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The bulk of Gradius's most crowning songs accurately convey some sort of cosmic wonder. Talk about what you consider Crowning Music in Gradius here.
Burning Heat, the Stage 1 theme from Gradius II, is pretty much the " Bloody Tears" of Gradius, since everyone identifies it with the series.
Newer-generation players, however, learned of the series' existence through Burning Heat! (Full Option Mix) from beatmania IIDX 7th Style and DDR 7th Mix (as a shorter, "3 Option Mix" version).
"Tears Began Gushing", the bonus stage music from Gradius 2 on MSX. It always sounds like you flew to heaven or something, especially considering that most of the time, the entrances to these bonus rounds are welcome escapes from some very difficult levels.
Almost any fortress theme in the series. "Cosmic Heroes" (Nemesis 3 MSX), "Into Hostile Ship"(Gradius II AC), "Mechanical Base" of Gradius III are all great examples.
Maximum Speed (Fate...) from Gradius Gaiden. It starts out awesome, then gets more awesome as it picks up speed.
Gradius. One of the best soundtracks to any arcade game. The NES port music isn't as great but it's still brilliant.
From Gradius V: Impregnable Fortress, the rave-like music to the second part of Stage 7.
Maximum Speed from Gradius II. It plays in the high speed level, and it's very fitting for a level that goes very fast.
Sensation, from Salamander 2 Stage 2, also featured in Keyboardmania 3rd Mix.
Also from Salamander 2, Fire Tripper. Fun fact: The Salamander 2 soundtracks are partially composed by Naoki Maeda, who would go on to become a major producer of songs.
Dance Dance Revolution Silvery Wings Again also deserves a mention, also includes a shout out to "Departure From Space" from Gradius III.
Snowfield, from Gradius Gaiden Stage 1.
Tetran & Death MK-III from Gradius V: The old Salamander boss music on steroids.
The second-to-last stage music from the Famicom version of Gradius II.
Meteor and Something Green from V.
Universe is one hell of a way to start off the game.
Departure From Space from the arcade version of Gradius III. The SNES version just isn't the same without the choir.
High Speed Dimension from the SNES version of Gradius III. Just like the stage, it starts out deceptively slow, then it Immediately kicks it to high gear, just like the stage.
The immortal Aircraft Carrier aka Boss Rush theme, especially its mix from .
V The most epic stage theme in Gradius, ever. The original Moonspin. The re ma kes are kinda epic too.
Here are some of the most kickass tracks from Nemesis, with/as Rebirth remake (*original available):
Historic Soldier, the music of the beginning animation of Nemesis I
The rocking intro music from PC Engine version of Gradius 2: Gofer no Yabou
Try to Star from the Arcade version of Gradius III, which is sadly absent in the SNES version. Even more awesome still is the S.S.H. remix.
Even fan games have their own CMOAs, an example would be this tune from Storm Assault.
"Pursuit", from the Game Boy Gradius II.