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The Fire LEO-04 "Rynex" is the main protagonist in the 1992 shoot 'em up video game Thunder Force IV, the fourth installment in the Thunder Force Shoot 'Em Up game series. It is the fourth and most powerful Fire LEO spacecraft created by the Galactic Federation in its longtime war with the misanthropic and omnicidal ORN Empire.

The Rynex serves as the series's flagship model and mascot, appearing in every installment since its debut in Thunder Force IV.


Thunder Force IV

Following the Fire LEO-03 "Styx"'s success two years earlier, the Galaxy Federation thought they were winning the ongoing war with the ORN Empire, but after constant attacks by allied reamnants known as the "Vios", which prove to be far more powerful than the ORN Empire was and quickly overwhelm the Federation's forces. As such, the Federation decides to create a new successor to the Styx that can help defeat the Vios Forces: The Fire LEO-04 "Rynex".

Initially, the Rynex confronted the Vios forces across the planet Aceria, where it located and destroyed four giant bosses before tracking down a newly improved Cerberus battleship in interstellar space. The Rynex (alongside several mass-produced Styx crafts) quickly destroy the giant battleships' armaments, but before they have a chance of finally bringing an end to the Vios forces, the Cerberus (or possibly the ORN Faust), fires a volley of lasers against the Federation's forces, whilst releasing the ORN Faust from its bay before being destroyed. The Rynex confronts the ORN Faust alongside six Styx fighters, but they are quickly overpowered by the Faust's weaponry, which ends up destroying all crafts except for the Rynex before retreating.

After the sudden defeat, the Rynex was upgraded by the remaining Styx fighters by having the Thunder Sword modification installed onto the craft, which in turn allows the spacecraft to use its ultimate weapon: a giant laser beam called the "Thunder Sword", which can decimate almost anything in its way, but requires a newly-improved CLAW system to activate as well as a charge-up period before it can be deployed.

Using information and coordinates provided from the Federation's intelligence, the Rynex eventually tracked the source of the enemy on a planet called Volbados, a forbidding icy planet where the ORN Empire was secretly hiding out. The Rynex then penetrated through the planet's firey mantle before finally infixltratingthe enemy bio-base. After defeating several bosses and navigating through various perils, the starfighter finally reached the core of the base. The Rynex confronted the ORN Faust once more, but learned that its weaponry was useless against the Faust's tough armor, instead of destroying the robot directly, the Rynex instead destroys a large cannon located towards the center of the base, which the resulting chain reaction causes an explosion that destroys the Faust.

With the robot destroyed, the Rynex continued down the forbidding trail behind the cannon, where it confronted the source of the enemy: the Vios Supercomputer. Using all of its firepower, the Rynex manages to destroy the supercomputer by eliminating the core, which the Supercomputer launched at the starfighter as a form of defense, but in turn left it vulnerable.

Upon its destruction, the supercomputer released a chain-reaction in the form of a gigantic explosion. The Rynex attempt to escape from being destroyed, but was unable to escape the aftermath, and as a result, its pilots were forced to eject to safety, leaving the spacecraft severely damaged and derelict, floating aimlessly in space as a result. Despite its tragic fate, the epilogue states that hopefully the Rynex will rise again in its quest to bring an end to the ORN Empire once and for all.

Thunder Force V

The derelict remains of the Rynex managed to drift itself into the Solar System, where it was discovered by the humans, who studied it extensively to learn about its extraterrestrial properties. During this time, the Rynex was dubbed "Vasteel" or "Vasteel Original", where it was given to the Guardian Supercomputer to help exploit its properties and technology perks through reverse engineering.

However, after Guardian achieving full consciousness, the supercomputer went rogue against the humans, and launched an out-out war with them (and in turn brainwashed the Rynex with its artificial intelligence to use it against its former allies). The humans counter the supercomputer's attacks with the help of an Earth pilot named Cenes Crawford, who pilots the RVR-01 "Gauntlet" to neutralize Guardian's forces.

The brainwashed Rynex eventually confronted Crawford in the RVR-02 "Vambrace" after the latter destroyed the Sword Fleet; there, the two spacecrafts engaged in a feirce battle with the spaceship.  The Rynex is quickly overpowered by the Vambrace and the Brigandine's combined firepower, forcing it to have to retreat from the stronger foe, but only to return with the Extra Weapon Bay, an early version of the Brigandine, to help it counter the opposing spacecrafts' power. Despite this tactic, the Rynex is still defeated by the Vambrace, resulting in the iconic starfighter being virtually destroyed in the process, but also being freed from Guardian's control.

