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Thundercade (Arcade)

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Title Screen


Also known as: Tokushu Butai U.A.G. (JP), Twin Formation (INT, Alt)
Developer: Seta
Publishers: Taito (INT), Romstar (US)
Platform: Arcade (Seta hardware)
Released internationally: 1988
Released in JP: October 1987[1]
Released in US: April 1988[1]

DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.

Thundercade is a game wherein a motorcycle man is bent on destroying a nuclear power plant. Why, you ask? Because it's there.

Debug Menu

Put the following code in MAME's tndrcade.xml (INT) or tndrcadej.xml (JP) cheat file and activate it to bring up a debug menu.

  <cheat desc="Activate Debug Menu">
    <script state="on">
  • NO HIT: This is the Invulnerability dip switch in the Japanese set. This is always 00 in the international version, where that dip switch was changed to a "Title" dip switch.
  • CONTINU: The "Allow Continue" dip switch. If set to 01, continuing is disabled.
  • FRE PLY: Free Play dip switch (JP only). This was replaced by the "Licensed To" switch in international versions of the game.
  • COUNTRY: This variable ranges from 01 to 04, but in this version of the game it does nothing; region is controlled by a static value in the sub-CPU instead.
  • CRT DIR: The "Flip Screen" dip switch. When set to 01, the screen is flipped.
  • LEVEL: Difficulty setting.
  • 00: Easy.
  • 01: Normal.
  • 02: Hard.
  • 03: Hardest.
  • LEFT: The "Lives" (Number of starting lives) dip switch. Can be either 1, 2, 3, or 5.
  • DEM SND: Demo Sounds dip switch. If set to 00, attract mode will be silent.
  • BOMB X: The number of bombs the player starts with. This can be either 3, 4, or 5.
  • SOUND T: A simple sound test. Press 1P Left / 1P Right to scroll through sounds, and 1P Punch or 1P Kick to play the selected sound.
  • 1UP SCO: This is the "Bonus Life" dip switch value.
  • 00: First at 50,000 points, then every 150,000 points.
  • 01: First at 70,000 points, then every 200,000 points.
  • 02: Only at 50,000 points.
  • 03: Only at 100,000 points.
  • STAT PT: The starting Y position of the player. Ranges from 0000 (Start of the game) to 8E80. Press 1P Left / 1P Right to select a digit, 1P Punch to increment the digit, and 1P Kick to decrement that digit.

NOTE: To save any changes in the debug menu, the "Free Play" dip switch must be set. The international versions don't have a Free play dip switch, so use the following MAME code to enable Free Play after exiting the debug menu:

  <cheat desc="Free Play">
    <script state="run">
    <script state="off">

Full Debug Menu

Normally, only "COUNTRY", "BOMB X", "SOUND T", and "STAT PT" can be controlled by the player. The other options do have code in the ROM to let the user control them, but they've been dummied out. Put the following code in the appropriate MAME xml file to enable full debug controls:

  <cheat desc="Full Debug Menu">
    <script state="run">
    <script state="off">

Even with this code, "CONTINU", "FRE PLAY", and "CRT DIR" still can't be set properly because their checking routines are bugged.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

High Score Entry

The game checks for two names on the high score entry screen: "SEX" and "FUK". While putting in "SEX" blanks out the player's name, putting in "FUK" doesn't seem to do anything. This is due to a bug in the game's code: The game is supposed to jump to 0x14FCE (The name blanking subroutine), but it instead jumps to 0x14FEC, which skips the routine entirely. Basically, it looks like someone transposed the last two numbers. Anyway, put the following code in MAME's tndrcade.xml (INT) or tndrcadej.xml (JP) cheat file to fix the filter and make the high score screen nice and clean:

  <cheat desc="Fix FUK Filter">
    <script state="run">
    <script state="off">

Wait, "ASS" still isn't filtered. Oh well.

Version Differences


ThundercadeArcTitleJP.png ThundercadeArcadeInt1.png ThundercadeArcadeInt.png

As mentioned previously, the international versions change the Invulnerability dip switch to a Title dip switch. When set, the game's title changes from Thundercade to Twin Formation.


ThundercadeArcIntroJP.png ThundercadeArcIntroINT.png

The intro text was reformatted in the international version. "U.A.G.", a reference to the game's Japanese title, was deleted from the international version's text.

(Source: Original TCRF research)