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gradius: MAME ROM Information.


Gradius (c) 1985 Konami.

A superb and demanding shoot'em up that shares - along with Irem's "R-Type" - the distinction of being a true innovator of its genre and, again like R-Type, completely revolutionized the humble shoot-em-up.

Gradius' eye-catching graphics guaranteed gamer interest but it was the game's genius 'weapon upgrade' system that really made the difference. Never before could players actually CHOSE how to upgrade their ship. Destroying waves of enemies would often see the player reward with an 'orb' that could be picked up. The player could collect up to 6 orbs and could effectively 'buy' an upgrade from the 6 displayed at the bottom of the play area (speed-up, bombs, double, laser, multiple - which are orbs that follow the player's movements and add greater firepower - and a mystery 6th upgrade that is marked with an '?'). Game difficulty increases depending on how many power-ups the player has, so it is sometimes advantageous to NOT power-up your ship too much.


Konami Bubble System.

Game ID : GX400

Main CPU : 68000 (@ 9.216 Mhz), Z80 (@ 3.579545 Mhz)

Sound Chips : (2x) AY8910 (@ 1.789772 Mhz), K005289 (@ 1.789772 Mhz), VLM5030 (@ 3.579545 Mhz)

Players : 2

Control : 8-way joystick

Buttons : 3


Released in May 1985.

This game is known in Europe as "Nemesis".

First shoot-em-up with serious power-ups.

Designers did a lot of tries before they fixed the design of the ship. They did at least 100 different versions. And among all of them, there was a ship that leaved a light trace behind him when he moves. It was from an evolution of this concept that was born the 'Options system'.

Soundtrack releases:

[JP] [Cassette] (Nov.21, 1987) Original Sound of Gradius & Salamander [Battle Music Collection]

[JP] [Audio CD] (Nov.21, 1987) Original Sound of Gradius & Salamander [Battle Music Collection]

Alfa Records released a limited-edition soundtrack album for this game (Konami Game Music Vol.1 - 28XA-85) on 27/06/1986.

Apollon Music released a limited-edition soundtrack album for this game (Original Sound of Gradius - KHY1016) in cassette format on 05/05/1987. Also released the soundtrack album in CD format (Original Sound of Gradius - BY12-5021) on 21/11/1988.

Interesting note : Several Konami arcade games ("Gradius", "Parodius Da! - Shinwa kara Owarai e", "Salamander", etc...) have the default high score set at 57300. '573' refers to Go-Na-Mi kana letters, a play of word for 'Konami'.

Bandai released a board game (in Japan only) based on this video game (same name) in 1986 : The board is split into 8 sections, each with its own rules. The things that remain the same are that each uses a square-grid for movement, and you can power up your ship by getting the capsules.

The first level of Gradius is available as a mini-game in the Nintendo Super NES game "Legend of the Mystical Ninja".

In the Nintendo NES hockey game Blades of Steel, one of the intermission screens is a playable sequence which recreates the fight against the first Gradius boss.

The popular trading card game 'Yu-Gi-Oh!' has drawn inspiration for some of its cards from the game, which are Gradius, Cyclon Laser, Gradius' Option, Victory Viper XX03, and Power Capsule. Other cards include enemies and boss characters such as Solar Flare Dragon,The Statue of Easter Island, Moai Interceptor Cannons, B.E.S. Covered Core, Big Core, B.E.S. Tetran, and B.E.S. Crystal Core, as well as the spell card Boss Rush.

Konami's music simulation game "Pop'n Music" features the song 'Gradius Full-Speed' which is a mix of the music in the first level of Gradius. This song is also featured in "beatmania IIDX".

There's an unlockable 3-D remake of the original Gradius arcade game found in "Zone of the Enders - The 2nd Runner". It's called Zoradius (for Zone + Gradius). It can be found in the battle against Vic Viper, or by replaying the fight as an Extra mission, then pausing the game an entering a variation of the Konami Code. In Zoradius, the player uses the Vic Viper in fighter mode, flying through a tunnel and shooting down various non-humanoid enemies from the game to gather powerups to increase the Viper's firepower and shields.


* Plan your power ups well : When starting/restarting the game, the regular shot being your only method of attack could be very tough. But that doesn't mean increasing your firepower by equipping MULTIPLE very first is good because you cannot move around quickly. You will end up being hit. Therefore, first power up your speed once or twice so you can move faster.

* DOUBLE and its problems : With DOUBLE, you can shoot in front of you and diagonally. However, since you cannot fire rapidly, it is not a weapon easy to use. Equip at least 2 MULTIPLE before equipping DOUBLE.

* Make good use of the LASER : Hitting enemies above and below you with the LASER is rather easy. You don't have to go for a direct hit. Make it fly near the enemy for a slight touch.

