Rolling Thunder (NES)
- For other games in the series, see Rolling Thunder.
Rolling Thunder is a port of the Namco action-platformer arcade game of the same name. It was ported to the NES by Arc System Works. It was released on the Famicom in Japan as a licensed game by Namco themselves, but when brought over to North America to the NES, it was released as an unlicensed title by Tengen.
In the game, the player takes the role of Agent Albatross, who must rescue Leila from the evil alien Maboo and his evil organization called Geldra. Not much more story is given than that, in fact, no story is presented in the game.
The player controls Albatross throughout the levels. He can get an SMG upgrade that allows him to fire faster with limited ammo. His primary weapon, a pistol, has unlimited shots. The game is made difficult by the fact Albatross can only sustain two hits (one if hit by a bullet). Albatross can jump both upwards onto higher areas and downward onto the lower areas by pressing Up + A and Up + B respectively. Each time a level is completed, a control room is shown with a cutscene of Leila struggling.
The NES version was praised by critics. However, the game has its share of flaws. For instance, you cannot control your jump in midair, which leaves you susceptible to enemies. Also, the bats later in the game are hard to hit, due to your inability to shoot up or at a diagonal angle.
The game also features a short numbered password system.
Capcom later made their own version of the game for the NES and titled it Code Name: Viper (NES). The story, graphics, and music were completely altered, but the gameplay remains identical. Arc also worked on this title.
Rolling Thunder has its music ported from the arcade game, which was composed by Junko Ozawa. Surprisingly, most of the arcade game's music is present here, the only exception being the name entry music.
The Famicom and NES version soundtracks differ greatly; the Famicom version uses the NAMCO163 expansion chip which results in much higher fidelity, and more closely resembles the arcade version. When carried over to the NES, the music had to be completely rearranged for the 2A03 only. Interestingly, this results in the first stage theme using many arpeggios, something not typically used by Japanese sound designers at the time. Another interesting thing to note is that the ending theme in the Famicom version is in G like the arcade, but the NES version pitches it up a whole step to the key of A. Some of the N163 data appears to be left in the NES version, but is not used due to its incompatibility. This was likely the result of lazy programming.
Someone at Arc, either Junya Kozakai or Atsuko Iwanaga, ported over Ozawa's music. It was most likely Iwanaga, as the drumlines and tempos resemble her style more. But verification should be made first. The driver used is from Arc System Works, in which we have received verification from Minoru Kidooka that he programmed.
The NES version starts with a 1 and the Japanese version starts with a 2.
The song titles were taken from Game Sound Museum ~Namcot Edition~ 10 Rolling Thunder.
|101||Round Start ~ Main Theme||Junko Ozawa||Unknown||Minoru Kidooka||3:24||Download|
|102||Round Demo||Junko Ozawa||Unknown||Minoru Kidooka||0:08||Download|
|103||Round Start ~ Doukutsu BGM||Junko Ozawa||Unknown||Minoru Kidooka||2:51||Download|
|104||Maboo BGM||Junko Ozawa||Unknown||Minoru Kidooka||0:48||Download|
|105||Congratulations||Junko Ozawa||Unknown||Minoru Kidooka||0:39||Download|
|106||Game Over||Junko Ozawa||Unknown||Minoru Kidooka||0:03||Download|
|201||Round Start ~ Main Theme||Junko Ozawa||Unknown||Minoru Kidooka||3:24||Download|
|202||Round Demo||Junko Ozawa||Unknown||Minoru Kidooka||0:08||Download|
|203||Round Start ~ Doukutsu BGM||Junko Ozawa||Unknown||Minoru Kidooka||2:51||Download|
|204||Maboo BGM||Junko Ozawa||Unknown||Minoru Kidooka||0:48||Download|
|205||Congratulations||Junko Ozawa||Unknown||Minoru Kidooka||0:39||Download|
|206||Game Over||Junko Ozawa||Unknown||Minoru Kidooka||0:03||Download|
- Ripper: MrNorbert1994
- Recorder: Doommaster1994
- Game Credits:
(Source: Game lacks credits.)
Like many games by Arc, the game lacks credits, as well as its arcade counterpart. Junko Ozawa has been identified by many official sources (including herself) as the composer of the arcade game.
Other Arc titles on the Famicom mostly credit Junya Kozakai and Atsuko Iwanaga (as well as Yasushi Kawasaki in some instances), and they are both highly possible to be the NES/Famicom arrangers. However, verification should be made. Because the music is taken from the arcade version, a music comparison isn't possible, but the sound effects may be used in other Arc games.
We have received verification from Minoru Kidooka that he programmed Arc's NES sound engine.
Ripping NES music is a very arduous process that is beyond the scope of this site.
- gamefaqs.gamespot.com/nes/587589-rolling-thunder - GameFAQs.
- mobygames.com/game/nes/rolling-thunder - MobyGames.
|Rolling Thunder||• • • • • • •|
|Rolling Thunder 2||•|
|Rolling Thunder 3|
|Notable Personnel||Junko Ozawa • Ayako Saso|
|Notable Companies||Namco • Tiertex|