Now I go along with the law.

— Thunder's intro quote

Thunder (real name hinmatoom, formerly known in the original games/universe as Chief Thunder) is a traditional Native American Nez Percé 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 in battle.

In Killer Instinct (2013), Thunder received a significant overhaul along with a more accurate Nez Percé 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 Percé 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 Costumes Cropped Hero-hero

Traditional warrior of the Nez Percé

Thunder's "retro costume" wears a black leather vest with several logo 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.

In his Legend of Thunder costume, he received a more traditional look (contrasting his 2013 default outfit) that truly befits Thunder's Nez Percé tribal identity.[1] He wears brown buckskin pants with a color pallete of pink and green geometric patterns at each side, a gray leather belt with a red buckle, a red loincloth with white patterns below and a pair of brown shoes. He also wears two leather arm braces and a stone necklace. His headdress is removed, so he now sports a long pompadour hairstyle with braids (which he had in his default appearance) and has black warface paint only around his eyes similar to the first game. His pair of tomahawks now have pointy tips.[2]


Tormented by the death of his brother, Thunder is an honorable warrior who respects tradition and fights from his heart.

— Thunder's story mode description

Thunder is a man of loyal heart who remains devoted to his family and his heritage, easily seen in his traditional Nez Percé battle attire. He mainly speaks in his native language of Niimi'ipuutímt 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


Thunder in KI


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.


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.....?


Main article: Canyon


Command Moves

  • 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

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

  • Ultra Combo: Back, Forward, Quick Punch
  • 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

Killer Instinct (2013)

Thunder Arcade Intro 2

Thunder in 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

Main article: Murder of Crows


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.


Chapter 4 — Conflux:

Main article: Conflux

Shadow Lords

Info to be added...


Devils Landing

Thunder's new stage of Devil's Landing in KI 2013

Main article: Devil's Landing

Similar to the Canyon Bridge stage (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.

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


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.

Command Moves

  • 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 the 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:

  • 28 Hits

Ultimate Combo:

  • Thunder calls the lightning, which strikes his tomahawks, then he spiritually dashes, which causes him to vanish as numerous crows fly towards the defeated opponent; he then appears right before his defeated opponent's eyes and delivers a massive headbutt, grabs his victim with his tomahawks and slams them to the ground. Thunder leaps into the air, and stomps on his opponent as massive bolts of lightning strike them for the final blow.


qe’ciyéw’yew’! (Thank you for the battle!)

— Thunder's victory quote in KI 2013 (pronounced as Kat-see-yeow-yeow)

náqc, lepít, mitát! (One, two, three!)

— Thunder when performing his Triplax move

The crows will feast on this thing from another land.

— Thunder to a Mimic in Shadow Lords

Its spirit stinks.

— Thunder referring to Omen during the events of Shadow Lords

I will not speak to a body that possesses no soul!

— Thunder rebuking ARIA during Shadow Lords



Killer Instinct (1994)

Killer Instinct (2013)

Killer Instinct Comics


  • When reimagining Chief Thunder for Killer Instinct (2013), Microsoft Studios contacted a member of the Nez Percé 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 Percé 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 & background story for KI 2013 were based on these interactions.
    • Other real-life Nez Percé members, language program coordinator Thomas "tátlo" Gregory and composer/singer Anthony "toyáaxnin" Smith, were responsible for translating Thunder's native dialogue and also performed the vocals heard in his new 2013 theme respectively.
  • 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 was incorrectly titled "Hinnamatoom".
    • Another goof is in his official 2013 backstory, "Murder of Crows", where the name was misspelled as "Hinmatoon".
  • 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 in size that its beating wings create the rolling sound of thunder. Thunder's Instinct ModeUltra ComboUltimate Combo and Devil's Landing stage all involve either lightning, rain, or gales, suggesting he has a spiritual connection to one of these powerful legendary creatures.
    • Interestingly, Native American folklore relates that the Thunderbird was often accompanied by lesser spirits which took on the form of falcons or 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.
  • During his Ultimate in Killer Instinct (2013), some big characters like Aganos, General RAAM, Gargos, Glacius, Tusk, Arbiter and Eyedol appear shorter than him.



External links

Killer Instinct (1994) Characters
Playable Jago ·Black Orchid ·TJ Combo ·Glacius ·Chief Thunder ·Sabrewulf ·Spinal ·Cinder ·Riptor ·Fulgore
Boss Eyedol
Killer Instinct (2013) Characters
Season 1 Jago ·Sabrewulf ·Glacius ·Thunder ·Sadira ·Orchid ·Spinal ·Fulgore ·Shadow Jago
Season 2 TJ Combo ·Maya ·Kan-Ra ·Riptor ·Omen ·Aganos ·Hisako ·Cinder ·ARIA
Season 3 Kim Wu ·Tusk ·Arbiter ·Rash ·Mira ·Gargos ·General RAAM ·Eyedol
Season 3+ Kilgore ·Shin Hisako ·Eagle
Killer Instinct Universe
Playable Characters
Killer Instinct Logo HD Jago ·Orchid ·TJ Combo ·Glacius ·Thunder ·Sabrewulf

 ·Spinal ·Riptor ·Cinder ·Fulgore ·Eyedol

Killer Instinct 2 Kim Wu ·Maya ·Tusk ·Gargos
Killer Logo copy Season 1 Sadira ·Shadow Jago
Season 2 Kan-Ra ·Omen ·Aganos ·Hisako ·ARIA
Season 3 Mira ·Rash ·Arbiter ·General RAAM
Season 3+ Kilgore ·Shin Hisako ·Eagle
Non-Playable Characters and Organizations
Minor Characters The Chairman ·Ryat Adams ·Babylonian King ·The Master ·Yeouiju ·True Tsar
Enemies Mimics
Organizations Ultratech ·Red Eyes of Rylai ·Disavowed ·Night Guard ·The Coven ·The Alliance
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 ·The Dragon Spirit ·The Watchman Of The Gods ·Blood For My Blood ·Flayer Of Souls ·The Reawakened ·Rash's Extended Story ·Arbiter's Extended Story ·For The Queen
Killer Instinct Novella The Road to Ravensburg ·The Watchman Awakes ·Dragon's Choice ·Conflux ·ARIA for Noömorph ·Shadows at Dawn
Gameplay Combo & Counter Breaker ·Ultra Combo ·Ultimate Combo ·Humiliation ·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