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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.


Raiden Genesis Main menu
Raiden Genesis Explosion
Raiden Genesis Firing a spread of bullets.
Raiden Genesis Up against an enemy craft

Promo Images

Raiden Screenshot
Raiden Screenshot
Raiden Screenshot
Raiden Magazine Advertisement

Alternate Titles

  • "雷電伝説" -- Japanese SNES/Genesis/FM Towns spelling
  • "アーケードアーカイブス 雷電" -- Japanese PS4 / Switch spelling
  • "雷電" -- Japanese spelling
  • "雷电" -- Chinese spelling (simplified)
  • "Super Raiden" -- PC Engine CD title
  • "Raiden Trad" -- SNES/Genesis title
  • "Raiden Densetsu" -- Japanese SNES/Genesis/FM Towns title
  • "Arcade Hits: Raiden" -- PlayStation title
  • "Arcade Archives: Raiden" -- Japanese PS4 / Switch title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

There are no reviews for the Genesis release of this game. You can use the links below to write your own review or read reviews for the other platforms of this game.

Critic Reviews

The Video Game Critic Feb 18, 2010 A 100
Mega Play Magazine Sep, 1991 33 out of 40 82
Mean Machines Jan, 1991 81 out of 100 81
GamePro (US) Nov, 1991 4 out of 5 80
Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) Oct, 1991 29 out of 40 72
Consoles Plus Sep, 1991 67 out of 100 67
Power Play Nov, 1991 56 out of 100 56
HonestGamers (Staff reviews only) Mar 11, 2021 2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars 50
Sega-16.com Jun 26, 2006 5 out of 10 50


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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
Majestic Lizard (676) added Raiden (Genesis) on Nov 17, 2006
Other platforms contributed by Fred VT (25906), haynor666 (6125), Rik Hideto (472643), FatherJack (62719), firefang9212 (78970), RKL (5732), Sciere (831514), Servo (57351), Игги Друге (46308), Tomer Gabel (4634) and Majestic Lizard (676)
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