Thunder Ceptor (サンダーセプター, Sandā Seputā) is a 3D shoot-em-up arcade game released in 1986 by Namco. It runs on Namco Thunder Ceptor hardware, and was the company's most powerful 8-bit game, after Libble Rabble and Toy Pop. It was also Namco's first game to use a 360-degree analog joystick.
The player controls of the titular Thunder Ceptor, and must shoot the incoming enemy craft. A miniboss ship will appear at the end of the level, and a level (known in this game as "commands") is complete, in which the player will progress onwards. The Thunder Ceptor also has 5 bombs to shoot for large destruction of enemy craft - the bombs are replenished after every command. There are also indestructible obstacles, such as pillars and asteroids. The Thunder Ceptor does not have any lives (similar to Pole Position and King & Balloon), but the player has a "power" meter, and when the meter drains, the game is over.
3D Thunder Ceptor II Edit
A sequel was released later in 1986, titled 3D Thunder Ceptor II. The game is very much like the original; the player controls the Thunder Ceptor (now colored light blue), and must shoot the incoming craft (now colored from gray to green) as normal. There are now multiple obstacles, including large rods, and flying panels (like the Bacura from Xevious), and the obstacles can now be destroyed with the bombs, now no longer having to avoid them. As the name suggests, the game is playable in 3D, and is the only Namco arcade game to do so. The player would put their head up to the attached goggles on the machine for the 3D effect.