Operation Thunderbolt

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Atari ST
ZX Spectrum
Amstrad CPC
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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.


Operation Thunderbolt Amstrad CPC A grenade is thrown at you
Operation Thunderbolt ZX Spectrum The first boss you come up against doesn't appear till level 4
Operation Thunderbolt Atari ST Hit ratio clearly shows I am more the machine gun guy
Operation Thunderbolt Amiga Mission 2

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Critic Reviews

Zzap! Commodore 64 Jan, 1990 92 out of 100 92
Crash! ZX Spectrum Dec, 1989 91 out of 100 91
HonestGamers Arcade Jun 24, 2008 9 out of 10 90
Atari ST User Atari ST May, 1992 82 out of 100 82
GamePro (US) SNES Jan, 1995 4 out of 5 80
ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) ZX Spectrum Feb, 1990 805 out of 1000 80
Power Play Arcade Jul, 1989 71 out of 100 71
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) Atari ST Mar, 1990 6.8 out of 12 57
Power Play Atari ST Apr, 1990 56 out of 100 56
Power Play Amiga Feb, 1990 56 out of 100 56


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The C64 version was written from scratch in 2 weeks. This is because two rookie programmers spent 6 months working on a version which was flawed from the start, using a hardware routine which made it look impressive but move very little. With no help from senior programmers, and an atmosphere of racial abuse, a quality product was never likely. Despite this, Zzap! magazine reviewed this first version, which was nowhere near completion, and gave it a very good review. One of the original programmers claimed that the review was bought in exchange for exclusive coverage of forthcoming Ocean games, but the reviewer in questions claims that he'd remember this if it were true.
Contributed to by Trypticon (10062), Martin Smith (63030), Dan K (167) and *Katakis* (37904)