Averaging Gradius

R. LeFeuvre produced one video overlaying the actions of fifteen players going through the first level of Gradius for the NES, and wrote an exhaustive essay on the results.

So what did it accomplish? What does the video show? Is it more than just a colorful kit-bashing of people playing Gradius?!

What first caught my eye when compiling the video, which came as a complete shock, was that the end boss wasn’t set on a absolute path! Instead, it responds and reacts to the player’s actions. Now perhaps this isn’t a surprise to all those Gradius pros out there, but I was pretty impressed to see that sort of action from such an old game. In one of the tracks, the boss actually sits at the bottom of the screen, waiting to respond to the player’s next move.