Who’s one of your biggest inspirations in life? For me it’s simple, it’s my brother, Antonio Jr Distefano!
Today, I want to share one of the game he made all by himself: Gradius Omega.
When I was a kid, I would see him make games all the time on our family computer! He also played all these crazy weird and obscure games, but his absolute favorite ones were “shoot ’em ups” like R-Type and Donpachi! I guess that’s where I got my taste for these type of games too…!
It is a fan game based on the Gradius series. Gradius is a longtime Konami series that was made popular in the arcades in the mid 80s. Plenty of the games were ported later on video game consoles like the NES and TurboGrafx-16. The latest entry in the series was Gradius ReBirth, which was only released on the now closed Wii Shop Channel. It is rumored to be rereleased as part of the “ReBirth Trilogy” collection coming for Nintendo Switch later this year.
The game was made with “The Games Factory,” a pretty easy to use editor that can make great games like this one! The game implemented all of the elements of old and new Gradius games, like the trademark “Options” that follow the Vic Viper ship as well as custom-made backdrops and sprites, simultaneous multiplayer, “revival start” and many more! The game contains a lot of details that real Gradius fans will spot! Oh, and did I say that it is also pretty hard? It was designed to make you use “credits” just like the old arcade Gradius games!
The development of the title has stopped for a long time, but we thought it would be nice to show what it looked like in the end! Here’s a special presentation video of me and my brother playing the game! Because Konami doesn’t really like fan games that much, we figured it would be best to only reveal it this way. The game only had one level, but just like in other Gradius games, we go through 3 loops and the difficulty increases each loop. You’ll notice that we die a lot by the 2nd one! Also, while The Games Factory was a nice editor, it had a lot of issues when trying to add sounds. This is why you’ll notice that there is only music playing during the playthrough.
Here are more pictures of the game:
Let us know what you think! Special thanks once again to my brother, Antonio Jr Distefano, for letting me share this piece of our history between you all!