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Box artwork for Nemesis '90 Kai.
Box artwork for Nemesis '90 Kai.
Nemesis '90 Kai
Year released1993
System(s)Sharp X68000
ModesSingle player
LinksNemesis '90 Kai ChannelSearchSearch

Nemesis '90 Kai (ネメシス'90改? lit. Nemesis '90 Revision) is a horizontally scrolling shooter for the Sharp X68000 Japanese home computer system. It is an enhanced remake of the original MSX-only sequel to Gradius known as Gradius 2. It was developed and published by SPS, the company responsible for the extremely arcade-accurate Sharp X68000 ports of Konami's Gradius and Salamander. Though development of this remake began in 1990, it was not released until late into 1993.

While this remake uses the MSX game as a base, it makes several modifications to enhance and modernize the look and feel of the game. It was one of the rarest and most-sought after games in the Gradius series. However, the changes presented in this version inspired an unofficial fan-made remake of Gradius 2 for the Sharp X68000 known as Nemesis '94 which seeks to undo the changes presented in this version, while maintaining the graphical and sound enhancements.


  • The graphics have been redesigned and redrawn to a 16-bit level of quality that is often compared to Gradius III.
  • In addition to introducing the smooth scrolling which was not possible on the MSX, the game also features parallax scrolling for images in the background.
  • The beginning game animation if the Metalion launch has been enhanced to appear more three-dimensional.
  • The power-up gauge makes use of the increased resolution to permit the return of text inside the boxes.
  • Sound effects are substantially enhanced over the original, allowing for a similar quality of sound present in Gradius and Gradius II, which many of the sound effects may have been taken from.
  • The background music is compatible with, and can be further enhanced by, a number of MIDI sound source add-ons.
Power ups
  • The power-up capability of the Metalion returns to that of the Vic Viper in the original arcade versions, where four Options can be activated, and front shields appear for the Force Field which shrink in size as they take more damage.
  • Missiles and Lasers, along with Up and Down Lasers, can no longer be upgraded to twice; they are at full power upon activation.
  • Upgraded weapons map to the same gauge locations upon collection after invading the cores of boss ships. However, you will only receive one upgrade at a time, regardless of how quickly you defeat a boss.
  • The Up and Down Lasers now appear more like the Ripple weapon from Salamander and Gradius II, and extend much wider than the same weapons in the MSX version.
  • The Napalm Missile no longer follows the same movement behavior as the original Missiles, and instead drops in a parabolic motion like the Spread Bombs do in Gradius II.
  • The Extend Laser no longer alters the size or shape of the Laser, only the look (it applies a flashing rainbow effect.)
  • Upon activating a power-up, the Metalion enjoys a very brief moment of invincibility.
The initial Metalion power meter gauge
1 2 3 4 5 6
The fully upgraded Metalion power meter gauge
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
  • The overall speed of enemies have been increased. Some enemies have been added, or old enemies have been replaced with more recent examples of enemies from the arcade versions.
  • The blue Crash power-up which destroys every enemy on the screen still appears, but it's appearance is no longer fixed like it was in the MSX version. Rather, it appears on a regular basis after so many red power-up capsules appear.
  • The attack patterns of some bosses have been changed. Additionally, these battles are made more difficult by the appearance of a spread of bullets every time one of the core shields is destroyed.
  • Two bosses have been added to replace the second instance of two bosses which repeat in the MSX version. These new bosses appear on the second and fifth stages.
  • Because the path to an exposed boss core is extremely narrow, you are likely to completely wear out any Force Field you have left when attempting to access the interior of a boss ship.
  • While the core interior of every boss ship was identical in the original version, each core interior is unique in this version, and the tunnels through the interiors are a bit narrower.
  • The fifth stage of the Planet of Fire has been updated to incorporate the arcs of fire that appear in the similarly fire themed third stage of Salamander.
  • The locations of the entrances to the hidden bonus stages have been changed. They can now be found in he second, fourth, and sixth stages. The arrangement of these bonus stages has also been altered.
  • On the return trip from the sixth stage back to the first stage, the stages that you fly through are no longer identical to the stages you flew through initially.
  • Two new stages are introduced on the return trip, although they don't always appear. In the original return trip, you travel back from stage six to stage one in reverse order. In the alternate return trip, you travel through stage six and stage five before encountering two original stages. Upon completing them, you return to the first stage, bypassing a entire stage.
  • ;Original Stage 1 - Asteroid Stage
    • You must fly through an area that contains large chunks of asteroids that travel across the screen at various speeds and angles. This is similar to the fifth stage of Salamander.
  • ;Original Stage 2 - Waterfall Stage
    • A beautifully rendered stage containing a large number of waterfalls. The water that spills into the foreground of the scene is dangerous to touch and must be avoided. A bubble encased boss similar to the second stage of Gradius III appears at the end.
  • The original Gradius 2 was published on a 1Mbit ROM cartridge with a built-in custom sound chip. This version was released on 2 1.2Mbyte floppy disks. Additionally, once the game was loaded off disk, the entire game ran from the system's memory, eliminating any load times between levels.
  • This game provides the player with three difficulty levels; Easy, Normal (spelled "Nomal" in the configuration menu), and Difficult. The difficulty level determines how aggressive the enemies get, and how quickly. Aggressiveness is determine by the level of power you accumulate, as well as how long you survive without losing a life. On Normal, if you make it three stages without dying, enemies will fire bullets at you upon destruction.

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