Gradius Wiki
Gradius Wiki

The Zub (ザブ Zabu?) is a recurring enemy in the Gradius series.


The Zub Rush consist of a series of respawning enemies (Zubs) which launch themselves toward the player with reckless abandon. They are one of the most recurring Sub Bosses in the series, originally appearing as the Stage 2 Sub-Boss in Gradius. They usually appear at the start of the Boss Rush stages, as a means of powering up, almost universally accompanied by the Aircraft Carrier theme music.

Attack patterns

Depending on the game, either one or two Zubs will spawn at a time. In certain games they automatically target the player, in others they go into a random direction. They will also quite happily spawn on top of the player, requiring very quick reflexes to get out of the way in time. Starting with Gradius II, they initially appear as red capsule dropping enemies, before changing halfway through.

In Gradius and Gradius ReBirth, they form a long vertical line two or three times in the entrance to the boss area. Occasionally, they will appear midway through a boss rush in smaller groups to give the player more power-ups (most notably in Gradius V). The primary means of failure in these battles is for a player to get too greedy for power-ups, thus losing concentration, allowing a Zub to spawn on top of them.


If the player is fully, or nearly fully powered-up, the easiest way to survive is to stay to the back of the screen and move up and down almost constantly, paying attention if any Zub spawns directly above or below the ship.

If the player is trying to recover while in a boss rush, it's usually a good idea to try and get either a Laser or Option after getting the first Speed Up, which aids in destroying as many Zubs as possible.



  • The Zub Rush appears as a minigame in Kuru Kuru Lab, where the player has to destroy Zubs appearing on the screen with a stylus.
Ships Vic Viper
Stages VolcanoStonehengeMoaiReverse VolcanoWasteland (PCE) • TentacleCellBase
Sub Bosses VolcanoZub RushMother and ChildIron MaidenTentacleElectronic Cage

Re-Bone (PC Engine) • Tornado (MSX) • Tyran Pace (MSX)

Bosses Big CoreCell NucleusXaerous Brain
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
Game Boy Gradius games
Ships Vic ViperCoreship
Nemesis Stages VolcanoCellMoaiBoneFortress
Gradius: The Interstellar Assault Stages RemainsBattleship InteriorAsteroid BeltPlanet SurfaceFortress
Nemesis Bosses VolcanoSuper Big CoreZub RushCrawlerZigzagStrikerAmbRecklessMother Computer Z
Gradius: The Interstellar Assault Bosses Infected StatueCore ReactorCrater CoreFortress GateGuardian CoreEscape Ship
Gradius ReBirth
Characters James Burton (Vic Viper) • GaudieVenom
Stages VolcanoCellMoaiWastelandAntichthon
Bosses VolcanoIron MaidenBig Core DuoZub RushCrawler XMoai OrbRe-BoneEnigmaElectronic Cage MK2Xaerous Brain
Minibosses / Panic segments
Traditional / Recurring VolcanoZub RushIron MaidenRe-BoneFortress ValisJumping MoaiDogas
One Shot Mother and ChildTentacleTornadoTyran PaceZigzagAmbSoddSinarCrash Bam