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Cobra Command (1984)

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Cobra Command, known as Thunder Storm (サンダーストーム?) in Japan, is an interactive movie game originally released by Data East in 1984 as a laserdisc-based coin operated arcade game.


Terrorists are threatening the free world and have amassed a diabolical force. Only the brave pilot of Cobra Command can vanquish the terrorist threat and save the free world from total destruction. The player assumes the role as pilot of the LX-3 Super Cobra helicopter.


The original arcade version is an interactive movie and shooter game, where the player watches scenes as the helicopter flies by the conflict zone. The game screen is represented by the helicopter's cockpit, and the player controls a crosshair that can be moved to aim at the enemy forces. The game features a joystick and two buttons: one Machine Gun and one Missile. The game can be played with 1 or 2 players.

In certain moments, the voice of the pilot's commanding officer helps the player out with completing each mission by firing at enemy forces and dodging both enemy fire and natural surroundings, by pressing the joystick or directional pad in the correct direction and at the right time.

If the pilot makes a mistake, the anime sequence shows the Cobra helicopter blown up and the player loses a life. If all lives are lost, the "Game Over" screen shows the Cobra in smoldering ruins and its pilot is presumably dead from the crash.

Ports and related games

A Sega CD port of Cobra Command developed by Wolf Team was released in 1992. Cobra Command was later re-released in Japan for the PlayStation and Sega Saturn in 1995 in a two-in-one compilation with Road Blaster, another FMV game produced by the same team. Date East released a second game titled Cobra Command in 1988. Unlike the 1984 version, the 1988 arcade game is a side-scrolling shoot-'em-up. In November 2009, Revolutionary Concepts developed and published an enhanced iPhone OS version of the laserdisc original.

Yoshihisa Kishimoto, the director of Cobra Command, also directed the arcade versions of Double Dragon and Double Dragon II: The Revenge. The battle chopper from Cobra Command makes a cameo inside the garage Billy and Jimmy walked out of in the opening sequence of Double Dragon II.

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