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 Post subject: Lightning Force/Thunderforce IV.....any differences?
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2005 8:46 pm 


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Are there any HUGE differences between Lightning Force (Genesis) and Thunderforce IV (Megadrive)?

I just checked the Xenocide files, and it didn't state any Genesis/Megadrive comparisons in the TF IV review. So I guess Lightning Force and TF IV are exactly the same in all aspects?

Their prices sure are different. I can get Lightning Force for no more than $5, while every copy of TF IV I find is $10-$40 :shock: . I would love to get TF IV for my Megadrive, but why pay that kinda price if there is a cheaper US version?

Help. :?


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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2005 8:51 pm 


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Well, there's always the possibility that the MegaDrive version features different art.
To be honest, other than that, I figured they'd be the same.
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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2005 9:22 pm 


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If I remember correctly, there are only a few minor differences between the Japanese TFIV and the western TFIV/Lightening Force (with the spelling mistake included). They mainly center around slightly easier levels and bosses.

I can't quite remember off the top of my head, but I know that Strite's boss, GargoyleDiver, has that orb in it's stomach that in the Japanese version chases you around the screen. In the western versions, the orb does chase, but not as fast or as aggressively, which makes it easier to avoid.

In Air Raid, in the Japanese versions the slower moving ships sometimes fired homing missiles at you, which resulted in a quick, unnoticed death if you weren't ready for them. Again, this was removed in the western versions.

Stage 9, Wall, was severely weakened even at high rank in the western versions. Most noticeably was if you got caught in the middle of the contracting ring enemy, in the western versions you could escape from this enemy sooner as it didn't contract to almost a ship's length in size.

And the penultimate boss, the indestructible one, telegraphed most of it's faster attacks, so you had more time to get away from them. Most of the other bosses were weakened so they could be dispatched faster.

There's probably a few more differences in there. In short, the US/UK versions are easier than the original Japanese version.
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2005 11:02 pm 


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One warning. The Japanese version has lockout, so you'll probably need a Game Genie or a similar converter to play it. One possible alternative to getting the Japanese version to play the harder game is switching the game to Japanese mode after starting the game up in English mode if you have a modded Genesis. I think I remember hearing that it works with Streets of Rage 2, but I'm not sure if the US Lightening Force does anything different in Japanese mode with lockout bypassed.


Last edited by BrianC on Thu May 26, 2005 11:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2005 11:39 pm 


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Wow, I didn't realize that there were any differences. I'm pretty sure the TFIV on the Saturn TF Gold Pack II is the same as the original Japanese cartridge... anyone know for sure? That's the only version I've played in a loooong time. Haven't touched it for a while either. Talking about it makes me feel like giving it another shot...


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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2005 12:11 am 


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I believe that TF Gold 2 features the original Japanese TFIV, without the slowdown. I've owned the UK TFIV and Japanese TFIV, and still have Gold 2, and those are some of the slight differences in the game that I've noticed.

The GargoyleDiver one actually threw me off the first time I encountered it, when I made the switch from UK TFIV to JPN TFIV ;) The easiest way to see the differences is to try the ROMs from each region in emulation.
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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2005 2:01 am 


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It's odd how little faith the Japanese seem to have in Westerners when it comes to gaming skill. I guess it's not totally unfounded though.
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2005 3:11 am 


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Icarus wrote:
I believe that TF Gold 2 features the original Japanese TFIV, without the slowdown. I've owned the UK TFIV and Japanese TFIV, and still have Gold 2, and those are some of the slight differences in the game that I've noticed.

The GargoyleDiver one actually threw me off the first time I encountered it, when I made the switch from UK TFIV to JPN TFIV ;) The easiest way to see the differences is to try the ROMs from each region in emulation.


How about trying the US ROM on Japanese setting with some codes in place to bypass the region protection? Does US version play the same as the Japanese one on the Japanese setting? I know TFII, TFIII, and Truxton do.


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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2005 3:46 am 


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Another minor difference is the 99 lives code in Lightening Force does not exist in Thunder Force IV.

