aka: Arcade Archives: Raiden, Arcade Hits: Raiden, Raiden Densetsu, Raiden Trad, Super Raiden
Moby ID: 1317
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Description official descriptions

In the year 2090, Earth is invaded by extra-terrestrials. The World Alliance of Nations has developed a supersonic attack fighter, Raiden, to defend the Earth. A pilot must take control of the experimental fighter to destroy the alien warships that just happen to look like odd variations of typical military tanks and planes with gadgets attached to them.

Raiden (called Raiden Trad on the Genesis and SNES) is an over-head vertical-scrolling shooter, based on an arcade game of the same title. It features two forms of weapon upgrades and two types of missiles (normal or homing). You start the game with several bombs which you can use to destroy most enemies on the screen to get yourself out of a jam. Each level ends with a large boss or bosses.


  • アーケードアーカイブス 雷電 - Japanese PS4 / Switch spelling
  • 雷电 - Chinese spelling (simplified)
  • 雷電 - Japanese spelling
  • 雷電伝説 - Japanese SNES/Genesis/FM Towns spelling

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Credits (Genesis version)

8 People

  • Micronet CO.,LTD. 1991



Average score: 70% (based on 31 ratings)


Average score: 3.5 out of 5 (based on 55 ratings with 3 reviews)

Best home version of Raiden.

The Good
This is the best translation of Raiden available on any home system. In my opinion it is even superior to the arcade game. Some features on the Turbo Version actually look better than they do on the arcade game. Really beautiful graphics. It also controls very well and has a nice assortment of power ups.

It has better graphics than the Genesis version and controls better than the awful SNES version. It also offers a full screen view of the action instead of a narrowed field of view as on the Genesis.

As top down shooters go this one is excellent. Not the most original concept for a shooter, but it is extremely well executed; a refinement of the common formula of the time.

The Bad
There are a few annoying things about the game. Its incredibly difficult. And if I remember correctly when you beat the game you don't really get an ending with a sense of closure that explains the plot. You basically get a message in Engrish stating you beat the bad guys and your ship flies off into space? Huh? I don't mind games not having much of a story but I don't like it when you don't get a cool ending. That's a pet peave of mine.

The Bottom Line
Its a great overhead shooter for the Turbo Graphics 16. Blazing Lazers is better. There are actually a lot of these great shooters on the Turbo / PC Engine. Super Star Soldier and Tatsujin come to mind.

TurboGrafx-16 · by Majestic Lizard (670) · 2006

Oh, the humanity!

The Good
ARGH! Raiden is one of the worst shooters I have ever played. It's just so damn pointless! Aside from (maybe) the music, nothing will make me sit down and play this game to the end.

The Bad
Crappy controls, horribly slow gameplay, complete lack of intelligence in level design and no-brain gameplay in addition to ghastly graphics make this a truly bad game.

The Bottom Line
Don't play it, don't touch it, don't do anything - stay away from it!

DOS · by Tomer Gabel (4535) · 2000

Worst version of Raiden on any console.

The Good
Raiden, a top down shooter, was a decent arcade game that made up for its lack of originality with sharp graphics and good execution.

It was ported to several home systems, and surprisingly most who have played all of the them consider the SNES version to be the worst.

The Bad
It is inferior to the Turbo Grafx 16 port in every possible way. Graphics, control, sound, etc. The SNES version doesn't come close.

Although it is more colorful than the Genesis version, the sprites and backgrounds are not drawn as well in many places and the music and sound effects are much worse than the Genesis counterpart (in fact, they are terrible). Unlike the Genesis version, the SNES Raiden also suffers from slow down.

The game seems to have been developed in a hurry.

The Bottom Line
Its a decent shooter even though its not one of the better ones on the SNES. If you can buy it for less than $3.00 you might not feel that you wasted your money. Otherwise, I'd pass.

SNES · by Majestic Lizard (670) · 2006


1001 Video Games

The Arcade version of Raiden appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Cancelled versions

Ports to both Atari Falcon and Amiga were well underway, undertaken by Imagitec Design, but both were eventually scrapped. Unfinished versions have been circulating on the net and pirate BBSes for some time. Unlike most Raiden versions, these computer ports featured a "marquee" covering much of the screen, a move which had been out of fashion since the eighties, when it was often used to cover up the bad scrolling hardware of older computers.


