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By Taito Arcade/Various Formats 1986-



Taito artwork for the original Darius (Arcade)

The famous stage one fish boss from the first
Darius game. This is the TG16 version which
captured the spirit of the arcade game well.

A nasty jellyfish (!) boss from Darius Force (Snes)

(Above and right) Two bosses from the stunning
Darius Gaiden (Arcade) which was definitely
the best looking 2D Darius game ever.

Click on the pics for some of the great Taito
artwork from the Darius series in full below:


Darius Art 1 Darius Art 2

Darius II

Darius II Art 1 Darius II Art 2


Darius Gaiden Art 1 Darius Gaiden Art 2

G Darius

G Darius Art 1 G Darius Art 2

(Top of page) Taito's monster arcade cabinet for Darius
1 and 2 (picture) comprised of 3 monitors bolted together.

Taito's Darius Series: or 'You'll need something more than a shrimp net to
deal with this little lot...'

Fish! Hundreds and hundreds of enormous gun-toting
aquatic beasties are out to get you! Although the Darius series never really entered my psyche in the way that the
Gradius and R-Type series did they have a certain charm
all their own, particularly in the boss department..

Some mechanoid fish passing Jupiter..yesterday
(Detail from the Darius 2 arcade artwork)

Darius first blasted into the arcades in 1986 with the first game in the series. The arcade machine was notable for being a huge 3-screen monster with action taking place across a massive playing area. Taking control of a Silver Hawk freedom fighter it was your job to put a stop to the
evil invading armies of Belser, and their fleet of enormous battlecruisers cunningly disguised as.. er.. well fish and
other assorted marine lifeforms. The first game suffered
from being rather difficult however, being extremely
unforgiving if you died and lost your weapons.

Darius 2 appeared in 1989 offering a whole new selection
of aggressive mechanical marine fauna. This time the evil
Belser faction had invaded Earth's Solar System! Darius 2 improved on the arcade original by adding a lot more
weapons and a higher frequency of powerups making it
a more forgiving game, although it was not a huge leap forward from its predecessor overall.

The last 2D arcade incarnation of Darius was Darius
(1993) which finally gave the series a shot in the
arm graphically speaking with some stunning artwork,
even better weaponry and amazing bosses (below and left). Darius Gaiden featured a remarkable upgrade in terms of graphics from the first two games, and sported some very imaginatively designed, almost anime-style giant bosses.

Among the many home versions of Darius some of my favourites include Darius Plus (TG16) - a conversion of the original Darius, Darius Twin - the best Darius game on the Snes, Darius Gaiden on the Saturn, and the remarkable latest game in the series, G-Darius on Playstation.

G-Darius on the Playstation took the series
into the world of 3D with some huge,
impressive and all-new bosses

Emulation-wise you can play all three arcade incarnations of Darius in the Raine emulator, although due to the first two using 3 screens in the arcade it is difficult to get them working well unless you use a very wide (and therefore tiny) screen mode. The home versions are variable in quality, but you can't really go wrong with G-Darius on PSX or (my personal fave of the series) the Saturn version of Darius Gaiden, which you can pick up extremely cheaply and
is well worth doing so, as it is an excellent conversion.

See also:
Easy Bosses! and Hard Bosses!

(Above) The original branching stage selection system from the original Darius went on to become a series trademark
(Below) assorted Darius bosses from the Japanese arcade poster artwork for the original game

Darius2 poster art
Darius 2 poster art
Next Page: A gallery of Darius Twin Bosses!
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