Gradius FAQ/Walkthrough Version 0.90 by Strider VM (vm@msc.net.ph)
Writing for old times sake :)

Gradius is a trademark of Konami Industry Co., Ltd. 

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Q. Err, 0.9? Why the version number?

A. Since most of the aspects of the game are written or known now, there
   should be little to update than adding little things.

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Table of Contents

I.   Forewords
II.  Game Explanation
III. Controls
IV.  Levels/Guide/Walkthrough (Whatever you call it.)
V.   Cheats/Codes
VI.  Credits

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I. Forewords -

Ahh, the first good shooter I have ever played (I preferred it to Twinbee 
at the time. Although both of them are very good games. This game is a wonder
on it's release, very nice graphics and sounds, the difficulty is a bit hard, 
but it's not impossible, now, it's been preserved on the name of "emulators"
(You might be reading this now because you got this for Nesticle, right????)
I can play this game again. But yet, Konami suprised me more on 
Life Force/Salamander and even more on Gradius II, Konami should be 
worshipped...... OK, enough blabbling, let's get on to the game.....

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II. Game Explanation

Gradius is one of the earliest shooters on the NES, yet it gives the standards
on NES shooters, your mission is to go to the enemy main ship and destroy the 
"Mother Brain" on it. Sound easy but it's not, enemy ships, robots, volcanoes,
even "living" creatures will come and get you, but at least, you have some heavy
firepower, ground missiles, which hits enemys that may be too hard (Or too small) 
to hit with your bullets, the double bullets, in which gives your ship a 45 degree
shot to hit enemy above you. Then the laser which goes through opponents even after
a direct hit (And leaving the enemy to space dust) , the options which gives a 
helping hand by copying/mimicking your current weapons, then the shield, which
gives you protection from being blown to pieces with the enemy firepower.

There are 7 levels in the game. However, it is possible to skip a level. 
(See Cheats/Codes section.)

You will start with three (3) lives, the smallest digit is zero, if you
run out of lives, it's game over, but it's possible to continue.
(See Cheats/Codes section again.)

Beating certain enemies (Most often colored differently from the other enemys)
releases items that you can use to improve your ship, here are the list of 
weapons/upgrades you can use. (In ascending order)

Speed   = Doubles you ships speed.
Missile = Fires ground missiles to hit enemy ships below you.
Double  = Improves your main weapon to that it goes through enemy ships.
Laser   = A more powerful weapon than the normal weapon, goes through enemies.
Option  = Gives twice the firepower since they copy the weapons you have. Follows 
          your ship.
Shield  = Enables you to take more than 1 hit, allows up to 5 hits, when the shield
          can only stand 1 hit more, the color of the shield changes from blue
          to red. 

Last thing, there is no actual ending in this game after the last boss, you will
see Gradius escape the mother ship and it explodes, then the game displays a 
message and you are given bonus points. Then the game starts again from the 
beginning, but you have all the weapons from the last level plus the enemies 
are faster. Finshing it again will give another message and a bigger bonus 
points. (I haven't finished it a third time.)

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III. Controls

(As practical as it is, the NES has only 2 buttons, go figure : )

B Button = Fires your weapons.
A Button = Activates weapon/upgrades.
Start    = Pauses/resumes game. 
Select   = Chooses from 1 to 2 players, no use in actual gameplay.

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IV.  Levels/Guide/Walkthrough

To make it to the final level of the game (And actually finishing it.) you need
at least 2 Speed Ups, Missiles, Laser/double, 2 options and a shield. 
Optimal weapon which is found below suggests what weapon is best for that level.

Extra Note : At every level with the exception of level 6 and 7, there will be
             a boss ship that at first, will be invincible, and will only vulnerable
             after it's red colored core (The circular thing in it's center.) turns 
             to blue. You can skip a level if you can kill this ship fast enough.
	     (See Cheats/Codes section.)

Level 1
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Optimal Weapon (Either Laser or Double is fine.)

