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Genre: Shoot 'em up
Platforms: Arcade

Nintendo Entertainment System
Game Boy
Nintendo DS
PC Engine
PlayStation Portable
Sega Master System
Sega Saturn
ZX Spectrum

Release Date: May 29, 1985
Developer: Konami
Publisher: Konami
Next Game: Salamander

Gradius (グラディウス Guradiusu), also known as Nemesis, is a 1985 horizontally scrolling shoot 'em up video game developed and published by Konami, originally released as a coin-operated arcade game in 1985. It was the first game in the Gradius series of shoot 'em ups.

Why It Rocks

  1. Addicting Shoot 'em up gameplay.
  2. Awesome 8-bit soundtrack.
  3. Vivid and detailed graphics at that time (the arcade version).
  4. Unique powerup system that you can choose depending on how you collect powerups:
    • Increase movement speed from slow to fast.
    • Missiles that shoot downwards.
    • Double fires projectiles diagonally upward. Incompatible with laser.
    • Laser, the most powerful weapon in the game. Incompatible with double.
    • Options, fire support ships that follow behind the player's movements. Up to four (two in NES version) can only be active at a time.
    • Block enemy projectiles via an energy shield.
  5. Challenging difficulty.
  6. Many ships to choose from.
  7. Multiple difficulty levels that increase every time you beat the game.
  8. The MSX port includes a few new power-ups, weapons, enemies, bonus levels and an extra stage.
  9. Was the first game to introduce the Konami Code, while Contra popularized it.

The Only Bad Quality

  1. The final boss is anti-climactic, you can beat it in less than a few seconds. Unfortunately, this trend continues on many sequels.