In 1990 "Raiden" debuted on the arcades. The following years it was converted onto other platforms with some subtle differences.

  • In 1991 around the world except for USA, Mega Drive and FM Towns version was called "Raiden Densetsu" (Densetsu translates to "Legend"). Americans got the game titled "Raiden Trad" what is meaningless. The main difference in comparison to coin-up rendition is in the gameplay. In the original when you died, you could carry on without interruption from the point of your failure while MD/FM Towns versions returned you the "checkpoints" earlier in a stage.
  • MD/FM Towns version consists of the Fairy power-up. If this particular power-up was revealed and collected, when the player returned to the checkpoint after the loss of life, there were some extra weapon pick-ups dropped.
  • FM Towns version features two unique Competition Modes in which the player is given just one life with which to either score the maximum points on Stage 1 only, or get as far as possible into the whole game.
  • MD version has a Special Stage - a bonus level after the normal game's credits. After completing it, there was an announcement of another game by Micronet (people behind MD port of "Raiden") - "1991 Heavy Nova".
  • PC Engine version of the game was superior to the MD/FM Towns version mostly due to more vibrant graphics, it was suited with a full screen display without ugly status bar. It also contained some subtle modifications like different scenery under Stage 2's flyovers and the slightly altered behaviour of a couple of bosses. Similar to MD/FM Town it had checkpoint system.
  • PC Engine version also had a CD edition of the game called "Super Raiden". It was an enhanced PC Engine version which gave the game a CD soundtrack in the Japanese guitar-rock style, two all-new levels and brand-new end-sequence.
  • "Raiden Trad" for SNES was based on the source code of "Super Raiden" from PC Engine however it had many changes. There are some completely new stages, different layouts within the stages that are shared, different power-ups progression, different restart methods (no checkpoints), enemies and items put in different places.
  • After the sequel popularity, in 1994 Imagitec decided to come back to the original title and started working on "Raiden" for Jaguar, Amiga and PC. Although these three were based on the same source code it resulted in three quite different executions. The DOS version occupies the full width of the screen, with only minimal scrolling but offers the hapless player a choice between music or sound effects. The Jaguar version manages both at once.but has a massive status bar taking up a third of the screen. Amiga version, written for AGA machines only, employs a new and rather garrish palette and also reverts to having to choose between music or sound effects. The Amiga version, however, was never published - apart from one level demo given away on a coverdisk. Rumour has it the game was completed. The main characteristic of these three versions is that there is no rapid-fire option
  • Lynx version was vastly different from original coin-up rendition. Originally coded in 1994 it wasn't released until 1997. To make the sprites visible on the tiny display, the viewing area was extremely zoomed in and you ship (blue coloured - usually flown by the second player) has hardly any room to manoeuvre making life difficult. However the game was very easy due to maximum power-up pick up the player was given just at the beginning.

Gameplay facts

When you beat the arcade version of the game and cycle back to Stage 1, the music gets funked-up with some extra drums.


The game system in Raiden has often been compared to Toaplan's vertical shooters, and indeed Seibu Kaihatsu used Twin Cobra for research during the development of Raiden.


The original title of the game supposed to be "Rai Den" - two words meaning "thunder" and "lightning" in Japanese.

Two versions

Two versions were released - a 3.5" floppy disk version and a CD-ROM version which features over 42 minutes of CD audio music.

Information also contributed by Игги Друге


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Tomer Gabel.

PS Vita, PSP, PlayStation 3 added by Fred VT. TurboGrafx CD added by haynor666. PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch added by Rik Hideto. Arcade added by FatherJack. PlayStation added by firefang9212. TurboGrafx-16 added by RKL. FM Towns added by Sciere. Jaguar added by Servo. Lynx added by Игги Друге. Genesis, SNES added by Majestic Lizard.

Additional contributors: Terok Nor, Unicorn Lynx, Игги Друге, Garcia, mailmanppa, S Olafsson, Rik Hideto, FatherJack, firefang9212.

Game added April 12, 2000. Last modified July 16, 2024.