Parodius Da! －Shinwa kara Owarai e－ (パロディウスだ! －神話からお笑いへ－, "It's Parodius!: From Myth to Laughter") is a shoot'em up arcade game and is the second title in the Parodius series produced by Konami. The gameplay is stylistically very similar to the Gradius series, but the graphics and music are intentionally absurd.
As stated above, gameplay is very similar to the Gradius series, with a few differences. Parodius Da! retains the selectability of different weapons configurations but implements via four different characters: Vic Viper (from Gradius), Octopus, Twin Bee, and Pentarou. The second main difference is the addition of bell power-ups, from the Twinbee series. These bells act as one-time power-ups, allowing you to destroy every enemy on screen, fire huge beams of energy, etc. Enemies and environments from the Gradius games and Twinbee are mixed in along, with a host of anime-style opponents, which include scantily-clad women. All of the Gradius elements are integrated in a very light-hearted fashion. The Big Core, a regular boss within the Gradius series, is given a neon-look and is called "Viva Core". Moreover, there is a moai (Easter Island head statues) level, but all of the statues are given a much more animated look. The boss of that level, the Moai Head, fires other moai at the player by spitting them out of her mouth. The final boss, in typical Gradius fashion, is an unarmed enemy that once defeated, results in a destruction/escape sequence.
Characters and weapons
Vic Viper – Traditional Gradius configuration
The missile will fall to the ground, and then move along until it encounters an enemy. The Double mode will fire two blasts, one forward, and one incline forty-five degrees above. The Laser mode is a thin blue laser, identical from Gradius.
Octopus – Salamander configuration
This configuration is identical to the weapons presented in the Salamander arcade game. The missile is '2-way' that yields two bomb-like explosives that fall both up and down. The Double is the tail gun present in the second configuration. And the laser is the ripple laser, which fires expanding concentric circles at the front of the craft/person.
Twinbee (Colored as Winbee) – Twinbee configuration
This set is the weapons from the vertically-scrolling Twinbee, applied to horizontal gameplay. The missile is now the rocket punch, which has a larger impact area than the standard missile. The double is the same tail gun from the Octopus/Salamander configuration. The laser is a 3-way gun which fires shots the same size as the Double and standard weapons.
- Due to the color bug, it could be considered that Winbee, rather than Twinbee, has the most appearances in video games, however this Twinbee doesn't have the same cockpit windshield design as either Twinbee, Winbee or Gwinbee.
Pentarou – Gradius III configuration
This set mostly the weapons available in one of the configurations in Gradius III. The missile is the photon torpedo (spelled here Poton) that fires one missile that travels along the bottom ground and penetrates multiple enemies. The Double mode will fire two blasts, one forward, and one incline forty-five degrees above. The laser mode is a spread gun, which fires a small circle that gradually spreads concentrically outward.
Parodius Da! has been ported to a number of platforms, most notably the Super Famicom (which was also released in Europe) and the PC Engine. The game was also ported on the Family Computer (also released in Europe) with several stages omitted but with a new amusement park stage as well as several hidden bonus stages. Most recently the game, along with several other Gradius titles, has been ported to Java-based cell phones in Japan.
The Game Boy version (which was also released in Europe) shows the ages of the playable characters, and only has 8 stages, which include stages 1–6, and 10 from the arcade game. Stage 3 was replaced with a different one. Game Boy version of stage 3 also has a hidden stage. This version was also re-released in color as part of the Konami GB Collection Vol. 2
The PC Engine version does not have the arcade Stages 5 and 8, but features a stage titled SPECIAL and a new introduction that features several strange-looking Japanese characters. This is in contrast to the arcade intro, which chronicles the Gradius legacy up until the time of release.
The SFC/SNES version added the bath house and "Omake" stages over the arcade version. In the "Omake" stage, the player immediately continues after dying, instead of at a checkpoint. The PAL version of the SNES port was titled Parodius Non-Sense Fantasy.
- The flying umbrella creatures towards the end of Stage 9 are known as Karakasa. They are a spirit in Japanese folklore.
- The title 'From Myth To Laughter (Shinwa kara Owarai e)' is a follow-on parody of the subtitle of Gradius III, which was 'From Legend To Myth (Densetsu Kara Shinwa e)'. This joke reference to the other game is made worse by the fact that Pentarou uses one of that game's configurations, rather than a personal weapons set.
- The destructible candies that permeate the third level may be a tribute to the "Mechanical Cells" of the fourth level of the original R-Type
- The boss of the second level is a Bald Eagle which wears an American-themed top hat and bow tie. This boss is often cited as the reason the Parodius games were never released in North America.[ ]
- The game's final boss, a giant octopus, bears an intended resemblance to the final boss of the first Gradius game, a disembodied brain suspended in a similar manner to the octopus, but with beams of energy rather than tentacles.
- Parodiusu da! ~ Shinwa kara o-warai e ~ (Arcade Version) @ Gradius Home World
- Parodiusu da! ~ Shinwa kara o-warai e ~ (PC Engine Version) @ Gradius Home World
- Parodius Da! at Museum of the Game