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Operation Thunderbolt

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Title Screen

Operation Thunderbolt

Developer: Taito
Publisher: Taito
Platform: Arcade (Custom)
Released internationally: March 1989


TextIcon.png This game has unused text.
LevelSelectIcon.png This game has a hidden level select.
Carts.png This game has revisional differences.


Operation Thunderbolt isn't about playing as a thunderbolt, but it's a cool name. Also, how would that even work?

Round Select

Such a polite stage select
This game uses the Taito Code: Hold the Service Coin button until a "SERVICE SWITCH ERROR" message pops up on the screen. Then, press 1P Start (x3), Service Coin, 1P Start.

This prompts a stage select menu. Press 1P Start to select a mission, and 2P Start to start that mission.

Unused Copyright Text

OperationThunderboltArcLicensed.png
The word at address 0x3FFFE in the sub-CPU controls the game's region and copyright text. This is either 01 in the Japanese version, 02 in the US version, or 03 in the World version.

The unused value 04 sets the publisher to a placeholder "Licensed To" message. Taito self-published the game in all regions, so this string was never used.

Place the following code in any of the Operation Thunderbolt xml cheat files to switch between publishers:

  <cheat desc="Publisher">
    <parameter>
      <item value="0x0001">Taito Corp.</item>
      <item value="0x0002">Taito America</item>
      <item value="0x0003">Taito Japan</item>
      <item value="0x0004">Licensed to</item>
    </parameter>
    <script state="run">
      <action>sub.mw@3FFFE=param</action>
    </script>
  </cheat>

Revision Differences

Intro

Old US Version New US Version
AN AIRPLANE WHICH IS CARRYING
AMERICAN PEOPLE IS HIJACKED.

THE TERRORIST GROUP NOTIFIES
AUTHORITIES THAT IF TERRORIST
PRISONERS ARE NOT RELEASED WITHIN
24 HOURS, AMERICAN HOSTAGES WILL BE  
PUNISHED BY DEATH.

THE HIJACKED PLANE LANDS AT KARUBIA
AIRPORT IN AFRICA, AND AMERICAN
HOSTAGES ARE HIDDEN IN SEVERAL
DIFFERENT PLACES.

THE HEAD OF THE C.I.A. CALLS ON
ROY ADAMS, THE MAN WHO PERFORMED
THE "OPERATION WOLF" MISSION IN
SOUTH AMERICA ONE YEAR AGO, TO
RESCUE THE AMERICAN HOSTAGES.

ROY GOES INTO ACTION AGAIN, THIS
TIME WITH A FELLOW GREEN BERET,
HARDY JONES.
AN AIRPLANE WHICH IS CARRYING THE
PEOPLE IS HIJACKED.

THE TERRORIST GROUP NOTIFIES
AUTHORITIES THAT IF TERRORIST
PRISONERS ARE NOT RELEASED WITHIN
24 HOURS, THE HOSTAGES WILL BE
PUNISHED BY DEATH.

THE HIJACKED PLANE LANDS AT KARUBIA
AIRPORT, AND THE HOSTAGES ARE HIDDEN 
IN SEVERAL DIFFERENT PLACES.


THE MILITARY AUTHORITIES CALL ON
ROY ADAMS, THE MAN WHO PERFORMED
THE "OPERATION WOLF" MISSION ONE 
YEAR AGO, TO RESCUE THE HOSTAGES.


ROY GOES INTO ACTION AGAIN, THIS
TIME WITH A FELLOW, HARDY JONES.

The initial US version is identical to the World and Japanese version, save for the aforementioned region value at 0x3FFFE. The updated US version censored the game's text to remove all mentions of real world countries and organizations. Apparently, having the game's plot be loosely based on a real life hostage situation didn't sit well with Taito America Corp.

Old US Version New US Version
Mediterranean. See? What could this landmass possible be???

All of the labels on the map of North Africa were removed as well, including "Kalubya", aka Libya.

Start Screen

Old US Version The Vietnam Nicaragua congo is a scandalous dance rife with passionDo not eat the Vietnam Congo chili
New US Version Well it's not Top Secret anymore, is it, mister man?REDACTED

The CIA files were changed to ordinary files, both characters are now formerly from a naval brigade instead of the Green Berets, and all countries were removed from the war career section. Hardy Jones didn't get to keep anything!