* MISSILE movement : The MISSILE moves along the ground. If there is something sticking out of the ground, the MISSILE stops there. Keep an eye on the landscape.

* Take control of the MULTIPLE : The MULTIPLE follow the path of VIC VIPER. Take advantage of this feature and attack enemies that VIC VIPER cannot reach. Use formations to wipe out th enemy!

Also, the faster VIC VIPER is, the more widely spread the MULTIPLE are from each other. Take advantage of this feature as well.

* Renewing the BARRIER : The BARRIER wears out not only by making contact with the enemy and enemy shots. It does so by touching the landscape. Make use of this trait and make the BARRIER touch enemies or the landscape to wear it down and get rid of it. Then equip a new BARRIER.

* Come up with a conquering pattern : This game is a shooter that gives you a lot of freedom in terms of how you can conquer levels. Learn the tips, remember the appearance patterns of the enemy, and come up with your own way of conquering the game.


1. Gradius [Model GX400] (1985)

2. Salamander [Model GX587] (1986)

3. Lifeforce [Model GX587] (1987)

4. Gradius 2 [Model RC751] (1987, MSX)

5. Gradius II - Gofer no Yabou (1988)

6. Nemesis 3 - The Eve of Destruction (1988, MSX)

7. Gradius III - Densetsu Kara Shinwa-e (1989)

8. Nemesis '90 Kai (1993, Sharp X68000)

9. Salamander 2 (1996)

10. Solar Assault - Gradius (1997)

11. Solar Assault - Revised (1997)

12. Gradius Gaiden (1997, Sony PlayStation)

13. Gradius IV - Fukkatsu (1998)

14. Gradius Generation (2001, Nintendo Game Boy Advance)

15. Gradius V (2004, Sony PlayStation 2)

16. Gradius Neo (2004, NTT DoCoMo i-mode Phones)

17. Gradius Neo Imperial (2005, NTT DoCoMo i-mode Phones)

18. Gradius Wide (2007, NTT DoCoMo i-mode Phones)

19. Gradius Rebirth (2008, Nintendo Wii)


Music by : Miki Higashino


* Consoles :

Nintendo Famicom [JP] (Apr. 26, 1986; "Gradius [Model RC810]")

Nintendo Game Boy (1990)

NEC PC-Engine [JP] (Nov. 15, 1991; "Gradius [Model KM91001]")

Sega Saturn [JP] (Mar. 29, 1996; "Gradius Deluxe Pack [Model T-9509G]")

Sony PlayStation [JP] (Mar. 29, 1996; "Gradius Deluxe Pack [Model SLPS-00303]")

Sony PSP [JP] (Feb. 09, 2006; "Gradius Portable [Model ULJM-05091]")

Sony PSP [JP] (Jan. 25, 2007; "Gradius Portable [Konami The Best] [Model ULJM-05222]")

Nintendo Wii (2007, "Virtual Console" - NES version)

Nintendo DS [JP] (Mar.2007, Konami Arcade Collection)

Nintendo DS [NA] (Mar.2007, Konami Classics Series - Arcade Hits)

Nintendo DS [EU] (Oct.2007, Konami Arcade Classics)

Nintendo DS [AU] (Oct.2007, Konami Arcade Classics)

* Computers :

MSX [JP] (July 25, 1986; "Gradius [Model RC742]")

Sharp X1 (1986)

Sharp X68000 (1987)

Commodore C64 (1987)

NEC PC 8801

PC [MS Windows] [JP] (Feb. 21, 1997; "Gradius Deluxe Pack [Model ME203-J1]")

* Others :

LCD handheld game (1989) by Konami.


Game's rom.

MAME Info:

0.33b5 [Allard van der Bas]

Artwork available


- nemesis & clones: Misaligned sprite and background in the 2nd stage. moa (ID 04506)

- nemesis, gradius, nemesisuk: Sound reproduction issues. Ace (ID 03539)


- 0.143u1: Changed description to 'Nemesis (ROM version)' and clones 'Nemesis (World?)' to 'Nemesis (World?, ROM version)' and 'Gradius' to 'Gradius (Japan, ROM version)'.

- 0.133u1: Renamed (nemesuk) to (nemesisuk).

- 25th August 2006: Mr. Do - Added instruction cards for Gradius (thanks to Gamestone at Gradius Home World).

- 0.98u1: MASH fixed K005289 sound and Mamesick and Fujix fixed the volume of the 2x AY8910.

- 0.97u2: Mamesick fixed wrong mapped buttons (power-up, shoot and missile).

- 0.94u5: R. Belmont fixed problem with Nemesis sound created during sound rewrite. Replaced K007232 sound with K005289 (1789772 Hz).

- 0.93u1: Aaron Giles fixed Nemesis (no longer references non-existant K005289).

- 0.93: Replaced K005289 sound with K007232 (3579545 Hz).

