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|Platform(s)||Arcade, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 4, Steam, Xbox One|
|Mode(s)||Single player or 2 players simultaneously|
|Arcade system||Konami Thunder Cross Based|
Thunder Cross (サンダークロス) is a horizontally scrolling shoot 'em up arcade game released by Konami in 1988. It used a "layered scrolling" background, a new 2D graphics technique at the time. The game spawned a sequel, Thunder Cross II , in 1991. Owing to several similarities, Space Manbow (1989) may also be considered a spin-off.
In 2007, Thunder Cross was included as part of the Oretachi Geasen Zoku Sono budget series on the PlayStation 2 in Japan.It was later released as part of the Arcade Archives series on PlayStation 4 in Japan in 2017 and Nintendo Switch worldwide in 2021, and was added to Konami's Arcade Classics Anniversary Collection for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Steam, and Nintendo Switch in 2019.
Thunder Cross is a classic horizontal shooter with seven stages. Players control the Thunder fighter with up to four "options", which arrange up and down vertically and attack at the player's will. Three weapons are selectable ranging from the Vulcan shot to the Laser and the Boomerang shot (which doubles as a ricochet weapon). End-of-level bosses were present and, typical of a Konami shooter, Thunder Cross forced the player to beat the game twice in a harder Loop of the first seven levels.
Taking place in the future of space colonization, the planet Haniamu IV is under attack from a relentless, unknown military force known only as Black Impulse. The strongest Earth ships capable of stopping the total conquering of the planet are the Blue Thunder M-45 (player 1) and its earlier make the Red Thunder M-24 (player 2).
In Japan, Game Machine listed Thunder Cross on their December 1, 1988 issue as being the second most-successful table arcade unit at the time.
Gradius is a side-scrolling shooter video game developed and published by Konami. The first game in the Gradius series, it was originally released as a coin-operated arcade game in 1985. The player maneuvers a spacecraft known as the Vic Viper that must defend itself from the various alien enemies. The game uses a power-up system called the "power meter", based upon collecting capsules to purchase additional weapons.
Contra is a run and gun video game developed and published by Konami, originally released as a coin-operated arcade game on February 20, 1987. A home version was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1988, along with ports for various computer formats, including the MSX2. The home versions were localized in the PAL region as Gryzor on the various computer formats and as Probotector on the NES, released later. Several Contra sequels were produced following the original game.
Quarth is a hybrid puzzle game/shoot 'em up developed by Konami which was released in 1989 as an arcade game, sold as Block Hole outside Japan.
TwinBee (ツインビー) is a video game series composed primarily of cartoon-themed vertical-scrolling shoot-'em-up games produced by Konami that were released primarily in Japan. The series originated as a coin-operated video game simply titled TwinBee in 1985, which was followed by several home versions and sequels. The character designs of almost every game in the series since Detana!! TwinBee in 1991 were provided by Japanese animator Shuzilow HA, who also planned and supervised most of the subsequent installments in the TwinBee series. The series also inspired a radio drama adaptation that lasted three seasons in Japan, as well as an anime adaptation.
Gyruss is an arcade shoot 'em up game designed by Yoshiki Okamoto and released by Konami in 1983. Gyruss was initially licensed to Centuri in the United States for dedicated machines, before Konami released their own self-distributed conversion kits for the game. Parker Brothers released contemporary ports for home systems. An enhanced version for the Family Computer Disk System was released in 1988, which was released to the North American Nintendo Entertainment System in early 1989.
Salamander, retitled Life Force in North America and in the Japanese arcade re-release, is a scrolling shooter arcade game by Konami. Released in 1986 as a spin-off of Gradius, Salamander introduced a simplified power-up system, two-player cooperative gameplay and both horizontally and vertically scrolling stages. Some of these later became the norm for future Gradius games.
Haunted Castle is a side-scrolling platform game released by Konami for the arcades in 1987. It is the second arcade game in the Castlevania franchise, following Vs. Castlevania, an arcade port of the original 1986 NES video game released exclusively in North America. Unlike the previous arcade title in the franchise, Haunted Castle is not a port, but a newly-developed game running on custom JAMMA-based hardware.
Progear is a 2001 horizontally scrolling bullet hell arcade video game developed by CAVE and published by Capcom for the CP System II board. Set in the fictional country of Parts, players assume the role of children controlling a plane equipped with the titular propelling engine to overthrow the Metoruin sages and their new world order. It was the sixth shoot 'em up game from CAVE, their first horizontally oriented shooter, and their eighth video game overall.
