Gokujyou Parodius - Konami

Gokujyou Parodius! Kako no Eikou wo Motomete

(Fantastic Parodius! – Surpassing Its Former Glory)

(A.K.A. “Fantastic Journey” outside of Japan )

1994, Konami, Arcade.

Reviewed by Master O.

Gokujyou Parodius, like its predecessor “Parodius Da!,” contains more irreverent and oddball Japanese humor at Gradius’ expense.  The same overall craziness of the first game still exists, but with new characters to pilot and direct level parodies from Gradius 1 - 3.

Two arcade versions exist: Gokujyou Parodius ( Japan ) and Fantastic Journey (World).  While Gokujyou Parodius runs in M.A.M.E. with few issues, Fantastic Journey is currently unplayable in M.A.M.E., due to encryption.   

Console-wise, Gokujyou Parodius was released on the PSX and SNES.  The PSX version was bundled together with Parodius Da! in a collection called, “Gokujyou Parodius Da! Deluxe Pack.”


Difficulty-wise, this game is made easier by the fact that you can continue in both versions after losing all your lives and sometimes, the rank will reset upon continuing.  The difficulty of Gokujyou Parodius also varies heavily on the ship you select and how powered up your ship is.  Completing the game with certain characters is much easier than others, because of some characters’ usage of non-Gradius weapons.

SHIPS (Animated .gif)

1) Vic Viper needs no introduction. 

(Player 2: Lord British)

2) Octopus (Tako) from “Parodius Da!”  His weapon configuration comes from Gradius 2 and Salamander.

(Player 2: Belial)

3) Twinbee from “Twinbee.”  His weapons come from his own games and “Parodius Da!”

(Player 2: Winbee)

4) Pentaro from “Parodius Da!” and “Antarctic Adventure.”  His weapons come from Gradius III. 

(Player 2: Hanako)

5) Hikaru the Bunny Girl, native to “Gokujyou Parodius.”  Her weapons come from a variety of Konami games, including Salamander, Thundercross, and the SNES version of Gradius III.

(Player 2: Akane)

6) Mambo, a giant fish, native to “Gokujyou Parodius.”  His weapons consist of many different types of lasers from various Konami games.

(Player 2: Samba)

7) Michael, a flying angelic pig, native to “Gokujyou Parodius.” Most of his weapons come from Taito’s 3-screen horizontal shmup classic, “Darius.”

(Player 2: Gabriel)

8) Koitsu, a blue stickman on an airplane, native to “Gokujyou Parodius.”  Unless someone says otherwise, his weapons are unique to this game, mostly consisting of different types of wave and charge lasers.  His name means “This Guy,” while Aitsu means “That Guy.”

(Player 2: Aitsu)

(animated .gif)


Auto – Powering up, shooting, and bombing are all done using button 1 only.

Semi Auto – Button 1 is your power-up button, while button 2 is your shot and bomb button.

Manual – Button 1 is for powering up, Button 2 is for shooting, and Button 3 is for bombing.


When you defeat certain enemies, a bell appears.  By shooting the bell repeatedly, it changes color.  The color corresponds with a different ability you can gain by grabbing the bell.  The ability is then activated by pressing the button you normally use for dropping bombs/missiles.

Blue: Destroys all enemies on screen within the radius of the ensuing explosion.

Green: Enlarges your ship and makes you temporarily invulnerable to enemy attacks.  You can also go through walls during this period, but cannot shoot at anything.

White: Gives you an air horn that yells phrases at enemies.  Anything that is within the path of the phrase is destroyed.  It is really humorous to destroy an opponent using phrases like “E = MC2.”

Red: Creates a mini vertical barrier in front of your ship that destroys anything colliding with it.


Again, like Parodius Da!, Gokujyou Parodius borrows heavily from classical works.  The usual kinds of music by Tchaikovsky, Bizet, Strauss, and Rossini are all here, with John Philip Sousa’s and Mozart’s music being new to this game.  Also new musically to Gokujou Parodius are various pieces of Japanese, American, and European folk music and the original version of Mambo No. 5 [not Lou Bega’s].  Various remixes of music from the first 3 Gradiae are also present, as well.


Being a Konami shmup, the graphics are excellent as usual.  You can really see the detail put into all of the bizarre and absurd enemies in this game and wow this game sure gets bizarre later…


More !@$$^#$^#$ penguins!!!  Why does Konami torment its fans with these creatures?!??!!   Was one parody full of penguins not enough?!?! 

