Gradius III Weapons/Boss FAQ
Version 1.6
February 12, 2005

Created by: jygting
This FAQ can be ONLY found at:
GameFAQs (www.gamefaqs.com)

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Table of Contents
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1. Author's Note
2. Why made this FAQ?
3. Weapons Galore
   3a. Type Mode
   3b. Edit Mode
       I) Missile
      II) Double
     III) Laser
      IV) Option
       V) ? (Shield)
      VI) ! (Bonus Weapons)
   3c. Type Mode-only Weapons
       I) Missile
      II) Laser
4. Boss Strategies
5. Secrets Revealed
6. Version History
7. Credits

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1. Author's Note
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Hello! Since this game is pretty old, I've decided to make a guide. 
Anyways, welcome to my guide! In this guide of mine, I'll show you some 
weapons and secrets that is featured in the game. So sit back, relax 
and enjoy the New Year!!!


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2. Why made this FAQ?
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It's not that someone forced me to do this, I just wanted to remember 
this game and how addictive I was....nuff said. Let's get it on!! 
*dingding*


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3. Weapons Galore
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There are two types of mode that you can choose. And they are:

3.a Type Mode
In this Mode, you can choose a set of weapons but you cannot change it 
once you choose a certain set and as for the Shield, you have a choice 
of either the Shield or Force Field (the Bonus Weapons are randomly 
chosen). Here are the 4 Sets that you can choose.

Set 1
Speed Up
Missile: Missile
Double:  Double
Laser:   Laser
Option:  Option

The Author calls it: The Standard Set
Comment: This was used on the first Gradius. Ahh, the memories.....


Set 2
Speed Up
Missile: 2 Way Missile
Double:  Tailgun
Laser:   Ripple
Option:  Option

The Author calls it: The Directional Set
Comment: Put the 2 Way and Tailgun. There! Now the enemies above and 
below you are no match! Even the front and behind!!


Set 3
Speed Up
Missile: Spread Bomb
Double:  Vertical
Laser:   Cyclone Laser
Option:  Option

The Author calls it: Uh...The Power Set?
Comment: I can't think of a good name but hell the Spread Bomb packs a 
punch!


Set 4
Speed Up
Missile: Photon Torpedo
Double:  Back Double
Laser:   Twin Laser
Option:  Option

The Author calls it: Now this is a tough one......
Comment: The thing I like is the Photon Torpedo...


3.b Edit Mode
Now this is a favorite. You can pick anything you like from 6 
Categories (Missile, Double, Laser, Option, ? and !) and the 
possibilities are endless! Experiment different weapons and test it in 
the space!!

I) Missile Category

1. Standard Missile - Sends a missile downward as it travels.
   Rating: 3/5
   Travels?: Yes. Down only.
   Comment: Good for below but you'll be having trouble at the top.

2. Hawk Wind - If the ship is at the top, it will send upwards and if 
it's at the below, it will fire downward as both missiles travel.
   Rating: 5/5
   Travels?: Yes. Both Up and Down.
   Comment: I call this a sweet!! It's also good if the ship is at the 
middle and expect mayhem!!

3. 2 Way Back - Sends both missile up and down behind the ship.
   Rating: 4/5
   Travels?: No.
   Comment: I also like this one but the downside is it doesn't travel 
so stick to Hawk Wind.

4. Small Spread - Sends 2 missiles downward and does a small explosion, 
destroying enemies.
   Rating: 2/5
   Travels?: No.
   Comment: Ugh. I hate this. This is only good for enemies below.


II) Double Category

1. Standard Double - Fires a second vulcan 30 degrees diagonally 
upward.
   Rating: 3/5
   Comment: No idea.

2. Vertical - Fires a second vulcan upward.
   Rating: 4/5
   Comment: If you use it in the Gauntlet Stage (Shadow Dancer 
boss....you know....the two big icky black spiders?), you shouldn't 
have a big problem to those big bad mothers.

3. Tailgun - Fires a second vulcan backward.
   Rating: 4/5
   Comment: This is a good one. Put it with 2 Way Back (or if you're 
using the Directional Set) and you have a directional fire!!!

4. Back Double - Fires a second vulcan 30 degrees diagonally backward.
   Rating: 2/5
   Comment: This is a no good Double. I don't know where this one can 
fire at.


