Big Core MK I is the famous staple boss in the Gradius series. They are usually found in a Gradius game in one form or another as an actual stage boss, in a boss run, or as regular enemies. (In Gradius V, they are very numerous in stage 3 at several parts and in stage 7 at the beginning of the stage.) In Gradius Gaiden, it is in the second stage as one of the boss debris. In Nemesis II (MSX) before boss 4, a fleet of them appear for you to destroy.
Other games have made several variants of the Big Core MK I that have it with extra armaments, different attack patterns, or transformations.
In Gradius NEO Imperial, Big Core MK I is the player's vessel instead of the Vic Viper. Here some additional weapons are available besides the traditional four laser shot.
Big Core MK I attacks by shooting four blue lasers at the player while moving up and down. They have only one core (the weakness for most bosses) which is protected by four panels. It is usually easy to destroy.
However in Jikkyou Oshaberi Parodius, it becomes a little harder to deal with. At first it will attack normally, but it will suddenly turn around and begin attacking you from behind. When it returns to the right side, it will move faster and shoot it's lasers haphazardly and non-sequentially.
In Otomedius Excellent, the Old Big Core is found in the Great Waterfalls (Stage 4) where one of its laser cannons shoots down Meta Lium and her Big Core DX before the player arrives at the massive ship and it emerges from the water. Old Big Core is comprised of a three-core Gunwall situated at the back of the ship's barrier area with defenses on the line sections where the barriers used to be. The three leftmost barriers have guns on the top and bottom which will fire concussive lasers (if both are intact) and normal shots, while the vertically-moving gun turret on the last barrier will fire two rows of normal shots at the player. Sacrificing a hit on the force field in order to move past it and directly attack the three cores is highly recommended.
Big Core MK I appears only in Vol.1 of Salamander OVA when trio was attacked by Tentacle Golems. When it appeared, Gradius forces destroyed it.
Old Big Core
Main Article: Old Big Core
Old Big Core is a giant Big Core MK I that appears in Otomedius Excellent.
Big Core Custom
Main Article: Big Core Custom
As mentioned before, the Big Core in Gradius Neo Imperial plays the hero role instead of the Force Viper.
- Big Core MK I is also a Yu-Gi-Oh! card and appeared in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX Episode 71.
- In Rocket Knight Adventures, the design of the Big Core is used as a miniboss called the Pulsating Plasma Blaster. It initially travels on legs, and then flies once they are destroyed. In flight, it also utilizes multiple tentacles similar to Tetran.
- It also guest stars in a mini game in Blades of Steel.
- In Otomedius Excellent, if Tita Nium is used by the player, then she comments that Old Big Core's code is incompatible (to her BC-SYSTEM, it would seem) when she enters the barrier section of the ship to fight the gunwall.
- Big Core MK I also appears in the flash game Hyper Exelympic, based on Triggerheart Exelica.
- The background video for GRADIUS 2012 in beatmania IIDX 20 tricoro sees the Vic Viper joined by a friendly Big Core MK I.
|Stages||Volcano • Stonehenge • Moai • Reverse Volcano • Wasteland (PCE) • Tentacle • Cell • Xaerous Fortress|
|Sub Bosses||Volcano • Zub Rush • Mother and Child • Iron Maiden • Tentacle Golem • Electronic Cage|
|Bosses||Big Core • Cell Nucleus • Xaerous Brain|
|Stages (Arcade)||Artificial Sun • Alien • Crystal • Volcano • Revenge of Moai • High Speed Zone • Boss Rush • Gofer Ship Interior|
|Port-Exclusive Stages||Volcano - Crystal (NES) • Enemy Base (NES) • Gofer's Lair (NES) • Temple (PC-E)|
