This level is throwback of the first level of Gradius, as its background's layout is almost the same, featuring mountains, forests and even some of the same enemies. Likewise, volcanoes are the most common obstacles found throughout the level. While the level itself is very similar to the arcade version, it has the peculiarity that there's no boss to fight at the end.
It's advisable getting the Double to more easily traverse this level. Before getting too far into the level, you'll be greeted by heavy gunfire. You'll want to stay low to get rid of ground enemies, and also because you'll have to fly under a rock formation. Then under and over again, avoiding and shooting down enemies until you reach the volcano. Keep shooting until you notice a break.
Try to get as close to the tip as you can when you're shooting and you'll get by easily. Next, kill those bouncing enemies or prepare to avoid their shots, which go in every direction. You'll now have to squeeze between two volcanoes. Same tactic as before, shoot like crazy, and fly through them.
Try to get the second Laser upgrade, and as many Options as possible. Basically, shoot the purple crystal rocks until you can get through. If you shoot enough, you can cause a lot of slowdown, which is good since your ship isn't affected by it. Eventually, you'll get up to some big blue rectangular rocks which just bounce up and down. Beat the purple Crystal Core to finish the level.
|Theme of Air Battle #1 - Air 1 Tabidachi NES.|
|Theme of Volcano - Heavy Blow.|
|Theme of Crystal - Dead End.|
|Theme of Boss Fight and Enemy Base 2 - The Final Enemy.|
|Gradius II: GOFER no Yabō|
|Stages (arcade)||Artificial Sun • Alien • Crystal • Volcano • Revenge of Moai • High Speed Maze • Boss Rush • Gofer 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||Phoenix • Big Eye • Giga (NES) • Crystal Core • Death MK II • Jumping Moai • Big Moai • Desert Core (PC Engine) • Big Core MK II • Zub Rush • Big Core • Golem • Tetran • Gaw • Intruder • Zelos Force (NES) • Covered Core • Demos • Crab • Gofer|