III) Laser Category

1. Twin Laser - Fires an "Equal Sign" laser.
   Rating: 3/5
   Pierces Enemy Defense?: Yes.
   Comment: Think the Standard Laser but with some broken lines.

2. Ripple - Fires a ripple laser, destroying multiple enemies.
   Rating: 4/5
   Pierces Enemy Defense?: No.
   Comment: I found this a good one. Destroying a lot means more!!

3. Energy Laser - Fires a medium or large ball of laser by holding the 
Shot Button. Tap the Shot Button for small shots.
   Rating: 6/5
   Pierces Enemy Defense?: Yes.
   Comment: The Big Bang packs a blast!! Bosses beware! You have been 
warned!!

4. Cyclone Laser - Fires a cyclone laser.
   Rating: 4/5
   Pierces Enemy Defense?: Yes.
   Comment: A laser that is more powerful than the Standard Laser and 
the Twin Laser.


IV) Option Category

1. Standard Option - Summons a replica orange ball that can aid you. 
Can move in any way as you move. 
   Rating: 3/5
   Comment: This can be boring if you use it.

2. Snake Option - Same as the Standard Option but it slithers as you 
move.
   Rating: 2/5
   Comment: I can't make a good fire if it slithers. It's annoying.

3. Formation Option - Can do a V formation if the 4 Formation Option 
are all used up.
   Rating: 4/5
   Comment: Wow. It's a good one!

4. Rotation Option - The option rolls and it's like a barrier....
   Rating: 4/5
   Comment: This is a useful option. For close firepower.


V) ? Category

1. Standard Shield - Provides a shield in front of your ship.
   Rating: 3/5
   Disappears after: 14 Hits
   Comment: Be careful not to get hit behind.

2. Reduce - Shrinks your ship, making easier to avoid hits.
   Rating: 3.5/5
   Grows back after: 2 Hits
   Comment: Surely it's good but if you get hit twice, it's bad.

3. Rotation Shield - Provides 2 rotating shields, preventing any kind 
of attacks either front or behind.
   Rating: 3/5
   Disappears after: 14 Hits
   Comment: Pick this rather than the Standard Shield but once it 
became small, you're done deal.

4. Force Field - Provides a barrier in your ship.
   Rating: 3/5
   Disappears after: 3 Hits
   Comment: This is also good but 3 Hits? Give me a break!


VI) ! Category

1. Speed Down - Reduces your speed by 1.
   Rating: 1/5
   Comment: The most useless Weapon. You have to limit the use of Speed 
Up rather than using this.

2. Life Option - Your current lives is equivalent to the number of 
Options (Any kind of Option and a maximum of 4 lives).
   Rating: 1/5
   Comment: This is a bad mother. I hate wastimg my lives to this one!

3. Full Barrier - If all of the Shields is in the lowest, use this to 
bring it to full.
   Rating: 2/5
   Comment: This is almost useless if you don't use it but it'll save 
you from death.

4. Mega Crush - Flashes the screen making everything totally destroyed.
   Rating: 4/5
   Comment: FEEL THE POWER OF THE NEGATIVES!!!!! Move away Blue Pods!!


3c. Type Mode-only Weapons
These weapons are only available in Type Mode.

I) Missile Category

1. Spread Bomb - Sends a missile 45 degress downward, causing a large 
explosion and hitting enemies.
   Rating: 3/5
   Travels?: No.
   Comment: Beefed up version of Small Spread but it packs an even 
more.

2. Photon Torpedo - Sends a missile downward and destroys as it 
travels.
   Rating: 3.5/5
   Travels?: Endless Yes. Down only.
   Comment: Cool!

3. 2 Way Missile - Sends 2 missiles up and down in front of the ship.
   Rating: 4/5
   Travels?: No.
   Comment: Same as the 2 Way Back but it's in front instead.


II) Laser Category

1. Standard Laser - Fires a thin laser.
   Rating: 3/5
   Pierces Enemy Defense?: Yes.
   Comment: Your good ol' laser ready to kick back!


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4. Boss Strategies
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This was applied only on Normal Mode. Easy, Hard and Arcade may be too 
easy and too hard (especially Hard and Arcade) that will make you 
furious and throw your SNES out of the window (now don't throw it!! 
Your parents bought 'em for ya!! It's precious so calm down, Ok?). Now 
if I only have the Manual of this game, I can detect the name of the 
Bosses easily...I can only remember some so if you know the others, 
please do e-mail me and I'll give you a pleasant Thank You!!

