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Gradius
Gradius.jpg
Promotional flyer for Gradius
Developer(s) Konami
Publisher(s) Konami
Composer(s) Miki Higashino
Platform(s) Arcade
Release date(s) JPN May 29, 1985
EU September, 1985

NA December 1, 1986

Genre(s) Horizontal scrolling shooter
Mode(s) Up to two players, alternating turns
Rating(s) ESRB: Everyone
Input methods 8-way joystick, 3 buttons
Cabinet Upright
Arcade system Bubble System (as Gradius)
Konami GX400 (as Nemesis)

Gradius (グラディウス?) is a horizontally-scrolling shoot 'em up released by Konami in 1985 for video arcades. The original arcade game was released outside Japan as Nemesis, although most of the home versions released worldwide used the original title.

Gradius has the distinction of popularizing a weapon selection bar called "Power meter", based upon collecting capsules to 'purchase' additional weapons. The game was ported to many systems, most notably the Nintendo Entertainment System (with this version also appearing on the Wii's Virtual Console) and the Japanese MSX computer.

Contents

Description

In-game screenshot

The player controls the trans-dimensional spaceship Vic Viper, and must battle waves of enemies through various different environments.

The game became synonymous with the phrase, "Shoot the core!", as the standard of boss battles in the Gradius series involved combat with a giant craft, in the center of which would be situated one to several blue colored spheres. These bosses would be designed in such a way that there would be a straight passage from the exterior of the giant craft which leads directly to one of these cores. The player must fire shots into this passage whilst avoiding attack patterns from weapon emplacements on the body of the boss. However, small but destructible walls are situated in this passage, impeding the bullet shots from damaging the core, and must be whittled away by repeated well-placed shots. In a way, these tiny walls represent the boss' shielding gauge until its core is finally vulnerable to attack. Some bosses have the ability to regenerate these walls. When the core has sustained enough hits, it usually changes color from blue to red, indicating that it is in critical condition and its destruction is imminent. Upon the destruction of a core, a piece of the boss may be put out of commission, seeing that it is no longer powered by a core, or if all of the cores are destroyed, the entire boss is defeated and explodes satisfyingly. Note that these cores are not present on the more organic bosses of Gradius. Such bosses have weak spots in places such as a mouth, head or eye.

The name "Gradius" refers to the human-inhabited planet which the Vic Viper is from (also known as planet Nemesis), and not a mistranslation of the word "gladius" (cf. Engrish) as one might assume.[citation needed] Though only mentioned in the MSX titles, the anime, and Wii's Gradius Rebirth; there are planets other than planet Gradius/Nemesis. The planets are Latis, Odysseus, Kierke, Sard, Procyon, Lavinia, Antichthon, Midport, and Eioneus.

Gameplay

Weapon system

When gameplay begins, the Vic Viper is relatively slow and has only a weak gun. This level of capability is generally insufficient for engaging enemies, but the Vic Viper can gain greater capabilities by collecting and using power-up items.

While most arcade games utilize distinct power up-items that each correspond to a specific effect on the player character, Gradius has a single power-up item. The effect of this power-up item is to advance the currently selected item in a power-up menu that appears at the bottom of the screen. When the desired power-up is highlighted, the player can obtain it by pressing the power-up button, returning the menu to its initial state in which no power-up is highlighted.

Konami Code

Home console and portable versions of Gradius spawned the now-legendary Konami Code. The code, when entered while the game is paused, grants the player most of the available power ups.

Ports

Ports of Gradius were also done for the Commodore 64, Microsoft Windows, MSX, NEC PC-8801, NES, PC Engine, Virtual Console, Sharp X1, Sharp X68000, Mobile phones, Sega Saturn, PlayStation and Sinclair ZX Spectrum.

Gradius was also converted for the Nintendo Vs. Series arcade platform. It is identical to the NES version, but includes no cheat codes and allows the player to continue indefinitely.

A light open source clone called Monadius was completed in 2005 implemented in Haskell using OpenGL[1].

The arcade version of Gradius is included in the Gradius Collection for the PlayStation Portable and in Konami Classics Series: Arcade Hits for the Nintendo DS.

A version for the Game Boy was also released in 1990 titled Nemesis.

