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Big Core MK I

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Big Core MK I
Big Core in Yu Gi Oh!
Appears In Gradius
Gradius II
Gradius III
Gradius V
Gradius Gaiden
Gradius ReBirth
Nemesis (MSX)
Nemesis 2
Nemesis 3
Solar Assault
Gradius NEO
Gradius NEO Imperial
Jikkyō Oshaberi Parodius

Otomedius Gorgeous
Otomedius Excellent
Cosmic Wars
Theme Music Aircraft Carrier (Gradius I, II, III, NEO, NEO Imperial and Jikkyō Oshaberi Parodius)
Last Evil (Gradius ReBirth)
Mazed Music (Otomedius Gorgeous)
Shower of Stars (Otomedius Excellent))


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.

Attack Patterns

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.
  • It was also a boss form in Rocket Knight Adventures.
  • 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.

Ships Vic Viper
Stages Stage 1Stage 2Stage 3Stage 4PC-E Exclusive StageStage 5Stage 6Stage 7
Sub Bosses VolcanoZub RushMother and ChildIron MaidenTentacle GolemElectronic Cage

Skeleton Wave (PC Engine) • Tri Core Crystal (MSX) • Polliwog Rush (Spectrum)

Bosses Big CoreCell NucleusXaerous Brain
Gradius II
Ships Vic Viper
Stages (Arcade) Stage 1Stage 2Stage 3Stage 4Stage 5PC-E Exclusive StageStage 6Stage 7Stage 8
Stages (NES) Stage 1Stage 2Stage 3Stage 4Stage 5Stage 6Stage 7Stage 8
Bosses PhoenixBig EyeGiga (NES) • Crystal CoreDeath MK IIJumping MoaiBig MoaiDesert Core (PC Engine) • Big Core MK IIZub RushBig CoreTetranGauIntruderZelos Force (NES) • Covered CoreDemosCrabGofer
Gradius III
Ships Vic Viper
Stages (Arcade) Stage 1Stage 2Stage 3Stage 4Stage 5Stage 6Stage 7Stage 8Stage 9Stage 10
Stages (SNES) Stage 1Stage 2Stage 3Stage 4Stage 5Stage 6Stage 7Stage 8Stage 9Stage 10
Bosses GoliathBubble EyeIron MaidenBig Core MK IIIDogasVaifTwin Vaif (SNES) • GregolWyvernVulture DragonChoking WeedLizard CoreBeacon (SNES) • Zub Rush MK IITetranCovered CoreBig Core MK IICrystal CoreDeath MK IIDellinger CoreDisruptShadow GearShadow Dancer (SNES) • Big CoreBrain GolemBacterion
Gradius V
Ships Vic Viper T-301
Stages (Arcade) Stage 1Stage 2Stage 3Stage 4Stage 5Stage 6Stage 7Stage 8
Bosses Big Core Rev. 1.2Venom (Lower) • Death MK IIITetranBig Core MK IIBig Core MK IVGround SpiderHuge HeartBlaster Cannon CoreRolling CoreCircle CoreBig Core MK IIICovered Core MK IIBeaconKeeper's CoreElephant GearVenom (Upper)
Gradius NEO Series
Characters/Ships Force ViperBig Core CustomLars Empire
Gradius NEO Bosses Satellite CoreCrystal MoaiGiganticOgre ShieldBig Core X 3Central Server
Gradius NEO Imperial Bosses Big CoreSatellite Core MK IIDeadalusCrystal MoaiGenocide Core
Ships Vic ViperLord BritishSabel Tiger (Iggy Rock) • Thrasher (Zowie Scott) • Super Cobra
Salamander stages Bionic GermMeteorite SpaceRatisVolcano AreaSalamander Planetoid
Salamander (MSX) stages Top Flight Speed to LatisConduct to Space Station ZotSet the Crush Blow System - Planet EioneusSet the Crush Blow System - Planet LaviniaSet the Crush Blow System - Planet KierkeWrath of VenomCrush Salamander
Life Force-only stages Organic Speed ZoneTemple Zone
