* "Warning. There is a space-time anomaly forming. Two objects have emerged. Ship identification code cannot be processed for the large craft. The other is [[spoiler: [[WhamLine Vic Viper T-301]].]]"
* The [[NintendoHard notorious]] ''Gradius III'' (Arcade) [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erGzgSegA2U cleared on one credit]]...on [[HarderThanHard Very Difficult]].
** The same player [[http://youtu.be/2ct8sssUI6k did the same]] for ''Gradius IV'' on Hardest. Both games on their respective hardest difficulties took ''years'' for him to complete.
** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPgd3rxCF08 Outstanding One Man Army play on SNES version]]
* Any time a player dies and successfully recovers out of a very difficult section, due to the game using {{checkpoint}}s and penalizing the player of all of their powerups upon death. It's arguably more impressive than someone simply clearing the game with [[NoDamageRun no deaths]], as the ''Gradius'' series is basically the poster child for UnstableEquilibrium in the shoot-em-up genre.
* The sheer size of Zelos alone deserves mention. The Japanese Lifeforce arcade and the NES game of the same name differ considerably, but have the same story about flying inside the entity to take it out. Most of the arcade game looks like the inside of a body, appropriately enough. [[CaptainObvious That's Big. ]]The NES version however claims that Zelos has consumed entire ''galaxies'' at once, and that stars are little more than the ''astronomical equivalent of french fries'' to it. How big is this thing?? In stage 3, you can see space and stars in the background. ''In its stomach.'' A DysonSphere would be nothing more than an inconsiderable background pixel.
* If you can get far enough in ''Gradius IV'', the announcer's HaveANiceDeath message becomes the triumphant "You are the Viper!"
* Reaching loop 2 stage 8 of ''Gaiden'', noticing that [[spoiler:[[MusicalSpoiler the boss rush part 2 music continues to play for Neo Big Core rather than the stage endboss music]], and then being confronted by Heaven's Gate, the new Stage 8 endboss that then proeeds to toss BeamSpam across the screen, as the endboss music finally begins to play]].