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aka: Thexder 88
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Description official descriptions

A platform shooter from Japan, Thexder offers many levels and diverse enemies that gradually increase in difficulty. You pilot a Battletech-style robot capable of switching from a mech into a jet at any time. Your weapon auto-aims, but uses up a fixed amount of rechargeable energy; if you run out of this energy, you'll have to wait a few seconds before you can fire again. Your mech also contains a shield that can be activated to protect you from harm, but this lasts for a few seconds and uses up some of your life energy.


  • テグザー - Japanese spelling

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Credits (PC-88 version)

14 People (7 developers, 7 thanks)

Game Design
Art Director
Opening Music: Thexder
Ending Music: Moon Light Sonata
Presented by
  • Game Arts Co. Ltd.



Average score: 59% (based on 14 ratings)


Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 71 ratings with 7 reviews)

An Addictive Fighting Mech Platformer

The Good
Thexder was an absolutely awesome game when it was released in 1987. I would race home from school to jump on my Tandy and shoot a few aliens with my morphing mech. The whole goal of the game was to get through as many levels as possible until you met the mega-alien at the end.

The Bad
The graphics in the game looked absolutely awesome on the Tandy. Although it was only 16 colors, it somehow seemed to fit the game. However, when the game is run on today's computers, the high resolution of today's monitors force dithering and the graphics don't look quite as good as they once did.

The Bottom Line
Although the graphics aren't quite as pretty today, Thexder still stands the test of time. It's a fun game and still an absolute classic.

DOS · by Toadstool (54) · 2000

The first true Arcade game on the PC

The Good
When I first loaded Thexder, I was blow away. I had never seen anything like it on a PC. Its EGA colors and fast, smooth action showed me that the PC could be a good machine for arcade games when properly programed.

The game also tested you mind, as many areas required you to solve puzzles to move on.

**The Bad**
I disliked the sequel.

**The Bottom Line**
One of the classic PC games that should be remembered.

DOS · by Tony Van (2804) · 2000

An instant classic, Thexder provided fast, continuous, and very challenging gameplay.

The Good
Graphics: The game looked beautiful on the Tandy 1000 platform compared to other games of its time. Enemies were well-animated, and no slowdown whatsoever was ever apparent, even when the screen was filled with enemies (on an 8 MHz Tandy 1000 TX)

Music/Sound: The sound effects were very simplistic, but on par with anything of its time on the PC platform. The music, on the Tandy, although consisting of only two scores, was done exceptionally well.

The gameplay was very uniquely challanging, and the environments were varied (environment types changed every 3-4 sets of levels) - from caves to metallic futuristic-type looking levels. The environment changes kept the player looking forward to the next set of levels.

The Bad
No ending sequence - the game simply restarts at level 2. After all of that hard work, no reward!

The lack of the ability to use a second joystick buton for the shield activation - accidental double-clicking of the fire button would activate the shield when its use was not desired.

The Bottom Line
My favorite "old school" game of all time, Thexder is a two-dimensional side-scrolling game that places the player in control of a "Transformer"-like robot. The player must must battle his way through different levels, each of which are structured in a manner that allows each level to be completed slowly and strategically. A very difficult game, because it does not allow for saving games, but if you have time on your hands, it is a challenge worth exploring. Should be played on a Tandy 1000 series machine, if possible.

DOS · by Ayodeji Oshinnaiye (3) · 2000

[ View all 7 player reviews ]



Like all Game Arts games republished by Sierra, Thexder uses 640x200 graphics in EGA to its advantage by simulating 64 colors via dithering.


The title theme for the game was Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata.


Because this game used a tile-based playfield, it ran very smoothly, even on low-powered machines. Only the tiles that changed needed to be redrawn, resulting in scrolling that was quick, even for a 4.77MHz machine.

Tandy 1000

Thexder was one of the few games that really excelled on a Tandy 1000. The game ran at 320x200 16 colors. (the Tandy wasn't quite as flexible as an EGA) and in this video mode it seemed to look cleaner and more vibrant. Also the music sounded great on the TI sound chip in the Tandy.

Information also contributed by John Hood and Tony Van

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Trixter.

PC-8000, Sharp MZ-80B/2000/2500 added by Infernos. Sharp X1 added by Kabushi. MSX added by Martin Smith. FM-7, PC-98, PC-88 added by Terok Nor. Apple II, TRS-80 CoCo, NES, Amiga added by Servo. Macintosh, Apple IIgs added by Игги Друге.

Additional contributors: Alaka, Fred VT, Infernos.

Game added March 1st, 1999. Last modified August 17th, 2023.