Operation Thunderbolt

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Atari ST
ZX Spectrum
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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 Atari ST Intro
Operation Thunderbolt SNES Some rebels executing a double frontal attack against Shin: successfully he kills one of them.
Operation Thunderbolt SNES The next target for Erica: a single barricade formed by some rebels and a reinforced tank.
Operation Thunderbolt Atari ST Overall mission is quite simple

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Critic Reviews

Zzap! Amiga Jan, 1990 97 out of 100 97
The One Amiga Jan, 1990 90 out of 100 90
HonestGamers Arcade Jun 24, 2008 9 out of 10 90
The Games Machine (UK) Atari ST Apr, 1990 88 out of 100 88
Zero Atari ST May, 1990 84 out of 100 84
Atari ST User Atari ST May, 1992 82 out of 100 82
ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) ZX Spectrum Mar, 1990 725 out of 1000 72
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) Atari ST Mar, 1990 6.8 out of 12 57
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Commodore 64 1990 52 out of 100 52
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) Commodore 64 Jul, 1990 3.2 out of 12 27


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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 (9986), Martin Smith (63031), Dan K (167) and *Katakis* (37902)