A Slave is a helping ship or object that provides the player extra firepower or defense. They can be acquired by picking up the Slave power-up (icon with a large S on it).In most cases, you may have up to two slaves at once. Picking up more slave power-ups will only give you points; they do not repair your slaves.
Standard Raiden FEdit
These are standard slave ships used by most ships. They have a steady rate of fire and take quite a bit of punishment, but do not offer direct protection like the Gradius Shields. The ship formation is determined by the ones digit of the sum of your lives and bombs remaining. Their formations are as follows:
- Front Formation: Slaves fly in front of the player, firing twin V shots. The result must be 0, 4, or 8.
- Shadow Formation: Slaves follow the player's ship like Gradius Shadow Options, firing double shots. The result must be 1, 5, or 9.
- Cross Formation: Slaves cross over each other, firing three-way shots. The result must be 2 or 6.
- Orbit Formation: Slaves orbit around the player's ship, firing single shots. The result must be 3 or 7.
Some ships, such as the Lord British and Jade Knight use shields instead of slave ships, but it got taken out of the game because the two Gradius ships mentioned above got scrapped from the roster. They offer no offensive bonus, but do offer more direct protection from enemy fire. Shields can take only a few hits before disappearing completely. These shields come in a few varieties:
- Frontal Shields: A shield protect the fighter from oncoming fire straight ahead. The ship is unprotected from bullets coming from the side or from behind. You may have up to two of these.
- Force Field: The ship itself is completely protected by a single shield. However, the ship's hitbox is increased, and this shield is not particularly strong. You can have only one force field.
- Free Shields: A shield flies toward your ship, and sticks in the relative position where it connects. You may have up to two of these.
- Rotation Shields: A shield rotates quickly around your ship. You may have up to two of these.
A special move currently only usable by Gyaraga. With the Tractor Beam active, the player can catch up to four weak enemy ships and use them as slave ships. They do not have the formation capabilities of the Standard Raiden F slaves.