Thunder Force IV

From Sega Retro

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  • NTSC-J/PAL
  • NTSC-U

ThunderForceIV MDTitleScreen.png

LighteningForce MD TitleScreen.png

Thunder Force IV
System(s): Sega Mega Drive
Publisher: Technosoft (Japan), Sega (US, Europe)
Developer:
Genre: Shooting[1][2][3]

















Number of players: 1
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega Drive
JP
¥8,800 (9,064)8,800e[4] T-18063
Sega Mega Drive
US
$29.9929.99[5] 1143
Sega Mega Drive
EU
1143-50
Sega Mega Drive
UK
£49.9949.99[6] 1143-50
Sega Mega Drive
SE
(Rental)
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 Technosoft released for the Sega Mega Drive. It is the fourth game in the Thunder Force series.

Story

Thunder Force IV, Stage Select.png

Stage select

Shortly after defeating the ORN Empire in Thunder Force III, the Galaxy Federation comes under attack by survivors of the Empire, who have gathered their remaining forces on the planet Vios. This new faction has been biding its time and developing weapons even more deadly than those used by its predecessors. The Galaxy Federation must again scramble a new small craft, the Fire LEO-04 Rynex, to counter this emerging threat.

Gameplay

The game is a side-scrolling shooter like its predecessor. The Rynex is moved in any direction using the D-pad. The screen scrolls horizontally automatically. Stages are significantly taller than in previous games, and the player can travel to the upward and downward edges of the screen to reveal a larger playing field. The player can change the movement speed of the ship with A. Pressing the button adds 25% (or loops back to 25% if already at 100%); holding the button adds 1% at a time.

The Rynex shoots with B, which can be held for continuous fire. It is equipped with multiple weapons, which are switched with C. The player starts with two weapons and acquires more by collecting items. The player can change the speed or the equipped weapon while the game is paused. The player can also equip two Claw add-ons, which are two small satellite drones. The Claws block weak incoming bullets and provide extra firepower by firing single, normal shots. Midway through the game, the Claws are upgraded and acquire the Thunder Sword ability. This allows them to charge up when the player is not firing and then release a powerful beam attack with B.

The Rynex is destroyed in one hit from an enemy or an obstacle. Losing a life loses the Claws and the equipped weapon (unless it is a default weapon). The player gains an extra life at 10,000 and 100,000 points and then every 100,000 points after that.

There are four selectable difficulty levels (Easy, Normal, Hard, and Maniac). The options menu is accessed by holding A, B or C when pressing  START  on the title screen.

Weapons

Thunder Force IV, Weapons, Twin Shot.png

Twin Shot
Fires two streams of parallel bullets.

Thunder Force IV, Weapons, Back Fire.png

Back Shot
Fires one stream of bullets to the front and one stream to the back.

Thunder Force IV, Weapons, Blade.png

Blade
Replaces the Twin Shot with large orange blades. A strong weapon, but the size of the blades make it difficult get through the armor of some bosses to hit their weak spots.

Thunder Force IV, Weapons, Railgun.png

Railgun
Replaces the Back Shot with powerful, long lasers behind the Rynex. The strongest weapon for shooting enemies from behind.

Thunder Force IV, Weapons, Snake.png

Snake
Drops bombs above and below the Rynex at an angle. When this weapon is equipped, rather than providing support fire, Claws leave shadows that provide additional protection.

Thunder Force IV, Weapons, Hunter.png

Hunter
Fires blue energy balls that seek enemies. Less powerful than other weapons but does not need to be targeted.

Thunder Force IV, Weapons, Free Way.png

Free Way
Launches missiles in a conical spread in the opposite direction of the ship's travel.

Thunder Force IV, Weapons, Thunder Sword.png

Thunder Sword
Acquired in the Vios stage. Allows Claws to charge up when the Rynex is not firing; the next shot releases a powerful sword beam, which penetrates through multiple targets, with two additional angled lasers (regardless of which weapon is selected).

