Gyruss For The NES Is Still As Fun As Ever


Gyruss was my 1st shot ’em up game on the NES. I loved this classic so much as a kid I decided to take it back to the old-school tonight. Below you’ll find a game-play vid I just made taking on this fabulous space shooter. As a kid I had it down just a little bit more, because in those days you really had to practice. When all you have to work with is a small stack of cartridges you appreciate what you got and try to become the master. Below my awesome game-play vid I added some wikipedia info for those of you who are interested in learning about gaming history.

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Gyruss (ジャイラス Jairasu) is a shoot ’em up arcade game designed by Yoshiki Okamoto and released by Konami in 1983. Gyruss was licensed to Centuri in the United States, and was ported to contemporary home systems.

The gameplay is similar to that of Galaga but presented in a forced 3D perspective, with the player’s ship facing ‘into’ the screen and able to move around the perimeter of an implicit circle. The scrolling starfield of earlier space shooter games is arranged to fit the 3D perspective, with the stars coming into view at the centre of the screen and flying outward, giving the impression of the player’s ship moving through space.Gyruss foe NES - #GTUSA 2

Gyruss is the second and last game Yoshiki Okamoto designed for Konami, after Time Pilot. Due to pay disputes, he was fired after the release of this game, and soon joined Capcom, where he would write 1942 and the first Street Fighter game.

The game’s background music is an electronic, uptempo arrangement of J. S. Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565; this particular track is similar to “Toccata”, a rock arrangement by the UK-based instrumentalist group Sky. Gyruss is notable for using stereo sound, which according to the bonus material for Konami Arcade Classics, was achieved by utilizing discrete audio circuits.

Gyruss was released in both upright and cocktail cabinets.Gyruss foe NES - #GTUSA 3


NES Remake

Gyruss was also remade for the Family Computer Disk System in Japan, and later the Nintendo Entertainment System in North America, released by Konami’s subsidiary Ultra Games. In these versions of the game, the core gameplay is still largely the same, but there are several major revisions. The game was well received in North America. Revisions include:

  • Updated graphics
  • Additional control options
  • The music from the arcade version of the game was slightly remixed, and several additional tracks composed by Atsushi Fujio, Yūichi Sakakura, and Harumi Uekō were added.
  • The player starts off at “Three Warps To Neptune” instead of “Two Warps”
  • The player can use a super phaser attack in addition to the normal guns
  • There are additional enemies, including boss fights when the player reaches each planet
  • Bonus stages after each planet’s boss is defeated, for a chance to gain additional powerups
  • There is a definite ending to the game. In the NES version, it’s a brief text about the Universe being at peace. In the FDS version, there is a full ending sequence with credits.
  • In addition to the satellites providing the usual double guns and bonus points, they can also provide extra phasers, a smart bomb, and even an extra life
  • Instead of the arcade’s looping 24 stages, there are 39 looping. In the arcade, the player starts from Neptune and proceeds to Earth. On the NES version, the player travels through the entire Solar System, including Neptune, Pluto, Uranus, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Earth, Venus, Mercury, and the Sun.
  • The player can enter the Konami code at the title screen for extra lives, but with a twist: the code must be entered in reverse (A-B-A-B-right-left-right-left-down-down-up-up) instead of in the original sequence.

Gyruss foe NES - #GTUSA 4

About Phil Williams

Founder & President of GameTraders USA.

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
-Dr. Seuss

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