Parodius: Non-sense Fantasy
If your a regular reader then you’ll already know that Konami’s Gradius shoot-em-up series is just amazing and the second game, Vulcan Venture, is my all time favourite shoot-em-up. It should therefore come as no massive surprise that I also adore Parodius Da! on the SNES.
The soundtrack is a brilliant mix of re-arranged classic music and musical theme’s from other Konami games. It’s a wacky soundtrack, but it’s also a wacky game.
One day, our octopus friend gets into a fight to the death with his old rival, the bug. Our octopus wins and people start to call him Mr. Parodius. On his paid vacation he goes to the countryside to enjoy a little farming. Returning to our ready-made octopus pot, he reads the “People of the Universe” newspaper and nearly falls off his chopping board in surprise. There now is a picture of the mysterious Great Octopus with the Earth in his arms. “F… father?,” he stutters. It was his father, who had disappeared just two years before, never to return home. So Octopus sets out on a search for the truth and with his companions begins to travel the world!
Super Play Magazine UK – 86/100
Now I know that Parodius has become something of an international institution (it’s been out in Japan for ages), and saying anything against it – aside from ‘the infinite continues make it too easy’ – is akin to insulting the Queen Mum. But. having been reunited with Parodius after a break of several months. I did find the game ever so slightly (dare I say) boring and predictable. Anyway. I’d better pick up that party line again, in case I get struck by lightning, or find myself with a fatwah on my head. Parodius is one of the best shoot-’em-ups ever, It’s unique.
It’s bonkers. This really is one wacky, bizarre, utterly absurd game. It doesn’t take itself seriously at all.
Gameplay wise it plays just like the Gradius series. The power-up selection menu presents you with four choices but unlike the Gradius series each of the four choices is a different character and not just a weapon set – the Vic Viper, Octopus, Twinbee and Pentarou.
As said the gameplay is identical to the Gradius series – the game scrolls along moving you forward where you shoot the various enemies that come your way while collecting the power orbs that they drop so you can power-up your ship. At the end of each level you face an end of level guardian whom must be defeated before moving onto the next stage.
What sets Parodius apart from Gradius, and just about every other shoot-em-up, is the comical graphics with some strange and bizarre level designs and incredibly wacky characters. Add to the graphics the excellent soundtrack and your on to a winner! Now normally I don’t throw in an image gallery but for those people who have never seen or heard of Parodius I thought I would be a good idea and as the saying goes… a picture is worth a thousand words!
Deciding which music to pick from Parodius isn’t an easy task as the mix of funked-up classical music and the arrangements based on music from Gradius makes it a tough choice. So why settle for one or two tunes?
Island of Pirates (Stage 1, 1st. BGM)
Strauss Jr.’s Polka “Thunder and Lightning”
Crisis 4th Movement (Stage 1, Climax BGM)
Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, 4th Movement
It’s the Boss BGM! (Stage 1, Boss BGM)
Rimsky-Korsakov’s “The Tale of Tsar Saltan” (The Flight of the Bumble-Bee)
Rika Chichibinta Theme (Stage 2, Second Half BGM)
The Final Enemy from Gradius II (Stage 8, Fourth Section BGM)
Eagle Satake Theme (Stage 2, Boss BGM)
Take Care from Gradius II (Stage 1, Boss BGM)
Hot Lips Theme (Stage 3, Boss BGM)
Offenbach’s “Orpheus in the Underworld” (Can-Can)
Ah! Traveling Japan (Stage 4, BGM)
Khachaturian’s “Sabre Dance”
Screenshots taken from the SNES version