Gradius Wiki
Gradius Wiki

Space Manbow (スペースマンボウ Supēsu Manbō?) is a video game developed and published by Konami for the MSX2 in 1989. It was a step above the Nemesis games as it had smooth scrolling and a bigger color palette. As with Konami's previous releases, this comes with the SCC chip for better sound quality. The game was later re-released for the Wii's Virtual Console service on the 24th of November, 2009. It has never been released outside of Japan. In 2007, Bart van Velzen released an unofficial sequel, Manbow 2, for MSX2.


In the year 189 of the stellar calendar, humanity happened upon the ruins of an ancient (and, if the st. 7 decor is anything to go by, rather decadent and malicious) civilization, and sent an archaeological crew to explore them. However, the crew accidentally managed to activate the ruins' defense system. The system operated by identifying the Sol system as the intruders' origin, then launched the Sun-Fish ("Manbou" being Japanese for "Sunfish"), an ultimate bio-mechanical weapon starship capable of destroying an entire solar system and protected by an impregnable force-field bubble. The surviving members of the crew, however, find a chance to stop the Sun-Fish. By using the unearthed Manbow-J (i.e. Junior Sun-Fish) fighter and activating a teleportation system in the deepest part of the ruins, one pilot, Kliever Mu, can actually get inside the force bubble and destroy the Sun-Fish from there.


Stage Name Boss Music
1 Ground Area Shatterer Battle Ship
2 Wall Area Stag Head Providence
3 Cave Area Luanmo Aquarium
4 Energy Conversion Area Riger Parallel Space
5 Energy Furnace Naga Zone 5150
6 Dust Area Golditz Dust-Dust-Dust
7 Cave Ruins Area Warp Machine Fire Warning
8 Space Area Manbow Brilliance


  • Almost all of the ships in this game resembled aquatic or fish-like animals.
  • The ship from Space Manbow inspired the Mambo and Samba characters in the Parodius franchise.
  • The Nintendo DS game Ganbare Goemon: Tōkai Dōchū Ōedo Tengu ri Kaeshi no Maki contains an unlockable Space Manbow minigame with identical graphics but enhanced music.
  • The game was released for mobile devices in 2006.
  • According to the staff comments, this game was originally planned as a home conversion for Thunder Cross, another Konami shooter for arcades. Because of this, Space Manbow is considered an entry in the Thunder Cross series.

External links

Space Manbow
Ships and Characters Manbow-JKliever Mu
Stages Ground AreaWall AreaCave AreaEnergy Conversion AreaEnergy FurnaceDust AreaCave Ruins AreaSpace Area
Bosses ShattererStag HeadLuanmoRigerNagaGolditzWarp MachineManbow
Gradius video games
Gradius series GradiusGradius IIGradius IIIGradius GaidenGradius IV: FukkatsuGradius GalaxiesGradius VGradius ReBirthGradius: The Interstellar AssaultGradius NEOGradius NEO Imperial
Spin-offs Salamander (Life Force) (MSX ver.)• Salamander 2Nemesis 2 (Nemesis '90 Kai) • Nemesis 3Nemesis (Game Boy)Cosmic WarsSolar Assault
Parody games ParodiusParodius Da!Gokujō Parodius!Jikkyō Oshaberi ParodiusSexy ParodiusParo WarsOtomedius (Otomedius Gorgeous) • Otomedius Excellent
Other games ScrambleThunder CrossThunder Cross IISpace ManbowForce Gear
Pachislot Gradius: The SlotCR Parodius Da! EXGokuraku Parodius!
Cancelled Vic ViperGradius ArcSalamander HD Remaster