[[quoteright:254:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tfiv.jpg]]
--> [[{{Engrish}} ''Legend of Wings continue.'']]

A ShootEmUp series by Technosoft, which started with an obscure Japanese computer title in 1983 as a multi-direction overhead view shooter. It eventually become a side-scrolling shooter in the third installment, famous for its loads of [[AwesomeMusic/ThunderForce Awesome Music]].

The ExcusePlot puts player in shoes of the [[HumanAlien Galaxy]] [[TheFederation Federation]]'s [[OneManArmy pilot]] in the ''[[SuperPrototype Fire Leo]]'' starfighter against the overwhelming cybernetic [[TheEmpire ORN Empire]]. ''Thunder Force V'' [[AndNowForSomeoneCompletelyDifferent changes the focus to Earth]] when Earthmen discover the wreck of ''Thunder Force IV'''s Fire Leo (Rynex) and reverse engineer it. The Guardian, an AI designed to study Vasteel (as Rynex comes to be known), however, goes haywire on humanity, but not before they create their ''own'' Vasteel starfighter. ''Thunder Force V'' is also known for having more story than the previous games, which ties together the events of ''IV.'' The sixth installment was trapped in DevelopmentHell for a decade, but eventually released.
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The ''Thunder Force'' series spans six games:
* ''Thunder Force'' (A variety of PC platforms, 1983) -- The first game in the series, and the least well-known. Comprised entirely of overhead stages.
* ''Thunder Force II'' (Sharp X68000, 1988) -- Alternates between overhead sections and side-scrolling sections. Rereleased on the Genesis as ''Thunder Force II MD'', with one less overhead-sidescroller pair and more balanced difficulty. ''MD'' itself was ported to Saturn via ''Thunder Force Gold Pack 1''.
* ''Thunder Force III'' (Genesis/MD, 1990) -- Completely does away with overhead sections. Ported to the Saturn via ''Gold Pack 1''.
** ''Thunder Force AC'' (Arcade, 1990) -- An arcade port of ''III'' (unusual in that ports generally go from arcade to console and not the other way around), but with altered 4th and 5th stages. Ported to the Saturn via ''Thunder Force Gold Pack 2'', with an autofire feature that was not present in the original version.
** ''Thunder Spirits'' (SNES, 1992) -- A SNES port of ''AC'' (making it a ''port of a port''), with a new stage 5 and stage 8. The least-known of the three versions of ''TFIII'', despite being on the most popular platform of the three platforms it appeared on.
* ''Thunder Force IV'' (Genesis/MD, 1992) -- Released as ''Lightening ''(sic)'' Force: [[MarketBasedTitle Quest for the Darkstar]]'' in North America. Ported to the Saturn via ''Gold Pack 2'', with less slowdown and ''III''[='=]s player ship as an unlockable ship.
* ''Thunder Force V'' (Saturn, 1997) -- The first game in the series with three-dimensional graphics, and introduces the [[LimitBreak Over Weapon]] system. Ported to the {{PlayStation}} as ''Thunder Force V: Perfect System'', with less slowdown (but reduced visuals) and some {{omake}} content.
* ''Thunder Force VI'' ([=PlayStation 2=], 2008) -- A whopping 11 years after the initial release of ''V'' and one failed attempt to bring it to the Dreamcast. Due to the low quality-to-anticipation ratio, it was not well received.

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!!The ''Thunder Force'' series contains examples of:

* AIIsACrapshoot : Main plot of ''V''. Humanity built a super computer named Guardian to study the wreckage of Rynex, the 4th game's Fire Leo. It then built a large fleet of starships based on the data. Then Guardian's AI damper program mysteriously disappeared and it turned against humanity with said fleet. [[spoiler: Subverted. Guardian is still loyal to humanity. Faust (the BigBad from the previous game) escaped its destruction by transferring its program to Rynex, which deleted the AI damper after Guardian accessed its history logs. In the end Guardian reveals that it helped humanity by purposefully spreading its forces thin and leaving critical flaws in its tactics, allowing the protagonist, Cenes Crawford to destroy the fleet.]]
