Become a Patron to help us improve MobyGames!


Not an American user?


The people of Gradius are in trouble. The ameoboid Bacterions have launched an all out attack against the planet, and it's up to you to fly into battle and save them. Along the way you'll be able to power up your ship with hyper speed, force fields, lasers, missiles, double beam cannons and more to help you battle.

Based on the arcade game, Gradius is a side-scrolling shooter. Shooting certain enemies will leave a power up pod behind which can be collected to add more power to your ship. Each level features a wide variety of enemies trying to stop you, with a large boss at the end. Gameplay is for one player or two players alternating.


Gradius Arcade Title screen
Gradius Sharp X1 Title screen
Gradius Arcade Option & laser
Gradius TurboGrafx-16 Title screen

Alternate Titles

  • "宇宙巡航机" -- Chinese spelling (simplified)
  • "Nemesis" -- Game Boy / European Arcade & Computer title
  • "グラディウス" -- Japanese spelling

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

a fun action game that got rave reviews at the time Game Boy Gothicgene (83)
This is how to make shoot-em-up games (v1.5) MSX Wertzui (156)

The Press Says

Total! (Germany) Game Boy Jul, 1995 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 100
Computer and Video Games (CVG) TurboGrafx-16 Feb, 1992 92 out of 100 92
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Commodore 64 Sep, 1990 89 out of 100 89
1UP! NES May 16, 2006 87 out of 100 87
VideoGame Game Boy Jul, 1991 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Power Play Game Boy Jun, 1990 80 out of 100 80
Quebec Gamers NES Mar 07, 2007 7.9 out of 10 79
Commodore Force Commodore 64 Aug, 1993 78 out of 100 78
IGN Wii Jan 09, 2007 7 out of 10 70
Cubed3 NES Nov 11, 2012 7 out of 10 70


There are currently no topics for this game.


1001 Video Games

The Arcade version of Gradius appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Arcade version

The coin-op arcade version of this game was such a success, rumor has it that it caused a coin shortage in Japan.

Konami Code

The NES version was the first game to use the famous Konami Code.

BBC Micro conversion

A & B Computing reported in 1987 about a BBC Micro port that was developed, but never finished. The programmer was later revealed to be Kenton Price.

NES version

In the arcade game, players could carry up to four options. Due to technical limits of the NES, here they can only have two.

X68000 supplement

Gradius was bundled with the X68000 computer in Japan, which enforces its status as a "killer app".


  • Power Play
    • 1987 - #3 Best C64 Game '87
    • Issue 01/1990 - Best Nintendo Game in 1989
Information also contributed by Игги Друге, Dracula Marth and Maw

Related Web Sites

Contributed to by Quapil (4745), Corn Popper (69521), CrankyStorming (2614), Marcin Ostrowski (32494), Frumple (934), ^~…±‰≈≠¤ (MobygamesIsDead) (604), Oyn (2707), Kabushi (116129), Martin Smith (63198), Terok Nor (17828), Servo (55897) and 雷堂嬢太朗 -raido.jotaro- (52489)