The Gradius series is a bunch of shooter video games developed by Konami. The games usually consist of the player controlling a ship known as the Vic Viper. Gradius II, also known as Vulcan Venture outside of Japan, is a side-scrolling shooter. The game was originally released for arcades before being ported to PC, mobile devices, Wii, and PlayStation. The game was received well on release averaging an 8 out of 10 across multiple game ranking sites. The PC version offers a different ending screen after completing the game, depending on the difficulty selected.
The Premise Of Gradius II
You play as the pilot of the Vic Viper spaceship to battle the Bacterion Empire. Gradius II iterated on the gameplay from the original but with extra enhancements from one of the spin-offs, Salamander. Gradius II retains the selection bar from Gradius, but now the player can choose between four different weapon configurations and progressions. All schemes have speed-up and multiples (Options) but have differing ‘Missile’, ‘Double’ (laser), and ‘Laser’ weapons.
The Main Characters Of Gradius II
- Geezer Butler – Geezer Butler, or simply Phoenix in Japan, is a boss character in Gradius II and Nemesis 3.
- Giga – A gigantic metal skull boss in the NES versions of the Gradius series.
- Gofer – The titular antagonist of the Gofer no Yabō (Gradius II) games.
Other Titles In The Series
- Nemesis 2
- Gradius II
- Nemesis 3: The Eve of Destruction
- Gradius III
- Gradius: The Interstellar Assault
- Salamander 2
- Gradius Gaiden
- Solar Assault
- Gradius IV
- Gradius Advance
- Gradius V
- Gradius NEO
- Gradius ReBirth
- Gradius ARC
- Gradius the Slot
Gradius II Cheats
Turbo CD Codes
Hold Up and buttons I and II while the game is loading. Keep holding the buttons until the title screen appears.
This code only works once per stage unless you are playing on easy. Pause the game and press Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, button II, and button I.
Sharp X68000 Codes
At the title screen, press F4.
Hold F4 + F10 and turn on the game. It will load directly into the test menu.
At the title screen, press Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, and Start.
Max out abilities
During the game, press Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A. Can only be used once per level.
Sound Test Menu
Hold A+B and turn on the NES, when the screen comes up press start, hold A+B until the title screen then press Start again.
The famous Konami Code has two uses in this game. The Konami Code is Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start. If you do that code at the title screen, you’ll be given thirty lives to start your game with. If you do it during the game (after pausing your game), you’ll get all of the weapons automatically.
Game Genie Codes
The following codes require the Game Genie. Third-party hardware that allows you to inject code into your game. If you are using an emulator to play these codes should still work.
- SUNE-ASSE DPCM Pop-reducer
- EISV-YGEY Enable Start with 30 Lives Cheat
- EUXU-NLEY Enemies Die Automatically (1 of 2)
- ZUUL-EUTP Enemies Die Automatically (2 of 2)
- PXKL-OUIA Hit Anywhere (1 of 2)
- GZEU-KGEL Hit Anywhere (2 of 2)
- SUUT-TYVI Infinite Lives – Both Players
- ATEN-GIAZ Invinicibility
- AVVL-VUOZ Shots Pierce Through Enemies
- AEUV-TZLA Skip Intro Screen
Most MSX home computers contain two cartridge slots. Konami programmed features into the game which can only be unlocked by inserting certain cartridges into the second slot. The following features can be unlocked with these particular games:
- To fully power up the Metalion, press F1 to pause the game and type LARS18TH.
- To skip a stage, press F1 to pause the game and type NEMESIS.
- To activate 45 seconds of invincibility, press F1 to pause the game and type METALION. Note that this makes you invulnerable to enemy attacks, but not to terrain.
When this game is inserted into the second slot, the Metalion becomes a giant penguin that shoots hearts, and the Options become outlined penguins. All power-up capsules are in the shape of fish. This, along with the ability to play as TwinBee in the original MSX Gradius served as the inspiration for Parodius.
