Nemesis / Gradius

Nemesis Arcade Game

Nemesis was a horizontal scrolling game released in 1985 by Konami.  Outside of the USA, the game was known as Gradius.  In this game, the player controlled a trans-dimensional spaceship called the Vic Viper whilst defending it from a host of alien enemies.  When the game starts, the Vic Viper’s weapon systems are rather lethargic, but as power-ups were collected, the fire power would increase as well.  The player would collect and store power ups until they had earned the required number for whichever weapon they wanted to use.  When it came to battling the boss alien ships, each boss ship would have a centralized core that would need to be destroyed.  The core could be reached by timing shots through an outer channel that would lead directly to the shielded core.  Once the shields were decimated from repeated shots, the core would be vulnerable.  Non-ship, organic bosses also had weak spots that required exploitation, such as the mouth or the eyes.

Nemesis Arcade Game Cabinet

Versions of Nemesis (Gradius) were released on home systems like the Commodore 64, Gameboy, NES, PlayStation, Sega Saturn, and many others.  In later years, the game was featured on the Gradius Collection for PlayStation and on the Konami Classic Series: Arcade Hits for the Nintendo DS.  Fans of this game will recognize it as the prequel to the 1986 game Salamander, also known as Life Force.