Gradius III

Download Gradius III and pilot your spacecraft through intense, side-scrolling shoot-'em-up action! Power up your weapons, dodge waves of enemies, and save the galaxy from destruction. Ready to blast off? Play now!
a game by Konami
Genre: Shooting Games
Platform: SNESSNES
Editor Rating: 7.8/10, based on 4 reviews, 5 reviews are shown
User Rating: 7.8/10 - 8 votes
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See also: Gradius Games
Gradius III
Gradius III
Gradius III
  • Type: Shoot
  • Available: September 1991
  • Levels: 11
  • Difficulty: Average

The Vic Viper is on the call once more! Another hot sequel created just for the Super Nintendo, Gradius 3 offers larger end bosses, longer levels, and more objects on screen at once! The Vic Viper itself is now equipped with even more types of weapons and power ups, like the ultra-powerful Megacrush!! Pound through 11 diehard levels to reach the final confrontation with the alien boss!

People say:


Gradius 3 uses the 16-Bit power of the Super NES by increasing the detail of the landscapes ard enemies (especially the Bosses which fill the screen), hype the stereo sound and incorporate some conventional play that is pocketed with flicker. This detracts, but the game remains good.


One of the better shooters for the new system. Though it slows down when the action gets intense the game does get better in the last two rounds. Great music when piped through a stereo. Definitely one of the games to buy when you get the system.


My favorite series of shooters has finally gone 16-Bit. Tne graphics are truly an upgrade to the NES versions and the music very cool. Tons of cool new weapons to use. The game lacks intensity and seems only to pick up in the later rounds. A very good shooter, but not the best.


Definitely, Gradius III is one of the best shooters to hit the shelves, and I recommend it to shooter fans, but I am sorely disappointed by the slowdown and flicker! Otherwise, the music is excellent and the graphics are great. Unfortunately, I always found myself reaching for Gaiares...

Download Gradius III


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • Pentium II (or equivalent) 266MHz (500MHz recommended), RAM: 64MB (128MB recommended), DirectX v8.0a or later must be installed

Game Reviews

The legend returns. This sequel to the greatest series of shooting games for the NES begins right where the others left off. This time the battle is even more insane. You must pilot your lone starship into the heart of the Bacterion Empire and destroy the evil Motherbrain. The odds aren't that bad though, because you have 25 different power-ups at your disposal. Gradius 3 is filled with shoot-em-up action from beginning to end. Huge end bosses that take up the entire screen await you at the end of each level. You must blast your way through 11 levels of pure action in order to save Gradius.

Prepare to jump head first into the Super NES danger zone in Gradius III, one of the premiere Super NES releases from Konami. In this ten-stage, two-field, multi-scrolling super shooter you man a mega high tech spacecraft through the depths of outer space. Why? To save Gradius and the other neighboring planets from the deadly Bacterion, of course. There are three levels of difficulty, so you can tailor the challenge to your skills. Customize your ship with a variety of super weapons (13 in all) by blasting open special blue and orange crystals, which whiz through the atmosphere. Space fighting takes on an entirely new dimension in Gradius III.

We all know how great the Super Famicom is supposed to be but not until now can we actually see how spectacular it really is! Konami has just make a near perfect translation of the most recent version in the Gradius arcade series - Gradius 3! And got it to fit in just a 4 meg cart! Many of the features are similar to the previous games. You can select the types of options you'll use from a list in the beginning of the game; the ground based enemy are virtually identical and the procedure for upgrading your weapons remains the same, but there it ends. Everything else, from the finely detailed graphics, the perfect game play to the spectacular stereo soundtrack put this version of the game in a class by itself!

Finally, the 16-bit version of the game that put Konami on the video map. Gradius was the game that defined horizontally scrolling shooting games for the NES. Gradius 3 adds some different features and boasts some new ones, but is it all enough?

The game opens with a nice animated sequence of the ship departing from a big mothership and flying away. After picking the number of players, there is a unique weapons-selection screen. Here there are four sets of power-ups to choose from and two shield types to pick. If you don't like the weapon sets provided, there is an edit mode where you can pick weapons for each of the seven power-up slots. It doesn't make much of a difference which one you pick, since the categories stay the same no matter what (i.e., the second slot is always a two-way shot of some kind). Once the game really starts, you'll see the same old horizontally scrolling game you've seen before. The backgrounds are great, and there is some nice variety. I couldn't tell which I liked more, the Arabic-looking sand dunes or the spacelike techno level.

The enemies come out in the same kind of groups and the power-ups are found the same way as in the other Gradius games. You collect the numerous power-ups that allow you to activate the various weapons and options. The bosses are all large and well animated-- this is something we have been seeing with most of the SF games.

Now this is the tough part. Everyone loved Gradius, everyone loved Life Force and those of us that got to play it loved the Japan-only Gradius 2. Now comes Gradius 3, the 16-bit Gradius. We should all love it, shouldn't we? Not so fast. In the words of the immortal Bartman, "I think it sucks." ,The problem is, the game is much too similar to the NES Gradius. The graphics are |the same, and the play is the' same. While there was so much room for improvement, Konami chose to keep the: game the same. Besides the play and design problems, the game has some serious technical shortcomings: At variety times during play, sprites flickered and disappeared, and when the action got too intense, the graphics slowed to a near standstill. This was annoying and should be unacceptable for a $60 cart on a game System that's as well equipped as the SF.

Snapshots and Media

SNES/Super Nintendo/Super Famicom Screenshots