- 0.68: Changed VSync to 60.606060 Hz.

- 0.57: Changed parent description 'Nemesis (hacked?)' to 'Nemesis'. Changed 68000 CPU1 clock speed to 9216000 Hz. Removed 3rd coin slot.

- 0.36b13: Changed description of clone 'Nemesis (UK)' to '(World?)'.

- 0.36b11: Added Konami 005289 sound. Removed Namco sound. Changed 68000 CPU1 clock speed to 7159090 Hz.

- 29th November 1999: Bryan McPhail added correct implementation of the 005289 sound chip to Nemesis.

- 22nd October 1999: Eisuke Watanabe fixed some Nemesis graphics problems.

- 0.36b6: E.Watanabe improved screen priority in Lifeforce, Salamander, clone Gradius, etc.

- 26th June 1999: Nicola fixed the input ports in Nemesis and the others.

- 0.35RC2: Changed 68000 CPU1 clock speed to 12MHz.

- 21st June 1999: Marco Cassili fixed the dipswitches in Nemesis

- 20th June 1999: Elestir fixed Nemesis from crashing at startup.

- 0.35RC1: Elestir improved sound in Nemesis/Gradius. Changed 68000 CPU1 clock speed to 14318180 Hz and the 2x AY-8910 to 1789772 Hz. Added Namco and VLM5030 (3579545 Hz) sound and sound1 roms ($0, 100 - 2x 256 byte for 005289 wavetable data).

- 10th June 1999: Elestir added the last missing sound channel to Nemesis and the rest.

- 31st May 1999: Elestir added the two missing sound channels to Nemesis etc, speech to Salamander and some other things to the driver.

- 0.34b8: Andrew Prime added clone Gradius.

- 0.34b6: Added clone Gradius (Testdriver).

- 0.34b4: Dani Portillo added high score saving to Nemesis.

- 0.33b7: Changed description to 'Nemesis (hacked?)' and clone '(UK version)' to 'v'.

- 0.33b5: Allard van der Bas added Nemesis (Konami 1985) and clone (UK version).

- 8th March 1997: Johan Koehler started to wrote an emulator for Nemesis. He reverse engeneered the arcade hardware and implemented Bernd Schmidt's 68000 emulator from UAE, Marcel de Kogel's Z80 emulator and the AY-3-8910 emulator from Ville Hallik and Michael Cuddy. The emulator was tested by Jason Pimble and Chuck Cochems.

- 15th November 1996: Dumped Nemesis (Konami 1985).

ARCADE RELEASE: Gradius (Konami) - 1985/May/29

LEVELS: 7 (gradius)

Other Emulators:

* Nemesis

* Sparcade

Recommended Games (R-Type):

Gradius / Nemesis

Gradius (PlayChoice-10)

Vs. Gradius

Gradius II / Vulcan Venture

Gradius III

Gradius 4: Fukkatsu


Salamander 2


R-Type II

R-Type Leo

Heavy Unit

Turtle Ship


X Multiply

Zero Wing

Raiga - Strato Fighter


Blaze On

Hyper Duel

Super Spacefortress Macross II

Romset: 273 kb / 11 files / 113.8 zip

MAME XML Output:

