(C) KONAMI 1989
Play Select: 1-2 Players
Powerup Gauge: Speed Up | Missile | Double | Laser | Option | ? | !
Maximum level of Speed Up: 5
Maximum level of Missile: 1
Maximum level of Double: 1
Maximum level of Laser: 1
Maximum level of Option: 4
Maximum level of Barrier: 1 (2 in REDUCE)
Total number of stage: 10
HI: 57300 H.M
Weapon Select (Type Select)
TYPE.A: SPEEDUP | MISSILE | DOUBLE | LASER | OPTION
TYPE.B: SPEEDUP | SPREAD BOMB | TAILGUN | RIPPLE | OPTION
TYPE.C: SPEEDUP | 2 WAY | VERTICAL | C.LASER | OPTION
TYPE.D: SPEEDUP | PHOTON TORPEDO | FREEWAY | TWIN LASER | OPTION
BARRIER: SHIELD | FORCE FIELD
Weapon Select (Edit Mode)
MISSILE: MISSILE | CONTROL | UPPER MISSILE | S.SPREAD
DOUBLE: VERTICAL | SPREADGUN | TAILGUN | FREEWAY
LASER: TWIN LASER | RIPPLE | E.LASER | C.LASER
OPTION: OPTION | S.OPTION
?: FORCE FIELD | SHIELD | FREE SHIELD | REDUCE
!: NORMAL | SPEED DOWN | A.OPTION
Stage 1: Desert (Very Easy)
Stage 2: Bubble ( Easy)
Stage 3: Volcano (Hard)
Stage 4: 3D High Speed (Easiest)
Stage 5: Moai (Very Hard)
Stage 6: Cell (Medium)
Stage 7: Fire (Very Hard)
Stage 8: Plant (Medium Hard)
Stage 9: Crystal (Abnormal)
Stage 10 Part I: Boss Rush (Medium Hard)
Stage 10 Part II: Base (Hardest)
Hidden Stage 1: GRADIUS (Very Hard)
Hidden Stage 2: SALAMANDER (Very Hard)
Boss (Information taken from IMO's Webpages)
Stage 2: Bubble Eye
Stage 3: Big Core Mk-III
Stage 10 Part I: Tetran, Covered Core, Big Core Mk-II, Crystal Core, Death Mk-II
Stage 10 Part II: Disrupt, Shadow Gear, Bacterian
Hidden Stage 1: Big Core
Different Version (Information noticed from Mr. IMO, Japan)
There are 2 main different versions of AC GRADIUS III. This is because a series bug was discovered in the old version. That bug is one of the most popular topics among G3 players. This is the non-death bug, or better described with incomplete invincibility (I.I.). By using I.I., Vic Viper will be not destroyed by all enemy hit (except crash on wall, Moai tower and spin laser in the last stage etc.). Though there is newer version (cannot use I.I.) of G3 nowadays, but the old version (can use I.I.) still exist in game centres. And some game centres prohibit the use of I.I. and infinity pattern. This make me no reason I can publize the methods of how to use I.I. here... . Anyway for people who know this technique, remember don't use it at game centres!
Oversea Version (Information provided by Chuck Cochems, USA)
Chuck: "There is an Asian version of AC GRADIUS III. This version has a shortened history, and has the dfifficulty of the easy game with the length of the normal game. This makes the game a bit easier. There is no game select screen."
I were very young and seldom/didn't go to game centres by the time when this version was first released. Besides, I had got no money and no time to play too. But I remember I did saw this game one and only one time from outside a game centre. Someone was playing the game and facing with the Bubble stage boss. I stood and looked at it for couples of seconds but he didn't pass the stage. I forgot he crashed the plane or not but I were then go away because I think it's no good looking for too long. Later I never saw this game again in game centres.
The original AC version of GRADIUS III is totally different from the SFC version. Though both versions have similar scenes, but the game difficulty is different. The one in AC is much much harder. Actually this should be the most difficult Gradius game ever made in history. You have to be very strong even just for finishing the first 3 stages in Easy mode. I remember I have to spend about a week just for finishing the first 3 stages. The feeling is like finishing a game. And the Moai stage boss is even much crazy... . The Fire stage is madness... etc.
One of the main differences between the AC and SFC versions is the Power Meter Select, as you mab already read from above. In which both the F.OPTION and R.OPTION do not available in AC. And the REDUCE function is not resizeable (crash immediately when hit once). There're many places that players almost wouldn't be possible to play on if crashed once, especially at the 3rd and 5th stage boss.
There are 2 game modes selectable after starting the game before Weapon Select (see above for the Mode Select screen). The one to the left (default) is Normal Mode and the right option is Practice Mode decided for beginners. In Practice Mode, players can have their weapons back in the next life after crashed. This mode is easier to play, but the number of stage is limited to 3. After you finished the first 3 stages (all stages) in Practice Mode, you will Game Over immediately without any ending theme.