Streets Of Rage Wiki

Max Thunder (alternatively referred to as Max Hatchet in Sonic The Comic) is a playable character from the Streets of Rage series. He is a former professional wrestler and good friend of Axel Stone, who first appears in Streets of Rage 2 to help Axel, Blaze Fielding and Skate rescue the kidnapped Adam Hunter.

In Streets of Rage 4, Max returns as a boss and as a DLC playable character.



Max is a tall, massive, and muscular lighter-skinned man in his apparent mid or late 30s. He has a mop of spiked black hair, a vertical scar running across his right eye, hairy forearms, and fights shirtless. He wears black spandex elbow pads, light blue wrestling pants with yellow horizontal lighting bolt designs (with black spandex wrestling briefs above), and red wrestling boots with white strings and black soles. During his cameo appearance in the good ending of Streets of Rage 3, he's seen sporting a jacket with "Thunder" written on its back.

Returning as a boss character in Streets of Rage 4, Max remains essentially the same, except his black hair is now in a military crewcut with some thick gray streaks on the sides (possibly due to age), his upper body has some scars. During his boss fight, his eyes display a frightening red glow, indicating he is under mental control of the Y twins.


Streets of Rage 2 / Bare Knuckle II[]

The first appearance of Max, he joins Axel, Blaze, and Skate in rescuing Adam. Not much is known why he decided to join the trio, other than his friendship with Axel.

Streets of Rage 3 / Bare Knuckle III[]

While not a playable character, he can be briefly seen in the good ending with the other heroes, watching the sunset.

Streets of Rage 4 / Bare Knuckle IV[]

Max appears as boss of Stage 9, under the mind-control of the device created by the Y twins. He uses most of his signature moves from the second game, like his Thunder Tackle, Spinning Knuckle Bomb and Drop Kick. He's also a playable character as part of the Mr. X Nightmare DLC.

He is the only boss in the game with perpetual super armor; he cannot be flinched or staggered except when damaged by Star Moves and certain throwable (such as grenades and explosive vials). After being defeated, he comes back to normal, explaining he couldn't control himself, and assures the heroes that he never intended to hurt them.


Main article: Max Thunder (gameplay)

Max Thunder is playable in Streets of Rage 2 and Streets of Rage 4. In both titles, he is the definition of a slow, powerful character, who trades speed and mobility for pure, raw damage. Being a wrestler, he specializes in grappling his opponents to deal heavy damage, having the strongest throws in Streets of Rage 2, surpassing even Blaze's. However, due to his tall and hulky build, he cannot vault over his opponents, and will instead jump while taking the enemy to the air with him.

In Streets of Rage 4, Max returns as a DLC character. He retains his classic gameplay, but is given slightly more speed, as well more attacks based on pro-wrestling moves. Much like in the second game, he is unable to vault while holding his opponents, a trait also shared with Cherry Hunter, Floyd Iraia and Estel Aguirre. With Floyd now being the true "slow powerhouse" of the game, Max is given more flexibility, dealing slightly less damage than Floyd but having more mobility to compensate. A retro version of Streets of Rage 2 Max can also be unlocked in the base game.

As a Boss[]

Max appears as a boss in Streets of Rage 4, during Stage 9. He's fought at the top floor of the Y Tower, being mind-controlled by Ms. Y's device. He has perpetual super armor, and can only be knocked down through Star Moves. When playing on higher difficulties and/or multiplayer, Golds and Silvers will appear to provide backup.

During the first phase, he attacks by using the following attacks:

  • Drop Kick: Max leaps into the air with his legs extended. Covers high range and deals heavy knockback.
  • Spinning Knuckle Bomb: Max charges for a second, and spins rapidly with his arms extended horizontally with hands clasped together. He moves mostly in the Y Axis while tilting slightly in the X Axis towards the player character.
  • Thunder Tackle: Max charges for a second, and projects himself towards the player at incredible speed with an extended shoulder. He can move through the Y Axis when using this attack, as opposed to his playable version which only moves in the X Axis.
  • Thunder Smash: Max flashes red for a few seconds, and moves rapidly towards the player. If he connects, Max will lift the the player high in the air and violently slam them on the ground.

Once Max reaches 50% health, he'll enter his second phase, where his Thunder Tackle is used in three times in a row, which can be difficult to avoid. His Spinning Knuckle Bomb will last for several seconds, and he'll move faster and longer distances in the Y axis. In addition, he can sometimes use Spinning Knuckle Bomb right after a Drop Kick without charging beforehand; this is mostly done on higher difficulties if the player is near Max once he lands.


The player should attack Max a bit, then avoid his attacks; Thunder Tackle can be dodged by jumping right when Max dashes, as jumping grants the player invincibility frames at the startup; the player can also move right underneath or above Max to avoid the first charge. His other attacks can be avoided by just moving away, or jumping (in case of Thunder Smash, to avoid Max from grabbing the player).

It is possible to use long distance attacks with disjointed hitboxes, to poke Max during his Spinning Knuckle Bomb without being hit; Adam and Shiva's back attacks (from their Streets of Rage 4 incarnations) are two examples. The player can also bring weapons, such as the broom found in the sauna area of the stage or the lead pipes carried by Altets in the elevator segment.

Streets of Rage (comics)[]

Contrary to his official Streets of Rage 2 storyline, the comics depict Max (referred as Max Hatchet) as a cop just like Axel and Blaze, quitting the force after Axel is brutally pummeled by corrupted officers. Max has also an arch-nemesis and former partner, Hawk, whom he manages to kill at the end of the story.


  • In Streets of Rage 2, his frame is large, with slightly exaggerated muscle size. In his cameo in the Streets of Rage 3 good ending, however, Max is given a more realistic, albeit still muscular frame. In Streets of Rage 4, Max's design reflects his overly muscular appearance in Streets of Rage 2.
  • With no direct connections to the police force, or the Syndicate, Max is the only character without a direct reason in battling the Syndicate, other than friendship with Axel. This could explain his absence in the third installment (except for the cameo in the good ending).
  • It is unknown if, canonically, Max has met Zan, as they never appear together during the good ending in the third installment. This would make them one set of two main characters to have never met (the others being Skate and Floyd).
  • His bio in Streets of Rage 4 reveals that he was kicked out of professional wrestling for refusing to "throw a fight", likely a fixed game between him and his opponent.
  • One of his character select quotes in Streets of Rage 4 ("WHATCHA GONNA DO, BROTHER, WHEN MAXIMANIA RUNS WILD ON YOU?!!") is inspired from Hulk Hogan's quote "WHATCHA GONNA DO, BROTHER, WHEN HULKAMANIA RUNS WILD ON YOU?!!".
  • When fighting Max on the Story / Arcade mode of Streets of Rage 4, with the classic soundtrack, the music that plays is "Jungle Base" from Streets of Rage 2.