Thunder Cross (サンダークロス Sandā Kurosu?) is a horizontally-scrolling shoot 'em up arcade game released by Konami in 1988. It used a "layered scrolling" background, a new 2D graphics technique at the time. The game spawned a sequel, Thunder Cross II, in 1991. Owing to several similarities, Space Manbow (1989) may also be considered a spin-off. In 2007, Thunder Cross was included as part of the Oretachi Geasen Zoku Sono budget series on the PlayStation 2 in Japan. It was re-released ten years later for PlayStation 4 on June 8, 2017 in Japan as "Arcade Archives".
Thunder Cross is a classic horizontal shooter with 7 stages. Players control the Thunder fighter with up to four "options", which arrange up and down vertically and attack at the player's will. Three weapons are selectable; ranging from the Vulcan shot to the Laser and the Boomerang shot (which doubles as a ricochet weapon). End-of-level bosses were present and, typical of a Konami shooter, Thunder Cross forced the player to beat the game twice in a harder Loop of the first seven levels.
Taking place in the future of space colonization, the planet Haniamu IV is under attack from a relentless, unknown military force known only as Black Impulse. The strongest Earth ships capable of stopping the total conquering of the planet are the Blue Thunder M-45 (player 1) and its earlier make the Red Thunder M-24 (player 2).
- Thunder Cross Konami Arcade Game Soundtrack was released on CD on May 21, 1989 in Japan, and it also contains music from A-JAX, Salamander, Hot Chase and Gradius II. It was reprinted on May 21, 1993.
- An ending theme from the arcade version of Thunder Cross was a part of Konami Ending Collection, which was released on CD on October 21, 1991.
- The tracks 30 to 42 from Thunder Cross were included on MIDI POWER ver.4.0, released on CD on March 24, 1994 in Japan.
- In addition, disc 5 of Konami Music Masterpiece Collection, which was released on October 1, 2004, exclusively includes music from Thunder Cross.