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Awesome Music / Gradius

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The bulk of Gradius' most crowning songs accurately convey some sort of cosmic wonder.

  • Gradius II:
    • Burning Heat, the Stage 1 theme, 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).
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    • Maximum Speed plays in the high speed level, and it's very fitting for a level that goes very fast.
    • "Tears Began Gushing", the bonus stage music from Gradius II 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.
  • Challenger 1985 is the most iconic song in the entire series. The video in question showcased all the variations from different ports (the NES version isn't as great, but it's still brilliant). The last two are even remixes!
  • "Dead End Cell" from Gradius III is a very catchy tune. Despite being played during the game's 6th level, it sounds like it's more fitting for a day at the beach.
  • 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. So is "Battleship" from Gradius V. It starts with the first few notes of the first stage theme from Gradius I, then kicks off into a high speed techno beat as you blast away enemy ships. The awesomeness level is cranked up when it is Mickey Moused into the opening.
  • Gradius V:
    • Battleship. Bonus points for an epic orchestral remake of Challenger 1985 as the song's intro.
    • Impregnable Fortress, the rave-like music to the second part of Stage 7.
    • Meteor and Something Green from V. And Universe is one hell of a way to start off the game.
    • Tetran & Death MK-III from Gradius V: The old Salamander boss music on steroids.
  • Salamander 2: