Gradius III is a 1989 scrolling shooter video game developed and published by Konami, originally released for the arcades in Japan and other parts of Asia on December 11, 1989. It is the third game in the Gradius series. The game was ported to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in Japan in 1990 and North America in 1991, and served as a launch title for the system in North America. The arcade version was included with Gradius IV in a two-in-one compilation (Gradius III & IV) for the PlayStation 2 and in the Gradius Collection for the PlayStation Portable.
The player pilots the starfighter Vic Viper starfighter to battle the onslaughts of the Bacterion Empire. There are a total of ten levels in the game, with stage 4 being something of a bonus level; here, the player controls the Vic Viper in a third-person perspective and must avoid colliding with walls. Though the level is completely devoid of any enemies, free floating power-ups are scattered throughout. There are also two hidden levels that are based on the early sections of Gradius and Salamander. The game contains the familiar weapons, level layouts, and enemies that have become trademarks of the series.
Unlike previous games in the series, Gradius III does not include a continuation feature; if the player loses their lives, the game will be over. The Japanese version of the game contains a 'beginner mode' that allows the player to venture through the first three levels at a much easier difficulty. At the end of the third level, the game will bid the player to try the game again at the normal difficulty ('technical mode'), which can loop endlessly. The Asian and Worldwide arcade releases lack the beginner mode and retrospective introduction sequence, but reduce the difficulty overall.
In addition to new pre-defined weapon schemes, Gradius III introduces the 'Edit Mode'; players can mix and match missile, double, laser, shield and 'special' ('!') power-ups into their own custom combination. Some of the weapons available in pre-defined schemes can not be used in custom schemes, and vice versa.
A port of Gradius III was released for the Super Famicom in Japan in December 1990 and for the Super NES in North America in 1991, with the option of reduced difficulty and additional armaments for the Vic Viper. It replicates the slowdown of its arcade counterpart and discards the pseudo-3D and crystal/'cube rush' stages. The cell stage is also swapped to being the final stage instead of the sixth stage like in the arcade version, it is also given a whole new layout and soundtrack. It also introduces a boss called Beacon which awaits the player at the end of the new high-speed stage, which is a counterpart of the high-speed stage in Gradius II. The Super Nintendo version of the game suffered from severe slowdown. In 2019 fans created a romhack version of the game that uses the SA-1 enhancement chip that severely reduces slowdown in the game.
Unlike the original arcade version, the Super NES port is the only one that allow players to continue when they lost all their lives. A harder difficulty called 'Arcade' can be unlocked by inputting a code (quickly tapping the 'A' button 16 times in 1 second) on the options screen, however, it is simply the same game at a harder difficulty, and not an accurate port of the arcade version. This port was also released for Virtual Console on April 23, 2007 in North America, and in September 2007 in Europe and Japan.
Find digital download of this game on
This version of Gradius III - The Outbreak was designed for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), which was an 16-bit video game
console of the fourth generation manufactured by Nintendo in the years 1990 - 2003. In that time, it was the best-selling 16-bit video game console with superior
graphics and sound
compared to its competitors. Worldwide, almost 50 million units of this console were sold at approximately price $ 200 per unit. More information about the
SNES console can be found here.
Recommended Game Controllers:
You can control this game easily by using the keyboard of your PC (see the table next to the game). However, for maximum gaming enjoyment, we strongly recommend using a USB gamepad that you simply plug into the USB port of your computer. If you do not have a gamepad, buy a suitable USB controller on Amazon or AliExpress or in some of your favorite online stores.
Available online emulators:
5 different online emulators are available for Gradius III - The Outbreak. These emulators differ not only in the technology they use to emulate old games, but also in support of various game controllers, multiplayer mode, mobile phone touchscreen, emulation speed, absence or presence of embedded ads and in many other parameters. For
maximum gaming enjoyment, it's important to choose the right emulator, because on each PC and in different Internet browsers, the individual emulators behave differently. The basic
features of each emulator available for this game Gradius III - The Outbreak are summarized in the following table:
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