A new, official LEGO set called "Earth Defense HQ" may look at first glance to be just another space-based LEGO set. Upon closer examination, though, it not only pays tribute to classic shooter Gradius, but something more important.
Last year, custom LEGO builder and community member Nate "nnenn" Nielson tragically passed away in an automobile accident. His signature style was to design LEGO starships that looked like the famous "Vic Viper" from Gradius, so when putting together "Earth Defense HQ", in memory of Nielson not only was the set's fighter designed in the Vic Viper style, but a small decal paying tribute to nnenn was also included with the set.
Classy move, LEGO.
Alien Conquest 7066 Earth Defense HQ includes Vic Viper tribute to nnenn [The Brothers Brick]