Gate of Thunder is a sci-fi horizontal-scrolling shoot 'em up. The player, as Hawk, must fight their way through the forces of Don Jingi and stop his plans to obtain a powerful energy source that would make him unstoppable. Hawk, in his versatile starfighter Hunting Dog, is assisted by his partner Esty in her spacecraft the Wildcat. The Wildcat takes an assist role in gameplay, regularly flying in to toss power-ups Hawk's way.
Gate of Thunder was originally released in Japan for the PC Engine CD-ROM² in 1992. In 1993 it was released in the US for the first time in the 4 in 1 Super CD compilation with Bonk's Adventure, Bonk's Revenge and Bomberman, which was bundled with the enhanced TurboDuo console. Gate of Thunder was eventually added to the Wii's Virtual Console in October 2007 in all regions. It was followed up by the fantasy/sci-fi sequel Lords of Thunder in 1993.