO-02 Exceliza.


A and C switch weapons. B fires as long as you hold it. There are nine stages — four top-view stages and four side-scrolling stages, then a final top-view stage.

  • "Top-view" stages: You have free 8-way movement, and the screen constantly scrolls in the direction the ship is facing. The ship's weapon shoots in the direction the ship is facing, though other weapons and powerups fire in different directions. The objective is to find and destroy the four bases.
  • Side-scrolling stages: You can only progress forward, and the screen constantly scrolls from right to left; the entire stage doesn't fit on the screen, so moving up and down reveals a bit more of it. Reach the end of the stage and defeat the boss there to complete the level.

As you defeat certain enemies, they'll drop various weapon; losing a life takes all acquired weapons away. The two types of stages have unique weapons between them.



The Swedish version shown below has an interesting story behind it. The distributor in the Nordic countries was Playmix/BRIO, famous for its classic wooden toys and unharmful playthings. This is the first and probably last time they used censorship on a game. The missiles on this early game's front were considered too violent and the picture was replaced by the ship from the Japanese version instead. After they mixed it together, they simple photographed it and printed it on Fujicolor paper (can be seen on the back of the inlay). This version is therefore fairly common in Sweden.

Production credits

  • Program: Izumi Fukuda, Takashi Iwanaga, Haruhiko Otsuka
  • Graphics & Design: Osamu Tsujikawa
  • Stage Design: Takashi Iwanaga
  • Music Compose: Tomomi Ohtani
  • Sound Effects: Naosuke Arai
  • Wording: Kazue Matsuoka, Kikuo Tamichi, Fumio Sugano
  • Special Thanks To: Soichiro Hikichi, Kazuhiro Imamura
Source: In-game credits

Magazine articles

Main article: Thunder Force II/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

BeepMD JP 1990-02.pdf

Print advert in Beep! MegaDrive (JP) #1990-02: "February 1990" (1990-01-08)

CG GR 3 Mega Drive advert.jpg

Print advert in Computer Games (GR) #3: "Ioúnios 1990" (1990-xx-xx)

BeepMD JP 1990-09.pdfBeepMD JP 1990-09.pdf

Print advert in Beep! MegaDrive (JP) #1990-09: "September 1990" (1990-08-XX)

ACE UK 37.pdfACE UK 37.pdf

Print advert in ACE (UK) #37: "October 1990" (1990-09-xx)
also published in:

BeepMD JP 1990-11.pdf

Print advert in Beep! MegaDrive (JP) #1990-11: "November 1990" (1990-10-XX)

CVG UK 111.pdf

Print advert in Computer & Video Games (UK) #111: "February 1991" (1991-01-16)

SegaForce SE 1993 03.pdf

Print advert in Sega Force (SE) #1993-03: "3/93" (1993-05-13)

Physical scans

Mega-Tech version

ThunderForceII MT cover.jpg

Mega Drive version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
93 [6]
70 [7]
70 [8]
90 [9]
81 [10]
80 [11]
70 №79, [1]
85 [12]
74 [13]
82 №5, p95
81 [14]
82 [15]
58 [4]
80 [16]
86 [17]
81 №18, p68
93 [18]
Sega Mega Drive
Based on
17 reviews

Mega Drive, US
ThunderForce2 MD US Box.jpg
Thunder Force II MD US cart.jpg
Thunder Force II MD US Manual.pdf
Mega Drive, EU
ThunderForce2 MD EU Box.jpg
ThunderForceII MD EU Cart.jpg
Mega Drive, SE
Thunderforce SWE.jpeg
Mega Drive, JP
ThunderForce2 MD JP Box.jpg
ThunderForce2MD MD JP CartTop.jpg
ThunderForce2 MD JP Cart.jpg
Mega Drive, AU

Mega Drive, BR
ThunderForceII MD BR cover.jpg
ThunderForceII MD BR Cart.jpg
Mega Drive, KR
ThunderForceII MD KR Box.jpg
ThunderForceII MD KR cart.jpg
Mega Drive, CA

Technical information

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 9b1561b3
MD5 2cd56a01eef20b74ab7ea532f9b25a94
SHA-1 b81e7ebc4ceb6c1ae2975d27e0a78ba1e8546b5f
512kB 1989-04 Cartridge (US/EU)
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 e75ec3e0
MD5 5b134b597779c5d6c2783fe3ee401766
SHA-1 44b173b74225e5b562cdf3982926a051f05ed98e
512kB 1989-04 Cartridge (JP)


Thunder Force games for Sega systems / developed by Sega
Sega Mega Drive
Thunder Force II (1989) | Thunder Force III (1990) | Thunder Force IV / Lightening Force: Quest for the Darkstar (1992)
Thunder Force AC (1990)
Sega Saturn
Thunder Force: Gold Pack 1 (1996) | Thunder Force: Gold Pack 2 (1996) | Thunder Force V (1997)
Sony PlayStation 2
Thunder Force VI (2008)
Nintendo Switch
Sega Ages Thunder Force IV (2018) | Sega Ages Thunder Force AC (TBD)
Thunder Force related media
Best of Thunder Force (1997) | Thunder Force VI Soundtrack Demo (2008)