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Where have all the Gradius cowboys gone?, a missing in action shooter worth remembering

December 19, 2015

Remember the old Konami code? Yeah, that one! How can we all forget the good old Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start? Well it might not be too long before we forget it if a few things don't turn around soon. The code was originally put into the home console version of Gradius for the Famicom back in the mid 1980s.

The reason why is crystal clear for Gradius fans, as it was a means for the beta testers to be able to get full fire power in the game in order to complete it. Yeah, it was one shooter game that was pretty challenging, and the code served as only a means to be able to finish beta testing it without too much difficulty.

Until that is, it was accidentally left in the game by programmer Kazuhisa Hashimoto who invented the code and developed the famous shooter, along with its well known Vic Viper ship. After that, it became symbolized in future titles such as Contra and Life Force (Salamander).

The code would go on to be used from various other formats from non Konami games such as BioHazard Shock Infinite, to websites showing everything from dinosaurs to little mini games that were activated by simply pressing the code on your keyboard.

But now that those times are diminishing quickly, what about the future of Gradius? The last full blown console release took place on the Playstation 2 with Gradius 5, followed by a mobile version of the original, and then Gradius Rebirth on the Nintendo WiiWare.

Is that enough for now?, or should Konami take a hard second look at the long time running shooter title and give it a come back. Now that the company is going through its transition process after a number of developers have gotten older and left the company,

Konami has taken a survey to see which titles are holding their popularity.

Thankfully Gradius did make that list, but the results of the polls the company took are still unknown for any of the games listed in the survey. Still, there are a number of spin-off titles floating around out there you may not know about.

The Parodius & Nemesis series for one, along with another personal favorite of mine called Otomedius Gorgeous and Otomedius Excellent.

Both of which are somewhat known as a "Boob shooter" versions of  it, something of a "Gradius meets boobs" sort of thing. You're probably asking yourself by now.....say what?? It's just something you have to witness to understand. Take a look at all those, along with Gradius V, which is the most incredible one in the series so far. 


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