This level is easy enough to get used to the game, in the middle of the level,
you will see a mountain which has a hole in it, to through the hole to get bonus
points.

Boss : Volcano

This boss is really a pain if you don't know what to do, The safest location is the
Upper left corner of the screen (With the options below you), since your ground 
missiles will stop the magma from hitting your ship.

Level 2
---------
Optimal Weapon (Either Laser or Double is fine.)

Still, an easy level, an easier route is to go on the upper part of the level, 
although you will miss the bonus point found in the bottom of the screen in the 
middle of the  level.

Boss : Ship Barrage

Like the first level, this boss is a real pain if you don't know what to do 
(Especially you don't have upgrades) , the safest location I've seen in NEAR 
the lower left corner of the screen with the options above you since the ships 
that comes from above will be hit by your options, while the ones below will be 
hit by the missiles 

Level 3
---------
Optimal Weapon (Double, for the Moai heads that fire above you.)

One of the hardest levels in the game, Moai Heads from the Easter Island comes to 
life and starts firing numerous circular shaped blasts,  double is recommended since 
the Moai heads that are on the ceiling can attack you from above.

Boss :

Remember the wierd-looking which fires indestructible circle shaped shots? Well, there
they come, and in droves! Options and speed ups are needed to make it out alive.

Level 4
---------
Optimal Weapon (Double, due to the upside-down nature of the level.)

The same level as the first level, but suprise, it's upside down! the level's actually
harder since on the first level, the harder enemies are on the air, but now, it's on
the ground, and you might accidentally crash to the ground. Double is recommended here.

Boss : Upside-down volcano 

The same as the first level, best position is beside the tip of the volcano, so you
can shoot the magma, and the missile will hit magma that escapes you is directed at 
you.

Level 5
---------
Optimal Weapon (Laser, due to the annoying enemies that you MUST kill quickly.)

The most annoying level in this game, since this level is only filled with circular
shaped things with claws protruding on them, to kill them, aim for the body, not the
claws, although firing the claws will destroy it, I think it will make another claw.

Boss :

Almost the same as the actual level itself, unfortunately, it's almost not possible
to avoid them now, kill them immediately.

Level 6
---------
Optimal Weapon (Laser, the level is not that hard, for the boss)

This level looks like a living organism, you will find star shaped enemy's that
are not so easy to kill, use lasers, especially on the boss.

Boss :

This boss, looks like impossible, but to beat it, position yourself on the left side
of the screen so that the first option is above you and the second option is below
you so that the boss's fire can be countered by your options, it's weakness is the 
center. Even though it looks like it has no weakness.

Final Level
---------
Optimal Weapon (Double, since there are too many enemies everywhere.) 

Boss : Not really a boss, since if you get to this point, congratulate yourself,
       you've finished the game! Don't to anyting, don't play chicken with the mother
       brain, you'll just screw it up.

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V.   Cheats/Codes

Enable missile, two options, shield, and laser immediately
(If you don't know this, chances are you live in a cave or just born just today)
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Pause the game, then press up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B and A.

Even before unpausing the game, you would see the options immediately.

Continue Game (Suprise, this game has continues!)
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At the Game Over screen, press Down, Up, B, A, B, A, B, A, Start to resume 
your mission. 

Level Skip 
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Destroy the boss ship within 5 seconds (hard, but not impossible) and to skip
1 level. Use this before level 5!

Game Genie codes (You can use this on Nesticle's cheat feature.)
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AENELZLA = Both players start with 1 life. 

AENELZLE = Both players start with 9 lives. 

IENELZLA = Both players start with 6 lives. 

KOXOLYSP = Keep power capsules. 

NNOEKPIE = Increase force field protection. 

SXOOYYVI = Both players have infinite lives.

YGKPUUIL = Never lose weapons after dying.
YGUONUZS   

*Note : O is the letter, NOT number zero.

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VI.  Credits

Konami for making this game, this proves that this company is very good.

Gamefaqs.com for hosting this FAQ.

Cheers for me, for having a lot of time and boredom :)   .
 

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