In the murky bars and filthy back alleys that the scum of society call home, a chant is whispered in dread from lip to lip: "Mabu is coming! Mabu arises to conquer the world!"
The old bag lady, pushing her meager worldly belongings in a broken-down cart, cannot help hearing these strange words again and again. Her bent frame straightens imperceptibly and her heartbeat pounds in her ears. She must find out more!
In the next few weeks, from the ravings of drunkards and slurrings of the down-trodden, she manages to piece together a picture beyond belief. Mabu is the leader of the mysterious Evil Society, whose charter is nothing short of world domination. Mabu himself is quite inhuman, an alien with supernatural powers. And his plans for the conquest of Earth are soon to be set in motion. Though the rest of her information seems jumbled, one piece proved invaluably concrete: The location of the entrance to the conspirators' underground lair. With surprisingly youthful fingers, she reaches into her trash and pulls out a piece of hardware which no bag lady should own: a miniaturized radio transponder.
Speaking into the mouthpiece, she begins, "Agent Leila to Rolling Thunder..." As she continues with her report, her training fails her. She does not see the shadowy figures that silently approach her. Nor does she feel the blow that crashes her world into darkness...
Rolling Thunder: The name of the powerful international secret police organization.
You: Its best agent.
Your mission: Infiltrate the underground headquarters of the Evil Society, save agent Leila and smash the deadly plot to conquer the world by defeating Mabu, the alien leader.
--From the NES Rolling Thunder instruction manual.
Rolling Thunder's popularity in the arcades convinced Namco to port it to the NES, although Tengen beat them to it without obtaining the proper license from Nintendo. This game is a lot of fun and almost birthed the run and gun genre. The graphics were colorful and didn't really look real, but they had there own artist perspective. The music is alittle annoying and the sounds don't sound too real. The gameplay makes up for everything it lacks though. There is a lot of action and it's easy to learn and difficult to master. The controls are easy to learn also. Most NES games are though, I meant there are two buttons, so there aren't too many possibilties. The storyline is exciting, you are a secret agent on a mission to save a hot chick. I know it's a little cliche, but there is a reason that's a cliche, it's good!
The player takes control of Albatross, a member of Interpol's "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.
Albatross must travel through two different segments or "stories", each comprised of five stages, for a total of ten stages. Depending on the dip switch settings, the player has the option to start the game from any point in "Story 1" (making the first four stages skippable if desired). On each stage, the player can enter doors to hide from enemies (a feature inspired by Taito's Elevator Action), as well jump over to higher or lower platforms with rails, including stairs (a feature reused in Sega's Shinobi). The stages in "Story 2" are essentially harder version of their "Story 1" counterparts, featuring more traps and different enemy placement. At the end of each stage, Leila is shown at a different state of torment or torture on a large monitor screen.
The player is armed only with a handgun and a limited supply of bullets. Thus, the player must defend himself from all incoming enemies while trying to conserve as much ammo as possible. If ammo runs out, then the player's gun can only fire a single "chaser bullet" on-screen at the time. The player can also gain a submachine gun for rapid-fire, which substitute the default handgun until it runs out of ammo. The player can acquire handgun ammo and submachine gun ammo only from doors marked with the appropriate symbol. Despite the presence of a life meter, the player can only take two physical hits from the enemy, since a single hit drains half of the meter. The player is killed instantly when hit by a projectile attack such as enemy bullets or lasers. There is a password feature that allows you to continue, this was introduced for the NES port and wasn't there on the arcade version.
The main enemies in Rolling Thunder are hooded soldiers known as "Maskers". Maskers are dressed in various outfits and colors, which determines their strength and attacking pattern respectively. Some Maskers won't shoot, but will throw grenades instead, while others will shoot their gun below waist-level. Other enemies include mutated bats, yellow creatures and lava men. There are no boss characters in the game, with the exception of Maboo, the game's final opponent. Once Maboo is defeated, Leila is rescued and the game ends.
|Leave no stone unturned|
|Be sure to look in all doors, sometimes there are secret powerups in unmarked doors.|