* AlwaysAccurateAttack: The Free Range in ''V'' worked like this- anything entering the green wireframe area would be in for a world of (unavoidable) hurt.
* ArtificialHuman : Cenes Crawford, PlayerCharacter of ''V'' is actually a clone of a dead AcePilot. Same as C [=CTNs=] C of ''VI''.
* AttackDrone: The [=CLAWs=] for the Fire Leo series.
* AwesomeButImpractical: In ''V'' and ''VI'' you can make your ship do rolls. It does nothing but [[RuleOfCool look stylish]]
* BattleshipRaid : The Cerberus in ''III'' and ''VI''
* BigBad: Faust is a pretty impressive one. After harassing TheFederation for two games, we've finally blown it up in the third. Only to find its program was transferred to a secondary system in the fourth. And even reveal to be the [[spoiler: one behind Guardian's rampage in fifth.]]
* BittersweetEnding: ''Thunder Force IV'' has [[spoiler: the Rynex being crippled in the escape from the explosion following the defeat of Faust and being abandoned to drift in space, while the scientists of the Galactic Federation admit that sending it in the first place was a mistake in and of itself. It also hints at its incipient return. Yet they still have hope for humanity's future.]]
** The "Good" Ending in ''VI'' made the ending of ''IV'' more sweet than bitter[[spoiler:, hinting that the crew of Rynex not only was rescued by people of Earth but also found them to be sympathetic enough to warrant further contact]].
** ''V'' has [[spoiler: Cenes Crawford, pilot of the Gauntlet/Vambrace learn that the Guardian was on Earth's side all along, and that it did what it could to help her fight Faust who was behind the corruption. Cenes destroys herself and the Vambrace so that another incident like that can not happen again. As it turns out in ''VI'', however, ORN Empire ends up finding its way to Earth, forcing Earth to resurrect Vasteel technology.]]
* BlindIdiotTranslation: Many, many examples.
** "This is Exceliza, I want to fly now!"
** "Mission accomplished. I'll be right back."
** The boss subname for A3 in ''V'' is often accused of this because it sounds odd at first ("It died three times, and was reborn twice"), [[FridgeBrilliance until the player realizes A3 transforms into three different modes during the fight]].
* BoringButPractical: Twin Shot and Back Fire, the only weapons you don't lose when you die.
* BossSubtitles: ''V'' and ''VI''.
* BossWarningSiren:
** In ''II'', a siren plays when encoutnering a midboss in a horizontal-scrolling segment. A lower-pitched one plays when facing the stage's endboss.
** In ''III'', bosses are preceded by a siren and the word "EMERGENCY" scrolling across the bottom of the screen.
** In ''IV'', a siren sounds when a boss battle is about to begin.
** In ''V'': "ALERT! The enemy is (approaching fast) / (dead ahead)! Code Name: - ".
** In ''VI'', you get a siren and your ship's computer alerting of the boss in [[GratuitousForeignLanguage Tan]][[ClassicalTongue gut]], followed by the name and description of the boss, both in English and Mongolian.
* BreakThemByTalking: In the "Bad" Ending of ''VI'', a message from ORN Faust is played calling for Earth's surrender. It contains many parallels with Guardian's Last Message in ''V'', albeit using bleaker analogies to make its points.
* ConvectionSchmonvection: The fire planet levels throughout the series.
* CoolStarship: The Fire-Leo series for the Galactic Federation and the RVR series for Earth.
* CrosshairAware: The Sky Raid stage in ''IV''
* DeathIsASlapOnTheWrist: The default ship in ''VI'' doesn't lose its weapons when you die.
* EveryTenThousandPoints: The series is known for cranking out tons of extends.
* EvilCounterpart : [[spoiler:The Vasteel Original (the Rynex) in ''V'' and Vasteel Nocht in ''VI''.]]
* ExcusePlot: Most of the series, though it starts getting elaborated upon starting with ''IV''
* FallenHero: The player's ship in ''IV'', "Rynex", comes back in ''V'' as a SequentialBoss that you have to fight against and destroy.
