After the initial flight through space, where players are encouraged to power-up, the player will then enter a cluster of burning planetoids. Here, Fire Dragons will emerge from their fiery pits and try to destroy the player, either through limiting the player to a small space, thus maximizing the chance of destruction through bullets, or by the fireballs they spew. Meanwhile, Bacterian fighters will attempt to ambush the player, using the the suns as a chokepoints.
Afterward, the player will fly through empty space, destroying a handful of Bacterian spacecrafts, before being attacking by the area boss, the Phoenix.
- This is the first fire-themed stage to appear in a mainstream Gradius game (Salamander being first).
- A souped-up version of "Burning Heat" appears in Stage 5 of the PlayStation 2 version of Thunder Force VI, called "Full-Speed". Its composer was Motoaki Furukawa, the same person who composed the soundtrack for Gradius II. Additionally, "Burning Heat" also appears in the Konami game Beatmania IIDX 10th Style.
|Gradius II: GOFER no Yabō|
|Stages (arcade)||Artificial Sun • Alien • Crystal • Volcano • Revenge of Moai • High Speed Zone • Boss Rush • Gofer Ship Interior|
|Port-exclusive stages||Volcano - Crystal (NES) • Enemy Base (NES) • Gofer's Lair (NES) • Temple (PC-E)|
|Bosses||Phoenix • Big Eye • Giga (NES) • Crystal Core • Death MK II • Jumping Moai • Big Moai • Desert Core (PC Engine) • Big Core MK II • Zub Rush • Big Core • Golem • Tetran • Gaw • Intruder • Zelos Force (NES) • Covered Core • Demos • Crab • Gofer|