On the title screen hold down the A button and press START. You will go to a "hidden" menu. This menu can change ship remaining, difficulty, ship speed, and other things. If you set the player ships to zero in Lightening Force (at least the NTSC version, I'm not sure about the PAL release), you will start the game with 99 ships remaining. Try that in Thunder Foce IV (Japanese) version, and you'll have no extra ships remaining.
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2005 3:51 am 


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8 1/2 wrote:
It's odd how little faith the Japanese seem to have in Westerners when it comes to gaming skill. I guess it's not totally unfounded though.


Actually, today it's the opposite. This and FF 4 might have had easier releases abroad, but most games now are made harder for the US and European releases (especially the European) because companies are afraid that easy games won't sell. Just look at Devil May Cry 3, Metal Gear Solid 1 & 2 (dunno about 3), Metal Slug 3, Final Fantasy VII...


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 Post subject: Well.
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2005 4:28 am 


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Also there were a handful of Genesis games that got harder US releases.

Bare Knuckle 3(or Streets of Rage 3)- This game for example does not let you play the game beyond stage 5 on the easy difficulty in the US version, but you can complete the game on the easy setting in the JP release.

Contra Hardcorps for the JP system had of all things a HEALTH METER.

Dynamite Headdy gives the player two continues in the JP version and none in the US version(Though you can still earn them by collecting enough chips after killing a boss).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2005 6:02 am 



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Cthulhu wrote:
Just look at Devil May Cry 3, Metal Gear Solid 1 & 2 (dunno about 3), Metal Slug 3, Final Fantasy VII...


What? Those games all sold and they were all easy. Hell, FF7 you just cast knights of the round in between cutscenes and you win.


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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2005 6:05 am 


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I think he was referring to the extra optional "weapon" monsters added into the US release of the game.
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2005 6:48 pm 


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BrianC wrote:
One warning. The Japanese version has lockout, so you'll probably need a Game Genie or a similar converter to play it. One possible alternative to getting the Japanese version to play the harder game is switching the game to Japanese mode after starting the game up in English mode if you have a modded Genesis.



Not a problem. I still have a Megadrive. Thank god I didn't sell it.


I think I'm gonna have to break down and buy TF IV first. Lightning Force has too many differences. I'd like to experience the original before I try the mediocre port. And besides, I can always pick up a copy of LF pretty damn cheap. :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2005 6:58 pm 



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The PAL version has fewer slowdowns than the Japanese one. I don't know if it's due to Tecno Soft or just because it runs on 50 Hz.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2005 9:03 pm 


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The Bullet Dodger wrote:
BrianC wrote:
One warning. The Japanese version has lockout, so you'll probably need a Game Genie or a similar converter to play it. One possible alternative to getting the Japanese version to play the harder game is switching the game to Japanese mode after starting the game up in English mode if you have a modded Genesis.



Not a problem. I still have a Megadrive. Thank god I didn't sell it.


I think I'm gonna have to break down and buy TF IV first. Lightning Force has too many differences. I'd like to experience the original before I try the mediocre port. And besides, I can always pick up a copy of LF pretty damn cheap. :D


Umm, the point I was trying to make is that maybe you don't need to get the Japanese version if there is a way of switching to it on a modded Genesis with a US cartridge. What's the port of getting the Japanese version if you already have it?

I tried the US Lightening Force on a rom (since my Genesis isn't modded yet( and it seems that you can switch to the Japanese version of the game by setting the Genesis to Japanese mode when the SEGA logo appears. The logo changes from "Technosoft" to "Tecnosoft". I'm not sure if the other changes are still in place, though. I can try and test for the rest, but it'll take some time. However, the title screen still says "Lightening Force" instead of "Thunder Force IV", despite the changed in the Technosoft logo. If anyone already tried the language swap mod switch method, can you confirm of the game plays just like the Japanese version when the lockout is bypassed and the game is set to Japanese mode?

Bullet Dodger, since you have a Japanese MD anyway, you should be able use the Game Genie codes provided in a faq to bypass the lockout and play Lightening Force in Japanese mode. I tried them via emu and they seem to work for the US version.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2005 9:21 pm 


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BrianC wrote:
The Bullet Dodger wrote:
BrianC wrote:
One warning. The Japanese version has lockout, so you'll probably need a Game Genie or a similar converter to play it. One possible alternative to getting the Japanese version to play the harder game is switching the game to Japanese mode after starting the game up in English mode if you have a modded Genesis.



