Parodius Da! Shinwa kara Owarai e (loosely translated to “It’s Parodius! From Myth to Comedy”, known in European versions as Parodius) is a comedic side-scrolling shoot-’em-up developed and released by Konami for arcades exclusively in Japan on April 25, 1990.
The sequel to the original 1988 game Parodius, Parodius Da is the first arcade release and builds on both the Gradius-style gameplay (with each character having their own Power Meter, similar to Gradius II: GOFER no Yazou) and the series’ comical elements (with new enemies and environments).
The game received ports to multiple consoles of the era in Japan (including the Famicom, Game Boy, Sharp X68000, PC Engine, and Super Famicom). The NES, Game Boy, and SNES versions were also released in Europe. It was also bundled with its sequel in a compilation for both the PlayStation and Saturn (as Gokujou Parodius Da! Deluxe Pack, known in Europe simply as Parodius). It was also included in the Japanese PSP compilation Parodius Portable.
Similar to Gradius II, the game four different Power Meters to choose from, each with some unique weaponry. In this game, each Power Meter is tied directly to a different playable character.
Players can choose from two control methods: Manual Power-Up (a three-button setup that separates the Shot, Missile, and Power-Up buttons) and Auto Power-Up (a one-button setup that combines Shot and Missile while automatically providing proper Power-Up upgrades automatically).
As with the previous game, the Power Meter is split into seven sections:
- Speed Up – Increases the character’s movement speed. Can equip additional copies (up to 5 total) for additional speed, although higher speeds can make the character unwieldy.
- Missile – Allows the character to fire an additional separate weapon (missiles), usually in different angle.
- Double – Augments the character’s main weapon by firing a second shot, either upwards in a 45-degree angle (Double) or backwards (Tail Gun). Replaces the Laser power-up.
- Laser – For Vic Viper and Octopus, it replaces their main weapon with one that fires powerful laser beams. For Twin Bee and Pentarou, it augments their main weapon in different ways. Replaces the Double power-up.
- Option – Summons an invincible helper that follows the character’s path and fires the same weaponry. Can equip additional copies (up to 4 total for Vic Viper and Octopus, up to 3 total for Twin Bee and Pentarou). They either stop when the character stops (Vic Viper and Octopus) or follows them closely (Twin Bee and Pentarou).
- !? – Removes all power-ups (except the Shield). While considered a power-down, it is useful for both decreasing the difficulty and removing unnecessary Speed Up levels.
- Shield – Provides a temporary barrier for the character, which
The Roulette Capsule pick-up returns from the original Parodius, which turns the Power Meter into a roulette wheel that gives a random power-up once the Power-Up button is pressed (or after some time has passed in Auto mode).
Returning from the original Parodius game (and prominent in the TwinBee series) are bells that are dropped by certain enemies. They can be shot at to “juggle” them forward and change their color, and can be collected to give one of multiple power-ups:
- Yellow – Gives bonus points. Collecting multiple Yellow Bells in a combo gives a larger amount of points (500 -> 1000 -> 2500 -> 5000 -> 10000).
- Blue – Gives a screen-clearing bomb that can be activated with the Missile button. Collecting multiple Blue Bells in Manual mode allows players to stock multiple bombs (up to 3 at a time).
- White – Puts a megaphone in front of the character, allowing them to shout threats for a powerful close-range attack (which can also nullify enemy bullets). Disables all other weapons.
- Green – Increases the size of the character (and Options) while giving them invincibility. Disables all other weapons.
- Red – Gives a powerful weapon that can be activated with the Missile button. Collecting one
- Missile – Fires downward and (literally) walks along the ground until it hits a wall, an open space, or an enemy.
- Laser – Thin beam that overpenetrates enemies.
- Shield – Summons two shield units that protects Vic Viper from the front.
- 2-Way (Missile) – Splits into two, one moving upwards and one moving downwards.
- Ripple (Laser) – Beam that gets larger over time.
- Octopus Trap (Shield) – Summons a large bowl that protects Octopus from the front.
- Rocket Punch (Missile) – Twin boxing gloves that are fired forwards, returning back to the ship like a boomerang.
- 3-Way (Laser) – Normal shots that are fired in three directions (forwards, upwards in a 45-degree angle, and downwards in a 45-degree angle)
- Force Field (Shield) – Surrounds Twin Bee in a force field, protecting them from all directions.
- Poton (Missile) – Fires downward and (literally) walks along the ground, overpenetrating enemies, until it hits a wall or open space.
- Spread Gun (Laser) – Normal shot that follows Pentarou’s vertical movement and explodes when it impacts an enemy, wall, or bullet.
- Bubble (Shield) – Surrounds Pentarou in a bubble, protecting him from all directions.