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The Mother is a large enemy type, initally encountered at the start of Stage 3 in Gradius and ReBirth, and later a large swarm of them is encountered as a Sub Boss in Gradius.

It is present in most ports of Gradius. In the Spectrum port it received a redesign.

Attack Pattern

The Mother's only attack is to release it's "Children" - these small indestructible spheres are shot in a spread, and must be avoided.
The Mother itself is only vulnerable whilst it's hatch is open. The Children block the player's shots.

At the end of level you must deal with many at once, almost covering the screen. Attention should be focused on avoiding the Children. Eventually the entire swarm will vanish and you will encounter Big Core.

In the Spectrum port the battle is changed - you only face one of them at a time, and they will attempt to ram you from the side of the screen, firing a single spread of three children. By simply making small movements up and down to avoid the children you can deal with them fairly easily. After defeating 7 of them, Big Core will finally make an appearance.

Gallery

Gradius
Ships Vic Viper
Stages VolcanoStonehengeMoaiReverse VolcanoWasteland (PCE) • TentacleCellBase
Sub Bosses VolcanoZub RushMother and ChildIron MaidenTentacleElectronic Cage

Re-Bone (PC Engine) • Tornado (MSX) • Tyran Pace (MSX)

Bosses Big CoreCell NucleusXaerous Brain
Sub Bosses / Panic Segements
Traditional / Recurring VolcanoZub RushIron MaidenRe-BoneFortress ValisJumping MoaiDogas
One Shot Mother and ChildTentacleTornadoTyran PaceZigzagAmbSoddSinarCrash Bam