Not a problem. I still have a Megadrive. Thank god I didn't sell it.


I think I'm gonna have to break down and buy TF IV first. Lightning Force has too many differences. I'd like to experience the original before I try the mediocre port. And besides, I can always pick up a copy of LF pretty damn cheap. :D


Umm, the point I was trying to make is that maybe you don't need to get the Japanese version if there is a way of switching to it on a modded Genesis with a US cartridge. What's the port of getting the Japanese version if you already have it?

I tried the US Lightening Force on a rom (since my Genesis isn't modded yet( and it seems that you can switch to the Japanese version of the game by setting the Genesis to Japanese mode when the SEGA logo appears. The logo changes from "Technosoft" to "Tecnosoft". I'm not sure if the other changes are still in place, though. I can try and test it, but it'll take some time. If anyone already tried the language swap mod switch method, can you confirm of the game plays just like the Japanese version when the lockout is bypassed and the game is set to Japanese mode?

Bullet Dodger, since you have a Japanese MD anyway, you should be able use the Game Genie codes provided in a faq to bypass the lockout and play Lightening Force in Japanese mode. I tried them via emu and they seem to work for the US version.



Oh, my bad. I see what you're saying now. I still have a Game Genie too, so I think I will give this code a try before spending money on a Thunder Force IV copy.

Thanks BrianC! :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2005 9:35 pm 


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The Bullet Dodger wrote:
BrianC wrote:
The Bullet Dodger wrote:
BrianC wrote:
One warning. The Japanese version has lockout, so you'll probably need a Game Genie or a similar converter to play it. One possible alternative to getting the Japanese version to play the harder game is switching the game to Japanese mode after starting the game up in English mode if you have a modded Genesis.



Not a problem. I still have a Megadrive. Thank god I didn't sell it.


I think I'm gonna have to break down and buy TF IV first. Lightning Force has too many differences. I'd like to experience the original before I try the mediocre port. And besides, I can always pick up a copy of LF pretty damn cheap. :D


Umm, the point I was trying to make is that maybe you don't need to get the Japanese version if there is a way of switching to it on a modded Genesis with a US cartridge. What's the port of getting the Japanese version if you already have it?

I tried the US Lightening Force on a rom (since my Genesis isn't modded yet( and it seems that you can switch to the Japanese version of the game by setting the Genesis to Japanese mode when the SEGA logo appears. The logo changes from "Technosoft" to "Tecnosoft". I'm not sure if the other changes are still in place, though. I can try and test it, but it'll take some time. If anyone already tried the language swap mod switch method, can you confirm of the game plays just like the Japanese version when the lockout is bypassed and the game is set to Japanese mode?

Bullet Dodger, since you have a Japanese MD anyway, you should be able use the Game Genie codes provided in a faq to bypass the lockout and play Lightening Force in Japanese mode. I tried them via emu and they seem to work for the US version.



Oh, my bad. I see what you're saying now. I still have a Game Genie too, so I think I will give this code a try before spending money on a Thunder Force IV copy.

Thanks BrianC! :D


You're welcome, but I tried it again and it seems like the changes for the US version may still be in place. Also, the mod switch thing only partially works since it goes back to the "this will only work on NTSC" screen when I try to use the options screen in Japanese mode. However, with the Game Genie codes and it works, though all it seems to do is change the Technosoft logo. The 99 lives glitch is still in place. I'm not sure about the other US changes, but I'm assuming they are still there too.


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 Post subject: Re: Lightning Force/Thunderforce IV.....any differences?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:31 pm 


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Gonna bump this-- I got the Switch one, and have been playing the Japanese version since it includes both. Air Raid does seem a lot harder-- doesn't it seem like the grey ships in formation take more hits than in the US one? I think there could be a lot of little tweaks that make the North American release less memorize-y, in addition to the few major changes already mentioned earlier in the thread.
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