Max Thunder 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.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Appearance[edit | edit source]

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.

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, and his eyes display a frightening red glow indicating he is under mental control of the Y twins.

Personality[edit | edit source]

Story[edit | edit source]

Streets of Rage 2[edit | edit source]

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

Streets of Rage 3 / Bare Knuckle III[edit | edit source]

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

Streets of Rage 4[edit | edit source]

Max returns in Streets of Rage 4, first as a boss who is being mind-controlled by Ms. Y and later as a downloadable playable character. He uses most of his signature moves from the second game, like his Thunder Tackle, Spinning Knuckle Bomb and Drop Kick.

He is the only boss in the game who never flinches upon taking damage from regular moves, only getting knocked by Star Supers. After defeat, he comes back to normal and assures the heroes that he never intended to hurt them.

Gameplay[edit | edit source]

Max is the slowest and strongest character. Also, due to his tall and hulky build, he, along with Floyd Iraia cannot vault above a grabbed opponent - instead, he will jump and take the opponent to the air with him.

Signature moves[edit | edit source]

  • Spinning Knuckle Bomb: Max spins rapidly with his arms extended horizontally with hands clasped together, hitting enemies both in front and behind him in a circular hammering motion.
  • Thunder Tackle: Max projects himself forwards at incredible speed with an extended shoulder, taking down multiple enemies ahead.
  • Power Slide: Max ducks down quickly and slides forward, hitting enemies at their leg level. This move is frequently used to compensate for Max's slow walking speed.
  • Bear Hug: Max grabs the enemy and crushes his/her skull in-between his arms 5 consecutive times (Max's strongest move if all 5 hits connect, but it is slow and leaves him open to be attacked from behind).
  • Thunder Body Slam: due to his inability to vault when grabbing an opponent, Max can use this move as an alternative to inflict damage. Grabbing his opponent from the front, Max jumps and throws his enemy violently against the ground with the impact force of a hammer striking an anvil.
  • Atomic Drop: due to his inability to vault when grabbing an opponent, Max can use this move as an alternative to inflict damage. Grabbing his opponent from behind, Max jumps and smashes his enemy's spinal column against his knee upon landing. This is his most favoured and second most powerful move in the game (and in Max's repertoire).

Fighting style[edit | edit source]

Max is a skilled wrestler and has the most grapples and throws in the SOR series. His Atomic Drop and Bear Hug are two of the most powerful moves in the games, and can take up most of an opponent's life gauge. In the fourth game he is given an electrokinesis to power up his strength.

Character evolution[edit | edit source]

Max is featured in SoR2 as a playable character and in SoR4 as both a boss and playable character.

During SoR3, Axel and Blaze succeed in strength due to their stats being slightly stronger. Blaze's German suplex as well as other throws deal more damage closely mirroring his suplex while Axel has become more of a powerhouse possibly having trained more with Max after the events of SoR2.

Streets of Rage (comics)[edit | edit source]

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, Hawk, whom he manages to kill at the end of the episode.

Movelist[edit | edit source]

Regular Attack[edit | edit source]

B - A left vertical chop. Cannot spam as quickly as Axel's jab. Used to stunlock enemies when up close to them.

Fury[edit | edit source]

B (2x) - 2 left vertical chops. Cannot spam as quickly as Axel's jab. Used to stunlock enemies when up close to them.

B (3x) 2 left vertical chops and a right punch - Cannot spam as quickly as Axel's jab. Used to stunlock enemies when up close to them. Can be followed up with a grab from behind or front or not, 1 or 2 knee kicks or not, and finished off with the Hammer Punch, German Suplex, Thunder Tackle, Spinning Knuckle Bomb, Thunder Body Slam, Brain Buster, Headbutt, Power Slide, Rear Kick, or Atomic Drop.

B (4x) 2 left vertical chops, a right punch, and a double axe handle with Max using both of his arms. Max's regular combo. Hits a single enemy or several by 6 times if up close.

Single Attack[edit | edit source]

B (Hold) - Hammer Punch (on the ground) - A stationary vertical punch with Max using both of his arms. Part of Max's regular fury combo attack; finisher.

Blitz[edit | edit source]

D-Pad Left or Right (2x) + B - Power Slide. One of Max's movement tools. Can be used as a combo finisher.

Jumps[edit | edit source]

Jump Attack[edit | edit source]

C + B (mid-air) - Super Hammer Punch. A double axe handle that consists of Max using both of his hands. Can hit enemies while behind them if they get too close. Useful for hitting enemies without getting anti-aired by most. Also used to exploit Shiva's blocking, which bypasses his block and hits him. Not recommended against Ravens, Hakuyos, Jack variants, Barbon variants, Zamza variants, Abadede variants, R. Bear variants, Oxygen variants, and Mr. X.

