Thunder Force V (サンダーフォースV, Sandā Fōsu V) is a 1997 Japanese side-scrolling shooter video game developed by Technosoft for the Sega Saturn. It is the fifth game in the Thunder Force series. Unlike previous games in the series, Thunder Force V uses polygons to model the larger enemy ships and some of the scenery, in addition to sprites.[ In 1998, Thunder Force V was ported to the PlayStation as Thunder Force V: Perfect System.
As in Thunder Force IV, the player can choose the play order of the starting stages, but now only for the first three stages. The same speed gauge from Thunder Force IV is used, and is operated the same way. There are no longer any items to enhance the player’s default weapons. Instead, they are automatically enhanced, and the enhanced versions become new defaults. All the weapons have appeared in previous Thunder Force games, but a few have been changed radically.
The CLAWs (now referred to as CRAWs – Constitutional Ray Art Weapon units) have a few changes from previous games. They still rotate around the player’s ship, absorb enemy fire, and act as extra turrets, but now a maximum of three CRAWs can be used. In addition, they remain on screen for a finite period of time upon ship destruction, giving the player a chance to recollect them. A new feature in Thunder Force V involving the CRAWs is the use of the “Over Weapon”. By pressing the appropriate button, the player’s CRAWs combine with the currently selected weapon to create a more powerful version of that weapon. Over Weapons can only be sustained for a limited period of time by using CRAW energy. As an Over Weapon is used, the CRAW’s energy is depleted. CRAWs recharge their energy automatically over time when not being used for firing the Over Weapon. Collecting new CRAWs replaces the player’s existing CRAWs if they are depleted.