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Basic Information
(bought by Twenty-one Company)
Thunder Force (series), Plazma Line, Herzog, Elemental Master
Video Games
Company status
Head Office(s)

Technosoft (also known as Tecno Soft and Techno Soft) was a Japanese video game developer that was active from 1980 to 2001.[1]

Notable releases[edit | edit source]

Thunder Force[edit | edit source]

The company's most commercially successful franchise was the Thunder Force series. It was a series of free-roaming scrolling shooter video games. The series began with the original Thunder Force in 1983. The games are known by fans of the genre for their hardcore appeal, pleasing graphics, and generally well composed synthesizer-based chiptune music soundtracks.

The series' first game, Thunder Force, appeared in 1983 on a variety of Japanese computers, such as the Sharp X1, NEC PC-8801 mkII, and FM-7. Technosoft also released a level editor, or game creation system, entitled Thunder Force Construction, for the original game on the FM-7 computer in 1984.[2] Since Thunder Force II, the majority of installments in the series appeared on the Mega Drive console, where the series gained much of its popularity. The most recent entry was released on PlayStation 2.

Plazma Line[edit | edit source]

File:Plazma Line.gif
The Sharp X1 port of Plazma Line (1984), an early first-person futuristic racing video game. This GIF animation of the game demonstrates early use of 3D polygon graphics and automap feature.

Plazma Line (プラズマライン) is a first-person space racing game released by Technosoft for the NEC PC-8801 and FM-7 computers in 1984. The objective of the game is to race through outer space in a first-person view while avoiding obstacles (rendered in 3D polygons) along the way. It also featured an automap radar to keep track of the player's position.[3]

The game was created by Katsunori Yoshimura,[3] who also created the original Thunder Force.[4] Yoshimura later left the company in 1985 to start the development studio Arsys Software along with fellow Technosoft member Osamu Nagano.[5]

Herzog[edit | edit source]

Herzog (German: "Duke") is a strategy video game released by TechnoSoft in Japan for the MSX and NEC PC-88 computers in 1988. It was a real-time tactics and tactical shooter game with real-time strategy elements.

The series' best known entry is the Sega Mega Drive (Genesis) title Herzog Zwei (1989), which is regarded as the world's first real time strategy game. It was the first game with a feature set that falls under the contemporary definition of the real-time strategy genre, predating the genre-popularizing Dune II.[6][7][8] The producers of Dune II acknowledged Herzog Zwei (meaning "Duke 2" in German) as an influence on the game.[9][10]

Other notable titles[edit | edit source]

Other notable releases include Elemental Master (1990) and the conversion of Turbo Grafx 16 game Devil's Crush (dubbed Dragon's Fury and released in North America by Tengen).

Closure[edit | edit source]

In 2001, the company was purchased by pachinko maker Twenty-one Company and was merged into its R&D division.

In 2006, the URL was registered and updated. However, as of January 2008, no updates other than "We will restart soon! Please wait for a while." and "THUNDERFORCE is a registered trademark." have been added to the website. However, with the announcement of Thunder Force VI, the copyright for the game has been apparently turned over to one of the series' creators and may no longer apply.

Some staff members left Technosoft to start the game development companies Arsys Software in 1985 (founded by Katsunori Yoshimura, creator of Thunder Force and Plazma Line) and CAProduction in 1993.

List of known releases[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Corporate Profile. Technosoft. Archived from the original on 1998-06-25 Retrieved on 1 September 2012
  2. Thunder Force Construction. Oh!FM. Archived from the original on 1 September 2012 Retrieved on 1 September 2012
  3. 3.0 3.1 Plazma Line. Oh!FM. Archived from the original on 1 September 2012 Retrieved on 1 September 2012
  4. Wibarm. Oh!FM. Archived from the original on 1 September 2012 Retrieved on 1 September 2012
  5. Corporate profile. Cyberhead. Archived from the original on 24 October 2001 Retrieved on 30 August 2012
  6. Are Real Time Strategy Games At Their Peak? (englisch). (2001-05-09). Retrieved on 2011-01-22
  7. Sharkey, Scott. Essential Top 50: Herzog Zwei. Retrieved on 2007-09-27
  8. Geryk, Bruce. A History of Real-Time Strategy Games: Part I: 1989-1998. GameSpot. Retrieved on 2009-01-09
  9. Clarke-Willson, Stephen (August 18, 1998). The Origin of Realtime Strategy Games on the PC. The Rise and Fall of Virgin Interactive. Above the Garage Productions. Retrieved on 30 January 2012
  10. The Making of... Dune II. 'Edge'. (December 9, 2008). Retrieved on July 27, 2011 “Herzog Zwei was a lot of fun, but I have to say the other inspiration for Dune II was the Mac software interface. The whole design/interface dynamics of mouse clicking and selecting desktop items got me thinking, ‘Why not allow the same inside the game environment? Why not a context-sensitive playfield? To hell with all these hot keys, to hell with keyboard as the primary means of manipulating the game!

External links[edit | edit source]