Thunder Force AC

-Techno Soft (1990)


The Story

The planet of Orn was destroyed, but something unexpected happened. Shortly after Gene and Sherry arrived at their home ship, the shockwave from Orn’s explosion caught up with them. The Galaxy Federation cruiser nearly broke apart from the shockwave. When it was over, the forces of the Lone Star System had seemingly reappeared, but some things were different. The planets of Hydra, Gorgon, and Saline were the same, but the ice planet of Ellis had undergone drastic changes from the explosion. It was no longer ice, but was now full of sand with ancient temples same as the ones found on the Galaxy Federation's own home planet of Nebula. Was the ice covering these ruins the entire time and if so, does that mean Nebula and Orn share a common past? Right now, it didn’t matter. The planet Orn somehow caused a time shift and was able to bring back most it's enemy forces. Orn must be destroyed again, but the planets cloaking system has been reactivated. Fortunately, the cloak is only controlled by four planets because the planet of Haides was obliterated in the explosion. In its place was a field of asteroids and debris. Gene and Sherry have already defeated Orn so they can do it again. The new operation is named Thunder Force After Crisis because Orn was already destroyed once before.

My Thoughts

After three Thunder Force games, two of which people actually played, Techno Soft saw great success in Thunder Force III. They decided to remix the game for the arcade and called it Thunder Force AC. This is essentially the same game as Thunder Force III, but with a couple new levels. The game also looks and sounds better than ever.

Stages one through three are all straight from Thunder Force III, but with slight alterations. The gargoyle boss in stage one is now all gold. Stage four is a brand new asteroid/space debris stage with a new mech boss. This stage is a little boring when compared to the either of the missing stages from TFIII. Stage five is a combination of two stages from Thunder Force II with the big ship boss from the ice covered Ellis level in Thunder Force III. Stages six through eight are all the same from TFIII.

I was disappointed that the Ellis and rock cave Haides stages were eliminated from the game. Were these considered too different from the rest of the game because of the adjusting scenery or alternate scrolling? It's too bad because I would liked to have seen the Ellis stage with improved visuals. The dual Thunder Force II stage is pretty cool, though. A few stage colors are altered but everything looks much better than on the Genesis. The colors are more vibrant and many more details are present on the enemies and in the stages. The game feels a bit more enjoyable to play with the better visuals and music. The ending is also essentially the same, but with slightly altered stills and text that is strangely more awkward.

While TFIII was very easy on its normal difficulty setting, the difficulty of TFAC is more like the hard setting. This gives players a bit more of a challenge and the opportunity to plunk in plenty of quarters.

Thanks to the more powerful arcade hardware the music and sound effects are also better. There are added voices as well with an added male voice on the title screen and at a few times during the game. On the title screen the male announcer says “Thunder Force, the final mission.” Why is he saying this? Did Techno Soft not think there would be more games after this one?

Score: 7.5 






More hot Thunder Force action:

Thunder Force II, Thunder Force III, Thunder Spirits, Lightening Force, Thunder Force V