The Big Core is a series of large warships in the Gradius series of games which, as one might guess, have big energy cores. Big Cores are typically large warship bosses with one or more energy cores housed within, usually (if not always) guarded by a series of small walls or force fields the player must break through before they can attack the cores themselves. In a number of games, a voiceover will instruct the player to "Destroy the core!", though this applies to certain other bosses as well.
Big Core MK I
- Main article: Big Core MK I
The first Big Core appeared in the original Gradius, but was in a number of other Gradius games and spin-offs as well. It housed one core and fired four lasers in unison in most of its appearances.
Big Core MK-I Rev.2
- Main article: Big Core MK-I Rev.2
Less of a revision and more of a core unto itself, this core which appeared in Gradius V was considerably more challenging to fight than the model on which it was based, especially on higher loops. Between the ship itself and the circular parts attached to its nose, it would fire an array of lasers, rings, and energy blast at the player, trapping them in a kind of energy corridor as it spun around.
Big Core Custom
- Main article: Big Core Custom
In a surprise twist, this is the main ship of Gradius NEO Imperial where this Big Core attempts to escape from the Lars Empire. It is armed with a wide array of weapons in addition to the four ways laser shot. In Nemesis Legend: Armageddon, the Big Core is upgraded, firing missiles from the boosters and firing a Disruptor Laser.
Super Big Core
- Main article: Super Big Core
This variant appearing in the Game Boy version of Nemesis, is faster and more powerful than a normal Big Core.
Neo Big Core
- Main article: Neo Big Core
Neo Big Core is a drastic modification of Big Core MK I which debuted in Gradius Gaiden, it is barely similar to Big Core MK I, with the only similar features being moving up and down, it's core number, and shooting four shots.
Big Core MK II
- Main article: Big Core MK II
Big Core MK II Kai
- Main article: Big Core MK II Kai
This is the version from Nemesis '90 Kai. This core now shoots ripples, missiles and a big Laser in the center. When you destroy one core, his arm will be destroyed.
Big Core MK III
- Main article: Big Core MK III
Big Core MK III showed up in Gradius III. While looking similar to the first Big Core, its tactics were much different in that it fired refracting lasers at the player. It was created by Zubs to get its 3 cores and skins to build massive firepower. It wasn't created by the bacterians but the Zubs created it to destroy the intruder.
Big Core MK IV
- Main article: Big Core MK IV
The last Big Core in of the main series of core warships appeared in Gradius V, oddly enough. It would appear as a Big Core MK II does, then two wings would fly in and clamp on to the ship giving it a whopping four energy cores. The tips of these extra wings would shoot out and create waving lines of energy while the core itself fired constant lasers at the player.
- You can't tell what's inside of the Big Cores easily; In Nemesis 2, some Cores are piloted by Dr. Venom and his fellow Wreekian comrades. In Gradius: The Interstellar Assault, the Big Cores are controlled by a central computer core system. In Gradius Gaiden, a core unit is piloted by a Zelos Force. In Otomedius, most of the Big Cores have some sort of artificial intelligence.
|Big Cores||Big Core MK I • Big Core MK-I Rev.2 • Big Core MK II • Big Core MK II Kai • Big Core MK III • Big Core MK IV|
|Big Core variants||Beacon • Blaster Cannon Core • Bubble Core • Circle Core • Coreship • Crater Core • Crystal Core • Dellinger Core • Desert Core • Heaven's Gate • Juggler Core • Laser Core • Lizard Core • Neo Big Core • Perla Meralda • Rexion Core • Rolling Core • Shining Core • Super Big Core • Terra Core • Vanishing Core • Genocide Core • Odin Core|
|Core-style bosses||Abaddon Warship • Covered Core • Covered Core MK II • Dead End • Kraken • Mayhem Warship • Metal Slave • Misfit Warship • Queensrÿche • Riot Warship • Plate Core|
|Pseudo-Cores||Death • Death MK II (DeathDouble) • Death MK III • Beta Core • Nobil • Triple Core • Crash Bam|
|Tetran variants||Tetran (Zylom) • Covered Tetran • Crystal Core D-X02 • Laser Tetran • Tenny Rop|
|Parody Cores||Candy Core • Decoration Core • Decoration Core MK II • Viva Core|