In the original Killer Instinct, Thunder is a massive red-skinned Native American, bare-chested, only wearing a pair of camo pants, green boots and gray gloves. He has black war paint around his eyes, black tattoo lines along his shoulders and a Mohawk for a hairstyle, along with earrings on his ears. He carries two tomahawks into battle.
In Killer Instinct (2013), Thunder gets a redesign, along with a more accurate tribal identity. Still bare-chested but no longer wearing gloves and lacking his original Mohawk, he now has war paint done in the style of a raven, 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 war paint, almost completely obscuring his skin. He wears an Indian Headress and a Nez Perce bear claw necklace and green pants with two belts, shin-guards and combat boots. His tomahawks appear a little more traditional and less manufactured.
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 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 agonizing over the matter, and to great protest from his tribes folk, 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.....?
Killer Instinct (2013)
"Now I go along with the law."
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 "Hinmatoom." 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.
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 become for Hinmatoom's brother. In defeat she sees a chance to turn Hinmatoom into an ally, revealing the truth of Eagle's remains. "There is 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 human fighter, Ultratech sought a "pure fighting spirit" upon which to base a new AI. Ultrateach has plundered Eagle's mind to create the ultimate fighter.
- Name: Hinmatoom
- Sex: Male
- Age: 47
- Height: 6'4"
- Weight: 295 lbs
- Race: Human
- Affiliation: The Alliance, Night Guard (prospective member), Ultratech (temporary)
- Family: Eagle (Brother)
- Alignment: Lawful Good
- Fighting Style: Grappler
- Weapons: Tomahawks
"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 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.
Powers and Abilities
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.
Thunder is a playable character in the Killer Instinct video game series. He is voiced by Ken Lobb in KI 2013.
- Thunder was one of three characters from the original Killer Instinct who did not return for its sequel or its Gold port. Unlike Riptor and Cinder however, Thunder was said to have defeated his opponent, Spinal, whereas the rest were implied to have been killed in battle. Thunder was also the only one of the three to return for the third game in the series until Season 2.
- In Killer Instinct (2013), the "Chief" in Thunder's name has largely been dropped, leading him to be referred to solely as "Thunder". This is in part due to his backstory, where he abandons his position due to the loss of his brother.
- In the first KI, Thunder had no tribal identity, he was a stereotypical representation of rough Native Americans. In KI 2013, he was later identified as being of the Nez Perce.
- Thunder's real name "Hinmatoom" was revealed in Killer Instinct (2013).
- Chief Thunder's weyekin is the raven, a creature that had on the one hand played a pivotal role in the creation of the world according to a number of Aboriginal myths, yet on the other is something of a trickster. In some Native cultures, a raven is symbol of death.
- Contrary to popular belief, the phoenix is not a creature of Native American culture; it is usually associated with Sumerian, Egyptian and Christian mythology and symbolism. There is, however, a creature in Aboriginal myths known as a thunderbird, which is said to be so large that its beating wings cause storms. Thunder's Ultra ends with a powerful burst of lightning, suggesting a connection with this being.
- In this extended story, Thunder's Nez Perce name is incorrectly spelled as "Hinmatoon", when it should be "Hinmatoom".