Author Topic: Gradius: The Interstellar Assault (GB)  (Read 9615 times)

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Offline TerraEsperZ

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Gradius: The Interstellar Assault (GB)
« on: July 19, 2007, 10:53:39 pm »
And it's time for another game in my recent "let's map Gradius" phase, namely Gradius: The Interstellar Assault. So far, I have the first three out of six stages mapped, and along with the map I'll also be doing some commenting.

First off, as I mentionned previously, this game is an anomaly for the series since Gradius games are known for recycling level themes/enemies/bosses from previous games, and this one has none of that. Instead, it's a game with an actual (implied) story, where you can see the actual connections between levels. On the downside, it's a bit more classic and none of the stages are really remarkable in themes or execution. Can't have everything I guess.

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Stage one is the longest one in the game and starts with a bang: the intro shows your ship escorting some battleships which are promptly shot down by huge energy beams. Then the actual stage starts with a high speed chase through an asteroid field as the attacking cruiser races behind you. You eventually enter a big planetoid and the pursuing vessel eventually crashes into rock walls as it's too big to fit through.

After that, you make your way through the caves which at first are full of gothic ruins and ruined statues of knights and angels. After that, the cave walls turn organic and the next area is full of large mushroom structures and alien nests. At the end, you face two brain-like alien creatures hiding inside a huge statue. Once they're finally dead, you leave the planetoid from the back only to get captured and emprisoned inside the ship that chased you earlier.

User posted image

Stage two is pretty unremarkable and consists of making your way through the alien ships which is full of turrets and flames and what's worse, you lose all your upgrades at the start! Thankfully, your prison is full of breakable glass domes where you can manage to pretty much repower your ship almost to the max before facing what I guess could be the ship's engine. Whatever it is, it spins and attracts you while electricity arcs along the height of the screen trying to zap you. Once it's destroyed, the ship blows up and you escape.

User posted image

Stage three is (yet another) asteroid field, and although it's not as stressful as the first stage,  it's full of rocks with enemy generators, attacking satellites as well as little ships you'll push asteroids toward you. At the end, you'll face a bizarre contraption which is basically a fusion of the classic Gradius Core ship boss and those annoying erupting volcanoes. So it alternates between shooting beams at you and throwing rocks while erupting (and for some reason, the rocks behave as if the individual volcanoes had their own gravity well since the rocks arc back down/up depending on whether it's the top of bottom volcano eruption). And in one of the coolest level transition in the series, once the boss is finally defeated, it doesn't blow up. Rather, since you were both descending toward a planet during the fight, it starts to break up on re-entry, slowly desintegrating from the outer edges down to the core while you, as the player, are obviously protected for plot convenience.

Stage four is rather dull, and is simply the surface of some alien planet with lots of enemies and a city visible in the background. The boss is a collection of giant guns that keep firing missiles and energy balls at you and after destroying it, you travel down a long vertical chute leading to...

Stage five, which is the typical final base with lots of enemies and turrets. At the end (or rather, the middle technically), you'll face this wall that fires energy balls moving in a zig-zag pattern as well as this giant laser beam that spans almost a third of the screen in height. Once beaten, you simply have to avoid all the panels flying at you while you escape the base.

User posted image

Stage six can be either very short or very long since the part with ships wreckage keeps looping. You're chasing the final boss now which is, disappointingly, this little spinning ship that drops mine behind it, and it won't stop until you've hit it enough. Afterward, it will start sending missiles and these wide vertical beams at you and once it's destroyed, you don't even get any kind of graphic ending screen.

...I know nobody cares about all this stuff, but indulge me okay ;) ?


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