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Gradius Wiki

You Shall be Crushed!
~ Announcer in Gradius II

Crystal Core (クリスタルコア Kurisutaru Koa?), also known as Monarch, is a recurring boss in the Gradius series.


Crystal Core is a crystalline Core surrounded in ice. It appears in Gradius II as the boss of the crystal stage and in Gradius III as part of the Boss Rush. It's also a junked boss in Gradius Gaiden stage 2. This is one of the more interesting looking bosses, as it has four orange and blue barriers and one Blue core.

Attack patterns

Crystal Core attacks by waving its tentacles while shooting blue small fireballs every 20% of a second from them and fires two medium-large standard Core defense lasers every second. The tentacles block all shots and cannot be destroyed. Eventually, Crystal Core will close up its tentacles to shield the core and then release a volley of 14 lasers every 20% of a second while moving up or down, then resume normal attacking. In Gradius Gaiden, the Core defense lasers are much thinner.



  • A boss also named Crystal Core appears in the role-playing game Suikoden (also by Konami), possibly being a nod to the Gradius enemy, although only by name, as physically both are very different from each other. While they do share a similar color scheme (blue with a reddish center), the Suikoden boss is more reminiscent to the Zelos Force.
Gradius II: GOFER no Yabō
Ships Vic Viper
Stages (arcade) Artificial SunAlienCrystalVolcanoRevenge of MoaiHigh Speed MazeBoss RushGofer Ship Interior
Port-exclusive stages Gradius II NES Stage 2 (NES) • Volcano - Crystal (NES) • Enemy Base (NES) • Gofer's Lair (NES) • Temple (PC-E)
Bosses PhoenixBig EyeGiga (NES) • Crystal CoreDeath MK IIJumping MoaiBig MoaiDesert Core (PC Engine) • Big Core MK IIZub RushBig CoreGolemTetranGawIntruderZelos Force (NES) • Covered CoreDemosCrabGofer
Gradius III
Ships Vic Viper
Stages DesertBubble ZoneVolcanic PlanetHigh Speed DimensionMoai ZoneCell PlanetProminence PlanetPlant PlanetCrystal ZoneBoss RushMechanical Base
SNES exclusive stages High Speed ZoneFortressCell
Bosses GoliathBubble EyeGodreiBig Core MK IIIDogasVaifTwin Vaif (SNES) • GregolWyvernVulture DragonChoking WeedLizard CoreBeacon (SNES) • TetranCovered CoreBig Core MK IICrystal CoreDeath MK IIDellinger CoreDisruptShadow GearShadow Gear MK II (SNES) • Big CoreGolemBacterian
Core Warships
Big Cores Big Core MK IBig Core CustomBig Core MK-I Rev.2Big Core MK IIBig Core MK II KaiBig Core MK IIIBig Core MK IV
Big Core variants BeaconBig Core DuoBlaster Cannon CoreBubble CoreCircle CoreCoreshipCrater CoreCrystal CoreDellinger CoreDesert CoreHeaven's GateJuggler CoreLaser CoreLizard CoreNeo Big CorePerla MeraldaRexion CoreRolling CoreShining CoreSuper Big CoreTerra CoreVanishing CoreGenocide CoreOdin Core
Core-style bosses Abaddon WarshipCovered CoreCovered Core MK IIDead EndKrakenMayhem WarshipMetal SlaveMisfit WarshipQueensrÿcheRiot WarshipPlate Core
Pseudo-Cores DeathDeath MK II (DeathDouble) • Death MK IIIBeta CoreNobilTriple CoreCrash Bam
Tetran variants Tetran (Zylom) • Covered TetranCrystal Core D-X02Laser TetranTenny Rop
Parody Cores Candy CoreDecoration CoreDecoration Core MK IIViva Core