|Gradius Generation (Japan), also known as Gradius Galaxies (North America) and Gradius Advance (Europe), is a horizontally-scrolling shooter handheld video game published by Konami in 2001. The game, released for the Game Boy Advance, is the only Gradius title available for the system. Story-wise; the game is set between Gradius III and Gradius Gaiden. Bacterion was developing a powerful weapon to use against planet Gradius; but the evil entity was destroyed before finishing it. A few years later it crashes on a planet and it gradually starts changing it; apparently into a mechanical fortress. Before it can become a full threat; planet Gradius sends the Vic Viper to eradicate it; which in the game’s ending destroys the entire deformed planet. (Taken from the game’s manual.)|
Gradius Galaxies plays almost identically to other titles in the series. The player takes control of the Vic Viper spacecraft attacking onslaughts of enemies. All the traditions of Gradius are present: moai, an undefended final boss, and the power meter. The weapons system remains mostly unchanged as the configurations available are identical to Gradius III, with the exception that the edit mode is missing. There are four different types of weapons configurations: balanced (traditional Gradius), wide area (Salamander), power, and air-to-ground. Each configuration has the Vic Viper in a different color. Unlike Gradius III, there are only two shield options: shield and force field. In addition, the S.Option (“snake option”) is also not present in this version. The player can however choose to have the computer assign weapon power-ups automatically or leave it manual.