Konamivember- The Future of Scrolling Shooters Has Arrived With Gradius!

Hey Arcaders!

The next title we’re talking about today was one of those games that would redefine a genre for Konami- and games moving forward for years to come. That game was…

First introduced in 1985, Gradius is a scrolling shooter where the player controls a ship known as the Vic Viper. To some- this is a sequel to Scramble.

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One of the huge game defining innovations in Gradius is the Power Meter. The power meter is activated by power-up capsules- when collected, it moves to highlight to the next power-up on the power meter. When a power-up that the player wants becomes highlighted, they may activate it, causing the highlight to move back to the beginning again. In the first of the series, you could get speedups, missiles (two at a time), a double shot (firing forward and up), and a long range laser weapon. The most innovative weapon is the option- a pod that follows your ship and adds firepower! There are also blue capsules that will destroy everything on screen!

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Get through each round, collecting capsules by destroying enemies and build up your ships power quickly- as you are going to face the core warship. Destroy the four shields to blow up the blue glowing core- destroying the warship.

Remember the Moai from Pandora’s Palace? Well they’re back- with a vengeance! The Moai would be in other Konami titles, but they will become synonymous in the Gradius universe ! They are living rock heads of mass destruction shooting laser rings from their mouths.


In the US- this is how we got the game-In the Nintendo Vs. System. We’re  still a few games away from Konami making their own cabs. The  Vs. System game us so many classics we would see on the NES.



Let’s see some gameplay!





There were tons of ports of Gradius- let’s look at them all!



The soundtrack is arguably the highlight of the game- composed by  Miki Higashino


Gradius was released on modern systems via the Arcade Archives- no relation.

Did you ever play Gradius? What’s the highest score you ever got?

Let me know in the comments!

Keep Playin’ Like it’s 1981!

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