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Vulcan Venture

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Title Screen

Vulcan Venture

Also known as: Gradius II: Gofer no Yabou (JP)
Developer: Konami
Publisher: Konami
Platform: Arcade (Konami Twin 16)
Released in JP: March 24, 1988
Released in EU: April 1988[1]

RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.
Carts.png This game has revisional differences.

It's Gradius II... is there anything else to be said?

DESTROY THEM ALL! (Warning: it's not possible.)

Regional Differences

Title Screen

Gradius II Vulcan Venture
Gradius2 arcade title.png VulcanVentureArcTitle.png

Powerup Names

Gradius II Vulcan Venture
Gradius2ArcWeaponSelect.png VulcanVentureArcWeaponSelect.png

In Gradius II, the non-beam laser is called Ripple Laser, like in Salamander, but in Vulcan Venture, it's Pulse Laser, the name from Salamander's localization (and update) Life Force. Also, as it was with the Nemesis set of the first Gradius, the player-following orbs are called Option and Multiple, respectively.

Gradius II Vulcan Venture

To coincide with the name differences, these powerups also have region-differing announcer voice clips when selecting them in the powerup bar. These are for the Ripple/Pulse laser...

Gradius II Vulcan Venture

...and these for the Options/Multiples.


Thanks, Konami... not...
Taking another localization cue from the Nemesis version of the first game, Vulcan Venture has a Continue feature that's not present in Gradius II, this time, however, there's no continuing limit. But, since this game didn't receive the Nemesis treatment of spawning orange enemies when players die to give a chance at power-up recovery, dying at certain checkpoints still makes progression impossible and this feature sadly turns out to not be that useful nor necessary.

Revisional Differences

There are three versions of Gradius II listed on MAME: "Older", "Old", and "New". The newest set, for whatever reason, changed the "non-Only" dip switch thresholds for extra lives; previously they were the same settings as in the Gradius version of the first game, the newest set increases the values significantly.

All the Vulcan Venture sets keep the setting values from Gradius II's non-New versions.

Old 20,000
Every 70,000
Every 80,000
New 20,000
Every 150,000
Every 200,000