Items

Thunder Force IV, Items.png
Item Carrier
Shoot to release an item.
Thunder Force IV, Items.png
Claw
Equips two Claws, fighter drones that orbit the Rynex and provide support fire and protect it from damage.
Thunder Force IV, Items.png
Thunder Sword
Equips two Claws, which have been upgraded to use the Thunder Sword in addition to their standard functionality.
Thunder Force IV, Items.png
Shield
Surrounds the Rynex in a shield that renders it invulnerable to damage, but it dissipates after sustaining too many hits.
Thunder Force IV, Items.png
1-Up
Awards the player with an extra life.
Thunder Force IV, Items.png
Blade
Acquires the Blade weapon.
Thunder Force IV, Items.png
Railgun
Acquires the Railgun weapon.
Thunder Force IV, Items.png
Snake
Acquires the Snake weapon.
Thunder Force IV, Items.png
Hunter
Acquires the Hunter weapon.
Thunder Force IV, Items.png
Free Way
Acquires the Free Way weapon.

Stages

The player can choose the order of the first four stages upon starting the game using the D-pad (or press  START  to accept the default order). The remaining stages are played in sequence.

Thunder Force IV, Stage 1-1.png

Thunder Force IV, Stage 1-2.png

Thunder Force IV, Stage 1 Boss 1.png

Thunder Force IV, Stage 1 Boss 2.png

  • Thunder Force IV, Stage 1-1.png

  • Thunder Force IV, Stage 1-2.png

  • Thunder Force IV, Stage 1 Boss 1.png

  • Thunder Force IV, Stage 1 Boss 2.png

Strite
A world of clouds, mountains, and waters.

Thunder Force IV, Stage 3.png

Thunder Force IV, Stage 3 Boss.png

  • Thunder Force IV, Stage 3.png

  • Thunder Force IV, Stage 3 Boss.png

Ruin
A blue ruin facing the void of space.

Thunder Force IV, Stage 4.png

Thunder Force IV, Stage 4 Boss.png

  • Thunder Force IV, Stage 4.png

  • Thunder Force IV, Stage 4 Boss.png

Air Raid
Fly through a large Vios fleet mobilized for an assault on the Federation.

Thunder Force IV, Stage 2.png

Thunder Force IV, Stage 2 Boss.png

  • Thunder Force IV, Stage 2.png

  • Thunder Force IV, Stage 2 Boss.png

Daser
A desert sandstorm.

Thunder Force IV, Stage 5-1.png

Thunder Force IV, Stage 5-2.png

  • Thunder Force IV, Stage 5-1.png

  • Thunder Force IV, Stage 5-2.png

Vios

Thunder Force IV, Stage 6.png

Thunder Force IV, Stage 6 Boss.png

  • Thunder Force IV, Stage 6.png

  • Thunder Force IV, Stage 6 Boss.png

Volbados

Thunder Force IV, Stage 7.png

Thunder Force IV, Stage 7 Boss 1.png

Thunder Force IV, Stage 7 Boss 2.png

  • Thunder Force IV, Stage 7.png

  • Thunder Force IV, Stage 7 Boss 1.png

  • Thunder Force IV, Stage 7 Boss 2.png

Desvio

Thunder Force IV, Stage 8.png

Thunder Force IV, Stage 8 Boss 1.png

Thunder Force IV, Stage 8 Boss 2.png

Thunder Force IV, Stage 8 Boss 3.png

Thunder Force IV, Stage 8 Boss 4.png

Thunder Force IV, Stage 8 Boss 5.png

  • Thunder Force IV, Stage 8.png

  • Thunder Force IV, Stage 8 Boss 1.png

  • Thunder Force IV, Stage 8 Boss 2.png

  • Thunder Force IV, Stage 8 Boss 3.png

  • Thunder Force IV, Stage 8 Boss 4.png

  • Thunder Force IV, Stage 8 Boss 5.png

Bio-Base

Thunder Force IV, Stage 9.png

Thunder Force IV, Stage 9 Boss 1.png

Thunder Force IV, Stage 9 Boss 2.png

  • Thunder Force IV, Stage 9.png

  • Thunder Force IV, Stage 9 Boss 1.png

  • Thunder Force IV, Stage 9 Boss 2.png

Wall

Thunder Force IV, Stage 10-1.png

Thunder Force IV, Stage 10-2.png

Thunder Force IV, Stage 10 Boss 1.png

Thunder Force IV, Stage 10 Boss 2.png

  • Thunder Force IV, Stage 10-1.png

  • Thunder Force IV, Stage 10-2.png

  • Thunder Force IV, Stage 10 Boss 1.png

  • Thunder Force IV, Stage 10 Boss 2.png

Versus

Versions

Localised names

Also known as
Language Localised Name English Translation
English Thunder Force IV Thunder Force IV
English (US) Lightening Force: Quest for the Darkstar Lightening Force: Quest for the Darkstar
Japanese サンダーフォースIV Thunder Force IV

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
Source:
In-game credits[7]

Magazine articles

Main article: Thunder Force IV/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

Main article: Thunder Force IV/Promotional material.