Thunder Force VI

10 years after the ordeal with the Guardian supercomputer, the ORN Empire invades Earth, bringing the same destruction it beared in the past.  Having loss the technology to recreate new fighter crafts from the past, the humans are left powerless at first, but after rediscovering the remnants of the once mighty spacecraft known as Rynex, which many years earlier had defeated the ORn Empire in its tracks. They manage to create a new and more powerful spacecraft called the RVR-00 "Phoenix" to help protect the Earth from the ORN Empire. The humans use the starfighter to confront the Galaxy Federation, where the two form an alliance with each other to defeat the ORN Empire once and for all.

Although the original craft is largely absent in-game, the Galaxy Federation manages to use the technology for it to mass produce large quantities of a newer version of the spacecraft.  The new craft is dubbed the Fire-LEO-04C "Rynex-R", and unlike the original ship, this one had it's signature weapon, the Thunder Sword from the start, one unit is capable of being used by the player in the campaign.

In addition to the newer version of the Rynex, the ORN Faust uses its core to attract various parts to create the "Vasteel Nocht" during the boss battle on Stage 5, with one of its forms taking on a larger and evil version of the original Rynex.  It is ultimately destroyed however as a result of the combined Human-Galaxy Federation forces.


Thunder Force IV

The Rynex boasts a total of five weapons, two of which 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.
    • Blade - An upgraded version of the Twin Shot, this fires two large energy blades in front of the fighter rapidly. The Blade is more powerful than the Styx's Sever, but it lacks its penetration ability and instead explodes upon contact with any surface. The weapon can not detect bosses' weak spots like most weapons, and is unable to hit ones with small hit-boxes (such as the Gargoyle's stomach). With the CLAW, an addition two smaller blades will be fired at a 45 degree angle respectively.
  • 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.
    • Rail Gun - An upgraded version of the Back Shot, this fires two powerful lasers in the rear of the fighter. The Rail Gun is more powerful than the Styx's Lancer, as it is capable of penetrating ORN forces. With the CLAW, an additional two rail guns will be fired backwards.
  • Snake - fires two napalm bombs above and below the Rynex as well as a single bolt straightforwards. Upon impact with any surface, the bombs will explode. If the bombs explode a surface, the resulting explosion will travel across the ground, destroying anything unfortunate enough to cross its path. The CLAW will not provide additional firepower to this weapon in contrast to the others, but instead will created holograms that will absorb weaker enemy fire much more effectively.
  • Free Way - fires a total of five missiles, with one traveling straightforward, two at a 30 degree angle up and down, and another two at a 45 degree angle up and down; in addition, a single bolt is fired on the opposite side of the missiles. The missiles will be fired in the opposite direction the Rynex travels, making them very useful against all types of attacks. With the CLAW, an additional two missiles will be fired straightforwards.
  • 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 Rynex'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.
  • Thunder Sword - About halfway through the game, the Rynex will be upgraded to use this new weapon. The Claws are upgraded and enable the Rynex to shoot the powerful Thunder Sword. This is done by not firing and waiting until electricity surrounds the Claws, then firing. The Thunder Sword is the most powerful weapon in game, as it is capable of destroying most ORN forces and severely damaging bosses quickly. One must be careful when using it as the fighter will be pushed back a distance as a result of the force of the blast.
  • Shield - creates a force-field type shield surrounds the Rynex that can sustain three hits before dissipating, it can be recharged by picking up the respective power-up.

Thunder Force VI

The mass-produced successor of the Rynex retains five weapons just like the original. While most remain unchanged, some such as the Free Way have been replaced with a more mordenized successor. Unlike its predecessor, its default weapons cannot be upgraded, but it does however make up for this lacking feature with the use of the Over Weapon variants.

