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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 Arcade Hidden Stage 1: Gradius Stage 1 "Volcano"
Gradius III Arcade Difficulty select (Japanese version only)
Gradius III Arcade Stage 10B "Last Stage" Entrance
Gradius III SNES The very definitely final level (perhaps)

Promo Images

Gradius III Screenshot
Gradius III Screenshot
Gradius III Screenshot
Gradius III Screenshot

Alternate Titles

  • "宇宙巡航机III" -- Simplified Chinese spelling
  • "グラディウスIII~伝説から神話ヘ~" -- Japanese spelling
  • "アーケードアーカイブス グラディウスIII 伝説から神話へ" -- Japanese PS4 / Switch spelling
  • "Gradius III - The Outbreak" -- SNES in manual title
  • "Arcade Archives: Gradius III" -- PS4 / Switch title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

I love this game! SNES DudeOfMonson (118)

Critic Reviews

ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) SNES Feb, 1991 10.2 out of 12 85 (UK) Wii Sep 29, 2007 8 out of 10 80
Retro Archives SNES Aug 09, 2021 16 out of 20 80
Thunderbolt Games SNES Dec 20, 2004 8 out of 10 80
Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) SNES Aug, 1991 32 out of 40 80
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Arcade Apr, 1990 80 out of 100 80
Mag'64 Wii Nov 21, 2009 8 out of 10 80
GameSpot Wii Apr 25, 2007 7 out of 10 70
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 Rik Hideto (457211), Andrew Price (7), NewRisingSun (971) and gamewarrior (5042)
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