Falchion β is one of the four protagonists of Gradius Gaiden. It is one of the newer fighters created by the Gradius Empire, alongside the Jade Knight to assist the Vic Viper and the Lord British in the war against the Bacterians. Unlike the other fighters, which use more defensive and strategic armaments, the Falchion β concentrates more on offensive tactics, and those uses more powerful weapons.
Sometime between the events of Gradius III and Gradius IV, the Gradius Empire got into a confrontation with the Bacterians. Unlike previous encounters however, the Bacterians used more advanced technology, making them much more prepared for an assault against Gradius. To counter this however, the Gradius Empire deploys not only the Vic Viper to stop the evil empire, but also the Lord British, as well as to newly released fighters called the Jade Knight and the Falchion β; each of the four fighters has their strengths and their weaknesses, making them useful for different approaches to stop the imminent invasion.
All four crafts travel across familiar and unfamiliar worlds, where they all encounter and defeat various Bacterian troops. Afterwards, they locate the source in the Black Nebula and destroy it whilst narrowly escaping destruction, bringing an end to the Bacterians once more.
The Falchion β's weapons are notably stronger than the other three crafts, and thus makes it a great choice for offensive confrontations.
- Laser Cannon - a standard, semi-automatic laser bolt that can take out smaller Bacterians easily.
- Rolling Missile - fires a missile downwards, which travels some distance before splitting into two, with one half traveling backwards, and the other traveling forwards.
- Auto-Aiming Rail Gun - fires a second projectile which can aim up to 180 degrees, making it useful for upper flank attacks.
- Gravity Bullet - fires a small, purple laser which creates a explosion-like effect that can trap and destroy multiple Bacterians that are unfortunate enough to enter the radius.
- Options - creates an orange, orb-like satellite that follows behind the Jade Knight's trail that increases the firepower of the craft by one unit, but does not provide shielding protection; up to four can be obtained at maximum.
- Shield - creates a shield that protects the Falchion β by various means, depending on the type of shield the pilot sets up, it will be one of the following:
- Shield - creates two hexagonal gears that protect the Falchion β from the front for a significant number of hits, but leaves the other sides exposed.
- Force Field - creates a shield that covers the entire craft, but only protects it for about half as many hits as the normal shield.
- Guard - a new type of shield introduced in Gradius Gaiden, it grants the Falchion β protection from the top and bottom of the craft, but can only absorb two hits. It also grants the ability to negate collision with terrain.