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Operation Thunderbolt

MobyRank MobyScore
Atari ST
71
...
Amiga
77
3.4
ZX Spectrum
75
...
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Description

Operation Thunderbolt is the exciting sequel to Operation Wolf. An airliner is hijacked by terrorists en-route from Paris to Boston, who threaten to kill all hostages on board if their mates aren't released from jail. Instead of reaching its destination, the airliner makes a landing in Kalubya, Africa, and all the hostages are hidden in various locations. The authorities have asked the hero from Operation Wolf to rescue the hostages, but only this time, the hero brings his friend along for the ride.

There are eight missions to complete in Operation Thunderbolt, and each one has you shooting down soldiers, choppers, and tanks. The gameplay varies every one or two missions. In some missions, you are driving a jeep or controlling a boat, while in others, you are walking while you're shooting. You have a limited supply of ammo, and a limited supply of rocket bombs, but you can always stock up by shooting down crates falling from the sky, or by killing a cat or dog that get in the line of fire. Also from crates, you can get special items like bulletproof vests, rocket bombs, and different weapons.

You also have a life bar to worry about. If you're shot at by soldiers, or if rocket bombs or grenades are thrown at you, you 'll lose energy, and once you're energy is depleted, you lose one of your three lives. You can lose a lot of energy by killing hostages on purpose, and you can't easily avoid killing them if you decide to use rocket bombs to wipe out enemies. The eighth mission, the mission that involves you fighting terrorists on a plane, proves to be difficult because a woman in a blue dress stands up and gets in the line of fire, and you have to very careful when you're going to use rocket bombs.

There are two endings to this game, and which ending you can watch will depend on the number of hostages you've saved, and whether or not you shot the pilot instead of the mission eight boss.

Screenshots

Operation Thunderbolt SNES A resumed briefing of your chosen soldier.
Operation Thunderbolt ZX Spectrum This boss fires a barrage of missiles at you
Operation Thunderbolt Atari ST And it is effective, too
Operation Thunderbolt Amstrad CPC Title

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The Press Says

Zzap! Amiga Jan, 1990 97 out of 100 97
The One Amiga Jan, 1990 90 out of 100 90
Amiga Joker Amiga Feb, 1990 88 out of 100 88
The Games Machine (UK) Atari ST Apr, 1990 88 out of 100 88
Commodore Format Commodore 64 1992 83 out of 100 83
Atari ST User Atari ST May, 1992 82 out of 100 82
Your Commodore Commodore 64 1989 81 out of 100 81
GamePro (US) SNES Jan, 1995 4 out of 5 80
ST Format Atari ST Apr, 1990 73 out of 100 73
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) Commodore 64 Jul, 1990 3.2 out of 12 27

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Trivia

As well as the obvious 9/11 parallel of Arab terrorists hijacking planes, the plot is spookily close to the Lockerbie tragedy of 1988, in which Pan-Am flight 103 (just 1 number away from the plane in the game) was blown up over the Scottish town of Lockerbie. Lybian agents were responsible - which probably explains the change Black Wolf mentions.
Contributed to by Trypticon (8544), Martin Smith (63048), Dan K (167) and *Katakis* (37849)