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  • Bad Export for You - The NES Life Force only allows two options per ship (instead of three like its FC counterpart) and lacks the multiple endings from the FC Salamander; its sole ending is a static shot of the Konami logo while the ending theme plays.
  • Fan Nickname: "Gradius syndrome" is used to refer to the series' unforgiving Unstable Equilibrium; more specifically, getting killed in a fully-powered ship and then having to claw one's way out of an extremely difficult section with only their basic blaster, no Options, and a single Speed Up (if they happened to have anything in the power meter highlighted upon death). It can also refer to when other games allow the player to make powerful upgrades to their ships only to take those upgrades away upon losing a life.
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  • He Also Did: The Salamander 2 soundtrack was mainly composed by Naoki Maeda, known by many for producing tracks for the Dance Dance Revolution series and serving as sound producer for a good chunk of it.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes:
    • The mainline games are fairly good about this, each game from I through IV having had about 1-3 Arcade Perfect Ports, but the Solar Assault Gradius sub-series never saw a console release (you may be lucky to find one at Chuck-e-Cheese's).
    • ReBirth can no longer be purchased as of March 2018, due to the Wii Shop Channel no longer allowing purchases. By 2019, you won't be able to redownload it if you already have it.
  • Late Export for You:
    • Gradius II was released in 1988 in Japan and Europe, but did not see an official release in North America until its inclusion in Gradius Collection in 2006, eighteen years later.
    • Gradius Gaiden was released in 1998 in Japan, and took eight years to be released elsewhere. Like Gradius II, its export took form of being one of the games on Collection.
  • Marth Debuted in "Smash Bros.":
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    • Venom made his North American debut in V in 2005, 18 years after he debuted in the Japan- and Europe-exclusive Nemesis 2 in 1987. Just to add insult to injury, his massive-brain form in this game looks nothing like how he does in the MSX games or in ReBirth where he's a comparatively normal green humanoid alien.
    • James Burton, having also debuted in Nemesis 2 in Japan and Europe, did not appear in any game released for the North American market until Gradius ReBirth in 2009, 22 years later.
    • Gofer of Gradius II (1988) had to wait 10 years to appear in a game released in North America, namely Gradius IV.
  • No Dub for You - In some games like Salamander and V, the voices are exclusively in English. Even worse in V, the voices are subbed in Japanese version instead of dubbed.
  • No Export for You - A few games remain Japan-only. Gradius II (Famicom)note  and Salamander 2 are two such examples.
    • Subverted for games that never got released in North America, but did in Europe, even though North America often gets priority over Europe with exports. The MSX-exclusive games (Salamander, Gradius 2 / Nemesis II, Gofer no Yabou Episode II / Nemesis III) come to mind, as the system they're on was a flop in North America anyway.
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    • Salamander Portable for the PSP was never released outside of Japan. This is especially annoying since it perfectly compliments the Gradius Collection (which was released worldwide), containing all the games that were left out of the earlier collection (including the MSX Gradius 2).
    • The original Gradius II, released in 1988, remained out of the reach of the North American market until 2006 (as part of Gradius Collection)—that is, for eighteen years. Its PC Engine port followed suit in 2009 with a Virtual Console rerelease.
    • A major reason why the Famicom port of Gradius II didn't make it outside of Japan is because it requires use of the extra two pins found in the Famicom cartridge slot, which were relocated on the NES to another part of the console, and the game needs those pins to run at all.note 
  • No Port For You: ReBirth is a WiiWare-exclusive, which is a very big problem because Wii Shop Channel games can no longer be purchased as of March 2018 or downloaded effective January 2019.
  • Port Overdosed: The first two Gradius arcade games and the original Salamander got ported to plenty of platforms in some form or another. Particularly in Japan, where the series got the Deluxe Packs on the PS and Saturn, as well as Collection series on PSP.
  • Sequel First - Gradius II was released in 1988 in Japan and Europe, but not in North America, where it was officially unreleased until its appearance on Gradius Collection in 2006. Gaiden is a milder example; IV and Galaxies came after it and were released here before Collection (which included Gaiden as well).
  • What Could Have Been
    • The first Gradius game had Scramble 2 as a working title when the game was under development as a direct sequel to the first Scramble. However, the final product ended up as Gradius with different gameplay than Scramble.
    • The canceled racing game Vic Viper was meant to be Konami's answer to F-Zero series.
    • The arcade version of V was in development, but the version was cancelled due to time constraints.
    • V additionally would have had a feature where selecting the same slot on the powerup gauge multiple times will swap that weapon out with another one of the same category (e.g. replacing Missile with Spread Bomb or Laser with Ripple, something similar to those in MSX Gradius games), but this was scrapped in favor of the traditional gauge select and unlockable gauge edit.
    • The Salamander HD Remaster, a remake of NES Life Force/Famicom Salamander, was slated for the release on mobile phones In similar fashion to Contra Evolution, but was ultimately cancelled due to the closure of its developer, Konami Shanghai (a Konami subsidiary based in Shanghai). One of the staff members finished up the game and provided free download links however.
  • The Wiki Rule: The Gradius Wiki.
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