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Chief Thunder

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Killer Instinct - Thunder
Age: 47




295 lbs




Canyon (KI)
Devil's Landing (KI 2013)


Eagle (younger brother)
Night Guard
Kim Wu
ARIA (temporarily)



Story Mode Rival:


Appears in:

Killer Instinct
Killer Instinct (Xbox One)

Voiced by:

Ken Lobb

Now I go along with the law.

— Thunder's intro quote

Chief Thunder (real name Hinmatoom, often called Thunder for short) is a traditional Native American Nez Perce warrior, and a playable character in Killer Instinct (1994) and Killer Instinct (2013).



In the original Killer Instinct (1994), Thunder appears as a large, red-skinned Native American who is bare-chested and wears a pair of camo pants, green boots, and gray gloves. He has black warpaint around his eyes, black tattoo lines along his shoulders, a shaved head with a feather mohawk headpiece, and ear piercings. He carries two tomahawks into battle.

In Killer Instinct (2013), Thunder received a significant overhaul along with a more accurate Nez Perce tribal identity. Still bare-chested, but no longer wearing gloves and lacking his original mohawk, he now has warpaint done in the style of a crow, with white paint adorning his hands and upper arms, along with parts of his face and neck. His face is covered in black, yellow, and white warpaint, almost completely obscuring its skin. He wears a feathered war bonnet and a Nez Perce bear claw necklace, desert-colored pants with two interlocked belts, shin-guards, and combat boots. Thunder's tomahawks now are handmade and more traditional compared to his original ones.

Thunder's "retro costume" wears a black leather vest with several patches such as KI, Rareware and Route 66 and also has large Killer Instinct logo at the back, he wears blue jeans and a brown shoes. He has brown hair braided in ponytail and a blue bandana.


Thunder is a man of loyal heart who remains devoted to his family and his heritage, easily seen in his traditional Nez Perce battle attire. He mainly speaks in his native language of Niimiipuutímt out of preference, though he does know English. His main goal is to find his brother Tipyeléhne, also known as Eagle, who was kidnapped by Ultratech years ago. Thunder has learned from Orchid that Eagle was used in the creation of the Fulgore Mk. III, and since then he has fought against Ultratech so that he may find the Mk. III prototype and hopefully his brother as well. Thunder also maintains a strong bond with Aganos, since he was responsible for freeing the golem from Ultratech’s control and both warriors are seeking people of great importance to them. The two have traveled together ever since their first encounter.


Thunder is a huge and brutal fighter who has derived most of his fighting style from street fights that occurred on the reserve he grew up on in Idaho, as well as his old football days. He wields his tribe's traditional tomahawks with power and grace. Due to his connection with his raven weyekin he has limited control over lightning, being able to charge his tomahawks or even his own body or head with electricity. His weyekin also allows him to pass through solids by surrounding him with ghostly ravens. In the original Killer Instinct he could also throw phoenix-shaped fireballs from his tomahawks.

Killer Instinct


Mystical defender of Native Americans. Thunder enters the contest in order to uncover the mystery surrounding his brother's disappearance in the previous year's tournament.

Extended Story

Long months have passed since the previous year's Ultratech tournament, and despite the wide-ranging searches of his tribe's supernatural phoenix allies, the Chief's beloved but overambitious younger brother has failed to return in either triumph or defeat. After much agonising over the matter, and to great protest from his tribesfolk, Thunder decides that he must suspect the worst concerning Eagle's fate, and pacifies his people by nominating himself as avenger. The Chief has no dreams of glory, taking up Ultratech's challenge with nothing but vengeance and a primal justice in mind.

Stage: Canyon Bridge



  • Phoenix: Down, Quarter Forward, Forward, Any Kick
  • Sammamish: Forward, Quarter Forward, Down, Quarter Back, Back And Punch
  • Triplax: Charge Back Then Forward And Any Punch
  • Tomahawk: While In Mid-Air, Forward, Quarter Forward, Down, Quarter Back, Back, Fierce Punch
  • Reverse Triplax: Charge Forward Then Back And Medium Punch

Special Moves

  • Combo Breaker: Forward, Quarter Forward, Down, Quarter Back, Back And Punch
  • Ultra Combo: Back, Forward, Quick Punch

End Specials

  • End Special 1: Charge Back Then Forward, Any Punch, Fierce Punch
  • End Special 2: Down, Quarter Forward, Forward, Any Kick, Fierce Kick
  • End Special 3: Forward, Quarter Forward, Down, Quarter Back, Back, Any Punch, Medium Punch, Fierce Punch

Danger Moves

  • No Mercy 1: [Stand 2 Character Distance Away]Down, Quarter Forward, Forward, Fierce Punch
  • No Mercy 2: [Stand Close] Down, Quarter Back, Back, Fierce Kick
  • Humiliation: Down, Quarter Back, Back, Fierce Punch


After discovering the fate of his brother, Thunder contemplates the future and mourns the loss of Eagle but, with his death avenged, the soul of Eagle can finally rest in peace forever. Or can it.....?

Killer Instinct (2013)


Unable to let go of his grief and consumed by the mysteries that still surround the loss of his brother Eagle, Hinmatoom (Thunder) strikes an accord with an unfamiliar figure in exchange for recovering Eagle's remains so that he can be given a traditional burial and both can find peace.

Extended Story

"Murder of Crows": Thunder grew up on a Nez Perce reservation in Idaho with his younger brother Eagle. They were the grandchildren of a chief, and their parents were both tribal police officers who encouraged their boys to “walk with the law,” keeping the moral high-ground and refusing to give in to negativity and vice. The brothers studied hard in school and were gifted athletes. Thunder was built like a mountain and played football, while Eagle was a wrestler and amateur boxer.

When Thunder was a teenager he went on a vision quest in the wilderness to seek his weyekin or spirit guide that would help bridge the gap between our world and the Spirit World. A great storm came as he sat upon a mountaintop, bolts of lightning striking all round him. His spirit guide came to him at that moment. Thunder saw a flock of crows appear from nowhere, and one them—a great black bird—spoke to him in his native language. It told him that he would fight an evil monster one day, and that he must begin training in earnest with the traditional weapon of Native Americans—the tomahawk. He became obsessed with keeping his heritage alive after that, studying the Nez Perce language, folklore and even traditional medicine with the elders of his tribe, his goal to one day become a teacher at the local Indian college.

Eagle went on his own vision quest a few years later. He would never tell Thunder what he saw, but soon after he discovered his weyekin he started training to become an ultimate fighter with an almost religious fervor.

When Thunder and Eagle were in their late twenties, their parents were killed under mysterious circumstances. The couple was gunned down outside an Ultratech facility near the reservation—a factory that had been fined repeatedly for polluting the native land. The FBI blamed their deaths on drug dealers, but Thunder and Eagle knew better.

The brothers started trying to build a case against Ultratech, which they suspected was behind the murders. But all of their efforts were thwarted by the powerful megacorp. In a desperate attempt to infiltrate Ultratech, Eagle—now a skilled amateur fighter—entered the first Killer Instinct tournament. Ultratech claimed that the young man was killed in a match, but they refused to return the corpse to Thunder and his tribe for burial.

In a fit of blind rage Thunder drove his car through the gates of the local Ultratech plant. He jumped out of his car and fought the security guards who’d surrounded him, putting a dozen of them in the hospital. He was caught by the tribal police and incarcerated, screaming that he would “Burn Ultratech to the ground.” The charges against him were quickly dropped by Ultratech and he was released from jail. That night the Ultratech facility was set on fire by an arsonist and it was completely destroyed, along with any answers about his parents’ death that might be hidden there. Thunder knew that he was being framed for the fire and fled the reservation on his motorcycle.

He was on the run for nearly a year. Finally he went into the high desert mountains near a place called Devil’s Landing and did another vision quest, starving himself for a week. A powerful vision came to him and he saw a metal eagle in the sky, calling out his Nez Perce name “Hinmatoon.” When he awoke, Thunder painted himself with the black design of the eagle on his shoulders, then set out for the second Killer Instinct tournament. Here, during one of the fights, he came face to face with the mechanical being called Fulgore—the newest version of Ultratech’s battle cyborg. Thunder’s gut told him that this mechanical aberration was fighting with the same style as his brother Eagle. He wondered if they had somehow extracted Eagle’s consciousness, but he was not able to prove whether or not this was true. Furthermore he was unable to recover the remains of his brother, and so he continued on what he called the “Path of the Eagle,” vowing to find answers or death.

Thunder’s path led him to a confrontation with Aganos—an ancient war golem who was under the sway of Ultratech. Thunder could sense the conflict inside the creature. He went into a fury, summoning the power of his weyekin and channeling a bolt of lightning, destroying the technology controlling the golem, and thus setting him free. Instantly a strange kinship and telekinetic bond was forged between the two. They embarked on a dual quest: track down Aganos’s enemy—the evil sorcerer Kan-Ra; and break into Ultratech’s labs to search for Eagle’s remains.

Little does Thunder know that he may be forced to ally himself with his hated enemy—Ultratech—in order to face an even more sinister force that threatens both our planet and other dimensions.

The path to truth and justice will be wrought with the corpses of new and more powerful foes, but Thunder does not wish for his new allies to share in this fate. He must train and improve his tribe’s most devastating technique, the Sammamish, as the loss of new friends could be too great for his wounded heart to bear.

Stage: Devil's Landing (Similarity of Canyon Bridge (KI))

When an Ultra Combo is being performed on this stage, a rain storm first begins, then lightning starts to strike, and a massive tornado will form in the background.


Command Attacks:

  • Horn Breaker: (Forward + Heavy Punch) Thunder does two overhead axe chops. Must be blocked high.
  • Surprise Knee: (Light Kick during Sammamish or Shadow Sammamish) Thunder strikes his opponent with his knee. Causes flip-out.
  • Dropkick: (Medium Kick during Sammamish or Shadow Sammamish) Thunder performs a dropkick. Causes a hard knockdown.
  • Sky Fall: (Heavy Kick during Sammamish or Shadow Sammamish) Cancels air momentum to perform an air stomp. After the update it is considered a Special Move. Causes ground bounce.
  • Throw: (Light Punch + Light Kick)

Special Moves:

  • Triplax: (QCF + Punch) Thunder does a series of spinning slashes with his axes.
  • Call of the Earth: (QCB + Punch) Thunder grabs and slams his opponent down, then curbstomps their head.
  • Ankle Slicer: (QCB + Kick) Thunder does a low slash with his axes. Must be blocked low.
  • Sammamish: (DP + Punch) Thunder leaps diagonally into the air with startup invincibility.
  • Call of Sky: (All Three Punches) Thunder calls a bolt of lightning to strike himself, charging himself with electricity. This makes his next dash's distance almost double and lets him pass through opponent, operating similarly to his Instinct Mode but for only one time.

Shadow Moves:

  • Shadow Triplax: (QCF + Two Punches) Thunder does a series of spinning slashes with his axes.
  • Shadow Call of the Earth: (QCB + Two Punches) Thunder grabs and slams his opponent down as he does three stomps with lightning effects. The third stomp ground bounces them up.
  • Shadow Ankle Slicer: (QCB + Two Kicks) Thunder does a low slash with his axes. Must be blocked low.
  • Shadow Sammamish: (DP + Two Punches) Thunder leaps diagonally into the air with startup invincibility.

Combo Openers:

  • Triplax: (QCF + Punch) Thunder does a series of spinning slashes with his axes.
  • Shadow Triplax: (QCF + Two Punches) Thunder does a series of spinning slashes with his axes.
  • Ankle Slicer: (QCB + Kick) Thunder does a low slash with his axes. Must be blocked low.
  • Shadow Ankle Slicer: (QCB + Two Kicks) Thunder does a low slash with his axes. Must be blocked low.
  • Back Throw: (Back + Light Punch + Light Kick) Thunder shoves his opponent behind him.
  • Horn Breaker: (Forward + Heavy Punch) Thunder does two overhead axe chops. Must be blocked high.

