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Rolling Thunder
Box artwork for Rolling Thunder.
Japanese titleローリングサンダー
NES icon.png
Release date(s)
Genre(s)Run and gun
System(s)Arcade, Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore Amiga, NES
Followed byRolling Thunder 2
SeriesRolling Thunder
Neoseeker Related Pages
TwitchRolling Thunder Channel
YouTube GamingRolling Thunder Channel
This is the first game in the Rolling Thunder series. For other games in the series see the Rolling Thunder category.
Rolling Thunder marquee

Rolling Thunder is a run and gun arcade game that was released by Namco in 1986 and licensed to Atari Games for US manufacture and distribution. It runs upon Namco System 86 hardware, and was later converted for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, the Commodore 64, the Amstrad CPC, the Atari ST, the Commodore 64, and the Nintendo Family Computer. It was also featured in Namco Museum Encore.

The player takes control of "Albatross", a member of the WCPO's (World Crime Police Organization) "Rolling Thunder" espionage unit. Albatross's mission is to save a missing female agent named Leila Blitz from a secret society named Geldra located in New York City. Albatross must travel through two different segments or "stories", both comprised of five stages, for a total of ten game stages. On each stage, Albatross can enter doors, to hide and take cover from enemies, as well jump over to higher or lower floors with rails, including stairs. Albatross begins this game armed with a standard-issue pistol, which can be substituted with a fully automatic assault rifle that allows for continuous firing by holding down the firing button. Albatross can gain ammunition for either weapon, by entering doors which are marked "bullets" or "arms". Despite the presence of a life meter, Albatross can only take two physical hits from the enemy: a single hit drains half of the meter, and he will be killed instantly when struck by a projectile attack such as enemy bullets or lasers. (However, all bullets can be blocked by your own).

This is the first game in the Rolling Thunder trilogy. It was followed by two sequels: Rolling Thunder 2 (1990) and Rolling Thunder 3 (Sega Genesis, 1993). The Sega game of Shinobi (1987) and the SunA Electronics game of Rough Ranger (1988), along with the Taito Corporation game Crime City (1989), also feature similar gameplay to this series, except that they were all released before the second one.


It’s 1968 in New York. An unknown man calling himself "Mabu" appears and performs many miracles in front of people. Eventually, he introduces himself as savior of the world. However, his true identity is the leader of a secret organization known as "Geldra" which is plotting world domination. Interpol realizes Geldra’s global ambitions, and tasks the WCPO (World Crime Police Organization) to assign a spy with a mission to explore their ranks. Agent Leila is sent, sneaks into their organization, and obtains crucial information, but is ultimately caught. If she is not rescued, the truth about Geldra’s existence and their plans for domination will be lost. Faced with calamity, WCPO decides to send their most powerful agent. The man's code name is "Albatross” a member of team, "Rolling Thunder". In order rescue Leila and prevent Geldra from executing their plan for world domination, he disappears into the darkness alone...


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