Nemesis 3: The Eve of Destruction, MSX

The second Gradius/Nemesis sequel developed and released exclusively for the MSX by Konami, Nemesis 3: The Eve of Destruction is another great ‘bullet hell’ progressive weapons shooter that really shows what the MSX is capable of.

Nemesis 3 (aka Gradius 3, aka Gopher’s Ambition Episode II) was released on cartridge for both the MSX and MSX2 and it is again unique in the Gradius/Nemesis series.

It is the only game in the series that visibly keeps track of the number speed power-ups you’ve used, and it retains some of the new weapons from Gradius 2, as well as using some of the weapons enhancements from Salamander (which in itself is a spin-off from the Gradius/Nemesis series).

In this game there are four different playable spaceships to choose from. The first one resembles the original Vic Viper. The second one is a subverted version of the Vic Viper, featuring the new “Photon Missile”. The third ship is more like the “Metalion” from Gradius 2, featuring “Napalm Missile” and (Extended) “Fire Blaster”. The fourth ship is more like the Sabel Tiger from Salamander, featuring the two-way missile and “Ripple Laser”. All four classes may choose between the classic “Shield” or the “Force Field”, which takes less hits to expire, but protects from any direction. It’s also possible to choose the behaviour of “Option”, from the original shadow movement, “Fixed” and “Rolling”, like the “Option Warrior” from Gradius 2.

If you’re confused by all of this – don’t worry – I am too… But there’s no doubt that Nemesis 3: The Eve of Destruction is both an excellent game and an effective demonstration of the best the MSX has to offer, in terms of shoot ’em ups.

There’s even an enhancement patch for Nemesis 3, that can be applied to existing ROM files, that will change the ship graphics and provide new digitised voices and gameplay options during play. It apparently only works in certain emulators, though.

See also: Gradius (MSX)

More: Nemesis 3: The Eve of Destruction on Wikipedia

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