As its namesake suggests, the Phoenix is a large space bird made entirely out of fire. It is presumably a larger version of the Fire Bird enemies found in Salamander. The Phoenix also appears as the first boss in Gradius 2 and in Nemesis 3, where it is known as Geezer Butler.

In all versions, its weak spot is the head.

Attack Pattern

The Phoenix has the same general attack pattern in all versions of the game, although its movement tends to differ between ports. In the original Arcade title, it warps around the screen, meaning the only safe area is towards the back, the player must time their attacks between warps and get back to a safe area. In the NES version, it actually moves to its new position, making the fight slightly easier.

The Phoenix will fire large volley of lasers from its wings, followed by a heavy volley of fireballs from its beak. The fireballs can be destroyed quite easily by staying near the mouth, but the lasers must be avoided.

It is usually dead by the time it has finished its second attack. In the PC Engine version, however, it has more health and thus will accomplish more.

Salamander (OVA)

The Phoenix appear in the final episode of the anime as the ultimate enemy the heroes face, being born from the fusion of both Paula and Gofer.



  • Geezer Butler is the same name of the notorious bass player from Black Sabbath, one of the most famous bands from 1970's.
Gradius II
Ships Vic Viper
Stages (Arcade) Artificial SunAlienCrystalVolcanoRevenge of MoaiHigh Speed ZoneBoss RushGofer Ship Interior
Port-Exclusive Stages Volcano - Crystal (NES) • Enemy Base (NES) • Gofer's Lair (NES) • Temple (PC-E)
Bosses PhoenixBig EyeGiga (NES) • Crystal CoreDeath MK IIJumping MoaiBig MoaiDesert Core (PC Engine) • Big Core MK IIZub RushBig CoreTetranGawIntruderZelos Force (NES) • Covered CoreDemosCrabGofer
Characters James Burton (Metalion) • David Burton (Vixen) • GaudieVenomVenom's Aides
Nemesis 2 stages Colossus PlanetPlant PlanetAncient PlanetFloating ContinentsPlanet of FireLiving PlanetSinAsteroid BeltWater PlanetVenom Mothership
Nemesis 3 stages SunPlantGravityPast-BossMoaiHellSandCellFactoryGofer Ship
Nemesis 2 bosses SoddRiot WarshipMisfit WarshipBig Core X10Mayhem WarshipBiological OrganismSinarAbaddon WarshipVenom
Nemesis '90 Kai exclusive bosses Lizard CoreLASER CoreBig Core MK II KaiBeta Core
Nemesis 3 bosses Geezer ButlerHans NaughtyTetranAbaddon WarshipMisfit WarshipBig CoreArmored SaintLynyrd SkynyrdTriumph KicksKiller DwarfCrab WarlockQueensrÿcheGofer
Salamander (OVA)
Episodes Episode 1: SalamanderEpisode 2: Paula's MeditationEpisode 3: Gofer's Ambition
Characters Ike Lord BritishDanStephanie McBainEddie EvansDoromoMinistersLee McBainPaulaGofer
Enemies RugalSharp CrossBrain GolemGigaZelos ForceIntruderTentacleBig Core MK IMoaiXaerous BrainFire DragonDeath HandBig EyeDee-01Phoenix
Organic Bosses
Space Entities NucleusIntruderPhoenix (Geezer Butler)GoliathBubble EyeWyvernVulture DragonBlizzard CrawlerChimeraGilladorVolleoneBiological OrganismLynyrd SkynyrdTriumph KicksGawGigaKiller Dwarf
Body Horror AbadonBrain GolemZylomBig EyeGregolMad SkinBrachion EyeBiterBerialHuge HeartCrawler (X) • Infected Statue
Plant Life Choking WeedStinger KidHunter FangGiga's RoseDendrodiumHans Naughty