GRADIUS II
Game Cover
Game
グラディウスII
©Konami 1988
Release: 1988-12-16 (¥5900)
Cartdridge RC832
Shooter/Horizontal

Gradius II is an horizontal shooter by Konami and conversion of their hit arcade game originally release in 1988. The Bacterion Empire has risen from its own ashes and is once more spreading doom and destruction throughout the universe. Led by the evil Gofer, the alien invasion now hits full swing and must be immediately stopped. The Vic Viper is back in service and ready to take on the upcoming threat. Gradius II retains the power-meter originally used in Gradius - the player collects power-pods left behind by orange enemies and moves onto the next available power-up from the meter. Upgrades range from Speed Up, Missiles, Double Shots, Multiples, Lasers and Shield. Unlike Gradius, this sequel offers four different power-meter configurations (available at the beginning of the game) which feature new weapons to choose from, such as the Tail Gun, Spread Bombs, Photo Torpedoes, Ripple Lasers and so forth. It also adds its own twist to the power system though, and some weapons can be activated twice for additional power - for instance, Missiles and Doubles can receive one upgrade each and Multiples can rotate around the Vic Viper for a short amount of time. Gradius II consists of seven stages and features an alternating two-player mode.
Related
Gradius (Fc) Gradius (Pce-Hu)
Salamander (Fc) Salamander (Pce-Hu)
Gradius II (Pce-SCDRom²)
Gradius 3 (Sfc)
Non-direct relation : Parodius Da! (Fc) Parodius Da! (Pce-Hu)
screen shot screen shot
screen shot screen shot
screen shot screen shot
As expected with Konami, this Famicom port of Gradius II has some surprises in store. The weapons system features a couple of extras not found in the original arcade game - some weapons can be further enhanced by selecting them twice (Multiples rotate around the Vic Viper for a short amount of Gradius II - Gīga time when at full power). The original two rotating-shields have been removed though and the Famicom port only features the Force Field. Music tracks have also be moved around. Most interestingly, Konami has edited and changed some of the levels, read on. The first stage has an exclusive second phase reminiscent of the fire level from Salamander and the giant burning suns have green space-stations floating around them. Additionally, an exclusive robot-skull boss called Gīga (picture on the right) awaits the player at the end of the second stage. The third (Crystal World) and forth levels (Volcano) have been swapped around, and Death MK II (boss from the Volcano stage) was omitted entirely from the Famicom port. Although the Crystal World was blue in the arcade game, it is now purple in this version. In the fifth Moai stage, the mini-boss is a single jumping Moai head (whereas the arcade game had four). Finally, the Boss Rush stage is also slightly different and Konami added a Zeros Force sphere from Salamander.

See Gradius(Pce-Hu) for more information about the Gradius series.

Game Staff (Copied from the end credits) :

STAFF

Programmed by
S. Umezaki

Character Design
S. Muraki
Sound Design
H. Maezawa
Y. Morimoto
Special Thanks
AC. Team Gradius II
M.God Furukawa
K. Shimoide
Directed by
Umechan
and
Osetsusan

Presented by
Konami


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Japanese Guidebook
Japanese Guidebook
Japanese Guidebook
Japanese Guidebook


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Gradius II - Documentation
Click on picture to enlarge

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Gradius II - sound/music screen Sound test/debug screen:
On the title screen, hold A and B and press start to access the sound/music test screen (picture on the right).

Konami code:
The Konami code, as expected, works in Gradius II. If you enter the Konami code (up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B and A) on the title/menu screen, the game rewards you with 30 ships!

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Add your Pov here !

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The amazement you run into on the first play through Gradius II will make your jaw drop and your gaming heart overflow and bleed tears of joy. This is no overstatement; Gradius II is stunning. The music slaps you in the face like a sharp wave, and when you hear the TV speakers shout out "speed-up!" for the first time, you start to acknowledge Konami's achievement. Then you remember all the sacrifices Konami had to go though to port the first Gradius to the Famicom - Gradius II makes them look like fuzzy memories. The Vic Viper can carry four options (without much slowdowns) and the first level immediately throws you into the fray - burning suns, fire dragons, full screen solar flares, enemy ships smoothly crossing your path. They all scream perfection. The game does slowdown and flickers a lot in later stages (especially through the Crystal World), but would a Gradius game be complete without any slowdowns ? All in all, Gradius II is undoubtedly one of the best shooter for the system. Even fans of the arcade game will enjoy this one, thanks to Konami who decided to add exclusive content (often paying homage to Salamander) to this already magnificent port!




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