Contra is a video game series produced by Konami composed primarily of run and gun-style shooting games. The series debuted in 1987 as a coin-operated arcade game titled Contra, which was followed by the release of Super Contra in 1988 and several sequels produced for various home platforms.
Gradius is a series of shooter video games, introduced in 1985, developed and published by Konami for a variety of portable, console and arcade platforms. In many games in the series, the player controls a ship known as the Vic Viper.
Gradius II is a horizontally-scrolling shooter. Originally released for the arcades in Japan in 1988, it is the sequel to original Gradius and was succeeded by Gradius III. Ports of Gradius II were released for the Family Computer, PC-Engine Super CD-ROM², and the X68000 in Japan. The original arcade version is also included in the Gradius Deluxe Pack compilation for the PlayStation and Sega Saturn and in Gradius Collection for the PlayStation Portable.
Gokujo Parodius – Pursuing the Past Glory, also known as Fantastic Journey, is a 1994 horizontal-scrolling shooter arcade game developed and published by Konami. It is the third entry in their Parodius series, itself a parody spin-off of their Gradius series.
Salamander 2 is a 1996 horizontal-scrolling shooter arcade game developed and published in Japan by Konami. It is the direct sequel to Salamander (1986) and the third game in the Salamander series, which itself is a spin-off of the Gradius franchise. Up to two players control two starships — the Vic Viper and the Super Cobra — as they must destroy the alien race Doom before they wipe out all of the planet Gradius. Gameplay involves shooting down enemies, collecting power-up items, and avoiding collision with projectiles or obstacles.
Thunder Force IV, known in North America as Lightening Force: Quest for the Darkstar, is a shoot 'em up video game developed and published by Technosoft for the Mega Drive in 1992. It is the fourth installment in Technosoft's Thunder Force series, and the third and final one created for the Mega Drive. It was developed by the team at Technosoft that ported Devil's Crush to the Mega Drive rather than the team that developed the previous Thunder Force games. Like its predecessors, it is a horizontally scrolling shooter, but it also features extensive vertical scrolling with large playing fields.
A side-scrolling game or side-scroller is a video game in which the gameplay action is viewed from a side-view camera angle, and as the player's character moves left or right, the screen scrolls with them. These games make use of scrolling computer display technology. The move from single-screen or flip-screen graphics to scrolling graphics, during the golden age of video arcade games and during third-generation consoles, would prove to be a pivotal leap in game design, comparable to the move to 3D graphics during the fifth generation.
TwinBee is a vertical-scrolling shoot 'em up game originally released by Konami as an arcade game in 1985 in Japan. Along with Sega's Fantasy Zone, released a year later, TwinBee is credited as an early archetype of the "cute 'em up" type in its genre. It was the first game to run on Konami's Bubble System hardware. TwinBee was ported to the Family Computer and MSX in 1986 and has been included in numerous compilations released in later years. The original arcade game was released outside Japan for the first time in the Nintendo DS compilation Konami Classics Series: Arcade Hits. A mobile phone version was released for i-mode Japan phones in 2003 with edited graphics.
Galaxy Force is a 1988 third-person rail shooter arcade game developed and published by Sega. The player assumes control of a starship named the TRY-Z, as it must prevent the Fourth Empire from taking over the entire galaxy. Gameplay involves shooting down enemies using either a laser shot or a limited supply of heat-seeking missiles, all while avoiding collision with projectiles or obstacles and making sure the ship's energy meter doesn't fully deplete. It ran on the Sega Y Board arcade system.
Deathsmiles is a horizontal side scrolling shoot 'em up arcade game by Japanese developer Cave, released in late 2007. It is notable for its aesthetic style, featuring heavy occult and gothic influences. It is the second Cave shoot 'em up to be played using a horizontally-oriented monitor. It was the first Cave shooter released in North America on a console, and the first one in Europe. Cave has also released it for iOS. A sequel, Deathsmiles II, was released to Japanese arcades on May 14, 2009. A compilation of both Deathsmiles I and Deathsmiles II is set to release for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch in Japan on December 16, 2021.
Thunder Force VI is a 2008 horizontal-scrolling shooter video game developed and published for the PlayStation 2 by Sega. The game places the player in the role of a starship that must eradicate the Orn Faust empire before they destroy all of Earth. The player must complete each stage by shooting down enemies and avoiding collisions with them and their projectiles, using an arsenal of powerful weapons to destroy them. It is the sixth and final entry in the long-running Thunder Force video game franchise, and the only one to not be developed by series creator Technosoft.