Salamander 2 stages Organic SkyArtificial SunsResident EvilBattleship ArmadaRuins of Final BaseCrystal AsteroidsDoom Fortress
Salamander bosses Brain GolemTetranIntruderCenter CoreDeathBig Core X3Jumping MoaiZelos Force
Port exclusive bosses ZylomGauInvaderGigaTutanhamanattackDead EndEnigmaTrue VenomMetal SlaveZelos Barrier
Salamander 2 bosses BiterHydraAbadonTenny RopPlate CoreCerberusDoom
Characters James Burton (Metalion) • David Burton (Vixen) • GaudieVenomVenom's Aides
Nemesis 2 stages Colossus PlanetPlant PlanetAncient PlanetFloating ContinentsPlanet of FireLiving PlanetSinVenom Mothership
Nemesis 3 stages Stage 1Stage 2Stage 3Stage 4Stage 5Stage 6Stage 7Stage 8Stage 9Stage 10Stage 11
Nemesis 2 bosses Statue GuardiansRiot WarshipMisfit WarshipAsteroid FieldBig Core X10Prominence ZoneMayhem WarshipBiological OrganismBlock CoreAbandon WarshipVenom
Nemesis '90 Kai exclusive bosses Lizard CoreLASER CoreBig Core MK II KaiBeta Core
Nemesis 3 bosses Geezer ButlerHans NaughtyWormhole AreaTetranAbandon WarshipMisfit WarshipBig CoreArmored SaintLynyrd SkynyrdTriumph KicksKiller DwarfCrab WarlockFront of Gofer's Warship (Queensrÿche)Gofer's Warship (Queensrÿche)
Main Characters Aoba AnoaErul TronEmon-5MadokaDiol TweeTita NiumOperettaEsmeraldaPoini CoonArnvalStrarfGesshi HanafuumaKokoro Belmont
Antagonists ElizaTiti XIVYoshikoPrincess IreneGofer SistersMeta LiumNeko SenchoT.B. RikaRyukotsukiShiori FujisakiRuby and CobaltDark ForceKonami LadyEmon-8Pastel
Otomedius / Gorgeous stages San Salvador IslandTokyoCanadian RockiesEaster IslandAlexandriaAntarcticaValhalla
Otomedius X: Excellent! stages The Big WaveMidnight TetranSpelunker of HellThe Ancient BacterianThe Return of Cosmic WarDark Force's Ambition Part 1Dark Force's Ambition Part 2Dark Force's Ambition Part 3Skills to the TestMessage from Emon-5The Reunion
Otomedius / Gorgeous bosses Eliza's Pet SealEyegolBig Core DX-01Scrab CoreCrystal Core D-X02Big CoreAbandon WarshipMayhem WarshipTetranViva CoreSpace ManbowBig Core MK IIRolling CoreCovered Core MK IIDeathZelos Force FortuneOdin Core
Otomedius X: Excellent! bosses Mirrored CoreTri-Pod CoreSerpent-CoreBig Core DXOld Big CoreHeaven's GatePerla MeraldaNeo Big CoreMisfit WarshipDellinger CoreMetal SlaveGunner WallBlack ViperDeath BringerScrumbleBisumaru ExcellentWinbee
Core Warships
Big Cores Big Core MK IBig Core Rev. 1.2Big Core MK IIBig Core MK II KaiBig Core MK IIIBig Core MK IV
Big Core variants BeaconBlaster Cannon CoreBubble CoreCircle CoreCoreshipCrater CoreCrystal CoreDellinger CoreDesert CoreHeaven's GateJuggler CoreLizard CoreNeo Big CorePerla MeraldaRexion CoreRolling CoreRotating LauncherShining CoreSuper Big CoreTerra CoreTriple Core (Life Force)Vanishing CoreViva CoreGenocide Core
Core-style bosses Abandon WarshipBubble EyeCovered CoreCovered Core MK IIDead EndKrakenMayhem WarshipMetal SlaveMisfit WarshipQueensrÿcheRiot WarshipPlate Core
Pseudo-Cores Death (Gau) • Death MK II (DeathDouble) • Death MK IIIBeta CoreNobilTriple Core
Tetran variants Tetran (Zylom) • Covered TetranCrystal Core D-X02Laser TetranTenny Rop

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