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Gradius Syndrome, or Power-Up Syndrome, is a parody trope mostly used in shmups (or shoot 'em 'ups) to describe the player's abilities and actions. For instance, if you collected all the power-ups, the game actually becomes easier, but IF you die, you LOSE all of your power-ups, and the game now feels harder. This can also be in other shmups other than Konami also.

List of Games that suffer from the Gradius Syndrome (So Far)

  • Gradius (Konami)
  • R-Type (Irem)
  • Thunder Cross (Konami)
  • Thunder Force (Maniac Mode) (Technosoft)
  • Lightning Fighters/Trigon (Konami)
  • Xexex (Konami)
  • Abadox (Natsume)
  • Air Gallet (Gazelle)
  • Armed Police Unit Gallop (Irem)
  • Heavy Unit (Kaneko)
  • Air Buster: Trouble Specialty Unit (Kaneko)
  • Blazing Star (SNK)
  • Echo Fighters (Capcom)
  • 19XX series (Capcom)
  • Varth (Capcom)
  • Recca (Naxat Soft)
  • Lightening Force (Sega)
  • Star Force (Tecmo)
  • Strato Fighter (Tecmo)
  • Super Real Darwin (Data East)
  • Silver Surfer (Software Creations)
  • Galaga (Namco; Freeing a captive ship doubles your fire that goes away when you get hit)
  • Guwange (Cave; you lose some power-ups in exchange of a depleted chunk of health)
  • Raiden (Seibu Kaihatsu)
  • S.C.A.T. (Natsume)
  • TwinBee (Konami)
  • Gunbird (Psikyo)
  • Cho Aniki (Masaya)
  • Ghost Blade HD (eastasiasoft)
  • Shikhondo: Soul Eater (Digerati)
  • Descent (Interplay; A 3-D FPS variant to be exact. You can get some of them back if you know the layouts well.)
  • Forsaken (Acclaim; Identical to Descent, as a clone of said game)
  • Doom (id Software; Another FPS variant. In this case, dying resets the entire level with just your pistol & fists.)
  • The Revenge of Shinobi & Shinobi III (Sega; While you do have a health bar, getting hit takes away your powered-up Kunais instantly, and you need them)
  • Loaded (Interplay; dying gradually weakens your gun)
  • King of the Monsters 1 and 2 (SNK; A continue resets your character's power to normal)
  • Super Mario series (Nintendo; One hit takes away your power-up)
  • Adventure Island series (Hudson Soft; Like Super Mario, only you can save them for later before starting a level)
  • Smash TV (Williams)
  • Total Carnage (Midway)
  • Nitro Ball (Data East)
  • Gunbarich (Psikyo)
  • Super Burger Time (Data East)
  • Castlevania (Konami)
  • Contra (Konami)
  • Metal Slug (SNK)
  • Shock Troopers (SNK)
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