Thunder Force 3 for the Sega Genesis (or Mega Drive) is a horizontal scrolling shooter game developed in 1990 by Technosoft. It is the third chapter in the Thunder Force series. Thunder Force 1 and 2 utilized multiple stage formats, including horizontal scrolling and top down free roaming mechanic. Thunder Force 3 eliminated the free roaming mechanics in favor of completely horizontal scrolling levels. This style of game play was carried forward into the 4th installment as well.
Thunder Force 3 takes place 100 years after the original game and immediately after part 2. The galaxy federation has not been successful in their battles with the ORN Empire. In an effort to conceal their headquarters, ORN has placed cloaking systems on 5 planets in their space territory. On top of the cloaking device, ORN has implemented a defense system named Cerberus. Cerberus was designed to neutralize large ships and fleets. In an effort to counter Cerberus, the Galaxy Federation built a craft small enough to avoid detection, yet cary the firepower of a large star fighter.
At the start of the game, the player is allowed to choose which of the 5 planets they would like to start on. Once the 5 planets are completed, the player continues on for 3 more stages placed in the ORN headquarters.
The weapon system includes the default Twin Shot and Back Shot (both carried forward from thunder force 2) as well as new thunder force 3 weapons. Along with this, there are weapon upgrades to collect as well as CLAWs, which act as supporting ships that fire the same weapons as the main ship.
The ship also has a speed setting which can be increased and decreased as needed to help better navigate the various stage layouts.
The game features excellent graphics and sprites. The game utilizes super smooth parallax scrolling and an excellent soundtrack to really bring you into the action. Levels are filled with interesting enemies and many huge bosses to bring the levels to a close.
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