Nemesis 3: The Eve of Destruction (1988)

by Christopher
4 minutes read


Nemesis 3: The Eve of Destruction offers a unique twist in the Gradius series with its detailed storyline and gameplay enhancements, maintaining the series’ classic shoot-’em-up appeal while introducing novel elements to refresh the formula.


A hallmark of the MSX’s library, Nemesis 3: The Eve of Destruction enriches the Gradius saga with its intricate plot and gameplay advancements.


The game takes place almost 200 years after the crisis with Dr. Venom and James Burton has died in the year 6718. The Vic Viper is replaced by a new ship called the Vixen (4 classes); piloted by David Burton, a direct descendant of James who is assisted by his AI Gaudie.

Four distinct classes of Vixen can be chosen. The first one resembles the original Vic Viper. The second one is a twisted version of Vic Viper, featuring the new “Photon Missile”. The third one is more like Metalion from Nemesis 2, featuring “Napalm Missile” and (Extended) “Fire Blaster”. The fourth one is more like the Sabel Tiger from Salamander, featuring the 2-way missile approach and “Ripple Laser”.

All four classes may choose between the classic “Shield” or the “Force Field”, which takes fewer hits to expire, but protects from any direction. It is also possible to choose the behavior of “Option”, from the original shadow movement, “Fixed” and “Rolling”, like the “Option Warrior” from Nemesis 2.

The game retains several of the new weapons introduced in Nemesis 2 like “Up Laser”, “Fire Blaster” and “Vector Laser” as well as Salamander weapons like “Meteor Laser” and “Screw Laser”. This is the only game in the Nemesis series which visibly keeps track of the number of speed boosts.

In order to upgrade the ship’s weapons, secret spots must be found, just like the secret stages in Nemesis 2 and the predictions in Salamander. The game was released on the Wii U’s Virtual Console on December 17, 2014, in Japan.


The protagonist, a direct descendant of the hero from Nemesis 2, along with various enemy types including the Bacterian forces led by Commandant Gopher.


A horizontal shoot-’em-up that involves navigating space environments, engaging in combat with enemies, collecting power orbs for upgrades, and confronting challenging bosses.


Nemesis 3 stands as a testament to the enduring appeal of the Gradius series, offering a compelling blend of traditional shoot-’em-up action and narrative depth.

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