By Taito Super Famicom/Snes 1991


Here's the Japanese cover art.. a little more
exciting than the US version I think..

Lovely power-ups, gimme gimme!!
BLUE: Shield, RED: Lasers
GREEN: Sidearm

Above: The first stage is, in a strange contrast to most shooters, more difficult than the next few levels following it. Probably because the enemy comes in thick and fast and you start off equipped with a pea-shooter..

Below: Doesn't take long to gain enough firepower to do some serious damage though. 'WARNING: A Huge Battleship KILLER HIGIA is dying fast..' ;)

Above: By half-way through stage 2 you start to feel pretty much invulnerable. The strange lack of enemy bullets doesn't help..

Below: Mr and Mrs. Fossil, Stage two bosses, at your service. Any boss with those colour schemes deserves a pasting quite frankly..


Arcade classic Darius makes it's
first appearance on the SNES..

I'm really not sure what possessed me to pick up this game back in March of '92. It probably cost a relative fortune of $50 back then. If I recall correctly, I was mainly interested in a feature Darius Twin had that Gradius 3 lacked... a two-player simultaneous mode. So, now that a copy of Darius Twin probably costs so little it doesn't matter much whether it sucks or not, here's my take..

STORY: A long time ago in a galaxy far far away, the Peaceful Inhabitants[TM] of the planet of Darius were attacked by the forces of the eeeviilll Belser. Of course, this gave some folks named Proco and Tiat (not to mention millions of arcade-goers and TG-16 owners) something to do, namely lead a resistance movement and evacuate their fellow Darius-ites to a free sector of space. Centuries later, the descendants of these refugees are attacked yet again by the forces of Belser. So now, two nameless pilots are called upon to fly a couple of pparently centuries old Silver Hawks to stop this. Apparently, the most noted scientists believe Belser's homeworld was largely aquatic. Wonder what gave them that idea? :)

PLAYERS: Two people can be simultaneously tranquilised by this game.

GAMEPLAY: A fairly degenerated version of Darius 2's gameplay, really. Your ship has three major systems: Lasers, Sidearm Shots, and Shields. Your lasers are powered up by collecting Red Power Cubes, Sidearms by Green Cubes, and Shields by Blue Cubes. You have two different kinds of lasers; you start out using the Photon Power Disc, which when powered up is a large shot but pretty weak. (It's vaguely similar to Darius 2's main weapon, really.) Collecting a Switching Cube will give you the Segmented Laser Wave Beam, which eventually powers up into a wave cannon that is better in every way than the Photon Power Disc. Sidearms aren't worth mentioning; they go from the standard Darius bombs into Sagaia-esque lasers into fireballs. Shields are standard Darius fare; every five blue Cubes upgrades your defensive ability. Also, just like other Darius titles, you have branching paths so you can choose your route through this game. Unlike other Darius titles, your choice of paths is fairly limited. There are only 12 Zones spread over 7 levels with 24 possible paths. (Compare to Darius 2 or Gaiden's 28 zones over 7 levels with 64 possible paths.)

DEATH PENATLY: You lose a life. No loss of firepower at all. (Funnily enough they changed this completely for Darius Gaiden.. the gits.. ;) Mike.)

CHALLENGE: For the most part, nowhere to be found. You're only given two difficutly levels, but once you get past the second tier you'll probably not notice the difference. This game apparently tried to correct the balance problems of Darius 2, but swung too far in the other direction. The power-ups come pretty often; by the third level your Sidearms will be fully powered, by the end of the fourth tier you'll have a fairly decent wave weapon. Also, the enemy placement is lacking at times; there are several noticable dead spots throughout the game. Enemies don't fire at you much; then again, you can pretty much eliminate everything before it has a chance to make it onscreen. The bosses are pretty lethargic, as they stick to pretty simple patterns and can't take too much damage. All this is thrown out the window once you get to the last stage, though. The final level reaches Gaiden-like difficulty levels, achieved by placing two or three of the game's mini-bosses on-screen at once. These buggers then leave you with little room to move, while firing large and powerful shots your way. Ugh. But, if you can get past this, you'll be greeted by two more ridiculously easy bosses. Zzzzzz...

GRAPHICS: Ripped more or less from Darius 2. I guess they're quite good for the time and system involved. Not much more to say, really. Background recycling is pretty much a common feature among the Darius series (with only Darius Gaiden barely escaping its evil clutches), but it's very noticable here. I'd guess there's actually only 8 different backgrounds among the game's 12 zones.

MUSIC: I truly suspect this game's soundtrack is composed of outtakes from Darius 2's recording session. That said, it's really not particularly bad, but it's not going to make you rush out and pay the outrageous import prices for the CD. (If you do happen to like the music though, there is a music test option.)

CONTROL: No complaints here. Having separate buttons for the lasers and Sidearms is annoying though, but that's pretty much standard Darius.

OVERALL: 5/10. A rather so-so experience overall. If you somehow get stuck with a copy of this, try to go two-player, as this will even out the powerups somewhat and make this game slightly more enjoyable. Otherwise, there are much better SNES shooters available, so get this only very cheap
or if you're some sort of Darius freak like me. :)

Score out of Five:

Zach Keene

Zach is the author of many FAQs including G-Darius,
Gradius III, Einhänder,CSOTN, and the AGVS FAQ


Hehe.. well I'll say one thing for Zach.. he sure ain't afraid to say what he feels about a game! Being a bit of a Darius-phile myself I must say I do have mixed feelings about Darius Twin, on the one hand it marked a progression from the rather passe graphical style of the two arcade games to something more modern and colourful, (though some of the
bosses still err a bit on the cheesy side - Full Metal Shell or Great Tusk are pretty laughable for instance..). It also boasted a two player mode, a fairly impressive soundtrack for the time, and the whole package was of definite interest to fans of the series, but the inherent fault in the balance of firepower and thus flawed difficulty level through the majority of the game lets it down badly. Still, I'm strangely fond of it for the fact that I see it as the closest 16-bit pre-cursor to Darius Gaiden, which happens to be my favourite Darius game at the time of writing. And I definitely still prefer it to the one other SNES Darius game, Darius Force (renamed Supernova in the US for some obscure reason).. horrible graphics in that one.. yuck.. ;) Mike

Click here for all the Darius Twin's bosses..

See also: Darius Series in the Rogues' Gallery

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