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Gradius Gaiden

"Shmup" is an abbreviated term for "Shoot-Em-Up" and usually relates to games involving spaceships trying to prevent some sort of evil alien attack

The first "Shmup" was Taito's "Space Invaders" from 1978 (it was so popular, that at one point it created a national 100-yen coin shortage in Japan).

Some of the more recognized games include Konami's "Gradius", Irem's "R-Type", as well as Namco's "Galaxian" and "Xevious", as they brought the genre into the modern era.

Recommended Shmups


Donpachi, Dodonpachi, Dodonpachi Dai-Ou-Jou, Dodonpachi Dai-Ou-Jou Black Label, Ketsui, Ibara, Ibara Kuro Black Label, Battle Garegga, Battle Bakraid, Armed Police Batrider, Mahou Daisakusen, Pink Sweets, Muchi Muchi Pork, R-Type, R-Type 2, Nemesis, Vulcan Venture, Gradius III, Gradius IV, R-Type Leo, Layer Section, Dimahoo, Dangun Feveron, Espgaluda, Espgaluda 2, E.S.P RaDe, Metal Black, Gekiridan, Fire Shark, Flying Shark, Truxton, Truxton 2, Batsugun, Gunbird, Gunbird 2, Mars Matrix, Gigawing, Progear, Deathsmiles, Muchi Muchi Pork, Space Bomber, Galaga, Dragon Blaze, Cyvern, Vasara, Vasara 2, Sengoku Aces, Rezon, Hot Dog Storm, Varth, Nostradamus, Mystic Riders, 1942

Home Consoles


Gun Nac, The Guardian Legend, Zanac, Abadox, Over Horizon, 1942, 1943, Crisis Force, Galaga: Demons Of Death, Gradius, Fuzzical Fighter, Summer Carnival '92: Recca, Xevious, Dragon Spirit, Burai Fighter, Cosmic Epsilon, Fantasy Zone, Fantasy Zone II: The Tears Of Opa Opa, S.C.A.T. : Special Cybernetic Attack Team, Section Z

Super Famicom/SNES

Axelay, Darius Force, Bio Metal, Macross: Scrambled Valkyrie, Parodius Da!, Gokujou Parodius, Jikkyou Oshaberi Parodius, R-Type III, Super Earth Defense Force, Pocky & Rocky, Pocky & Rocky 2, Starfox, Space Megaforce, Wild Guns, U.N. Squadron, Marchen Adventure Cotton 100%, Pop 'N Twinbee, Flying Hero, Phalanx, Battle Clash, Metal Combat: Falcon's Revenge


Aero Star, Chikyuu Kaihou Gun ZAS, Solar Striker, Sagaia

Mega Drive/Genesis

Bio Hazard Battle, M.U.S.H.A., Thunder Force III, Thunder Force IV, Air Buster, Eliminate Down, Elemental Master, Pheilos, Gaiares, Grey Lancer, Slap Fight MD, Wings Of Wor, Steel Empire, Hellfire, Grind Stormer, Sol-Deace, Super Fantasy Zone, Task Force Harrier EX, Twin Hawk, Twinkle Tale, Undead Line, Battle Mania Daiginjou, Arrow Flash, Zero Wing

PC Engine/Turbo Grafx-16

Air Zonk, Aero Blasters, Blazing Lazers, Coryoon, Dead Moon, Detanna!! Twinbee, Download, Dragon Saber, Final Blaster, Final Soldier, Hana Teka Daka!, Kyuukyou Tiger, Magical Chase, Metal Stoker, Paranoia, Psycho Chaser, Soldier Blade, Super Darius, Super Star Soldier, Tera Cresta II, Violent Soldier, Image Fight, Side Arms, Atomic Robo Kid Special, Salamander, Ordyne, Burning Angels, Valkyrie no Densetsu, Kiki Kaikai, Genji Tsuushin Agedama, Volfied, Raibo Lepus Special, 1941: Counter Attack


Omega Boost, Tiny Tank, Gradius Gaiden, R-Type Delta, Einhander, Zanc X Zanc, Harmful Park, G-Darius, Raycrisis, Raiden Project, Raiden DX, Raystorm, Strikers 1945 II, Sexy Parodius, Thunder Force V, Xevious 3D-G+


Radiant Silvergun, Battle Garegga, Batsugun, Game Tengoku, Sengoku Blade, Shippu Mahou Daisuken, Rayforce, Cotton 2, Cotton Bommerang, Panzer Dragoon, Panzer Dragoon II Zwei, Donpachi, DoDonpachi, Soukyugurentai, Thunder Force V, Gunbird, Darius Gaiden, Strikers 1945, Shienryu

Home Console Add-Ons

CD ROM²/Turbo CD

Nexzr, Ginga Fukei Densetsu Sapphire, Star Parodier, God Panic:Shijou Sikyou Gundan, L-Dis, Summer Carnival 93 Nexzr Special, Gate of Thunder, Chou Aniki, Ai Chou Aniki, Seirei Senshi Spriggan, Download 2, Psychic Storm, Lords Of Thunder, Macross 2036, Image Fight II, Fantastic Night Dreams Cotton, Spriggan Mark 2: Re-Terraform Project, Sylphia, RayXanbeR II, RayXanbeR III, Kiaidan 00, Space Fantasy Zone, Gradius II, R-Type Complete

Mega CD/Sega CD

Keio Flying Squadron, Silpheed, Android Assualt, Robo Aleste, Night Striker, SoulStar

Super 32X/ Sega 32X

Kolibri, After Burner, Space Harrier,  Shadow Squadron


"Dezamon" is a unique piece of software by Athena that was created for home consoles with the intent of allowing "Pharrel Williams" the means of creating his own killer shmup (prior to this, there was "Shoot'Em-Up Construction Kit"). Unfortunately Dezamon never left Japan with the one exception of the playstation version (a stripped down port of the SNES version), which was later brought over to the PSN store.

Recommended entries

Dezamon (SNES)

Dezamon 2 (Saturn)

External Links