Three decades ago, back when Konami released video games, Japanese arcade goers were graced with one outstanding space shooter. I was so much better at Gradius back then.

Collecting pods, choosing which power-ups to activate in which order, and that horrible feeling of loss when you die and lose it all. That’s what Gradius for the NES was for me, and while it wasn’t released in North America until December of 1986, I don’t have the original Japanese arcade cabinet, so we’re doing this.

Those of you with the means to play original NES games or a copy of the game on Wii or Wii U Virtual Console, feel free to play along. Or at least wave to my remains as you gracefully sail past Bitch Mountain.

The First Five is the first five minutes of a game with light commentary. Once the five minutes are up, so am I.

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