Fantastic Parodius - Pursue the Glory of the Past (極上パロディウス ～過去の栄光を求めて～ Gokujō Parodiusu - Kako no Eikō o Motomete?), known outside Japan as Fantastic Journey, is a side-scrolling shooter arcade game and the third title in the Parodius series produced by Konami. Like the rest of the series, it is a parody of the Gradius series and other Konami games.
Overall, the gameplay is identical to that of its predecessor, Parodius Da!, with several new characters to choose from. Also new, if playing a two-player game, the second player will have a different set of characters to select. These are clones of the first player characters, except with different names and slightly altered sprites or changed color palettes.
These characters include:
- Vic Viper and Lord British
- Pentaro and Hanako
- TwinBee and WinBee
- Takosuke and Belial
- Hikaru and Akane
- Mambo and Samba
- Michael and Gabriel
- Koitsu and Aitsu
In the Parodius series, starting with Gokujō Parodius!, the Power Meter was changed from a bar with the weapon names as text to a bar with pictures indicating the power-ups. The borders of each icon determine the gameplay type chosen, red for auto, yellow for semi-auto, and blue for manual. As this kind of power meter is shorter, two separate power meters appear on screen on a two player game.
Gokujō Parodius! was ported to the Super Famicom months after its arcade release. Two significant differences between the console and arcade version were added characters: Goemon/Ebisumaru from Ganbare Goemon, Dracula-kun/Kid Dracula from Boku Dracula-kun, and Upa/Rupa from Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa, as well as the alternating two player mode.
In addition, Hikaru and Akane get a Tailgun, Boomerang Shot from Thunder Cross, another shooter game by Konami, and a Shield instead of the Spread Bomb, the Carrot Shot and a force field (named "Star") that they get in the arcade version (as well as on the Deluxe Pack released for the PlayStation and Sega Saturn). Similarly, Mambo and Samba are given Homing Missiles, the Reflect Shot (which gives them two options when chosen), Grade Up and a Shield instead of the Bubble Missile, the Control Laser, Search Laser and a force-field (named "Barrier").
Gokujō Parodius! was also ported along with Parodius Da! on Gokujō Parodius Da! Deluxe Pack for PlayStation in 1994 and Sega Saturn in 1995. This compilation was released in Japan and Europe. The European release was released as Parodius, with Parodius Da! simply titled Parodius and Gokujō Parodius as Fantastic Journey. In addition, it had English text when the Megaphone is used and re-colored the mini Eagle Sabu enemies to green (as opposed to brown in the Japanese version).
The game was also released for mobile phones and included in Parodius Portable on the PlayStation Portable, with some songs replaced by classical/folk songs.
On release, Famicom Tsūshin scored the PlayStation version's Deluxe Pack a 32 out of 40, and the Sega Saturn's Deluxe Pack a 31 out of 40. Maximum gave the Saturn Deluxe Pack three out of five stars, saying that it is virtually identical to the arcade and PlayStation versions and has very pleasing gameplay, visuals and music, but is outdated compared to contemporary Saturn games. They summarized: "Konami's first effort [at a Saturn game] has a lot to commend it, but when there are epics such as Panzer Dragoon stretching the shooting genre, it's clear that Parodius is not in the same league."
Cameos in other media Edit
- Michael appears as a power-up and Koitsu makes a cameo in the ending of TwinBee Yahho!
- Hikaru makes a cameo in the arcade game Daisu-Kiss and the adventure game Snatcher.
- Aitsu is a secret playable character in Speed King NEO KOBE 2045.
- Hikaru makes a brief cameo in "Wai Wai Arcade" and Pastel wears Michael, Aitsu and Eliza-like outfits in the interactive game TwinBee PARADISE in Donburi Island.
- Koitsu makes a cameo appearance in Super Bishi Bashi Champ.
- Koitsu appears as stickers seen in printstations from Mitsumete Knight R.
- Takosuke is a playable character, Michael is an assistant and Anna Pavlova makes a cameo in the racing game Konami Krazy Racers.
- Koitsu, Pentarō, Anna Pavlova, Moai Battleship and Hikaru make cameos in the pachinko game CR Saikoro Tin Douty.
- Koitsu appears in Nou Kaihatsu Kenkyujo Kuru Kuru Lab.
- Koitsu and Aitsu make a cameo as one of Jonathan Morris's attacks in Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin and Castlevania: Harmony of Despair.
- Koitsu, Hikaru and Mambo appear in the puzzle game Pixel Puzzle Collection to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Parodius series.
- In Bombergirl, Hikaru and Akane's outfit appears in the event "Gokujo Shoot Gacha" (極上シューティングガチャ) from May 16 to June 6, commemorating the third game's 25th anniversary.
Adaptations and merchandise Edit
- Hikaru, Michael and Takosuke are featured in a manga titled Gokujō Parodius, published in Gamest Comics and created by Namie Iwao.
- Koitsu and Aitsu was appears as Mobile Cleaner on July 2003.
- In episode 4 of the anime Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, these cards, A-Team: Trap Disposal (along with Koitsu, Doitsu, Aitsu and Soitsu), appeared in Vellian Crowler's trenchcoat when he reveals to Chazz Princeton and his friends that he has many rare cards to give to him.
- A trading card game based on this game, titled Card Jan Gokujō Parodius, debuted on July 2005 in Japan. It was published by Konami and CG Cosmos.
- 16 keychain figures based on Gokujō Parodius! characters were released on 2008 in Japan.