Jump Kick[edit | edit source]

D-Pad Left or Right + C + B (mid-air) - Drop Kick. A moving horizontal kick. Can be used to hit Abadede when he's charging at Max. Useful for non-anti air enemies.

Drop Attack[edit | edit source]

C + D-Pad Down + B (mid-air) - Elbow Drop. A moving vertical elbow drop that stuns enemies on contact and can be used for Max to follow up with a grab and any applicable move.

Rear Attack[edit | edit source]

B + C (almost simultaneously; on the ground) - Rear Kick. One of Max's defensive tools. Can be used to turn Max around without having the need to move.

Grabs[edit | edit source]

From behind[edit | edit source]

C + B - Atomic Drop. Max jumps with his grabbed opponent and prods his knee out to snap the enemy's spine once impacting with the ground. Upon finishing the attack, Max's jump height will be gimped the next time Max jumps. Atomic Drop also hits several enemies at once if colliding with the enemy in the hold.

D-Pad in the direction opposite of the enemy + B - German Suplex. Can hit several enemies if the enemies collide with the enemy in the hold.

From the front[edit | edit source]

D-Pad Left or Right + B - One knee kick. Can be followed up with another knee kick, Thunder Body Slam, Headbutt, Brain Buster, German Suplex, Thunder Tackle, or Spinning Knuckle Bomb.

D-Pad Left or Right + B (2x) - Two knee kicks. Can be followed up with the Thunder Body Slam, Headbutt, Brain Buster, German Suplex, Thunder Tackle, or Spinning Knuckle Bomb.

B (5x; wait 0.5 seconds) - Brain Buster. Max holds the enemy in place by their head and squeezes it. Max's most powerful move, but leaves him vunerable to attacks from other enemies.

Super Slam[edit | edit source]

D-Pad Left or Right + C + B - Thunder Body Slam. Used to hit several enemies and knock them up into the air. Also used as a combo finisher.

Special Attacks[edit | edit source]

D-Pad Left or Right + A - Thunder Tackle. One of Max's movement tools and one of two specials. Can be used to chip off Barbon variants and Zamza variants very quickly due to a programming error where Max's Thunder Tackle bypasses the block and keeps hitting them for the duration of the Thunder Tackle. Thunder Tackle also removes a bit of Max's health regardless if using it to hit an enemy or not. Can be used as a combo finisher.

A - Spinning Knuckle Bomb. One of Max's defensive tools and one of two specials. Can be used to have invincibility frames from attacks such as Jack's knife throwing, Mr. X's firing, Oxygen's eye laser, R. Bear's uppercut in a corner, getting hit from both sides, and Shiva's Jump Kick. Can be used as a combo finisher.

Combos[edit | edit source]

Grab from front + D-Pad Left or Right + B (2x) + C + B - Two knee kicks plus Thunder Body Slam. One of Max's combo finishers for his grab. Used to hit several enemies and knock them up into the air. Does a lot of damage.

Grab from front + D-Pad Left or Right + B (2x) + B (5x; wait 0.5 seconds) - Two knee kicks plus Brain Buster. Max holds the enemy in place by their head and squeezes it. Does a lot of damage. Useful for staying in the same spot.

Grab from front + D-Pad Left or Right + B (2x) + D-Pad in the direction opposite of the enemy + B - Two knee kicks plus German Suplex. One of Max's combo finishers. Does a lot of damage. Useful for staying in the same spot and hitting several enemies by knocking them up the air.

Grab from front + D-Pad Left or Right + B (2x) + D-Pad Left or Right + A - Two knee kicks plus Thunder Tackle. Used best on Zamza variants and Abadede variants.

Grab from front + D-Pad Left or Right + B (2x) + A - Two knee kicks plus Spinning Knuckle Bomb. Used as a combo finisher on Abadede.

Grab from front + D-Pad Left or Right + B (3x) - Two knee kicks plus Headbutt. One of Max's combo finishers for his grab. Used to keep Max in his original position. Does less damage than the other combo finishers.

B (3x) + Grab from front + D-Pad Left or Right + B (2x) + D-Pad in the opposite direction + B - 2 left vertical chops and a right punch, a grab, 2 knee kicks, and German Suplex. One of Max's best combos to deal damage with.

B (3x) + Grab from front + D-Pad Left or Right + B (2x) + C + B - 2 left vertical chops and a right punch, a grab, 2 knee kicks, and a stationary Thunder Body Slam.

B (3x) + Grab from front + D-Pad Left or Right + B (2x) + D-Pad Left or Right + C + B - 2 left vertical chops and a right punch, a grab, 2 knee kicks, and a moving Thunder Body Slam. One of the most damaging attacks in Max's arsenal.

