Parodius - MSX / PSP (1988)

Japanese Cover

Parodius MSX

Parodius MSX

The original MSX Parodius is an entirely different game from all of the rest. While three of the playable characters appear in the arcade game - Tako, the Vic Viper and Pentarou - there are two other players: Goemon, of the Mystical Ninja series, and Popolan of Knightmare games. It suffers the same problem as every other shooter for the MSX - choppy scrolling and movement that make the game more difficult than it need be. And due to the limited color palette, it really lacks a lot of the visual panache that really sets Parodius apart from every other shooter. Still, it has all sorts of crazy uniqueness that you won't see anywhere else in the series, so it's still worth playing just for that. A special edition was included on the Parodius Collection for the PSP that fixes up the scrolling to make it smoother.

Parodius MSX

Parodius MSX

These are two of the most interesting bosses. The one of the left actually plays rock-paper-scissors with you. The one on the right is a doll with the face of a "Henohenomoheji" - that is, drawn with Japanese letters. It's often used when drawing scarecrows.

Parodius MSX

Parodius - Arcade / Super Famicom (1992)

Japanese Cover

Parodius SFC

Parodius SFC

Arriving on the scene after Gradius 3, Parodius was first released in the arcade (it's subtitle means "From Myth to Laughter", a play on Gradius 3's subtitle, "From Legend to Myth".) The full Japanese title is actually "Parodius Da!", which means something like "It's Parodius!", but most of the time is simply referred to as "Parodius". Featuring nine stages, you piloted one of four characters - Pentarou the penguin, Twinbee, the Vic Viper and Octopus (before they named his Takosuke.) You start off flying through a pirate ship level, and head through a circus, a graveyard, a casino and other bits of wacky places. While it's definitely a solid game, the later titles develop on the humor and some of the levels here are a bit on the dull side. This is the version found on the PSP collection.

The Super Famicom port is almost exactly the same as the arcade game. The SFC version has an exclusive level that takes place in a bathhouse. It also adds an omake mode (dubbed Lollipop in the European release) which is a time-attack bonus level.

MP3s

Theme of Pentarou

Parodius SFC

Parodius - PC Engine (1992)

Japanese Cover

Parodius PC Engine

Parodius PC Engine

The PC Engine port, while not quite as faithful as the SFC version - the screen needs to scroll up and down to fit the playing field, and the music is somewhat downgraded - otherwise is quite excellent. There's an additional strange intro in this version, and the Omake bonus level, while having the same concept as the SFC version, is a completely different stage (it's better too - the SFC version is mostly just empty space with enemies, while this one is quite similar to level 3 in the full game.)

Parodius PC Engine

Parodius - NES (1992)

European Cover

Japanese Cover

Parodius NES

For a port to the NES, Parodius stands up remarkably well. The graphics still manage to look pretty good for the system, despite the usual slowdown and flickering. This actually came out in Europe - although the Vegas girl's outfit was changed significantly. The biggest addition is an entirely new level that takes place in a carnival. Out of all of the console exclusive levels, I'd have to say this is probably the best one, especially with the two cool bosses near the end.

Parodius NES

Parodius NES

Parodius NES

Parodius NES

Parodius - Gameboy (1992)

Japanese Cover

Parodius Gameboy

Parodius Gameboy

Like many Konami games, Parodius also showed up in handheld form for the Gameboy. Although a few stages were cut (there's either total, with a level select that lets you pick up where you want to start), the exclusive stage here is a crystal level vaguely similar to Gradius 2. The end boss is piloted by the brain from Life Force/Salamander, but otherwise it's not a tremendously great level. They also put ages by all of the character on the select screen (Vic Viper sure is old, ain't he?)

There's quite a bit of flicker in here, although it's still playable. And possibly to deal with the blur on the original Gameboy, the speed of your ship is quite slow - you need three Speed Ups before you really can dodge much anything. It was also released in Europe, and rereleased on the Konami Classics 4 compilation pack.

Parodius Gameboy

Parodius Gameboy

Parodius Screenshot Comparisons

Arcade

SNES

PC Engine

NES

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