Salamander / Gradius

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"Salamander" is a 3 volume OVA series from 1988-89, based on Konami’s mid-1980s "Gradius" ("Life Force" in the US) video game series. The first installment, is based on the second installment of the video game, titled "Salamander"; the second part, “Meditating Paula”, is a prequel, providing the set-up, with an introduction to the villains, and motivational back stories; and the third part, “Gofer’s Ambition”, begins with a bungled attempt by bishonen Lord British to propose to Stephanie that leads to a rescue and a showdown between our heroes and the bad guys.

Lord British has a strange artifact on his planet. It’s identical to the "Space Obelisk" (a Moai statue, with an Egyptian Obelisk stuck to the bottom of it), an item of unknown origin, floating in space. While a crane is moving the one on his planet, the Obelisk breaks in half; then the one in space breaks apart as well, removing the protection against, and calling forth, the alien "Bacterian". This causes the appearance of an evil planet, filled with aircraft like alien life and a sleeping dragon, Salamander. The planet’s gravitational pull wreaks havoc on Lord British’s planet, Latis’ environment. To save his world, he sends a fleet of fighter-planes to destroy it, but his entire fleet is massacred. With his home world on the verge of planetary meltdown, Lord British’s last chance to beat the aliens is the three-man fighter group from planet "Gradius", consisting of Dan, Stephanie, and Eddie. Lord British (flying the red "Lord British" selectable fighter-plane from the game) joins this group of Gradians (sporting the blue "Vic Viper" planes from the game) on a mission to blast the planet and the Dragon into dust.

Though it’s character animation and plot is very minimal, "Salamander" has attractive character designs by Haruhiko Mikimoto (“Macross”, “Hi-Speed Jecy”, “MegaZone 23”), and looks 1980s sci-fi Anime badass. It’s also very faithful to its video game roots, featuring musical themes, and enemies and bosses, straight from the games, making these OVAs a real treat for any 8-16 bit NES-SNES (Famicom-Super Famicom) gamer.


 Salamander 01

 Salamander 02

 Salamander 03

 Salamander 04
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Gallery Created: 1/21/2004

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