* FanSequel: ''Broken Thunder'', released after ''V'' and before ''VI''. The good news: Hyakutaro Tsukumo worked on the soundtrack. The bad news: It was so ill-received that it is theorized that Tsukumo's involvement with it was why he was left out of ''Thunder Force VI''[='=]s soundtrack.
* FetusTerrible: The ORN Emperor in ''VI'' is an extremely ugly and monstrous infant with 3 eyes and varying number of irises in each of them. Apparently, the design was lifted from a character from a manga the project director had once drawn.
* FinalBossPreview: ''IV'' had Versus at the end of the BattleshipRaid level. Your team of ships try to destroy it and get their asses completely handed to them, forcing the remaining members of your squad to resort in giving you the MidSeasonUpgrade. Thankfully, you get your revenge in the final level.
* ForMassiveDamage: Many of the bosses in the series requires you to strike a weakpoint
* GenreShift: Across two games; ''Thunder Force II'' adds some side-scrolling areas to go with ''[=TF1=]''-style overhead areas, and ''Thunder Force III'' does away with overhead areas completely.
* GratuitousForeignLanguage: ''Two'' in ''Thunder Force VI''--an obscure and obsolete offshoot of Chinese called Tangut, and Mongolian.
* HarderThanHard: "Very Hard" in ''Thunder Force II'' for the Sharp X68000, "Mania" in ''III'', and "Maniac" in ''IV'' and ''VI''.
* HardLevelsEasyBosses: Many bosses in ''III'' die within seconds of exposure to your weapons, especially the [[GameBreaker Sever]]. In contrast, the stages themselves have many deathtraps that demand twitch reflexes and ''VideoGame/{{R-Type}}''-style memorization.
* {{Homage}}: Some of the boss names in ''Thunder Force V'': DeepPurple, Music/IronMaiden, and A3 (for Alabama 3).
* HopelessBossFight: Versus for stage 5 in ''Thunder Force IV''
* ILetYouWin: [[spoiler: The Guardian]] in ''Thunder Force V.'' Cenes Crawford [[spoiler:in her last message]] even lampshades this by stating that had it not done so, the odds of ''just surviving'' those battles wasn't even in single digits.
* InsignificantLittleBluePlanet: Averted in ''VI'', with Earth forces acting as TheCavalry for the Galaxy Federation.
* InternalHomage: ''Thunder Force VI'' has many references to past games in the series. [[TropesAreNotGood Perhaps too many.]]
* ItsUpToYou : ORN's forces are so much greater than the Galaxy Federation's that if the Fire Leo fails, their regular forces won't stand a chance.
** Subverted in ''IV'' where other Galactic Federation fighters team up with you to take on the Cerberus battleship before the trope gets played straight in the boss fight immediately following and for the rest of the game.
** Subverted in ''V'' in that your character leads a squad of RVR-01 Gauntlets (named "Thunder Force", incidentally). Played straight later on as only the [[PlayerCharacter protagonist]] [[SoleSurvivor survives]] the battle at Babel.
* JustifiedExtraLives : ''Thunder Force V'' explained it as a cloning system called "Circulate Death"
* {{Leitmotif}}: ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkC3kY0TdoM And the Wind Blew All Day Long]]'' for Styx, ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VzLxWBho-8 Lightning Strikes Again]]'' for Rynex, and ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mL3Aq5hmqjE Beginning of War]]'' for Vambrace.
* LethalLavaLand: The fire planet levels throughout the series.
* LuckilyMyShieldWillProtectMe
* MechaExpansionPack : Brigadine booster for Gauntlet and Vasteel Original's own much-bigger and much-more-bizarre add-ons in V; in VI, Vasteel Nocht would "mimic" player ships from previous instalments this way as well.
* MidSeasonUpgrade : The player's RVR-01 Gauntlet upgrades to the RVR-02 Vambrace in ''V'', which has superior weapons. As well as the [[MechaExpansionPack Brigandine module]], a [[SwordOfPlotAdvancement super durable part that supplys unlimited use]] of SecondaryFire. Although the Brigandine [[TooCoolToLive only lasts for one stage]].
