R-Type III: The Third Lightning

SNES Specs [ all ]
(prices updated 9/25 11:44 PM )

Description official descriptions

The evil Bydo Empire returns in this entry of the R-Type series. So climb into the latest R-Type vessel, the R-90, and blast through six side-scrolling levels on your way to destroy the Bydo mothership.

Gameplay is still the classic R-Type way with huge levels and bosses. With your detachable laser unit, you can fire in front or behind your ship. R-Type III now features three different kinds of laser unit, selectable at the start of a game. Each offers different laser types depending on the power-ups collected.

Groups +


Credits (SNES version)

16 People (11 developers, 5 thanks)

Main Program / Stage (1, 4 & 6)
Program: Stage (2, 3 & 5) / Opening & Ending / Force Select
Sound Engineer
Tool Support
Graphic Design: Stage BG (1-5) / Boss (1, 2, 5 & 6) / Force Select BG
Graphic Design: Stage Obj. (1-5) / Boss (3-5)
Graphic Design: Stage BG (6) / Stage Obj. (1, 6) / Ending
Graphic Design: Title, R-9 Zero and System Graphics
Music Composition & Sound Effects
Special Thanks
Executive Producer
Directed by
Presented by
  • 1993 Irem Corp.



Average score: 76% (based on 28 ratings)


Average score: 3.2 out of 5 (based on 25 ratings with 1 reviews)

An excellent follow-up to Super R-Type

The Good
The third R-Type game, subtitled The Third Lightning, has the same game mechanics that made the first two games great. In six horizontally-scrolling levels, you have to destroy waves of enemies, and you deal with the end-of-level guardian at the end of each stage. You can use a combination of different weapon types and a powerful beam that wipes out anything in your path. Also, like the others, completing the game triggers an Advanced mode where you complete it again to get the true ending.

TTL refers to the third incarnation of the ship, the R-90 Ragnarok. This ship is equipped with three types of Force and multiple wave cannons. Of these, the Hyper Wave Cannon is an awesome weapon; a small burst emerges from the front of the R-90, causing explosive damage to anything within a short range. Replayability plays a role here; since you can’t change Forces mid-game, you have to play the game again with a different Force. Playing again also helps you memorize each attack.

The visual effects are quite impressive. In the first stage, some of the foreground objects will rotate and occasionally change direction. You have to avoid hitting these, being careful not to touch any flame jets. The end-of-level guardian in the same stage will often fly right toward the screen. If TTL makes use of 3-D glasses, then you would see him jump out at you. Phantom Cell, the fifth guardian, can morph into the other guardian from R-Type and R-Type II.

The sound is on par with Super R-Type; the heavy metal soundtrack is fantastic, and the effects when shooting and losing the life are basically the same as in the first two games. I like the remix of the first game’s guardian soundtrack when you are trying to defeat Phantom Cell. The victory music also sounds nice.

The Bad
There is nothing wrong with this game.

The Bottom Line
R-Type fanatics should get this game. It features the same style of gameplay and expands on it. The graphics, animations, and sound are great, and the way you have to complete the game twice is all the more reason to memorize each enemy attack pattern, as well as trying out the other types of Force available.

SNES · by Katakis | カタキス (43051) · 2022


Western version

In the Western version, the shots of the end boss of level 2 were coloured to look like eyeballs. In the original version, they could be remotely confused with sperm.


  • Electronic Gaming Monthly
    • November 1997 (Issue 100) - ranked #23 (Best 100 Games of All Time)
  • GameFan
    • 1994 (Vol. 3, Iss. 1) - Best SNES Shooter Game of the Year

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Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 12911


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Terok Nor.

Wii added by Corn Popper.

Additional contributors: Alaka, Big John WV, Patrick Bregger.

Game added April 21st, 2004. Last modified April 3rd, 2023.