Physical scans

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
{{{{{icon}}}|L}} Division by zero.
Based on
0 review
Sega Retro Average 
Publication Version Score
1700 igr dlya Sega (RU) NTSC-U
40
[8]
1700 igr dlya Sega (RU)
60
[9]
Aktueller Software Markt (DE)
88
[10]
Beep! MegaDrive (JP) NTSC-J
73
[11]
Console Mania (IT)
98
[12]
Computer & Video Games (UK)
93
[13]
Computer & Video Games (UK)
91
[6]
Digitiser (UK)
80
[14]
Mean Machines: The Essential Sega Guide (UK)
93
[15]
GameFan (US) NTSC-J
97
[16]
Game Mania (UK)
93
[17]
Game Power (IT)
93
[18]
GamePro (US) NTSC-U
93
[5]
Hippon Super (JP) NTSC-J
80
[19]
HiScore (DK) PAL
73
[20]
Hobby Consolas (ES)
95
[21]
Joypad (FR) NTSC-J
97
[22]
Joypad (FR) PAL
94
[23]
Joystick (FR) NTSC-J
97
[24]
Sega Mega Drive Advanced Gaming (UK)
94
[25]
Sega Mega Drive Advanced Gaming (UK) NTSC-J
94
[26]
Mega Drive Fan (JP) NTSC-J
82
[27]
Mega (UK) NTSC-J
81
[28]
Mega Action (UK)
92
[29]
Mega Force (FR)
90
[30]
Mega Fun (DE) NTSC-J
92
[31]
MegaTech (UK) NTSC-J
94
[32]
Micromanía (segunda época) (ES)
80
[33]
Mean Machines (UK) NTSC-J
87
[34]
Marukatsu Mega Drive (JP) NTSC-J
86
[35]
Mean Machines Sega (UK)
89
[36]
Player One (FR)
94
[37]
Play Time (DE)
91
[38]
Sega Power (UK) NTSC-J
91
[39]
Sega Pro (UK) NTSC-J
92
[40]
Sega Pro (UK) PAL
92
[41]
Sega Force (SE)
92
[42]
Sega Force (UK) NTSC-J
88
[43]
Sega Saturn Magazine (JP) NTSC-J
86
[44]
Supergame (BR) NTSC-J
90
[45]
Supersonic (FR)
93
[46]
Tricks 16 bit (RU) NTSC-U
65
[47]
Tricks 16 bit (RU) NTSC-J
88
[48]
Video Games (DE)
85
[49]
Sega Mega Drive
87
Based on
44 reviews

Thunder Force IV

Mega Drive, JP
ThunderForce4 MD JP Box.jpg
Cover
ThunderForce4 MD JP CartTop.jpg
ThunderForce4 MD JP Cart.jpg
Cart
ThunderForce4 MD JP Manual.pdf
Manual
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, SE (Rental)
TFIV MD SE rental cover.jpg
Cover
Mega Drive, AU

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

Technical information

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 c8f8c0e0
MD5 bb6b10927e6238206e9a7ba8c7d91a14
SHA-1 ab5bd9ddbfc07d860f44b9c72d098aef2581d1d8
1MB 1992-08 Cartridge (US)
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 e7e3c05b
MD5 66cac77bb663a6951c942b0722232a03
SHA-1 ecbc2bfc4f3d8bbd46b398274ed2f5cc3db68454
1MB 1992-08 Cartridge (EU)
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 8d606480
MD5 c0c59e835ca2cfba29f4c0f5293986f6
SHA-1 44be21dead3b55f21762a7c5cf640eec0a1769d9
1MB 1992-07 Cartridge (JP)