Soundtracks

  • Alfa Records released a limited-edition soundtrack album for this game (Konami Game Music Vol.1 – 28XA-85) on 27/06/1986.
  • Apollon Music released a limited-edition soundtrack album for this game (Original Sound of Gradius – KHY1016) on 05/05/1987.

See also

References

  1. ^ [1]

External links


Strategy wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From StrategyWiki, the free strategy guide and walkthrough wiki

Gradius
Box artwork for Gradius.
Developer(s) Konami
Publisher(s) Konami
Japanese title グラディウス
Release date(s)
Wii Virtual Console
Genre(s) Shooter
System(s) Arcade, NES, Commodore 64, TurboGrafx-16, NEC PC-8801, Sharp X1, Sharp X68000, MSX, Amstrad CPC, Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Wii Virtual Console
Rating(s)
CERO: All ages
ESRB: Everyone
PEGI: Ages 7+
OFLC: General
Preceded by Gradius II: Gofer no Yabou
Series Gradius

Gradius is a horizontally-scrolling shoot 'em up released by Konami in 1985 for video arcades. It was the first game to be released in the Gradius series, and the second series in terms of chronology (Scramble is considered the first). The arcade game was originally released in North America and Europe as Nemesis, although some conversions retained the name Gradius in these regions. Gradius has the distinction of popularizing a weapon selection bar called "Power meter", based upon collecting capsules to 'purchase' additional weapons. Gradius is considered a highly influential game and has set the foundation for many other horizontal shooters for years to come.

The title Gradius is thought to have been drived from the Latin term for a sword known as a "Gladius". A Gladius was a short sword used in ancient Rome by legionaries. However, the developers went with the name Gradius, and applied the name to the planet that was being attacked by invading aliens. Designer Kengo Nakamura has said in an interview that the chosen name's similarity to Gladius was coincidental.

The game was ported to many systems, most notably the NES and PC-Engine (both versions of which have been made available on the Wii Virtual Console) and the Japanese MSX computer. Gradius was so popular in Japan, that the Famicom version was released in the arcade using Nintendo's Vs. arcade hardware as Vs. Gradius. It was rereleased in a compilation package with the sequel Gradius II: Gofer no Yabou in the Gradius Deluxe Pack, a first generation title for the PlayStation and Sega Saturn. It was later collected with many more sequels in the PSP exclusive Gradius Collection.

Story

The planet Gradius is under attack from the invading Bacterion Corps. Only one experimental stellar assault weapon is outfitted with enough fire power to take out the Bacterion Corps: The Vic Viper. As the pilot of the Vic Viper, you must pilot it through wave after wave of Bacterion invasion, and reach their leader's base and destroy it, or the citizens of Gradius will be lost.

Table of Contents


Gaming

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!

Gradius

Developer(s) Konami
Publisher(s) Konami
Release date PC-Engine:
November 15, 1991 (JP)
Virtual Console:
PC-Engine:
August 7, 2007 (JP)
Genre Scrolling Shoot 'em up
Mode(s) Single player
Age rating(s) N/A
NES
PC-Engine
ESRB: E
Virtual Console
Platform(s) Nintendo Entertainment System
PC-Engine
Virtual Console
Media HuCard
PC-Engine
Input NES Controller
Turbo Pad
Gamecube Controller
Wii Remote
Classic Controller
Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough


Gradius is a horizontal-scrolling shoot 'em up arcade game developed by Konami in 1985. It was the first game in the Gradius series.

Originally released as an arcade game, and later ported to other platforms. In some areas, Gradius was released under the name Nemesis. In Japan, a special version of the game exists for the Famicom. It was given away as a prize by ArchiMENdes, a ramen noodle company. The Vic Viper would power up using cups of ramen noodles rather than the usual pods. The cart itself is quite rare, and considered a collector's item.

Contents

Gameplay

The player controls the trans-dimensional spaceship, Vic Viper, and must battle waves of enemies through various different environments. Gradius is the first shoot 'em up to use the selection bar power-up system.

Weapon System

When gameplay begins, the Vic Viper is relatively slow and has only a weak gun. This level of capability is generally insufficient for fighting enemies, but the Vic Viper can gain greater capabilities by collecting and using power up items.

