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Gradius Wiki
This article is about the boss. For the lesser enemy, see Phoenix (enemy).

Shoot enemy head!
~ Gradius II announcer

The Phoenix (フェニックス Fenikkusu?) is a boss in the Gradius series.


As its namesake suggests, the Phoenix is a large space bird made entirely out of fire. It is presumably a larger version of the Fire Bird enemies from Salamander. The Phoenix appears as the first boss in Gradius II and in Nemesis 3, where it is known as Geezer Butler.

In all versions, its weak spot is the head.

Attack patterns

The Phoenix has the same general attack patterns in all versions of the games it appears in, although its movement tends to differ between ports. In the original arcade version of Gradius II, it warps around the screen, meaning the only safe area is toward the back. The player must time their attacks between warps and get back to a safe area. In the NES version, it actually moves between positions, making the fight slightly easier.

The Phoenix will fire a large volley of lasers from its wings, followed by a heavy volley of fireballs from its beak. The fireballs can be destroyed quite easily by staying near the mouth, but the lasers must be avoided.

It's usually dead by the time it has finished its second attack. In the PC Engine version, however, it has more health and thus will accomplish more.

Salamander anime

The Phoenix appear in the final episode of the anime as the ultimate enemy the heroes face, being born from the fusion of both Paula and Gofer.



  • Geezer Butler is the same name of the notorious bass player from Black Sabbath, one of the most influential heavy metal bands from 1970s.
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
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
Salamander (OVA)
Episodes Episode 1: SalamanderEpisode 2: Paula's MeditationEpisode 3: Gofer's Ambition
Characters Ike Lord BritishDanStephanie McBainEddie EvansDoromoMinistersLee McBainPaulaGofer
Enemies RugalSharp CrossGolemGigaZelos ForceIntruderTentacleBig Core MK IMoaiXaerous BrainFire DragonDeath HandBig EyeDee-01PhoenixAmoebaNucleus
Organic bosses
Space entities NucleusIntruderPhoenix (Geezer Butler)GoliathBubble EyeWyvernVulture DragonBlizzard CrawlerYorogaton ChimeraGilladorVolleoneDoomLynyrd SkynyrdTriumph KicksGawGigaKiller Dwarf
Body horror AbadonGolemZylomBig EyeGregolMad SkinBrachion EyeBiterBerialHuge HeartCrawler (X) • Infected Statue
Plantlife Choking WeedStinger KidHunter FangGiga's RoseDendrodiumHans Naughty