Question from BreakmanDX

Where do I access the bonus stages?

According to the in-game instructions, there are hidden bonus levels just like in previous Gradius titles, and it even supplies a screenshot. I've been through the game several times now and have found none--any help?

Top Voted Answer

JWHarris answered:

They are hidden throughout the game. They are accessed by flying into particular places. A few of the levels were revealed in a YouTube video of the Japanese version, although I can't seem to find it now. It might be worth looking for. Their locations change (as well as the level layouts) on the different loops through the game.

Two of those I remember, which I can confirm exist in the U.S. version:
First loop, level 4: Near the end of the level is a dinosaur skull facing right. Fly into its mouth. You have to fly in pretty deep, but it's safer than it looks.
Second loop, level 2: There's a long, low wall midway through. It looks like a similar wall in the first loop version of the level, but a couple of blocks are missing high up on the right side. It has one turret enemy near the opening. Fly into the opening.

There is at least one more, and there are probably others throughout the game as well.
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