My ship is equipped with:
Speed Up
Hawk Wind
Vertical
Cyclone Laser (or Energy Laser)
Formation Option (or Standard, Rotation)
Force Field (or Reduce)
Mega Crush

Oh, you can also use this but it's up to you if you can think of 
something else. I call this the anti-Boss set!!

Stage 1 Boss: Earwig Scorpion
Strategy:
I assume that you have 2 F.Option and the C.Laser activated. Once it 
appears, start firing and avoid the little critters flying so as the 
yellow ball the Boss is releasing. It'll keep on extending it's body if 
you don't fire the core so just keep on firing. For an easier battle, 
use Energy Laser and it's toast!!


Stage 2 Boss: Bubble Brain
Strategy:
First, don't fire but move up and down. Why? It haven't opened it's eye 
yet so when it does, fire until it reaches the main target and don't 
forget to fire the annoying bubbles. For those who are playing on Hard 
and Arcade, you need to wait a couple of seconds before it opens and 
move ASAP!!


Stage 3 Boss: QB2B (not sure about the name, though)
Strategy:
You will be faced-off with a bunch of "Volcano Tops" (yup, that's what 
I call 'em) so destroy them and after that, the background will turn 
black and don't get hit at the dead end (it happened to me so try to 
stay back at the very left side of the screen). Then, the boss will 
appear and now it's a battle of impatience. Now when I say 
"impatience", it'll fire a laser so go inside and avoid the laser in a 
diamond pattern (don't attack yet) and once the three blue core opens, 
fire immediately and avoid the 5 lasers then it'll do the laser trap 
again so do the same strategy. If you destroy the two blue cores, it'll 
do the laser trap and this time, it will fire 4 lasers at you so 
destroy the core behind and you're done.


Stage 4 Boss: Mega Monolith
Strategy:
Now this 2 heavy head golems will make your head spin. If you fire 
either their mouth when it opens, the screen will shake and some 
falling debris will appear so fire or avoid them. There.


Stage 5 Boss: Two Headed Scorch Dragon
Strategy:
These Dragons will make you a lot furious. Now make sure all 4 Options 
are in your ship, and when they appear, fire and avoid the fire they're 
releasing. Let them trap you so that they're in a circle, this is your 
chance to fire while they're rotating and if either one of them is 
dead, the other one will go somewhere and starts firing fireballs 
furiously!! You need to evade a lot and do also the same strategy. When 
the other head is gone, their bodies will burst and evade it!! I was 
shocked when they burst...


Stage 6 Boss: Bulbous
Strategy:
Before we start, I assume that the Speed Up is in the third level 
(meaning you used at the beginning of the stage [Spd Up lvl 2] and now 
[lvl 3]). Stay at top so you won't get crushed at the bottom and watch 
out for those lil' flowers that fires at you, they can be a lot of 
annoying! After it uses its "sucking you up", it'll go down the screen 
and move to the right so go the top left and down as it get close and 
do the sucking you up again, do also be careful on the tiny flowers, 
Ok? Once it goes back, it'll do the same thing. Keep firing and watch 
it burn.


Stage 7 Boss
Strategy:
It starts moving behind so go up and avoid its laser that it quickly 
fires at you. After that, it'll throw its blue cores ricochet at the 
screen. Keep firing at those cores and dash your way to victory!


Stage 8 Sub Boss 1
Strategy:
It is assumed that you must be at full power, nothing left but the ! 
and your Double at the Power Up Bar but if not, that's fine as long as 
you know what you are doing. You will be faced off with a couple of sub 
bosses in this stage so there will be no intermissions in that. First, 
the sub boss moves fast so get even with it. Fire when it releases it 
missiles and follow it. After a couple of shots, it'll release a thick 
laser that you've never seen!! Evade it and keep firing. One down but 
there's still a lot of way to go.


Stage 8 Sub Boss 2: Ice Ice
Strategy:
It comes out behind so go down and be careful on the tentacles, it 
fires blue fireballs. Wait for it to open its core, avoiding both the 
laser and the blue fireball. When it opens, fire at the center and keep 
avoiding it!! Eventually, the second's toast!!