Combo Linkers:

  • Triplax: (QCF + (Hold) Light or Medium Punch) Thunder does a series of spinning slashes with his axes.
  • Shadow Triplax: (QCF + Two Punches) Thunder does a series of spinning slashes with his axes.
  • Ankle Slicer: (QCB + (Hold) Light or Medium Kick) Thunder does a series of low slashs with his axes.
  • Shadow Ankle Slicer: (QCB + Two Kicks) Thunder does a multi-hit low slash with his axes.
  • Back Throw: (Back + Light Punch + Light Kick) Thunder shoves his opponent behind him.

Combo Enders:

  • Triplax: (QCF + Heavy Punch) (Wallbounce Ender) Thunder does a spinning slash with his axes, the last hit being powerful enough to wall bounce.
  • Call of the Earth: (QCB + Punch) (Damage Ender) Thunder does a few hits launching his opponent up catching them and slamming them down following up with a curbstomp
  • Shadow Call of the Earth: (QCB + Two Punches) (Shadow Damage Ender) Thunder grabs and slams his opponent down as he does three stomps with lightning effects. The third stomp ground bounces them up.
  • Ankle Slicer: (QCB + Heavy Kick) (Battery Ender) Thunder does a strong low slash with his axes.
  • Sammamish: (DP + Punch) (Launcher Ender) Thunder leaps diagonally into the air launching them into the air.
  • Shadow Sammamish: (DP + Two Punches) (Shadow Launcher Ender) Thunder leaps diagonally into the air launching them into the air.

Ultra Combo Hits: 28 Hits

Instinct Mode - Spiritual Dash: Thunder turns into a flock of crows when he dashes forward or backward. His dash more than doubles and can go through opponents. The dash itself has a lot of invincibility and can be canceled with an attack mid dash and can lend itself to ambiguous mixups.

Combo Trait - Throw Linkers: Thunder can use his back throw as his linker making it impossible to Combo Break and lose potential damage and can throw off players due to the awkward timing of the throw. They can still tech out of the throw however. The throw can also be used as an opener.

Trivia: During the slow music due to characters not moving, his remixed classic theme, "Oh Yeah" will play.


Spare Orchid, ULTRA Fulgore

Hinmatoom's victories have not filled the grave on Devil's Throne. His brother's spirit will never rest until his body returns home. Grieving and lost, Hinmatoom resolves to "walk the Path" of Eagle, knowing it will lead to answers, or death. Thunder will be content either way.

Spare Fulgore, ULTRA Orchid

A competitor in the first Ultratech tournament, Orchid knows what became for Hinmatoom's brother. In defeat she sees a chance to turn Hinmatoom into an ally, revealing the truth of Eagle's remains. "There are no remains. There is no body, because Eagle is not dead."

ULTRA Orchid and Fulgore

Eagle's murder was blamed on a 600-year-old immortal, but he was not dead. Unable to create an artificial intelligence equal to a human fighter, Ultratech sought a "pure fighting spirit" upon which to base a new AI. Ultratech has plundered Eagle's mind to create the ultimate fighter.

Signature Moves

Killer Instinct (1994)

  • Triplax: Thunder does an 180 degree spin hitting his opponent with his flaming tomahawks.
  • Sammamish: Thunder does a rising uppercut using his mohawk.
  • Phoenix: Thunder shoots a projectile out of his tomahawk.
  • Rain Dance: Thunder does a native dance and calls lighting upon his opponent.
  • Sammahawk: Thunder does an air dive with his mohawk.

Killer Instinct (2013)

  • Triplax: Thunder does an 180 degree spin hitting his opponent with his tomahawks.
  • Sammamish: Thunder does a rising uppercut using his head and then drops downward.
  • Ankle Slicer: Thunder does a low-hitting slash with his tomahawks.
  • Call of the Earth: Thunder grabs the opponent with his tomahawks and throws them on the ground, stomping on their face afterwards.

Character Relationships

  • Older brother of Eagle.
  • Temporary ally of ARIA and Ultratech in order to locate the remains of Eagle.
  • Enemy of Fulgore. Although Thunder does not know it, Eagle's mind has been implanted into Fulgore (specifically the Mk. III unit).
  • Alliance with Aganos, to find the Fulgore containing Eagle's mind (or his remains) as well as hunt for Kan-Ra.
  • Respects Orchid as a warrior and ally.
  • Friendly rival of TJ Combo.


