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Gradius 2 Stage 5a.png
  • You'll face a typical pre-stage here, but if you are significantly powered up (two Options, full Lasers and Missiles, etc.) then be prepared for a pretty substantial offensive response, with enemies firing a large quantity of bullets at your current location. You'll be forced to move around a lot in order to avoid them.
  • Once you get to the start of the stage, it make look similar to the fire stages found in Salamander, as well as the Famicom port of Gradius II. However, it does not contain any of the arcing fire flares (although the Sharp X68000 remake Nemesis '90 Kai adds them back in.) It contains quite a number of unique dangers all its own.
  • The first danger you encounter are sections of flame that bulge outward from the terrain below, and eject flaming rocks like a volcano. There is nothing you can do to stop the rocks from being thrown out, all you can do is shoot them out of the sky. Typically whenever these sections appear, a number of red enemies fly through the area leaving power-ups behind when destroyed. Be careful that these power-ups don't lure you into a vulnerable position.
Gradius 2 Stage 5b.png
  • Another feature that you'll encounter throughout the stage are straight vertical columns of flame that extend between the floor and the ceiling. There will be one and only one weak point along each of the columns where you must shoot to create a gap that you can fly through to the opposite side. Don't wait too long to fly through, as the gap you create will close over time.
Gradius 2 Stage 5c.png
  • The challenge will intensify as squadrons of enemies begin to attack you whenever you must cross these columns of flames. The enemies can fly through the columns, but your shots don't possess the same capability, so the enemies only become vulnerable to fire when they are on the same side of the column as you, or when you find the weak point of the column and blast through the gap.
Gradius 2 Stage 5d.png
  • You will also encounter the columns more frequently, forcing you to find the gap in the next column quickly before you are pushed too far to the left side of the screen.
  • Near the very end of the stage, the scrolling will stop, and three sections of the floor and the ceiling will pop out and spray the screen with fireballs. The sections will alternate between the floor and the ceiling two times before the scrolling will resume and you are presented with the boss of the stage.
Return trip feature
Gradius 2 Stage 9.png
The Planet of Fire is unique in that it is the only stage to feature a new enemy on the return trip, Stage 9. The new enemy that you encounter is a creature that resembles a crystal pyramid. They bob up and down as they makes their way to the left across the screen. They aren't particularly strong, but they do possess one ability that makes them a tremendous threat: they can reflect the Metalion's laser beams back at the Metalion. In fact, you often notice the reflecting beams before you notice the crystals. Once this happens, you must be extremely cautious about firing lasers, or you're likely to be struck by the reflection. Only fire lasers as you are traveling up or down the screen. Never remain at one particular height on the screen, or you will get hit when the laser beam returns. They only appear a few times through the replay of the stage, but they appear often enough to be a nuisance.
Gradius 2 Stage 5e.png

Boss: Mayhem Ship[edit]

The boss of this stage is identical to the one you faced in the Floating Continent stage, so if you mastered the technique to beat it there, you can use the same one here. Stay between the two arms while it fires lightning, and then quickly back up to the left side of the screen to avoid getting crushed. Stick to this pattern and you will defeat the boss rather quickly.

Nemesis '90 Kai changes[edit]

Very little about this stage has changed in the remake compared to the original. The only significant alteration is, of course, the addition of the arcs of flame which leap out into the middle of the screen, forcing you to fly above or below them for safety. These arcs are inspired by the third stage of Salamander (Life Force), and suit the stage very well. There are only two of them, and the fire off around four or five times before they have progressed far enough across the screen. It's worth mentioning that the return trip through this stage also features the crystal enemies, but for whatever reason, they do not reflect your beams back at you.

Nemesis 90 Stage 5a.png Nemesis 90 Stage 5.png Nemesis 90 Stage 5b.png

Nemesis 90 Boss 5.png

The boss of the remake is the second of two unique bosses which replace those found in the original. Rather then face a second Mayhem Ship, you face another ship whose primary form of attack are gigantic lasers. This ship has an two pairs of lasers cannons on the wings. It moves up and down and switches off between firing the outer pair and the inner pair. While a change from the Mayhem Ship, this boss isn't quite as challenging to defeat. In fact, if you are loaded up with four Options and Lasers, and lined up with the core once the ship begins its attack, you can sometimes blast through all the shields and hit the core before the ship even moves away. When invading the core, watch out for several instances of pods that appear from every corner, and cannon's situated in blind spots in the ceiling. It is recommended that you stay to the right through the invasion.