If you appreciate the work done within the wiki, please consider supporting The Cutting Room Floor on Patreon. Thanks for all your support!

Gradius (NES)

From The Cutting Room Floor
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Title Screen


Developer: Konami
Publisher: Konami
Platforms: NES, FamicomBox
Released in JP: April 25, 1986
Released in US: December 26, 1986
Released in EU: November 30, 1988

DevTextIcon.png This game has hidden development-related text.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.

DCIcon.png This game has a Data Crystal page

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.


Man United Nil

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.

Similar tests appear in other Konami NES games such as Ganbare Goemon!, The Goonies II, and King Kong 2.

Build Date

At the beginning of the PRG ROM is this string:

Japan International
RC810 1,0 860219
NC810 1,0 860917

Regional Differences

Title Screen

Japan USA Europe
Gradius Title (JP).png Gradius (U) -!--0.png Gradius-EU title.png

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). The first letters of each message make a hidden "Konami" word. This was removed in the international versions.

Ending Text Translation
1 KANGEKI! Impressive!
2 OMIGOTO! Bravo!
3 NIKUI NIKUI! Amazing!
4 ANTAWA SUGOI! You're incredible!
6 IUKOTONAINE! I have no words!

Version Differences

Archimendes Hen

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:

Ending Text Translation
All OMEDETO! KEY WORD WA 'GAME SNACK ARCHIMENDES DE POWER UP' Congratulations! The key word is 'Power up with Game Snack Archimendes'

Vs. Gradius

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.