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Thunder Force IV

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ThunderForceIV MDTitleScreen.png
Thunder Force IV
Publisher: Tecnosoft, Sega (US)
Developer:
System(s): Sega Mega Drive
Genre: Shoot-'em-Up






























Number of players: 1
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega Drive
JP
¥8,800 T-18063
Sega Mega Drive
US
$29.99[1] 1143
Sega Mega Drive
UK
£49.99[2] 1143-50
Sega Mega Drive
FR
?F 1143-50
Sega Mega Drive
DE
DM ? 1143-50
Sega Mega Drive
ES
?Ptas 1143-50
Sega Mega Drive
AU
$? ?
Sega Mega Drive
KR
₩? GM8055JT



Thunder Force IV (サンダーフォースIV), called Lightening Force: Quest for the Darkstar in the US, is a 1992 shoot-'em-up by Tecnosoft released for the Sega Mega Drive. It is the fourth game in the Thunder Force series.

Story

Shortly after defeating the ORN Empire in Thunder Force III, the Galaxy Federation comes under attack by survivors of the empire, who have banded together to form a new threat, Vios. Vios turns out to be more powerful than ORN ever was, and the Galaxy Federation must again use a new small craft to destroy their base on the planet Aceria.

Gameplay

Gameplay is almost identical to III: B shoots (you have rapidfire), A changes speed by 25% while holding the button down constantly adds 1%, C changes weapon, and powerups are collected from enemies. Unlike III, however, you are not fixed to the camera motion; holding Up and Down will take you higher/lower than the screen limits (as in II).

Weapons

  • Blade: Update of the standard shot. Destructive but big bullets, sometimes too big (see Strite boss)
  • Railgun: Update of the rear shot
  • Freeway: Small rockets that fire in the opposite direction of the ships movement
  • Snake: Bombs that travel along the ground/ceiling
  • Hunter: Homing orbs

Stages

The first four stages can be played in any order; the order listed here is the default.

Notavailable.svg Strite
A world full of clouds, mountains, and waters. You spend two "days" on this planet, primarily shooting down basic enemies that either just attack, shoot homing missiles at you, or worse. A giant serpent-like creature will come at you several times. A train-like underwater being will send smaller enemies hurling at you while trying to hit you with a large laser, and the rising boss ship will make it easier for homing missiles to hit you...
  • Boss: A giant ship with a fin on the bottom that shoots fireballs at you. Hit it enough and it will detach from the ship, revealing a free-moving sub-ship that will attack you in a variety of ways. Due to collision detection on the boss' weak spot, it's very difficult to damage him with the "Blade" weapon.
Notavailable.svg Ruin
A blue ruin facing the void of space. Here you face larger robots on pedestals that are hard to defeat, pairs of laser-shooting shark-like beings, barriers that form as you move, and small, immobile enemies that generate themselves int he least convenient places. Halfway though you fight a giant robot that spams loads of bullets at you at once.
Notavailable.svg Air-Raid
Possibly better called an outer space raid: you fly through an asteroid belt, avoiding the (multiple) turrets that constantly send bullets your way and follow your every move. You also have to dodge the regular enemies (they come fast) and avoid crashing into an asteroid. Halfway through, the astroids start moving at very high speeds, so pay attention to survive!
Notavailable.svg Daser
Fly through a desert sandstorm. Some enemies can take massive damage before going down.
  • Boss:Formalhaut
Notavailable.svg Vios
Battle the boss ship from stage one in space
Notavailable.svg Volbados
Water and Ice themed world, with the path over and under water being almost completely different play experiences
Notavailable.svg Desvio
Lava themed world with a cameo boss
Notavailable.svg Bio-Base
A stage in a bio-mechanic environment which consists mainly of miniboss fights
Notavailable.svg Wall
Last "proper" stage with moving walls and traps
Notavailable.svg Versus
Final confrontation

Trivia

  • The game has at least two score exploit points. The first is at the enemy just before going underwater in Strite. I constantly releases small enemies. The second is in the final stage, Versus. Keep playing until you reach the large cannon, which you normally must destroy to proceed. Power up items and 1UPs will keep respawning forever. Whether this was by design or an oversight is not clear.

Production credits

  • Programmers: Indick Mst, Yotaro, Zako, Chinpui, Kwd & Edger, Fake Dwarf Giva, Godzy, Alpha
  • Graphics: Two Socks, Krp, Gaja, Silver Hammer, Ushimatu, Hunter, Booby Master, Tamtam, Guges.D, Unbalance, Pei Crash, No Remorse, Shion
  • Music: Funky Surounin, Omen, Yunker Matai
  • Voice: Atuko
  • Director: My Home Papa
  • Producer: Sigotonin


Indick Mst, Yotaro, Zako, Chinpui, Kwd , Edger, Fake Dwarf Giva, Godzy, AlphaTwo Socks, Krp, Gaja, Silver Hammer, Ushimatu, Hunter, Booby Master, Tamtam, Guges.D, Unbalance, Pei Crash, No Remorse, ShionFunky Surounin, Omen, Yunker MataiAtukoMy Home PapaSigotonin

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Magazine articles

Main article: Thunder Force IV/Magazine articles.

Physical scans

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
92 №10/92, p126-127[3]
93 №131, p36-37[4]
91 №151, p106/111[2]
98 №12, p86-89/91[5]
87 №13, p84-86
80
93 №1, p108Media:MeanMachinesEssentialSegaGuide Book UK.pdf[6]
97 №0101, p6/18[7]
93 №49, p66[1]
95 №16, p26-29[8]
97 №12, p54-56[9]
94 №16, p158[10]
97 №30, p172[11]
94 №2, p24-27[12]
81 №1, p48-49[13]
92 №1, p65
94 №9, p30-33
87 №24, p104-106[14]
94 №25, p64-67[15]
91 №1/93, p95[16]
91 №36, p54/55
100 №46, p99[17]
92 №11, p64-65
92 №18, p68
88 №10, p54-56[18]
90 №18, p12[19]
85 №9/92, p52-53[20]
Sega Mega Drive
92
Based on
27 reviews

Mega Drive, US
ThunderForce4 MD US Box.jpg
Cover
Thunderforce4 md us cart.jpg
Cart
Thunder Force IV MD US Manual.pdf
Manual
Mega Drive, EU
ThunderForce4 MD EU Box.jpg
Cover
ThunderForceIV MD EU Carttop.jpg
ThunderForceIV MD EU Cart.jpg
Cart
Thunder Force IV MD EU Manual.pdf
Manual
Mega Drive, JP
ThunderForce4 MD JP Box.jpg
Cover
ThunderForce4 MD JP CartTop.jpg
ThunderForce4 MD JP Cart.jpg
Cart
Mega Drive, AU

Mega Drive, KR
ThunderForceIV MD KR cover.jpg
Cover
ThunderForceIV MD KR cart.jpg
Cart

References


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)
Arcade
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)
Thunder Force related media
Music
Thunder Force VI Soundtrack Demo (2008)