       <game name="gradius" sourcefile="nemesis.c" cloneof="nemesis" romof="nemesis">
              <description>Gradius (Japan, ROM version)</description>
              <rom name="400-a06.15l" size="32768" crc="b99d8cff" sha1="18e277827a534bab2b3b8b81e51d886b8382d435" region="maincpu" offset="0"/>
              <rom name="400-a04.10l" size="32768" crc="d02c9552" sha1="ec0aaa093541dab98412c11f666161cd558c383a" region="maincpu" offset="1"/>
              <rom name="456-a07.17l" size="131072" crc="92df792c" sha1="aec916f70af92a2d6476d7a36ba9be265890f9aa" region="maincpu" offset="80000"/>
              <rom name="456-a05.12l" size="131072" crc="5cafb263" sha1="7cd12c695ec6ef4d5785ce218911961fc3528e95" region="maincpu" offset="80001"/>
              <rom name="400-e03.5l" size="8192" crc="a5a8e57d" sha1="f4236770093392dec3f76835a5766e9b3ed64e2e" region="audiocpu" offset="0"/>
              <rom name="400-a01.fse" merge="400-a01.fse" size="256" crc="5827b1e8" sha1="fa8cf5f868cfb08bce203baaebb6c4055ee2a000" region="k007232" offset="0"/>
              <rom name="400-a02.fse" merge="400-a02.fse" size="256" crc="2f44f970" sha1="7ab46f9d5d587665782cefc623b8de0124a6d38a" region="k007232" offset="100"/>
              <chip type="cpu" tag="maincpu" name="68000" clock="9216000"/>
              <chip type="cpu" tag="audiocpu" name="Z80" clock="3579545"/>
              <chip type="audio" tag="mono" name="Speaker"/>
              <chip type="audio" tag="ay1" name="AY-3-8910A" clock="1789772"/>
              <chip type="audio" tag="ay2" name="AY-3-8910A" clock="1789772"/>
              <chip type="audio" tag="k007232" name="K005289" clock="1789772"/>
              <chip type="audio" tag="vlm" name="VLM5030" clock="3579545"/>
              <display tag="screen" type="raster" rotate="0" width="256" height="224" refresh="60.606061" />
              <sound channels="1"/>
              <input players="2" buttons="3" coins="2">
                     <control type="joy" ways="8"/>
              <dipswitch name="Coin A" tag="DSW0" mask="15">
                     <dipvalue name="4 Coins/1 Credit" value="2"/>
                     <dipvalue name="3 Coins/1 Credit" value="5"/>
                     <dipvalue name="2 Coins/1 Credit" value="8"/>
                     <dipvalue name="3 Coins/2 Credits" value="4"/>
                     <dipvalue name="4 Coins/3 Credits" value="1"/>
                     <dipvalue name="1 Coin/1 Credit" value="15" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="3 Coins/4 Credits" value="3"/>
                     <dipvalue name="2 Coins/3 Credits" value="7"/>
                     <dipvalue name="1 Coin/2 Credits" value="14"/>
                     <dipvalue name="2 Coins/5 Credits" value="6"/>
                     <dipvalue name="1 Coin/3 Credits" value="13"/>
                     <dipvalue name="1 Coin/4 Credits" value="12"/>
                     <dipvalue name="1 Coin/5 Credits" value="11"/>
                     <dipvalue name="1 Coin/6 Credits" value="10"/>
                     <dipvalue name="1 Coin/7 Credits" value="9"/>
                     <dipvalue name="Free Play" value="0"/>
              <dipswitch name="Coin B" tag="DSW0" mask="240">
                     <dipvalue name="4 Coins/1 Credit" value="32"/>
                     <dipvalue name="3 Coins/1 Credit" value="80"/>
                     <dipvalue name="2 Coins/1 Credit" value="128"/>
                     <dipvalue name="3 Coins/2 Credits" value="64"/>
                     <dipvalue name="4 Coins/3 Credits" value="16"/>
                     <dipvalue name="1 Coin/1 Credit" value="240" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="3 Coins/4 Credits" value="48"/>
                     <dipvalue name="2 Coins/3 Credits" value="112"/>
                     <dipvalue name="1 Coin/2 Credits" value="224"/>
                     <dipvalue name="2 Coins/5 Credits" value="96"/>
                     <dipvalue name="1 Coin/3 Credits" value="208"/>
                     <dipvalue name="1 Coin/4 Credits" value="192"/>
                     <dipvalue name="1 Coin/5 Credits" value="176"/>
                     <dipvalue name="1 Coin/6 Credits" value="160"/>
                     <dipvalue name="1 Coin/7 Credits" value="144"/>
                     <dipvalue name="None" value="0"/>
              <dipswitch name="Lives" tag="DSW1" mask="3">
                     <dipvalue name="3" value="3" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="4" value="2"/>
                     <dipvalue name="5" value="1"/>
                     <dipvalue name="7" value="0"/>
              <dipswitch name="Cabinet" tag="DSW1" mask="4">
                     <dipvalue name="Upright" value="0" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="Cocktail" value="4"/>
              <dipswitch name="Bonus Life" tag="DSW1" mask="24">
                     <dipvalue name="20k and every 70k" value="24"/>
                     <dipvalue name="30k and every 80k" value="16" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="20k only" value="8"/>
                     <dipvalue name="30k only" value="0"/>
              <dipswitch name="Difficulty" tag="DSW1" mask="96">
                     <dipvalue name="Easy" value="96"/>
                     <dipvalue name="Medium" value="64" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="Hard" value="32"/>
                     <dipvalue name="Hardest" value="0"/>
              <dipswitch name="Demo Sounds" tag="DSW1" mask="128">
                     <dipvalue name="Off" value="128"/>
                     <dipvalue name="On" value="0" default="yes"/>
              <dipswitch name="Flip Screen" tag="TEST" mask="1">
                     <dipvalue name="Off" value="1" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="On" value="0"/>
              <dipswitch name="Upright Controls" tag="TEST" mask="2">
                     <dipvalue name="Single" value="2" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="Dual" value="0"/>
              <dipswitch name="Service Mode" tag="TEST" mask="4">
                     <dipvalue name="Off" value="4" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="On" value="0"/>
              <driver status="good" emulation="good" color="good" sound="good" graphic="good" savestate="supported" palettesize="2048"/>

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