Thank you for the battle!

— Chief Thunder's victory quote


  • When reimagining Chief Thunder for Killer Instinct (2013), Microsoft Studios contacted a member of the Nez Perce  tribe, Josiah "Black Eagle" Pinkham, to evaluate the authenticity of the character's new design. Pinkham spend a day with the KI team and detailed the real-life culture of the Nez Perce to them, such as how a traditional warrior would celebrate the defeat of an opponent. Pinkham suggested they make Thunder "culturally heroic". Thunder's design and background story for KI 2013 were based on these interactions.
  • Thunder's weyekin (or "spirit guide") is the crow, a creature which is considered to be a harbinger of good luck in the mythology of many Native American tribes.
  • Chief Thunder's real name, "Hinmatoom", was first revealed in Killer Instinct (2013).
    • A small goof is that his official 2013 theme composed by Mick Gordon is incorrectly titled "Hinnamatoom".
  • Contrary to popular belief, the phoenix isn't a creature belonging to Native American culture. Rather, it is usually associated with Sumerian, Egyptian, and Christian mythology & symbolism. There is however a creature in Aboriginal myth known as the Thunderbird, which is said to be so massive its beating wings create the rolling sound of thunder. Thunder's Instinct ModeUltra Combo, and Devil's Landing stage all involve lightning, rain, or gales, implying he has a spiritual connection to such a being.
    • Interestingly, Native American legend relates that the Thunderbird was often accompanied by lesser spirits which took the form of Eagles. Thunder's younger brother, Eagle, is a minor character in the KI franchise and has his namesake as his weyekin. 
  • In Killer Instinct (2013), Thunder is the only character who hasn't been given his classic KI retro outfit, which is met with controversy among fans. This is supposedly due to his appearance from the original Killer Instinct being considered too stereotypical a representation of Native American culture. However, he can still be customized to look closely like his previous KI appearance.


Killer Instinct

Killer Instinct (2013)

External links

Thunder's character page at the official Killer Instinct website

Thunder's gameplay profile at Infil's The Complete Killer Instinct Guide

Killer Instinct Franchise
Games Killer Instinct · Killer Instinct 2 (Gold) · Killer Instinct (2013)
Characters Jago · TJ Combo · Spinal · Thunder · Glacius · Fulgore · Cinder · Sabrewulf · Orchid · Riptor · Eyedol · Tusk · Kim Wu · Maya · Gargos · Sadira · Shadow Jago · Kan-Ra · Omen · Aganos · Hisako · ARIA · Mira
Minor Characters Eagle · The Chairman · Ryat Adams · Babylonian King · The Master · Yeouiju
Guest Characters Rash · Arbiter · General RAAM
Organizations Ultratech · Red Eyes of Rylai · Disavowed · Night Guard · The Coven
Soundtracks Killer Cuts · Killer Instinct Gold Cuts · Killer Instinct: Season One Soundtrack + Original Arcade Soundtrack · Killer Instinct (Original Game Soundtrack), Season 2
Literature KI Nintendo Power · KI #1 · KI #2 · KI #3 · KI Special #1 · KI Special #2 · KI Special #3
Extended Stories The Secrets of the Tiger · The Lycanthrope's Tale · The Ice-man Cometh · Murder of Crows · The Widow’s Bite · The Firecat's Summoning · The Quest of the Searing Skull · Fulgore Mark 03 Field Manual-L · Glory Days · Temperance and Vengeance · Death is no Obstacle · You and Your Riptor Unit · The Herald of Gargos · Peacemaker · The Everlasting Child · The Third Degree · Evolve or Die
Killer Instinct Novella The Road to Ravensburg · The Watchman Awakes · Dragon's Choice · Conflux · ARIA for Noömorph · Shadows at Dawn
Gameplay Combo Breaker & Counter Breaker · Ultra Combo · No Mercy · Combo System · Instinct Mode · Shadow Meter · Shadow Moves · Shadow Counter · Knockdown Value · Lock out · Frame Data · Character Accessories · Arcade Mode · Rivals Mode · Shadow Lords Mode

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