The NES version of Gradius introduced the famous "Konami Code": Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A. The world would never be the same.
PRG CRC Test
Hold A + B, then power on the game to access this test. "KONAMI ONE" will be displayed if the PRG CRC matches the internal value, otherwise "KONAMI TEN" will be displayed.
The same method is used with the CHR data integrity status to show "GRADIUS ONE" or "GRADIUS TEN". The European version fails the CHR check, despite using the same CHR ROM as the USA version.
At the beginning of the PRG ROM is this string:
RC810 1,0 860219
NC810 1,0 860917
The Japanese version's title screen displays the high score and uses the old Konami logo that was in use from 1981-1986. The European title screen introduces a graphical error on the right-hand side of the Gradius logo: a diagonal tile was mistakenly used instead of a curved one.
In the Japanese version, you get different congratulatory messages depending how many times you finish the game (up to six times). This was removed in the international versions.
|4||ANTAWA SUGOI!||You're incredible!|
|6||IUKOTONAINE!||I have no words!|
Konami released a special promotional version of Gradius to tie in with an instant ramen noodle brand called Archimendes. It's basically the same game, but the powerup capsules are replaced with ramen boxes. The ending message is also different. Instead of the 6 congratulatory messages in the original release, you only get one:
|All||OMEDETO! KEY WORD WA 'GAME SNACK ARCHIMENDES DE POWER UP'||Congratulations! The key word is 'Power up with Game Snack Archimendes'|
The game was released for the Nintendo VS. System in the Arcades. The only difference is a different copyright on the title screen, and to continue you only have to insert credits, the continue code is no longer necessary.
Nintendo Switch Online
In November of 2018, a
ROMhack savestate special version of Gradius called Gradius SP was released for the Nintendo Switch’s collection of NES games available to Nintendo Switch Online users. The game can be started at stage 5 with the strongest equipment.
|The Gradius series|
|Arcade||Nemesis • Vulcan Venture • Gradius III|
|NES||Gradius • Gradius II|
|Game Boy||Gradius: The Interstellar Assault|
|Sharp X68000||Gradius II: Gofer no Yabou|
|Sega Saturn||Gradius Deluxe Pack|
|PlayStation||Gradius Deluxe Pack|