- 1 Stage 10-1: Boss On Parade
- 2 Stage 10-2: Mechanical Base
Stage 10-1: Boss On Parade
This stage starts of with several Zabus-like enemies, firing spread shots and giving power-ups when destroyed.
Boss On Parade #1: Tetran
This boss from Salamander has one similarity to the Big Core from Gradius 1. It has a core protected by 3 shields. You must destroy the shields and then the core. Other than that, the Tetran is entirely new. Almost round, it has four tentacles that spin around the ship while the ship spins in clockwise circles. The tentacles have a new ability, as they can curl up inside the body and wrap out at any second. If that wasn't enough, the barriers fire spread shots when destroyed. Other than dodging the arms and bullets, use a similar strategy as in Salamander.
Boss On Parade #2: Covered Core
This boss appears from the first hole in the ground, and has the same shield-and-core business as the Tetran. This one is fully round, and has three rotating shields that cover (hence the name) the core. In addition to that, the shields fire missiles from above and below that must be dodged. The core takes a while before opening, but the missiles can be dodged with good weaving.
Boss On Parade #3: Big Core Mk 2
When the second hole in the ground appears, Big Core Mk 2 will appear. Big Core Mk 2 is much different from the original Big Core. A notable difference is that it has TWO cores instead of one. It can also fire more lasers; up to 14. However, if you are far away from it, it fires 4 lasers, like the Big Core. When one core is destroyed, that side malfunctions (two arms on Big Core Mk 2 must be opened to fire all the lasers) and the lasers stop working. When both cores are eliminated, you will move on.
Boss On Parade #4: Crystal Core
Cystal Core will emerge from the third hole in the ground. Crystal Core is, as the name suggests, made out of crystals. Crystal Core also has two long arms that can fire blue fireballs. Like the previous bosses, it has four shields and a blue core. Every few seconds, Crystal Core fires two short lasers. After a while, Crystal Core closes its arms, protecting the core, and fires 14 twin lasers in a row. It then repeats the process till it dies.
Boss On Parade #5: Death Mk 2
When the fourth hole is reached, Death Mk 2 will rise. At first, it'll look like Death Mk 1. However, this version has new attacks. While the doors are present, Death Mk 2 will fire five missiles at a time. Weaving through them is difficult but not impossile to do. When the hatch is destroyed, Death Mk 2 will fire a huge laser that must be dodged. This boss is easily taken care of with Spread Bombs.
Boss: Dellinger Core
The final boss of the stage appears from the last hole in the ground. Dellinger Core has the same killing patterns as the other bosses here (destroy the shields and then the core). However, it can open up to fire 18 lasers. Every few times, it points its arms diagonally to make the lasers catch you off guard. This boss is difficult, but can be defeated with ease. After you defeat Dellinger Core, go into the hole where he rose, and the final stage begins.
- The Tetran has been removed.
- No bosses rise from holes in the ground.
- Crystal Core comes from behind.
- The order of the four bosses before Dellinger Core is reversed (Now Death Mk 2, Crystal Core, Big Core Mk 2, and Covered Core).
- Dellinger Core is different, as it can now ram you, and it can only fire 12 lasers. This boss rush is now the 8th stage.
Stage 10-2: Mechanical Base
- This stage starts out pretty hard, as a little bit after it starts, the lights flicker on and off. Try to stay alert so you won't get killed.
- Like Gradius, Zabus occasionally appear. After the screen stops flickering, the floor will start to tear up into pieces. The pieces lanch towards the Vic Viper, but they can be destroyed.
- After that, you will see ships that look a little like Big Cores. The path splits itself into parts at this time, and the Big Core-like ships fire a laser at you, so it can get pretty tight. Since they freeze when destroyed, they can trap you from going around them. Use your best skills here.
- After your done there, the floor and ceiling will start moving. These parts of the area can block you off if your not quick enough, or they can crush you if your not careful.
- The next section splits into two, and then you will see small spider robots that look like the Shadow Gear, except they walk, and have six legs, and are smaller. It forces you to hide in holes on the ceiling or floor, but you might pass it easily. The path then reconnets, and one more mini-spider will appear.
- After that, you will see cannons using spinning lasers that can make things pretty tight, since more than one laser spins at a time. Depending on the lag, your path may be different. After that, you will meet the sub-boss.
Disrupt is a Gun Wall with three cores that have four barriers each, along with four indestructable enemy generators, and eight laser cannons. Parts of the floor and ceiling move during this time, so stay in the middle. Just go wherever and shoot whatever until all three cores are destroyed. You will then start to meet the final obstacle before the final boss.
Sub-Boss 2: Shadow Gear
Shadow Gear is an indestructable spider that has 8 legs. Its sets of legs slide on the floor while Duckers constantly appear. The holes in the ground are your only hope.
- After Shadow Gear leaves, the area will get an organic background, and the regenerating tissue reappears from the
6th stage. In between parts with the tissue, indestruuctable bouncing balls will appear that must be dodged. After that, you will approach the final boss.
Final Boss: Bacterion
Baterion, like any Gradius final boss, is the easiest boss. All he does is spit out fast but easy to dodge energy balls. The weakpoint is the mouth.
Escape To The Freedom
After that, you have to go through a high-speed section to escape the enemy base. The scrolling is fast, and there is a maze to go through. It starts out by splitting the path into two. The top path is easier than the bottom path, but sets you up poorly when you go down. It reconnects and splits up again, and here, the bottom path is safer, due to the top path involving going down a short step-like area. Then, you go up a larger version of those steps, then you go down. after that, you go up and down straight secttions whuch are easier to avoid. Then, the pathway narrows and centers itself, goes down, and centers itself again. After you make it out, the ending and the credits appear. Then, you will start at Stage 1 at a higher degree of difficulty. Congratulations for beating one of the hardest Gradius games ever.
Stage 10-1 is Stage 8 and the mechanical base part of Stage 10-2 is Stage 9.
There are many differences:
- During the fight with Disrupt, the floor will not move. The enemy generators can now be destroyed.
- The small spiders and laser spinners are removed.
- The mini Big Cores now have two phases of destruction. That part, along with the tearing floor, comes after Disrupt, not before.
- Shadow Gear is now split into two spiders that can be destroyed by shooting them in the center.
- The high speed zone has moved up to be the seventh stage. Here, it is longer, and features opening and closing barriers. The new boss is Beacon, who has five cores with no barriers. It can fire four lasers and release bouncing cores.
- A bonus stage can be found by doing this: at the end of the level, you have to go down a very long downward path. When you see a section that dead ends with a >, fly into that > part.(SNES Stage 7 High Speed only.)