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Thunder Force II (Sega Genesis)

Console: Sega Genesis

Game: Thunder Force II

Genre: Shooter

(Techno Soft / Sega, 1989)

Can you help Ryder Jupiter and Diana Rean defeat Reficul, Emperor of Lone and bring peace back to Planet Nebula in this legendary Techno Soft top and side view shooter? 💫

Thunder Force II for the Sega Genesis
"Eighteen years ago the planet Nebula was attacked by the Lone Star System..."

As one of the earliest Sega Genesis titles in 1989 in North America, Thunder Force II from Techno Soft (aka Tecno Soft), helped usher in the 16-Bit revolution in North America with inter-stellar graphics, fast, frenetic gameplay, and an incredible soundtrack. Thunder Force II also acted as a bridge from the series’ PC origins to its stratospheric success moving forward on home consoles.

"You're Ryder Jupiter. Known as Ace to the Federation..."

Although Thunder Force II is not the first game in this illustrious series, and Thunder Force II itself is a port of the Sharp X68000 PC title that preceded it, it was however the first TF game to release on a Sega console (where the series would go on to flourish with two eventual sequels on the Genesis / Mega Drive, and also subsequent consoles with additional entires on the Sega Saturn, PlayStation, and more). For the many ardent Techno Soft fans around the globe, Thunder Force II would ultimately become the origin story of their Techno Soft fandom. This game is where it all started… (on Sega consoles at least!)

The game itself sees the player taking control of Ryder Jupiter and the super space jet 'Thunder Force II' through five levels (and a total nine stages) of galactic space fortress action:

Level 1: The Planet Nebula

Stage 1: The Skies Overhead

Stage 2: Inside of an Enemy Port

Level 2: The Underground City

Stage 3: Skyscrapers

Stage 4: Highway

Level 3: Deeper Inside the Planet

Stage 5: A Cave

Stage 6: Inside an Abandoned Pipe

Level 4: Ancient Ruins

Stage 7: Statues

Stage 8: Inside the Ruins

Level 5: The Ultimate Combat Weapon Fortress Plealos

Stage 9: The Final Confrontation

Synopsis: After eighteen years, Planet Nebula is under attack once again by 'The Lone Star System', lead by the nefarious Reficul, Emperor of Lone. It's up to Ryder to take down the The Lone Star's fortress, Plealos with the power of Thunder Force II and a molecular blast known as the Excelizer.

Thunder Force II contains both “Top View” stages, and “Horizontal Screen” stages. Each level in TF II contains a Top View stage, and a Horizontal Screen stage, with the exception of the final level which consists of one Top View mission.

"Go forth brave one, and free the entire Federation of Reficul forever."

With it’s bombastically futuristic chip-tunes, awesome stage and character designs, and fluid gameplay, Thunder Force II instantly caught the eye of new Genesis owners in 1989 enthralled with the new wonders of 16-Bit technology. What are your favorite memories with this early Genesis / Mega Drive classic?

Availability: Thunder Force II is available on the following platforms:

  • Sega Genesis / Mega Drive (also known as Thunder Force II MD)

  • Sega Saturn : Thunder Force Gold Pack 1 (Japan only release)

  • Nintendo Switch Online Membership + Expansion Pack: (included in the Sega Genesis app)

Thunder Force II on the Sega Saturn & Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack

*Bonus Stage: According to the instruction manual, if you hold 'A' while pressing 'Start' on the title screen, you'll be greeted with a 'Configuration Mode Screen', which contains difficulty settings, the number of lives used, a stage select, turbo, a sound test, and music tracks.


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1 Comment

Jordan Itkowitz
Jordan Itkowitz
Jan 21, 2022

a classic! first shooter I remember playing on the Genesis. pretty tough one too, especially the top-down sections - remember flying back and forth really fast because the camera didn't show you far ahead enough so that you wouldn't crash into a wall! they really blew the doors off with III though, the move to all side-scrolling was smart (and really let them show off the parallax and psychedelic b/g effects!)

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