Gradius 3 (SNES) - Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden in Gradius III.


The Iron Maiden is a large enemy type, only seen in Sub Boss battles, and is a major recurring Sub-Boss in the series, originally appearing as the Stage 4 Sub-Boss in Gradius.
It was later upgraded into Iron Maiden MK 2. Maidens traverse terrain in an attempt to collide with the player - if the player is not in a good position or has not dealt with the other enemies in the area they can quickly become overwhelmed.

Whilst present in most ports of Gradius, it was replaced by a Inverted Volcano in the NES version.

This particular boss found it's way into Parodius Da!, with a new design based off Japanese legends, and now named Karakasa, where it became one of the hardest bosses in the game, all thanks to increases in health, speed, and the aid of the undead.

Attack Pattern

The Iron Maiden is usually joined by two Dagumu Hatches, which spawn a constant stream of enemies until they are dealt with.
The Iron Maiden itself follows a preset movement pattern, along the path of the mountain and terrain, before eventually enclosing in on the player, and once they move up the right, they advance at you.

It is possible to move around them as they are advancing at you, but if the Iron Maidens are super fast, don't try this.

In Gradius ReBirth the terrain they are normally present in is inverted (so.. rightside up then), and they actually emerge from the terrain itself.

Strategy - Regular


Safespot example

The main way to survive this Sub Boss is to first take out the Dagumu Hatches if possible, and then to find a safespot - and stay there, dodging what-ever bullets come your way as necessary.
This safespot should optimally be able to hit newer Iron Maidens coming into the area, as well as older ones as they get closer.

If the safespot is sound, you will be able to take out the Maidens with little trouble, as they have little health.

In Gradius, it is possible to get to the right and let the Iron Maidens fly past you, but make sure to have the hatches destroyed. Also, stay in the middle. In Gradius ReBirth, hiding in the upper right will work as well.

Strategy - Parodius

ParoDaA Karakasa

These are evil.

In their reappearance in Parodius Da! - they are much more dangerous and have more health and speed than in normal Gradius games. They are also joined by skeletons that throw their heads everywhere and make spread shots upon destruction. A nasty combination.

This section is IMPOSSIBLE WITHOUT BELL POWER. Blue or red bells work. REQUIRED. Pentarou + spread gun can possibly work without help. If you happen to die, you can hide in the upper left against the right gravestone.
This may be the hardest boss in the game, considering Iron Maiden is easier, so try this one after you've beaten Gradius 3.

See Also:

Iron Maiden MK 2


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 III
Ships Vic Viper
Stages Sand StormAqua IllusionIn The WindHigh Speed DimensionEaster StoneDead End CellFire ScrambleCosmo PlantAccident Road (SNES exclusive)Crystal LabyrinthBoss RushMechanical BaseUnpleasant Cell (SNES exclusive)
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 ReBirth
Characters James Burton (Vic Viper) • GaudieVenom
Stages Stage 1Stage 2Stage 3Stage 4Stage 5
Bosses VolcanoIron MaidenBig Core DuoZub RushCrawler XMoai OrbSkeleton WaveEnigmaElectronic Cage MK2Xaerous Brain
Template:Parodius Da! Bosses
Sub Bosses / Panic Segements
Traditional / Recurring VolcanoZub RushIron MaidenSkeleton WaveCenter CoreJumping MoaiDogas
One Shot Mother and ChildTentacle GolemIron Maiden MK 2Maru MaruStatue GuardiansAsteroid FieldProminence ZoneBlock CoreTriple CoreRotating Moai