Stage 8 Sub Boss 3
Strategy:
Will you, a small ship, can avoid a big ship packing with 14 lasers 
firing at you? I think so. I suggest that you should use Speed Up 
before this. Whenever it move up or down, it fires. Remember that when 
both cores are opened, then fire. If either is destroyed, it will 
unable to use the laser so that is now your chance! Destroy the other 
one and sigh.


Stage 8 Sub Boss 4
Strategy:
This Big one will make you furious, trust me. See the core at the 
middle? Easy to reach, you think? Wrong!! It will rotate and fires 
missiles at you!!!! Keep an eye on the missiles before at the core then 
fire, you may not know when you'll be dead so have that keen sight of 
yours clean!


Stage 8 Boss: Grim
Strategy:
Now THIS is the boss!!! It starts spreading its wings and fire so be 
alert (or for an easy one, stay at the bottom, you'll evade most of the 
lasers) then it curls up and charges at you so evade it. Later that, it 
wings is at 45 degree and still fires it on you so fire it back 
immediately.


Stage 9 Area 1 Boss
Strategy:
This is pathetic. Fire at the middle, top, bottom and the three cores. 
Simple as that.


Stage 9 Area 2 Boss: Shadow Dancer
Strategy:
It's alright if you didn't use the Double Power Up here. The first is 
at the back so go under him and fire. Do also to the second one that 
appears at the front and be careful to some distractions.


Stage 10 Boss: Bacterion
Strategy:
From all the hard work, this is the last boss. Fire in his mouth and 
avoid the purple balls. Do the same strategy, sit back, relax and enjoy 
the ending!!!


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5. Secrets Revealed
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Extend Option Trick
This only work on Formation and Rotation Option. In order to use this 
trick, you must have 4 Options in your ship and collect the Power Up 
Pods (the red ones) until you put in the Option box. Finally, hold the 
Power Up Button (or A Button in the Configuration) and see it extend!!

Full Power Up
Ever been sick of collecting power ups? Well not to worry! Pause the 
game and press Up, Up, Down, Down, L, R, L, R, B and A!! Presto! You 
are ready to bash ass!!

Arcade Mode
In the Option Screen, highlight the Game Level and tap A 16 times per 
second and it will change to "ARCADE" Mode. Now the game is more 
challenging!!

Extra Credits
At the Game Start Screen, tap X as fast as you can, increasing the 
Credit Capacity. If the screen fades away, you have to start all over 
again.

Suicide Code
Wanna die the "Easy" way? Pause the game and press Up, Up, Down, Down, 
Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A then unpause and BOOM!! The screen will 
flash and you've just killed your own ship manually!!!!

30 Extra Lives
Highlight either 1 Player or 2 Player, hold Left, press A three times 
and press START.

Random Weapon Selection on Edit Mode
At the Edit Mode Weapon Select Screen, hold Select and Press X, Y, X, Y 
alternatively and it will go randomly.

Insane Demo Mode
When you see the opening movie, hold A until to the title screen and 
when the demo starts...that's how the game is played!!!


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6. Version History
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Version 1.0 (January 1, 2005)
Happy New Year!! Started and finished this FAQ.

Version 1.2 (January 4, 2005)
Added the Suicide Code and found some errors.

Version 1.5 (February 8, 2004)
Kong Hei Fat Choi!!! Sorry for the long late (due to some submissions 
on projects in school), added some Secrets and the Boss Guide.

Version 1.6 (February 12, 2005)
Added some Secret and JS Prom will be tonight!!! Boo-yah!!


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7. Credits
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I wish to thank the following:

<Konami>
For making this classical game!

<You (yes, YOU!)>
For reading this guide.

<GameFAQs>
For posting my FAQ.

<Me>
For making this guide and being an addict to this game.


If you have any questions, suggestions, your New Year's Resolution, 
Fireworks, Trumpets, or whatsoever e-mail to this new e-mail addresses 
at jessy_grander@yahoo.com or shannoncastle@yehey.com. Offensive 
messages will be ignored, so be forewarned. This FAQ cannot be 
duplicated, reproduced or sold nor plagiarized without the Author's 
permission. Please, don't do anything with my FAQ OR ELSE...!!!

Thank you for reading this FAQ! Kong Hei Fat Choi!!!!!