Heck, this game even has crane game cranes, pandas, rabbits and bakers pursuing you, in addition to the cats, crabs, birds, and bees already present.  Basically the only thing that does not pursue you during this game is the kitchen sink.

… and without further ado, Gokujyou Parodius!


Playing the Crane Game

Get used to these, since you’ll be seeing a lot of them in level 1.

Shoot at the crane claws to destroy them.




We know who made this game.  You don’t need to tell us! :)

On a random note… why would anyone want to win the Konami sign in a crane machine?






Looks like someone knows how to manipulate the cranes.

Don’t linger at the top of the screen or you’ll become Malc’s souvenir real fast!




A panda in a tutu with a duck on its head? 







Fairly simple boss.  Shoot the duck’s head while the panda runs from one side of the screen to the other and vice-versa.

Repeat until dead.




The cat-marine will be your opponent for most of level 2 above water …




And below it …

Just out of curiousity, does anyone else think this section is another Irem parody?






Vic Viper vs Cat-Marine

Final Battle




Now for the actual level 2 boss …

This mermaid’s not too difficult.  Just destroy the giant hiragana and shoot her forehead…






However, she’ll kick up a wave every so often, so make sure you’re in the upper left–hand corner of the screen or you’re shrapnel.






I laughed my ass off when I realized what level 3 was mocking. 

You will, too.







It seems the chefs making this fruitcake aren’t too happy with you.


Well, too bad for them!






This section is irritating, since you can’t destroy the falling candy while also having to evade more chefs and blast more fruitcake.  






Having realized what level this was mocking, I had a feeling Konami would spoof its boss, too.








His attack style ought to ring a few bells for Gradius fans.


For those of you not familiar with the original boss, just shoot the three little people and you’ll be all set.


Going to the Brothership level depends on which character you’re playing as and how much you powered up beforehand.

If you die on this level, you skip to the next level.    

The boss in this level is the female Moai from Parodius Da! 




The Brothership Rides Again!

Time to maul some Moai!

Warning: Be careful of the head at the front of the Brothership who appears shortly after this section. It pops out like a jack-in-the-box, so destroy it quickly.








Once you pass the Brothership’s head, you encounter more Moai.


Unfortunately, I didn’t get much farther than this, so we’ll move on to level 5.





This is Gokujyou Parodius’ sped-up level. 


As a result, you’ll be expected to go up and down very steep hills while avoiding …







… what appears to be delinquent pigeons pursuing you?


What the hell?


There must be a joke I’m missing in this level.  Maybe someone can tell me?








After all that, you avoid bolders, dear, and falling exclamation points!







Level 5’s boss can be summed up in three words:



Shoot … the … ____







Level 6 or “Space is the Place.”

You spend the entire level dodging replicas of the Core...






 and other chibi versions of Gradius bosses…

(by the way, the !! signs mean what directions the ships will come from.)





Funny, I don’t recall shooting through a level of bubbles to get to this guy…

That’s also the first boss who’s ever said “Welcome” to me.




Although his attack pattern isn’t pictured here, he’s really easy to beat.

Keep shooting while avoiding the power-ups and spikey balls he throws at you.  Every so often, he’ll also sneeze spikey balls so watch out! 

The Kanji reads “Pain!” (meaning you hit him.)




… and now we’ve come to level 7, the most bizarre level of the game so far.

What on earth is up with all the rabbits?






More rabbits and now, upside down and right-side up hammers.  Something weird is going on here…

Again, stick with double and you shouldn’t have too many problems.






The rabbits … they are everywhere!!!

(Actually, it’s only like this if you power up too much, which I apparently did.)





A rabbit boss.  I bet this is some piece of Japanese folklore that 99.9% of Westerners like me wouldn’t understand.





Power up your speed twice before facing this boss, because the projectiles are very fast, indestructible, and change directions after the rabbit’s head is hit several times.

Keep shooting the head until it explodes.




Level 8, the Final Level … again my reviews do not spoil the final level, so you’ll have to play it for yourself.





Gokujyou Parodius improves upon Parodius Da! in almost every way: game length (8 levels instead of 10), new weapons, great music, manageable difficulty, etc…  Like its predecessor, this game is highly recommended for all Gradius fans, while still enjoyable for people who love wacky shmups with a sense of humor.


9 out of 10. – Master O


shmups!   © 1997 - 2007  Malcolm Laurie