It is about time I give this classic arcade game a shot. Gradius is probably the prime inspiration for R-Type, my old favourite. I have a feeling that jumping into Gradius will be a brutal experience...
I felt I did well - killed by the first boss rising from the volcanos. And then THERE ARE NO CONTINUES! Holy sh... That's hardcore.
Got the score 26100 in MAME.
Still can't beat that first boss.
The japanese version of this game doesn't allow continues, but the US version named 'Nemesis' does. That should help a lot.