Thunder Cross is a horizontally scrolling shoot 'em up arcade game released in arcades by Konami in 1988. Thunder Cross used a "layered scrolling" background, a new 2D graphics technique at the time. It was later featured as part of the Oretachi Geesen budget line-up on the PlayStation 2 in Japan, and spawned a sequel, Thunder Cross II.


Taking place in the future of space colonization, the planet Haniamu IV is under attack from a relentless, unknown military force known only as Black Impulse. The strongest Earth ships capable of stopping the total conquering of the planet are the Blue Thunder M-45 and its earlier make the Red Thunder M-24.


Thunder Cross is a classic horizontal shooter with 7 stages. Players control the Thunder fighter with up to four "options", which arrange up and down vertically and attack at the player's will.

Your ship can collect up to 4 options. In the US version, you start with two of them already. I won't comment on what this says about US gamers' skills... You may also choose between 3 different weapons : Vulcan (rapid-fire), Boomerang (bouncy bullets) and Tail Gun (shoots backwards and forwards).

In the US version, also there it's a smart bomb (called, bizarrely, "Li'l Baby") which destroys everything on screen. In the European and Japanese versions it is used to adjust the separation of your multiples, which adds a nice strategic touch.


Stage 1: First Attack

Stage 2: Skyscraper City

Stage 3: Machine Graveyard

Stage 4: Great Battleship

Stage 5: Endless Labyrinth

Stage 6: Fire Cavern

Stage 7: Final Base


There are at least three distinct versions : Japanese, US and European. Oddly, the US and Japanese versions have a different level order as well as the weaponry mentioned above.

Relation with Gradius

  • Emon 5 got his BGM pack from Thunder Cross series, and inside the BGM pack musics from this game is also included. Also, some themes from Space Manbow are featured, like:
  • "Great Battleship", "First Attack", "Sky Walker" and "Final Base" from Thunder Cross.
  • "Rise in Arms", "Heavy Metal Bomber" and "Dogfight III" from Thunder Cross II.
  • "Battleship" and "Aquarium" from Space Manbow.


  • Thunder Cross is one of the names in Latvian for Swastika.
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