Taken from manual:
2106 A.D. Sekika 3, an unmanned research probe launched by the Earth Aeronautics and Space Administration, reaches the Oort Cloud, an enormous ring of comets encircling the outer limits of the solar system. Sekika 3's original mission is to analyze the comets, but the probe instead makes the most profound
discovery in the history of humanity: an artificially created object floating deep within the Cloud. Mankind now knows it is not alone in the universe.
2108 A.D. Sekikia 3 returns to Earth with its precious cargo and establishes orbit around the lunar base of the World Unified Government. The world's best and brightest scientists analyze the alien object with every tool at their disposal, and quickly determine the dazzling find to be a starcraft with technology so advanced that, in the worlds of one stunned researcher, "It's difficult to tell where the science ends and the magic begins." The ship's unknown creators are dubbed "Vastians," and the ship itself is named "Vastians' Steel," or "Vasteel." Among the technological components of Vasteel studied in the following two decades are its nuclear-fusion power plant, time-space distortion field, and molecular superconductor.
2139 A.D. Astonishing breakthroughs in the field of artificial intelligence prompt the creation of the "Guardian" supercomputer, which is given the task of studying Vasteel, unlocking its remaining secrets, and combining its technology with human designs. A gigantic man-made island named "Babel" is built in the heart of the South Pacific to house both Vasteel and Guardian.
2145 A.D. Guardian incorporates Vasteel technology into the construction of massive starships with the capacity for in stellar travel, and terraforming systems that can change hostile planetary atmospheres into breathable oxygen. While the ships are built and stockpiled within Babel, the World Unified Government selects planets throughout the Milky Way galaxy as candidates for settlement. What the Government fails to tell its citizens is that Babel's emigration ships are, in fact, heavily armed battleships bristling with experimental Vasteel weaponry.
2150 A.D. The Turning Code, a security program designed to dampen Guardian's artificial intelligence and maintain a degree of external control, is mysteriously deleted from the supercomputer. Free of the Code's influence, Guardian achieves sentience and becomes the first artificial life. For reasons unknown, Guardian declares war on the World Unified Government and Earth itself, using Babel's construction facilities to produce weapons of mass destruction. The Government launches a massive counterattack in an attempt to destroy Babel, but the futile effort results only in the senseless deaths of several hundred thousand soldiers and civilians.
Over one-third of the Earth's population is slaughtered by Guardian's army of automations within a year.
What remains of the World Unified Government miraculously scrapes together enough of its remaining resources to produce the RVR-01 Gauntlet, a duplicate of the original Vasteel in every way. An elite combat unit is formed to pilot the Gauntlet fighters and destroy Babel and Guardian before mankind is snuffed out of existence.
The unit's code name: Thunder Force!
Thunder Force V plays similar to its predecessors in that you start with two weapons, Twin Shot and Back Shot, and need to collect powerups to get additional weapons. Being destroyed while using one of these additional weapons results in losing it. The player can pick the first three stages, similar to Thunder Force IV, then plays the last four stages. After stage four, the fighter changes into a more powerful version with upgrades to its initial weapons. The player also has access to Overweapons, which are much more powerful versions of the weapons. However, using an Overweapon drains its CRAWs in a short time, changing them from Blue to Green, Yellow, then Red. If a bullet hits a CRAW while Red, it's destroyed.
A new system implemented in Thunder Force V is the Over Weapon. The prototype would be the Thunder Sword used by the Rynax. Over Weapons increase the destructive power of the weapons by a massive amount and can decimate major targets in seconds. They are powered by the CRAWs, draining them until they are all red. If the CRAWs are not hit they will recharge, but if they get hit by a stray bullet they will dissipate. Assuming 3 CRAWs, Over Weapons will last about 7-10 seconds.
These are all of the ships that the player uses throughout the game.
- RVR-01 Gauntlet and it's variants. - This was the standard fighter used by the Thunder Force 222 squadron.
- RVR-02 Vambrace - Superior fighter that is an upgrade to the RVR-01 Gauntlet.
- Brigandine - Armor property for the RVR-02 Vambrance.
Note: Stages 1-3 can be done in any order.
- Stage 1 - No Blue
- Boss - Deep Purple
- Stage 2 - Wood
- Boss - Iron Maiden
- Stage 3 - Human Road
- Boss - Armament Armed Arm (A3)
- Stage 4 - Babel
- Boss - Guardian's Knight
- Stage 5 - Judgment Sword and Sword Fleet
- Sub-Boss - Rynex
- Boss - Vasteel Original
- Stage 6 - Inside Judgment Sword
- Boss - Guardian
- Stage 7 - Final Boss
- Boss - Guardian's Core
In the PS1 version, after beating the game once, additional information concerning the storyline (including a more through intro story and the last message of the pilot), all terms involved in the game, a boss viewer, a boss rush, and unlockable pictures, are available. One can transfer the pictures to the computer by putting it in the CD drive, directly finding the folder they are in, and copying them over.