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Thunder Force II is both a side scrolling and top down shooter. In the game you control a ship. In some stages the action is side scrolling and in others it is top down (overhead). The weapons systems is fairly basic. You can switch from shooting a more powerful weapon straight ahead or two less powerful guns shooting forward and backward simultaneously. There are various power-ups that improve your fire power.

In the top down levels you can only travel in cardinal directions and cannot maneuver around obstacles easily or slow down. The control in the side scrolling levels is reminiscent of R-Type or Gradius, but with more basic weapons systems. In future incarnations of the series the top down aspect would be abandoned.


Thunder Force II Genesis You are wished good luck before your mission begins
Thunder Force II Genesis crashing your ship
Thunder Force II Genesis Japanese title screen
Thunder Force II Genesis Title Screen

Promo Images

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Alternate Titles

  • "Thunder Force II MD" -- Japanese title
  • "サンダーフォースⅡMD" -- Japanese Mega Drive spelling

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

An experiment that didn't quite work out. Majestic Lizard (676) 3.2 Stars3.2 Stars3.2 Stars3.2 Stars3.2 Stars

Critic Reviews Jul 08, 2004 9 out of 10 90
Netjak Nov 19, 2002 8.2 out of 10 82
Mean Machines Oct, 1990 82 out of 100 82
VideoGame Apr, 1991 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) Nov, 1989 31 out of 40 78
Power Play Dec, 1989 71 out of 100 71
Megablast 1992 66 out of 100 66
Micro News May, 1990 2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars 50
SEGA-Mag (Objectif-SEGA) Aug 03, 2008 5 out of 10 50
HonestGamers Mar 15, 2011 3 out of 10 30


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Released in June 1989, Thunder Force II MD was the very first third-party game released for the Mega Drive in Japan, eight months after the system's initial launch.


  • Electronic Gaming Monthly


    In the Sharp X68000 version of the game, after losing your last life, the game will exclaim "Shit!" in frustration. This was not carried over to the Genesis/Mega Drive versions.
    Majestic Lizard (676) added Thunder Force II (Genesis) on Sep 25, 2006
    Other platforms contributed by Terok Nor (27280)