You think you can beat me with that?! Loser.
~ Moai Dimension

The Moai are recurring enemies from the Gradius series.


These giant monolith heads are weapons created by ancient civilizations to serve as guardians, but they were taken over by the Bacterians to be used by their own evil purposes. Every game in the series (with exceptions such as Gradius V, Gradius: The Interstellar Assault, Gradius 2 MSX edition) have and entire stage dedicated to the Moai. Moai usually stand up or lay flat on the ground, have their mouths closed most of the time (completely invulnerable when doing this) except when Vic Viper (and/or Lord British) ends up in their asteroid fields. Then they open their mouths, and rings of energy that kill upon contact come pouring out. Although energy rings are easy to destroy with a single shot, the number of rings can be quickly overwhelming. To destroy the Moai, concentrate a heavy amount of fire at the mouth of the statue when it is open to fire rings.


Lesser Moai

Gradius Moai.gif
The most basic and immobile Moai, from which all others are based. The Moai of Gradius resemble the Moai of Easter Island of real life a great deal, with one exception: These statues fire deadly projectiles from their mouth.
The Red Moai is an upgraded version of the regular Moai, capable of turning around and firing much faster.
A robotic version of the Moai, they can turn around like the Red ones, also able to fire expanding lasers that are tough to avoid.
The Spinning Moai spit out regular Moai to fill the terrain. They are indestructible and hard to avoid.
The Moai Totems are stacked on top of each other, with a set of four Moai in each segment. The segments rotate around, only being destroyed after the four Moai are taken down.
The Giant Moai only spit tiny Moai, which will then pursue the player while firing as well.
The Beam Moai can not only fire ripples, but they will also fire laser beams from their eyes. The laser won't be interrupted even if the moai is destroyed.
The Blue Moai act much like the Red Moai, but they are also capable of regenerating after being destroyed.
The Bubble Moai spit bubbles containing Tiny Moai inside them.
The Tiny Moai float around and pursue the player while firing. They are sent by larger Moai and most Moai bosses.

Moai Bosses

Salamander enemy Moai.gif
The Jumping Moai float around and shoot, usually following the player. They come in a set of four.

(These are the penultimate boss of Salamander, but they also appear in Gradius II as a sub-boss)

The Big Moai is a set of three gigantic Moai. They only spit Tiny Moai, each mouth spitting five of them. They are only fully destroyed after the central Moai is destroyed.

(These are the 5th boss of Gradius II)

The Armored Saint is a robotic Moai that send smaller versions of itself, which in turn shoot Tiny Moai that follow the player.
Dogas is a green Moai that floats and creates a rotating barrier of Tiny Moai around itself, which all shoot at the player.

(This is the one of the 4th bosses of Gradius III)

Vaif is a set of six Moai, which attack by spitting Tiny Moai that inflate and explode when shot or in proximity with the player. Due to their positioning, it is almost impossible to destroy them all, but they self destruct after some time.

(These are one of the 4th bosses of Gradius III)

The Twin Vaif acts much like the Big Moai, only spitting Tiny Moai. Attacking them causes debris to fall from the ceiling.

(These are one of the 4th bosses of Gradius III)

The Moai Dimension is a set of two Moai (four in the highest difficulties) in opposite walls. The room will rotate itself with the Moai, which shoot large ripples that scatter smaller ripples when attacked, as well as a orange ripple that can only be dodged.

(These are the 4th boss of Gradius Gaiden)

Dogaltes are a set of three robotic Moai that floats and spins while shooting. They can also grow legs to walk and bury themselves.

(These are the 5th boss of Gradius Galaxies)

Alpha & Omega are two Moai, which summon various floating Moai that fire lasers from their eyes, while the two fire ripples of their own.

(These are the 5th boss of Gradius IV)

The Moai Orb is a large Moai that stays in the background while controlling the orb on its forehead. The orb shoots lasers and can also bounce around the room.

(This is the 3rd boss of Gradius ReBirth)

The Crystal Moai floats around and lauches different attacks, depending on the color of the orb in its mouth. It will either fire ripples, scatter shots, fire a large beam or jump around.


  • The Moai are based on the real life statues of their name from Easter Island in South America.
  • The Moai were included as an inside joke from Konami's developers, because one of their staff members was said to resemble a Moai.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.