It is a rare occurrence when a home console game makes its way to the video arcade, but that is what happened with the horizontal- scrolling shooter Thunder Force. Like a reverse chain of events, in the literary world it would be equivalent to a book being based on a film!

When the original Sega Genesis version of Thunder Force III was released in 1990, it garnered much praise and became an immediate hit. Even almost three decades later, it is still recognized as one of the best shoot ‘em ups (SHMUPS) ever designed, boasting beautiful graphics with extensive use of parallax scrolling, as well as fast and furious gameplay.

The developer of the original Genesis version, Technosoft, co-produced Sega’s System C2 arcade hardware, and built it “on top” of the Sega console, keeping the same CPU, sound and graphic processors. The color palette was improved, increasing the palette from 512 to 4096 possible colors, but other than that there are few technical differences between the two.

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Michael Thomasson Michael Thomasson (63 Posts)

Michael Thomasson is one of the most widely respected videogame historians in the field today. He currently teaches college level videogame history, design, and graphics courses. For television, Michael conducted research for MTV's videogame related program Video MODS. In print, he authored Downright Bizarre Games, and has contributed to nearly a dozen gaming texts. Michael’s historical columns have been distributed in newspapers and magazines worldwide. He has written business plans for several vendors and managed a dozen game-related retail stores spanning three decades. Michael consults for multiple video game and computer museums and has worked on nearly a hundred game titles on Atari, Coleco, Sega and other console platforms. In 2014, The Guinness Book of World Records declared that Thomasson had “The Largest Videogame Collection” in the world. His businesses sponsor gaming tradeshows and expos across the US and Canada.  Visit