** Occurs again in ''VI''. If player chooses the Phoenix fighter, it will become the Syrinx in last stage. For Brigandine, it [[DemotedToExtra only appear in intro movie]].
** Also happens in ''IV'' where the Rynex starts off functionally similar to the Styx, but at the halfway point it gets fitted with the [[WaveMotionGun Thunder Sword]] and gains spherical CLAW drones that serve as capacitors for the Thunder Sword.
* MultipleEndings: ''IV'' just changes what song plays during the ending depending on the difficulty, but ''V'''s ending is decided by whether you beat the final boss fast enough, and ''VI'' has three endings depending on what ship and difficulty you chose and whether you used a continue.
* NintendoHard: ''Thunder Force II''. Especially the X68000 version.
* NoExportForYou: ''Thunder Force'' and ''Thunder Force VI''.
* OneHitPointWonder
* OneWingedAngel: Gargoyle Perfect in ''VI''
* PlayerMooks: You can unlock the Rynex-R, the main fighter of the Galactic Federation, in ''VI''.
* PrecisionFStrike: In ''Thunder Force II'', when you lose your last life, the robo-voice exclaims "Shit!".
* RaisingTheSteaks: [[ShoutOut Iron Maiden]] from ''V'' is an undead animal of sorts (complete with flies, rotting flesh and blood). Its description? "It was dead, but alive at the same time".
* RealTimeWeaponChange
* RecurringBossTemplate: Gargoyle starting with ''III'', and ORN Faust in ''VI''. In addition, the Gaia Beast from the second game's third horizontal stage comes back as Dust Egg, the seventh boss of the fourth game. The main difference is that Dust Egg has a second, ''much'' more active phase where it rises up on some sort of tendril and lunges all over the place.
* RedshirtArmy: The Galactic Federation in ''IV'' and ''VI''
* RoboSpeak: Any time you collect a weapon power-up.
* {{Roboteching}}: The [[MacrossMissileMassacre Hunter]] weapon. Your ship shoots out blue energy balls of doom that home in on the enemies.
* SequelFirst: The series didn't start getting released outside Japan until ''II''
* SequentialBoss: Many of them. Of note is Armed Armament Arm from ''V'', who has three different forms. Same applies to UNKNOWN II, the FinalBoss (effectively [[spoiler: a FusionDance of the Faust and Guardian AIs. With [[BigBad Faust]] in charge]]).
* SingleBiomePlanet : The sole exception is ''V'' which occurs on Earth. The ocean planet in ''VI'' is justified, it's post-global warming world and you will get pass the submerged city at one point. The jungle is really an abandoned space colony, with overgrowth forest took over residental area.
* SpaceZone: ''VI'' plays with this by having the background move around with no effect on gameplay at times.
* SuperTitle64Advance: The PlayStation port of ''Thunder Force V'' was called ''Thunder Force V: '''P'''erfect '''S'''ystem''.
* SurprisinglyGoodEnglish: All the English in ''V'' was there in the Japanese version as well. It kinda explains why the Guardian sounds slightly "off" compared to a native speaker.
* ThemeNaming: The ship names: Styx, Rynex, Syrinx as well as the Gauntlet, Vambrace and Brigandine
* TransformingMecha : A3 ([[FunWithAcronyms Armament Armed Arm]]) and Guardian's Knight from ''V'' and B3 (Barbaric Berserk Beast) from ''VI''
* UnstableEquilibrium: From ''III'' onwards, dying takes away your current weapon. This can lead to situations in which you [[TooAwesomeToUse avoid using the most effective weapon for the situation, lest you die and lose it]].
* VideoGame3DLeap: As a presentation upgrade starting with ''V''
* VideoGameLives
* WaveMotionGun : The Rynex's Thunder Sword
* [[BigWhat What?]]: The name of the BGM for the second half of Stage 1.
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