|Bosses||Phoenix • Big Eye • Giga (NES) • Crystal Core • Death MK II • Jumping Moai • Big Moai • Desert Core (PC Engine) • Big Core MK II • Zub Rush • Big Core • Tetran • Gau • Intruder • Zelos Force (NES) • Covered Core • Demos • Crab • Gofer|
|Stages||Desert • Bubble Zone • Volcanic Planet • High Speed Dimension • Moai Zone • Cell Planet • Prominence Planet • Plant Planet • Crystal Zone • Boss Rush • Mechanical Base|
|SNES Exclusive Stages||High Speed Zone • Fortress • Cell|
|Bosses||Goliath • Bubble Eye • Iron Maiden • Big Core MK III • Dogas • Vaif • Twin Vaif (SNES) • Gregol • Wyvern • Vulture Dragon • Choking Weed • Lizard Core • Beacon (SNES) • Zub MK II • Tetran • Covered Core • Big Core MK II • Crystal Core • Death MK II • Dellinger Core • Disrupt • Shadow Gear • Shadow Dancer (SNES) • Big Core • Brain Golem • Bacterion|
|Gradius NEO Series|
|Characters/Ships||Force Viper • Big Core Custom • Lars Empire|
|Gradius NEO Bosses||Satellite Core • Crystal Moai • Gigantic • Ogre Shield • Big Core X 3 • Central Server|
|Gradius NEO Imperial Bosses||Big Core • Satellite Core MK II • Deadalus • Crystal Moai • Genocide Core|
|Characters||James Burton (Metalion) • David Burton (Vixen) • Gaudie • Venom • Venom's Aides|
|Nemesis 2 stages||Colossus Planet • Plant Planet • Ancient Planet • Floating Continents • Planet of Fire • Living Planet • Sin • Asteroid Belt • Water Planet • Venom Mothership|
|Nemesis 3 stages||Sun • Plant • Gravity • Past-Boss • Moai • Hell • Sand • Cell • Factory • Gofer Ship|
|Nemesis 2 bosses||Statue Guardians • Riot Warship • Misfit Warship • Big Core X10 • Mayhem Warship • Biological Organism • Block Core • Abaddon Warship • Venom|
|Nemesis '90 Kai exclusive bosses||Lizard Core • LASER Core • Big Core MK II Kai • Beta Core|
|Nemesis 3 bosses||Geezer Butler • Hans Naughty • Tetran • Abaddon Warship • Misfit Warship • Big Core • Armored Saint • Lynyrd Skynyrd • Triumph Kicks • Killer Dwarf • Crab Warlock • Queensrÿche • Gofer|
|Ships||Vic Viper • Lord British • Alpinia|
|Stages (Arcade)||The River Styx • Fierce Blaze • Curse • Abyssal Forest • Speed Demon • Solar Assault|
|Bosses||Big Core MK I • Lava Dragon King • Tutankhamon • Dinosaur • Big Core MK II • Crab|
|Jikkyō Oshaberi Parodius|
|Characters||Takohiko and Belial • Vic Viper and Lord British • Pentaro and Hanako • TwinBee and Winbee • Sue and Memim • Mike and Ran • Soitsu and Doitsu • Upa and Rupa • Dracula-kun and Kid Dracula|
|Stages||Hip Hop Disco • School • Donburi Fields • Edo • Sweet Land • High Speed Patrol • Fiesta Base • Polygon Space (Omake 1) • Grand Prix (Omake 2)|
|Bosses||Mirror Ball • Judy • Enormous Hikaru and Akane • Warumon's Flaghship • Baron Bee • Boin Bee • Goemon Compact • Decoration Core MK II • Kitty Train • Big Core MK I (SNES) • Ghost Woman (SNES) • Big Baron Bee (SNES) • John Wanjiro (PSX) • Penkuro (PSX) • Temple Lord • Mr. Goldfish's Selling Fortress • Chichibinta Rika • Bacteriya • Robot Wall|
|Big Cores||Big Core MK I • Big Core Rev. 1.2 • Big Core MK II • Big Core MK II Kai • Big Core MK III • Big Core MK IV|
|Big Core variants||Beacon • Blaster Cannon Core • Bubble Core • Circle Core • Coreship • Crater Core • Crystal Core • Dellinger Core • Desert Core • Heaven's Gate • Juggler Core • Lizard Core • Neo Big Core • Perla Meralda • Rexion Core • Rolling Core • Shining Core • Super Big Core • Terra Core • Vanishing Core • Viva Core • Genocide Core • Odin Core|
|Core-style bosses||Abaddon Warship • Bubble Eye • Covered Core • Covered Core MK II • Dead End • Kraken • Mayhem Warship • Metal Slave • Misfit Warship • Queensrÿche • Riot Warship • Plate Core|
|Pseudo-Cores||Death (Gau) • Death MK II (DeathDouble) • Death MK III • Beta Core • Nobil • Triple Core • Crash Bam|
|Tetran variants||Tetran (Zylom) • Covered Tetran • Crystal Core D-X02 • Laser Tetran • Tenny Rop|