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Description

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.

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.

Screenshots

Gradius Arcade Nemesis title background
Gradius Sharp X68000 Stage 1
Gradius NES The orange "options" provide more firepower
Gradius Arcade Game over

Promo Images

Gradius Magazine Advertisement
Gradius Screenshot
Gradius Screenshot
Gradius Screenshot

Alternate Titles

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

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

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Critic Reviews

Computer Gamer Commodore 64 Jun, 1987 94 out of 100 94
Computer and Video Games (CVG) MSX Jun, 1987 9 out of 10 90
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Amstrad CPC Sep, 1990 88 out of 100 88
ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) NES May, 1989 874 out of 1000 87
Ultimate Nintendo: Guide to the NES Library NES 2016 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Cubed3 NES Nov 11, 2012 7 out of 10 70
IGN Wii Jan 09, 2007 7 out of 10 70
Questicle.net NES Mar, 2012 B- 67
Retro Archives MSX Nov 14, 2018 13 out of 20 65
Retro Archives Amstrad CPC Nov 14, 2018 10.5 out of 20 52

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Trivia

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".

Awards

  • 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

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