Gradius was the first shoot 'em up to use the selection bar power-up method, which has since been adopted by many other scrolling shooters. While most arcade action games utilize distinct power up-items that each correspond to a specific effect on the player character, Gradius has a single power-up item. The effect of this power-up item is to advance the currently selected item in a power up menu that appears at the bottom of the screen. When the desired power up is highlighted, the player can obtain it by pressing the power up button, returning the menu to its initial state in which no power up is highlighted.

Power-ups

  • SPEED UP: This power up increases the speed of the Vic Viper's movement; usually needed at the beginning of the game or when restarting an area after the Vic Viper has been destroyed, because the initial speed of the Vic Viper is much too slow to comfortably avoid enemy attacks. This power up may be triggered multiple times to achieve greater speed, but there is a danger in increasing the speed too much, resulting in a lack of precise control needed to avoid collision with terrain or enemy characters. There are sometimes ways to counteract this. In Gradius III, the player could select "Speed Down" as their "!" power-up. In Gradius V, after five Speed Up's, you are given the option of InitSpeed which returns the speed to its original state.
  • MISSILE: This power up adds a secondary projectile weapon. Arcade versions of Gradius games usually have a separate button for firing this projectile, while home console and computer versions usually use the same button for both this and the primary projectile weapon. In the original Gradius, the weapon is a missile that fires downward and to the right, travelling along the ground. Most Gradius "missile" weapons are a variation on this concept.
  • DOUBLE: This power up adds a second projectile weapon identical in power and firing rate to the standard gun. In the original Gradius, this second gun fires at a 45 degree angle up and to the right. In later Gradius games, it may fire in a different direction depending on a choice made by the player before the game starts. The Vic Viper cannot have Double and Laser at the same time. If Laser is chosen while Double is being used, Double will be lost.
  • LASER: This power up changes the standard gun into a laser weapon that fires to the right. The laser weapon does substantially more damage than the standard gun, and can be controlled to a certain extent while it is being fired by moving the Vic Viper vertically; this can be used to quickly destroy a group of enemies. The Vic Viper cannot have Laser and Double at the same time. If Double is chosen while Laser is being used, Laser will be lost.
  • OPTION: Options are glowing elliptical entities that mimic the movement and attacks of the Vic Viper, resulting in greatly increased attack capability. Furthermore, Options are invulnerable, making them additionally useful in certain situations. All attack power ups possessed by Vic Viper are also possessed by each Option. In most Gradius games, up to four Options can be obtained.
  • ? (SHIELD): This power up adds a projectile-blocking shield to the front of the Vic Viper. The shield is destroyed after a certain number of absorbed projectiles. In later Gradius games, it is also usually labeled with an appropriate power up label instead of the less than informative question mark. Later iterations of "?" include Force Field (360° protection against 3 hits), Shrink, and Limit (temporary invulnerability).
  • ! (MEGA CRUSH): This power-up has appeared in several Gradius games, but only appears on the gauge in Gradius III. In all Gradius games, it comes in the form of a blueish version of the Power Capsule used to power up Vic Viper. Upon picking up one of these blue capsules, all onscreen enemies are immediately destroyed. In some Gradius games, it also wipes all enemy projectiles or "bullets" off the screen as well. In Gradius III, it appears as both a blue capsule, but can also be used by highlighting the ! slot on the Power Gauge, in this case, the pickup merely wiped out enemies, while the Power Gauge version did this, destroyed all enemy bullets, and the player earned points for enemies destroyed.

Konami Code

Home console and portable versions of Gradius spawned the now-legendary Konami Code, considered by some to be one of the defining elements of Gradius. The code (traditionally Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A; variants also exist), when entered while the game is paused, grants the player most of the available power ups. While this is essentially a cheat code, the player is only allowed a limited number of uses, suggesting that this is meant only as a limited adjustment of the difficulty. In most cases, the limit starts at one use and an additional use is granted for each completed level. An interesting exception to this rule is Gradius III for the SNES/SFC, where entering the original NES version of the code destroys you, rather than powering you up. Substituting L and R for Left and Right will grant the proper effect, however.

Gallery


Gradius series
Main series
Gradius | Gradius II | Gradius III | Gradius IV | Gradius V
Nemesis | Gradius: The Interstellar Assault | Gradius Gaiden | Gradius Galaxies | Gradius ReBirth
Spin-offs
Parodius series | Salamander / Life Force | Salamander II
Compilations
Gradius Collection
Stub
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