B (3x) + Grab from front + D-Pad Left or Right + B (2x) + D-Pad Left or Right + A - 2 left vertical chops and a right punch, a grab, 2 knee kicks, and Thunder Tackle. Used best on Zamza if he's still able to block or as a high damaging combo finisher.

B (3x) + Grab from front + D-Pad Left or Right + B (2x) + A - 2 left vertical chops and a right punch, a grab, 2 knee kicks, and Spinning Knuckle Bomb. Used best on Abadede to show off.

B (3x) + Grab from front + D-Pad Left or Right + B (3x) - 2 left vertical chops and a right punch, a grab, 2 knee kicks and, Headbutt. Used for showing off and keeping Max in the same spot once he's grabbed an enemy.

B (3x; quickly turn D-Pad Left or Right before the third B input) + Grab from behind + C + B - 2 left vertical chops and a right punch, a grab, and Atomic Drop. Used best against all enemies, including bosses not named R. Bear, R. Bear Jr. Jet, Mosquite, Griphis, Comet, Barbon, Wayne, Vulture, Zamza, Souther, and Nail.

B (3x) + Grab from behind + D-Pad in the direction opposite of the enemy + B - 2 left vertical chops and a right punch, a grab, and German Suplex. Used best on regular enemies and, of course, Abadede.

B (3x) + D-Pad Left or Right (2x) + B - 2 left vertical chops and a right punch and Power Slide. Used as a safe combo finisher on the likes of Abadede.

B (3x) + D-Pad in the direction opposite of the enemy + C + B (almost simultaneously; on the ground) - 2 left vertical chops and a right punch and Rear Kick. One of the best damaging combo finishers. Hits an enemy or several by 8 times if up close.

B (3x) + A - 2 left vertical chops and a right punch and Spinning Knuckle Bomb. One of the many combo finishers that Max has.

A + Grab from behind + C + B - Spinning Knuckle Bomb, a grab, and Atomic Drop. Used best against R. Bear when up close to a wall.

D-Pad Up + Grab from behind + C + B - A moving in place Max and guarantees an opportunity to Atomic Drop all enemies besides the Zamza variants and Shiva. Used best when up against a wall.

D-Pad Down + Grab from behind + C + B - A moving in place Max and guarantees an opportunity to Atomic Drop all enemies besides Zamza variants and Shiva. Useful for when Zamza spawns in the map on Stage 3.

D-Pad Up + Grab from behind + D-Pad in the direction opposite of the enemy + B - A moving in place Max and guarantees an opportunity to German Suplex. Used best when up against a wall.

C + D-Pad Down + B+ B (4x) - Elbow Drop which leads into 2 vertical chops, a right punch, and a Hammer Punch.

C + D-Pad Down + B + B (3x) + A - Elbow Drop which leads into 2 vertical chops, a right punch, and a Thunder Tackle.

C + D-Pad Down + B + B (3x) + Grab from behind + C + B - Elbow Drop which leads into 2 vertical chops, Max turning to the left or right of the enemy's back, a grab, and Atomic Drop. One of the highest damaging movies found in the entire game.

C + D-Pad Down + B + B (2x) + Grab from behind + D-Pad in the direction opposite of the enemy + B - Elbow Drop which leads into 2 vertical chops, a grab, and a German Suplex.

C + D-Pad Down + B + Grab from behind + C + B - Elbow Drop which leads into an easy Atomic Drop. Very easy to pull off and exploit on many enemies due to their stun times on the first hit. Very damaging. Countered by prominent anti-air attackers such as Raven and Donovan.

C + D-Pad Down + B + Grab from behind + D-Pad in the direction opposite of the enemy + B - Elbow Drop which leads into an easy German Suplex. Very easy to pull off and exploit on many enemies due to their stun times on the first hit. Countered by prominent anti-air attackers such as Raven and Donovan.

C + D-Pad Down + B + Grab from front + B (2x) + D-Pad or Right + C + B

C + D-Pad Down + B + Grab from front + B (2x) + C + B

D-Pad Left or Right + C + D-Pad Down + B + Grab

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • In SoR2, his frame is large, with slightly exaggerated muscle size. In his cameo in the SOR3 good ending however, Max is given a more realistic, albeit still muscular frame.
  • Despite appearing in the third installment's good ending, Max does not appear during the credit action shots.
  • With no direct connections to the police force, or the Syndicate, Max is the only character without a direct cause in battling the Syndicate, other than friendship. This could explain his absence in the third installment (except for the cameo at the end of the third game's 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 reveals that he was kicked out of professional wrestling for refusing to "throw a fight", likely a fixed game between him and his opponent.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

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