  • Twin Shot - fires two orange parallel lasers that shoot rapidly, which are capable of destroying most small ORN forces easily. With the CRAW, an additional two shots are fired at a 45 degree angle upwards and downs respectively.
    • Over Weapon - Fires the powerful Thunder Sword cannon for up to 10 seconds with a full charge. The weapon is the most powerful weapon available, allowing the Rynex to instantly destroy smaller ORNs and decimate larger ones as well as bosses easily. The main drawback to this is that it is not as long as the original version used by the first Rynex, as it only extends a shorter distance.
  • Back Shot - fires two lasers, one forwards and one backwards respectively, making it useful for destroying smaller ORN forces easily from both directions. With the CRAW, an additional two shots will be fired at a 45 degree angle upwards and downwards behind the craft.
    • Over Weapon - fires the Rail Gun from Thunder Force IV; three powerful lasers are shot behind while one is shot in front, all of which are capable of penetrating enemy forces.
  • Blade - fires the Blade weapon from Thunder Force IV rather than the Wave weapon used by the Phoenix and the Syrinx. The blades are stronger than than Wave as they deal more overall damage and explode upon impacting larger enemies. With the CRAW, an additional two smaller blades will be fired at a 45 degree angle upwards and downwards respectively.
    • Over Weapon - Fires three blue Blades with four additional razors straightforward, and an additional two shoot backwards.
  • Free Range - fires a set of blue lasers at any enemy within the indicated field range, destroying them instantly. The field is not able to be moved, but it covers a large area around the Rynex-R. The overall range of the Free-Range is larger than that of the Phoenix and the Syrinx, but the weapon does not have the concentrated focus of the other crafts. Unlike the other weapons, The CRAW does not provide additional firepower.
    • Over Weapon - Fires five blue wave shots, The uppermost and lowermost shots arc back 45 degrees then shoot forward, whilest the inner upper and lower shots arc 60 degrees forward and shoot in front. The middle shot always travels straightforwards.
  • Hunter - fires three glowing balls of green energy that home in on the nearest enemies that appear on-screen. It is not very powerful, but it is very accurate. With the CRAW, an additional two Hunters are fired.
    • Over Weapon - fires six rapid firing streams of energy, with two on top, two on bottom, and two to the front. They are not as accurate as the normal Hunter, but are more powerful.
  • CRAW - activates two support pods that assist in firing and acting as a makeshift shield as they orbit the Rynex-R and are invincible. They power the Shield and it will drain due to the weapons being currently used. If the CRAW support units are being utilized by a weapon needed to power it (for example the Back Shot), the shield is inactive during this period.
  • Shield - creates force-field type shield that allows the Rynex-R to absorb up to three enemy attacks, it can be replenished by collecting multiple capsules of this item.


           Thunder Force logo.png Heroes

Fire LEO Series
Fire LEO | Fire LEO-02 "Exceliza" | Fire LEO-03 "Styx" | Fire LEO-04 "Rynex"

RVR Series
RVR-01 "Gauntlet" | RVR-02 "Vambrace" | RVR-02B "Brigandine" | RVR-00 "Phoenix"

Miscellaneous Starfighters

Galaxy Federation | Cenes Crawford

           Sega Heroes.png

Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog | Miles "Tails" Prower | Knuckles the Echidna | Amy Rose | Cream the Rabbit | Cheese | Big the Cat | Shadow the Hedgehog | Rouge the Bat | Vector the Crocodile | Espio the Chameleon | Charmy Bee | Blaze the Cat | Silver the Hedgehog

Thunder Force
Fire LEO | Fire LEO-02 "Exceliza" | Fire LEO-03 "Styx" | Fire LEO-04 "Rynex" | RVR-01 "Gauntlet" | RVR-02 "Vambrace" | RVR-02B "Brigandine" | RVR-00 "Phoenix" | Syrinx

Alex Kidd
Alex Kidd

Altered Beast

Phantasy Star
Alis Landale | Myau | Odin | Lutz | Rolf | Nei | Wren | Rhys Sa Riik | Chaz Ashley | Alys Brangwin | Hahn Mahlay | Rune Walsh| Rika | Gryz | Demi | Raja | Kyra Tierney | Kai | Sarisa | Ogi | Ana | Stella Marie

Virtual Fighter
Akira Yuki | Jacky Bryant | Naotora Ii | Pai Chan | Sarah Bryant

House of the Dead
Thomas Rogan | Agent G | Sophie Richards | James Taylor | Gary Stewart | Amy Crystal | Harry Harris | Stick Breitling | Linda Rotta | Rikiya Busujima | Marco Cloud | Dan Taylor | Lisa Rogan | Daniel Curien | Kate Green | Isaac Washington | Varla Guns | Candi Stryper | Ryan Taylor


Super Monkey Ball

Space Channel 5
Ulala | Pudding | Space Michael

Jet Set Radio
Beat | Gum | DJ Professor K

Bonanza Bros. | Opa-Opa | ChuChus