Gradius first came to the Arcades on this day in 1985 to the Japanese market.
Gradius is a side-scrolling shooter game and a brilliant one. Developed by Konami, the game was famous for many different things it did to the genre. Including the weapon bar, which allowed for a more tactical gameplay. Players use the famous ship, Vic Viper in order to defeat hundreds of different enemies and bosses with the ultimate goal being the destruction of the “Core”. Gradius also had its fair share of spin-off games, with some only being available to the Japanese market. Additionally, it features the very first instance of the famous “Konami Code”. By pressing in quick succession “Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A” which unlocks from any point in the game, the most powerful power-ups. However, this feature was not originally featured in the arcade release.
The game quickly became a classic, leading to dozens of ports for almost every console up to the PlayStation 2. Most recently featured on the NES Classic Edition as well as the Famicom Mini.