The Maze Of Galious
By inserting the Maze of Galious in the second cartridge slot, you will gain the ability to instantly restore any lost power-ups after dying. When you begin your next life, the Speed Up portion of your power meter will say “RESTORE”. Select this when it is highlighted to recover your power-ups. This does not work across continues.
Since you can’t use a second cartridge to unlock these tricks in Gradius II in Konami Antiques MSX Collection Vol. 2, they have been made accessible via codes that you enter while selecting the game.
To start the game as if Q*Bert were inserted in the second cartridge slot, press and hold the Select button while pressing the Circle button. Then you may access the following cheats while the game is paused:
- To fully power up the Metalion, press Up dpad Up dpad Down dpad Down dpad Left dpad Right dpad Left dpad Right dpad Cross button Circle button Select button.
- To skip a stage, press Down dpad Down dpad Up dpad Up dpad Right dpad Left dpad Right dpad Left dpad Circle button Cross button Select button.
- To activate 45 seconds of invincibility, press Left dpad Right dpad Left dpad Right dpad Up dpad Up dpad Down dpad Down dpad Cross button Circle button Select button.
To start the game as if Penguin Adventure were inserted in the second cartridge slot, press and hold Select button while pressing Triangle button. Then the Metalion will be transformed into a penguin.
To start the game as if The Maze of Galious were inserted in the second cartridge slot, press and hold Select button while pressing Square button. Then you can select RESTORE on the power meter to recover you lost power-ups after dying.
The pause menu of Gradius II in the Salamander Collection provides you with the means to play the game as if any of the three cartridges were inserted in the second slot simply by choosing “Game Settings” from the menu and selecting one of the three titles. You must “Apply and Reset” whenever you change this setting to get the desired effects. If you choose Q*Bert (Q.B) as the cartridge, then after you reset, all three passwords will be available for you to select when you return to the Game Settings menu. There is one additional secret in this title:
Highlight the Game Settings selection on the pause menu, and press and hold Right dpad until the Extra Settings appears. You may need to hold right for several seconds for this to work. When it appears, the following options are available:
- Max Gauge: Immediately fill out the power meter as though you had absorbed every upgradeable power-up from the boss ship cores.
- Option Barrier: Immediately activate the time-limited Option Barrier power-up.
- Rotary Drill: Immediately activate the time-limited Rotary Drill power-up.
- Enemy Slow: Immediately activate the time-limited Enemy Slow power-up.
- Vector Laser: Immediately activate the time-limited Vector Laser power-up.
- Fixed Fire Bluster: Corrects the bug found in the original game which prevents the Fire Blaster upgrade power-up to work the way it was intended, and allows it to destroy particle terrain.
Gradius II Secret Bonus Stages
Gradius II contains hidden entrances to secret bonus stages. If you occupy the correct location of three particular stages, you will be sent to a bonus stage similar in nature to the Ancient Planet stage, and advance to the next stage upon its completion. These bonus stages are analogous to the bonus stages found in the Super Nintendo conversion of Gradius III.
They contain two new types of capsules; green and yellow. Green capsules provide you with one extra life. Yellow capsules provide you with an increasing number of bonus points, starting at 100 and increasing to a maximum of 10,000 points, but only if you never fail to collect a single capsule. If one yellow capsule scrolls off the screen, the point value will reset to 100. Some locations contain several yellow capsules and you must remain in place to collect all of them. Below are indications of every bonus stage entrance.
Hidden Stage 1
To access this stage, you’ll have to shoot out the bottom of the tall multi-column pillar in the Ancient Planet and fly through the gap before the pillar or platform above falls. The Down Laser is required to complete this hidden stage without losing a life.
Hidden Stage 2
To access this stage, you must collect the Rotary Drill time-limited power-up in the Life Planet, and use it to crash through the lower portion of particles that extend toward the bottom of the screen. The Back Beam is required to complete this hidden stage without losing a life.
Hidden Stage 3
The entrance to the third hidden stage is contained within the second hidden stage. When you reach the location indicated above, you must clear away enough of the red particles so that the platform above will fall out of the way and give you access to the entrance.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Screenshot of the Gradius II title screen.