References

  1. File:ThunderForce4 MD JP Box.jpg
  2. File:ThunderForceIV MD KR cover.jpg
  3. 3.0 3.1 https://sega.jp/history/hard/megadrive/software_l.html (Wayback Machine: 2020-07-02 23:21)
  4. Beep! MegaDrive, "July 1992" (JP; 1992-06-08), page 146
  5. 5.0 5.1 GamePro, "August 1993" (US; 1993-xx-xx), page 68
  6. 6.0 6.1 Computer & Video Games, "June 1994" (UK; 1994-05-15), page 106
  7. File:Thunder Force IV MD credits.pdf
  8. 1700 igr dlya Sega, "" (RU; 2003-03-10), page 116
  9. 1700 igr dlya Sega, "" (RU; 2003-03-10), page 243
  10. Aktueller Software Markt, "Oktober 1992" (DE; 1992-09-11), page 126
  11. Beep! MegaDrive, "August 1992" (JP; 1992-07-08), page 26
  12. Console Mania, "Ottobre 1992" (IT; 1992-xx-xx), page 86
  13. Computer & Video Games, "October 1992" (UK; 1992-09-15), page 36
  14. Digitiser (UK) (1993-02-03)
  15. Mean Machines: The Essential Sega Guide, "" (UK; 1993-11-18), page 108
  16. GameFan, "Volume 1, Issue 1: October 1992" (US; 1992-xx-xx), page 6
  17. Game Mania, "May 1993" (UK; 1993-xx-xx), page 80
  18. Game Power, "Ottobre 1992" (IT; 1992-xx-xx), page 30
  19. Hippon Super, "August 1992" (JP; 1992-07-04), page 37
  20. HiScore, "15 Juli - 15 September" (DK; 1993-07-15), page 19
  21. Hobby Consolas, "Enero 1993" (ES; 199x-xx-xx), page 26
  22. Joypad, "Septembre 1992" (FR; 1992-0x-xx), page 54
  23. Joypad, "Janvier 1993" (FR; 199x-xx-xx), page 159
  24. Joystick, "Septembre 1992" (FR; 1992-0x-xx), page 172
  25. Sega Mega Drive Advanced Gaming, "October 1992" (UK; 1992-xx-xx), page 24
  26. Sega Mega Drive Advanced Gaming, "January 1993" (UK; 199x-xx-xx), page 95
  27. Mega Drive Fan, "October 1992" (JP; 1992-09-XX), page 67
  28. Mega, "October 1992" (UK; 1992-09-17), page 48
  29. Mega Action, "June 1993" (UK; 1993-05-20), page 65
  30. Mega Force, "Octobre 1992" (FR; 1992-xx-xx), page 68
  31. Mega Fun, "08/92" (DE; 1992-08-18), page 16
  32. MegaTech, "September 1992" (UK; 1992-08-20), page 30
  33. Micromanía (segunda época), "Febrero 1993" (ES; 1993-0x-xx), page 50
  34. Mean Machines, "September 1992" (UK; 1992-08-27), page 84
  35. Marukatsu Mega Drive, "September 1992" (JP; 1992-08-XX), page 119
  36. Mean Machines Sega, "October 1992" (UK; 1992-09-xx), page 142
  37. Player One, "Novembre 1992" (FR; 1992-11-10), page 64
  38. Play Time, "1/93" (DE; 1992-12-09), page 95
  39. Sega Power, "November 1992" (UK; 1992-10-01), page 54
  40. Sega Pro, "September 1992" (UK; 1992-08-13), page 64
  41. Sega Pro, "April 1993" (UK; 1993-03-11), page 68
  42. Sega Force, "5/93" (SE; 1993-08-26), page 18
  43. Sega Force, "October 1992" (UK; 1992-09-10), page 54
  44. Sega Saturn Magazine, "September 1995" (JP; 1995-08-08), page 85
  45. Supergame, "Janeiro 1993" (BR; 1993-01-xx), page 12
  46. Supersonic, "Novembre 1992" (FR; 1992-xx-xx), page 22
  47. Tricks 16 bit, "Tricks Sega Gold 800 igr" (RU; 1998-03-20), page 151
  48. Tricks 16 bit, "Tricks Sega Gold 800 igr" (RU; 1998-03-20), page 27
  49. Video Games, "9/92" (DE; 1992-08-26), page 52


Thunder Force IV

ThunderForceIV MDTitleScreen.png

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Music: Thunder Force IV (2019) | Technosoft Music Collection: Thunder Force IV (2021)

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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)
Nintendo Switch
Sega Ages Thunder Force IV (2018) | Sega Ages Thunder Force AC (2020)
Thunder Force related media
Music
Best of Thunder Force (1997) | Thunder Force VI Soundtrack Demo (2008) | Technosoft Music Collection: Thunder Force III & AC (2020) | Technosoft Music Collection: Thunder Force IV (2021)