Gradius for Famicom was released on April 25, 1986 in Japan for 4900 Yen.
Because of obvious technical limitations, the Famicom version shows major differences with the original arcade game. Konami gladly sacrificed some of the game's original features as long as the gameplay was unaffected (which is perfectly fair). First of all the size of the big-core ships has been considerably reduced. Then the Vic Viper can only carry two options at the same time whereas the arcade allowed four. Finally, the stages that could scroll up and down (such as the Stone Hedge and Moai levels) are locked and the 'frame-looking' enemy before the final boss was omitted.
Kazuhisa Hashimoto, who programmed this Nintendo Famicom port, found the original arcade game too hard, so he inserted the so-called Konami code (see Tips & Tricks section).
Export releases :
[US] "Gradius [Model NES-GR-USA]
[EU] "Gradius [Model NES-GR-EEC]