Gradius Wiki
Gradius Wiki

Gradius is completely restored.
~ Lars 18th

James Burton (ジェイムス・バートン Jieimusu Bāton?) is the lead character in the MSX Nemesis series, and original pilot of the Vic Viper and Metalion fighter crafts.


James was born in 6641 in Gradius, being one of the few wreek survivors from the Northern Cross War, where he lost his parents while he was still 3 years old. In 6645, he and the other surviving wreeks are housed by the Imperial Government and enlisted in the Space Agency, but in 6653, at the age of 12, he leaves the agency and enlists into the Department of Defense, seeking to join the Imperial Space Air Force to exact revenge on the Bacterians who killed his parents.

He was enlisted in the war against Bacterian in 6658 and promoted to Major at the age of 17, and later joined the Battle for Antichthon in 6664, allied with Dr. Venom, Director General of the Space Agency and developer of the Vic Viper super spatiotemporal fighter.

He was promoted to Captain of the Imperial Space Air Force in 6663, and when Venom eventually began his attack on Gradius in 6666 with Bacterian's combined forces, James was sent on one final mission to stop him, now piloting the state-of-the-art super spatiotemporal fighter Metalion.

Due to his efforts in fighting the Bacterians and Venom, James was crowned Emperor Lars 18th. As Emperor, one of his most recognized actions was to reconstruct the seven planets affected by the war against Venom.

James eventually died in 6718 at the age of 77, and in the next year the Imperial government built the "James Hill" in his honor.

In 6809, Venom attempted to exact his final revenge against James, seeking to erase him from history by traveling back to 6644 and kidnapping him at a young age. His descendant, David Burton, saved history thanks to the help of three color encoded maps, and recovered the capsule James was kept prisoner in.





  • James Burton's name is likely a combination of James Hetfield's first name with Cliff Burton's(†) last name, both members of Metallica.
    • Coincidentally, there's also a real-life guitarist (unrelated to Metallica) also named James Burton.
Characters James Burton (Metalion) • David Burton (Vixen) • GaudieVenomVenom's AidesLars 17thWreek
Nemesis 2 stages Colossus PlanetPlant PlanetAncient PlanetFloating ContinentsPlanet of FireLiving PlanetSinAsteroid BeltWater PlanetVenom Mothership
Nemesis 3 stages SunPlantGravityPast-BossMoaiHellSandCellFactoryGofer Ship
Nemesis 2 bosses SoddRiot WarshipMisfit WarshipBig Core X10Mayhem WarshipDoomSinarAbaddon WarshipVenom
Nemesis '90 Kai exclusive bosses Lizard CoreLaser CoreBig Core MK II KaiBeta Core
Nemesis 3 bosses Geezer ButlerHans NaughtyTetranAbaddon WarshipMisfit WarshipBig CoreArmored SaintLynyrd SkynyrdTriumph KicksKiller DwarfCrab WarlockQueensrÿcheGofer
Characters and ships Vic ViperLord British (Lord British)• Saber Tiger and Thrasher (Iggy Rock and Zowie Scott) • Van Landroth FrehleyLars XVIIISuper CobraGalaxyPurple EmperorRed Devil
Salamander stages Bionic GermMeteorite SpaceBurning ChaosVolcano AreaSalamander Planetoid
Salamander (MSX) stages Top Flight Speed to LatisConduct to Space Station ZotSet the Crush Blow System - Planet EioneusSet the Crush Blow System - Planet LaviniaSet the Crush Blow System - Planet KierkeWrath of VenomCrush Salamander
Life Force-only stages Organic Speed ZoneTemple Zone
Salamander 2 stages Sub-life SpaceProminence FortressBio HazardHuge BattleshipAsteroidDoom Fortress
Salamander bosses GolemTetranIntruderFortress ValisDeathBig Core X3Jumping MoaiZelos Force
Port exclusive bosses ZylomGawGigaTutankhamonDead EndEnigmaTrue VenomMetal SlaveZelos Barrier
Salamander 2 bosses BiterHydraAbadonTenny RopPlate CoreCerberusDoom
Gradius ReBirth
Characters James Burton (Vic Viper) • GaudieVenom
Stages VolcanoCellMoaiWastelandAntichthon
Bosses VolcanoIron MaidenBig Core DuoZub RushCrawler XMoai OrbRe-BoneEnigmaElectronic Cage MK2Xaerous Brain