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Gradius III is the third game in Konami's long-running space shooter series, which also includes Life Force and Nemesis. As with most Gradius titles, you control the highly advanced Vic Viper space fighter against hordes of foes. Weapons can be selected from pre-arranged loadouts or you can create your own custom loadout. The game can be played by a single player, or by two players in alternating turns. The game offers three levels of difficulty.


Gradius III SNES With the same offensive strategy and a different positioning, the ship faces Bubble Brain.
Gradius III Arcade Weapon select
Gradius III SNES After you destroy one head, its attack pattern changes a bit
Gradius III SNES ... I sincerely hope this is the part where the lair is collapsing

Promo Images

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Alternate Titles

  • "宇宙巡航机III" -- Chinese title (simplified)
  • "グラディウスIII~伝説から神話ヘ~" -- Japanese spelling
  • "Gradius III - The Outbreak" -- SNES in manual title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

I love this game! SNES DudeOfMonson (118)

Critic Reviews

Raze SNES May, 1991 91 out of 100 91
Thunderbolt Games SNES Dec 20, 2004 8 out of 10 80
8-bit Central Retro Gaming SNES 2014 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Video Games SNES Mar, 1991 72 out of 100 72
GameSpot Wii Apr 25, 2007 7 out of 10 70 SNES Feb 01, 2007 7 out of 10 70
Power Play Arcade Mar, 1990 3 out of 5 60
Power Play SNES Mar, 1991 57 out of 100 57
Génération 4 SNES Feb, 1991 56 out of 100 56
Entertainment Weekly SNES Sep 27, 1991 C 50


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Version differences

Despite being a port of the arcade version, the SNES version is not entirely accurate to the original.

Aside from the tweaked difficulty and additional armaments, two entire levels were cut from the arcade: a 3D stage which involved avoiding cave walls from a first-person perspective behind the Vic Viper, and a crystal stage in which you were challenged by crystal blocks blocking off areas like a maze.

The SNES port also has extreme slowdowns on the real console. The same is true for the Wii version which is a ROM of the original SNES game running in an emulator.

Information also contributed by haynor666
Contributed to by Andrew Price (7), NewRisingSun (970) and gamewarrior (5113)