The Fire LEO-03 "Styx" is the main protagonist ship in Thunder Force III and a recurring character in the Thunder Force series.
Thunder Force III
Despite the Galaxy Federation's initial success in the war with the ORN Empire, the antagonistic force continues to grow stronger. The Federation decides to decipher a plan to eliminate the empire by attacking it directing at its central source of power, unfortunately they are left unaware by the location of this central power source. In response, the Federation constructs a small, but powerful starfighter, the Styx, to track down and destroy cloaking devices installed on five separate planets. Upon successfully destroying these devices, Styx tracks down and destroys a Cerebrus space cruiser used by the ORN Empire and uses it to locate the position of a base that happens to be where the central source of power is located. Styx manages to infiltrate the base and maneuver its way through the obstacles in the hostile territory, it finally locates the power source: a supercomputer called Khaos. After an intense battle, the starfighter destroys the supercomputer and successfully escapes the base before it self-destructs. In the end, Styx returns to its base, and turns in its frame.
Thunder Force IV
Styx appears in the fifth level assisting the Rynex in a space battle against the modified Cerebrus cruiser. Here, it is revealed that the starfighter has been mass-produced, as several individual fighters of the model engage in combat alongside its successor. In the end, all crafts save for three are destroyed in the battle, the surviving ships dock the Rynex in mid-flight and install the Thunder Sword modification onto the player's starfighter before leaving.
Thunder Force VI
Although the original starfighter does not appear in this game. The ORN Faust uses its core to transform into an evil version of this craft, alongside ones of the Rynex and the Gauntlet. In the end, this version gets destroyed by the player's ship and then transforms into evil versions of the latter mentioned star fighters, before presumably being destroyed by the player's ship.
The Styx boosts a wide array of weapons for all types of attacks. Although it does not have as many as its predecessor, it does make up for it by only losing the equipped weapon upon destruction rather than all weapons. Two weapons are unlocked by default and can be upgraded further.
- Twin Shot - fires a twin stream of rapid firing energy shots are unleashed directly in front of the fighter, which can easily destroy most smaller ORN forces. This is one of the initial weapons and can not be lost upon death. With the CLAW, an addition two shots will be fired at a 45 degree angle upwards and downwards respectively.
- Sever - An upgraded version of the Twin Shot, this fires two powerful beams that deal heavy damage and can penetrate smaller enemies. With the CLAW, an addition two beams will be fired.
- Back Shot - fires a single stream of rapid firing energy shots are unleashed in front and back of the fighter, which can easily dispose of smaller ORN forces. This is one of the initial weapons and can not be lost upon death. With the CLAW, and additional two shots will be fired at 45 degree angle upwards and downwards behind the craft.
- Lancer - An upgraded version of the Back Shot, this fires two lance-like shots behind the Styx, which have a higher hotbox and deal more damage. With the CLAW, an addition two shots are fired backwards.
- Wave - fires a large wave-shaped projectile, which upon hitting an enemy, will split into two smaller waves, allowing it to hit multiple enemies per shot. With the CLAW, an additional two smaller waves are fired.
- Fire - fires two fast-traveling missiles above and below the craft, as well as a single shot forward. The missiles can travel along surfaces, allowing them to destroy enemies along the ground or ceiling of a stage. If the CLAW are equipped, they will fire two small wave shots forward and behind, thus increasing the offensive firepower that this weapon largely lacks.
- Hunter - fires three orbs of energy rapidly that will home on the nearest enemies. They are not too powerful but very accurate. With the CLAW, an additional two Hunters will be fired.
- CLAW - A twin pod support unit that enhances the Styx's firepower by providing additional projectiles to be launched with most weapons and acts as a makeshift shield that is able to block some enemy shots.
- Shield - creates a force-field type shield surrounds the Styx that can sustain three hits before dissipating, it can be recharged by picking up the respective power-up.
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