Gradius Empire is a heroic organization in all Gradius shooter video games, except in both spin-off series: Parodius and Otomedius. In every cosmic wars, it is focused on defending their respective home planet and the whole universe of Metalion solar system from the invasion of Bacterians, a biological alien race who can spread only destruction. It is also known for manufacturing interstellar fighters, such as Vic Viper, Lord British, Jade Knight, Falchion Beta, Metalion and the rest.
History with Bacterians
In 6644, the Bacterians invaded Gradius and kidnapped a 3-year old child named James Burton, Triggering Northern Cross War. They conquered five planets and held James as prisoner until 6 months later, Vixen came in, destroyed the Bacterians' fleet, saved James and returned him back to planet Gradius. But the damage had been done; the Bacterians' savage attack on Gradius left exorbitant amounts of radiation, killing most of the people of Wreek that lived there.
14 years later (event of the first Gradius game), the Bacterians returned to attack Gradius yet again but they are defeated and repelled by now 17-year old James Burton and his Vic Viper, by invading their fortress and taking out the brain controlling it. Not the type of bad guys to give up easily, the Bacterians took over a different planet called Nemesis and attacked Gradius again. However, the Bacterians lost control of Nemesis thanks to Vic Viper, but Bacterians did send a squadron to attack Vic Viper and a group of Gradian ships. Vic Viper escaped and destroyed the squadron soon afterwords.
In 6660 (event of Gradius II), the Bacterians sent a fleet commanded by Gofer to destroy Gradius but once again, Vic Viper sent by Gradius Empire destroyed the fleet by invading their fortress and defeating Gofer.
In 6664 (event of Gradius: ReBirth), the Bacterians conquered planet Antichthon, the protectorate of the Gradian Empire, but Vic Viper had gone in the infected planet and destroyed its mother computer along with the planet in the process.
In 6666 (event of Nemesis 2), the Bacterians allied with Dr. Venom, who had escaped imprisonment for a coup two years ago. Venom and his Bacterian fleet occupied Gradius' seven neo space plants but then lost control over them after being defeated by James Burton and his new ship, named as Metalion.
In 6709 (event of Salamander), the Bacterians decided to put Gradius conquest on hold and sent a special force named Salamander to invade Latis. In response, the Lord British ship of Latis and the Vic Viper ship of Gradius worked together and purged Salamander by destroying its namesake living base. A reincarnated Venom revived Salamander but was again destroyed, this time by the Sabel Tiger and the Thrasher.
One century later (event of Nemesis 3), Venom and his Bacterian fleet went back in time to kidnap 3-year old James which ironically led to the war in 6644 in their attempt to alter history. In 6840 (event of Gradius III), the Bacterians returned to destroy Gradius. Only this time, the Vic Viper reached the sub-space home planet of the Bacterians and destroyed Bacterion, the central system and creator of the Bacterians... And the entire home planet was taken out with the leader. By this time It had become clear whether Gradius Planet is worth all these miseries.
In 6842 (event of Life Force), A huge creature named Life Force tried to devour Gradius and Latis but being no exception it gets destroyed by Vic Viper and Lord British. The facts that the creatures that lived inside are similar to the Bacterians they fought during the attack of the Salamander Force. the Life Force was a Bacterian in origin.
In 6852 (Solar Assault), Gradius has been attacked by an enemy of mysterious origin. To save Gradius, Vic Viper, Lord British and newly developed ship Alpinia had found the enemy's fortress and destroyed the leader. The unknown enemy was speculated to be a Bacterian in origin due to its fleet being similar to the Bacterians. Year 6855, Salamander Force returns again with a new Planetoid, threaten Gradius and Latis again, Vic Viper and Lord British once sent again on a mission against Zelos with a modified core, and escaped safely from the unknown Planetoid.
Years later (Gradius IV), a piece of Gofer landed on a planet and transformed it into a fortress only to be destroyed once more by Vic Viper.
Decades later (Salamander 2), a sub-space lifeform named Doom revives Salamander but like all its predessors who attempted to take Gradius Planet it too suffered their fates by Vic Viper and Lord British.
In 7040 (Gradius Gaiden), a mysterious force named the Original Visions of Ultimate Monster (O.V.U.M.) attacks Gradius with fighters very similar to the Bacterians only to be destroyed by Vic Viper, Lord British, Jade Knight, and Falchion Beta. Apparently Gradius Planet is turning into a grave for the invading alien forces.
In 7240 (Gradius Galaxies), a piece of Bacterian landed on planet Lamiless and transformed it into a fortress. Vic Viper destroyed the regenerated Bacterion, destroying the planet in the process.
In 8010 (Gradius V), Venom used Bacterian cells to rebuild his fleet so he can attack Gradius. He got defeated by Vic Viper (and its future self), returning peace to Gradius.
That was the last time anyone has heard of Bacterians.
In Gradius NEO which takes place thousands of years after Gradius V, Gradius Empire was renamed Gradius Union. And the role of Bacterians are replaced by Lars Empire, an alien force attempting to harness the ancient but extraordinary technology left by Gradius Empire in order to take over the universe.
See Vic Viper.
See Lord British.
See Jade Knight.
See Falchion Beta.
AlpiniaWC-672H Alpinia, or simply Alpinia, is one of the three main protagonist ships available in Solar Assault, fighting alongside the Vic Viper and Lord British. In terms of appearance, Alpinia seems to combine traits from both the Vic Viper and the Lord British with a Black and Orange color scheme. In Otomedius Excellent, Strarf's ship is this, which is mixed with some details of her Devil MMS Type. This fighter is meant for novice players.
ThrasherThrasher is the ship controlled by the second player in the MSX port of Salamander. Its pilot is Zowie Scott. Then during the event, James Burton sends Iggy Rock (the pilot of Sabel Tiger) and her to defend planet Latis together from the Zelos Force, which is represented as the core of the Bacterian-controlled planet Salamander.
Sabel Tiger is the ship controlled by the first player in the MSX port of Salamander. Its pilot is Iggy Rock. Then during the event, James Burton sends him and Zowie Scott (the Thrasher pilot) to defend planet Latis together from the Zelos Force, which is represented as the core of the Bacterian-controlled planet Salamander.