Darius Gaiden is a horizontal-scrolling shoot-em-up released by [Taito] in 1994, and is the third arcade title in the [Darius] series. It is the first game in the series to use a single-screen display, and has a heavy focus on the use of psychadelic effects, bizzare atmosphere and an unusual soundtrack from TAITO's music team Zuntata to produce a dreamlike experience. The Stage 1 Track VISSIONERZ, composed by Hisayoshi Ogura, formed the basis for all of the music and the presentation of the game, with the opening lyrics telling the player to "Close your eyes..."
As is typical for the Darius series, Gaiden features Fish-based theming and bosses, Branching Pathways - with a total of 28 stages - and multiple endings.
Darius Gaiden has been ported to the Saturn, Playstation, and to the PS4 and Switch as part of the Darius Cozmic Collection.
Darius Gaiden chronologically takes place between the first two Darius games, which is where the name draws from - Gaiden is often used in Japanese titles, loosely translated as "Another story".
Darius Gaiden was followed up by G-Darius in 1997.
Darius Gaiden is a 2-button Horizontal shmup, which is fairly classical in style - with typically lower numbers of bullets on screen and a larger hitbox than Bullet Hell styled games. There is only one player ship, the Silver Hawk. The gameplay is largely focused around power-ups, with power ups for your main shot, the bombs shot from your ship, and a shield which can take 3 hits, upgrading to 4 and then 5 as more are picked up. Upon death, your shot power decreases one full stage whilst shield and bomb stage remains constant - except after new credits.
There are also Score Item Pickups, Screen-clearing item pickups, and Pickups containing extra lives. Enemies that drop all types of pickups, and those revealed when shot in secret parts of the stage, are Fixed, though their quantities do vary depending on the route you take throughout the game.
The Black-Hole Bomb is a new addition to the series, and serves a very similar purpose to the traditional bombs found in most shmups - destroying weak enemies immedietly, providing invulnerability for a few seconds (except from stage hazards such as walls), and clearing the screen of enemy projectiles. However, the black hole bomb also sucks up and destroys floating pickup items and prevents pickup enemies dropping them. Bombs are lost upon death.
- A: Fires the main shot and standard diagonal bombs. When held, fires at about a 5hz, but can be tapped quickly for more rapid shots
- B: Fires the Black-Hole Bomb
This section describes the weapons that you use in the game and elaborates on them further. Stuff like standard shots, focus shots, bombs, weapon pickups that differ in functionality, options, etc. This can be omitted if not relevant to the game in question.
This section describes any and all collectibles that you acquire in the game. An example being any Power Up items or Medals from Battle Garegga. Include secret items such as extra lives as well.
This section should cover a general breakdown of the scoring system of the game. Feel free to put the meat and potatoes here. A great example of a scoring section is the DoDonPachi page.
A 30Hz autofire is highly reccomended for Darius Gaiden, and is included as a default on Darius Gaiden Extra Version - it makes bosses far less tanky and the game far easier throughout.
Stage V is the easiest final stage, and most survival-routes end there, as it's final boss, RISK STORAGE being easily the least tanky and difficult of the final bosses. Stage Z', meanwhile, is the hardest final stage, with GREAT THING effectively serving as the [True Last Boss] of the game. Stage V' is also very difficult with STORM CAUSER serving as the second hardest boss.
(Currently evaluating whether or not this specific section should even include information outside of the separated Strategy pages. Worth thinking about as a community.)
Taking place after the original Darius, Gaiden focuses on the refugees of the Planet Darius after the climactic battle of the original game, who having left for the planet Vadis, now attempt to return to their home planet. Upon doing so, they are ambushed by a Belsar fleet, which destroys most of the Silver Hawks, leaving only two remaining Silver Hawks, piloted by Keith Arden (1P Side) and Anna Steiner (2P Side), where the game begins...
Gaiden features 7 Endings, most of which focus on the dreamlike nature of the game itself. The endings to Zone Z' and V' can probably be seen as the game's good endings, whilst the rest are more ambiguous.
- Zone Z': Upon defeating GREAT THING, Keith and Anna witness the battlefield and desolation they've thought through give way to a forest scene, and they are unsure if what they have just fought through is real or a dream.
- Zone V: Going deep underwater to defeat RISK STORAGE, the Silver Hawks are destroyed by water pressure, fall to the bottom of the sea, and are covered by the Marine snow.
- Zone W: Reveals that Darius Gaiden is just a game Keith and Anna were playing in the arcade, with Keith cheering in triumph. Essentially a joke ending.
- Zone X: Destroying the Belsar citidel, Keith and Anna ruminate that the battle isnt over yet, as shadows lurk in the clouds.
- Zone Y: Upon defeating ODIOUS TRIDENT, Keith and Anna land in a forest similar to that shwon in the ending to Zone Z', and are welcomed by the native species, being lauded for destroying the enemies that were destroying the forests of Darius.
- Zone Z: Defeating CURIOUS CHANDELIER and the rest of the Belsar fleet, Anna and Keith leave Darius, only to find that the fighting had caused so much damage that Darius explodes. Keith and Anna are at a loss what to do.
- Zone V': Defeating STORM CAUSER clears the huge storm around the stage and reveals the lost fleet of refugee ships from the opening of the game, which settle on Darius once again. Peace is restored. Definetly the "best" ending, and seeing as the Zone's inclusion as the final stage in the EXTRA version, is the closest to a "true ending."
- Darius Gaiden Extra Version, an official hack, rearranges the stage order of the original game and provides a 30Hz autofire by default for pressing A. As a special extra, starting the game as 2P side starts a version of the game where all 28 stages are played in alphabetical order, ending with stage V' and the boss STORM CAUSER, and also utilising it's ending.
- ZUN's favourite shmup.
See Darius Gaiden/Gallery for our collection of images and scans for the game.
We have support for wikitables, giving us the potential to add lots of cool info in a small box on the page somewhere, but we are not using them at the moment. I'm just leaving this here so we can have it handy in case we decide to actually use them. Feel free to not use this section.
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References & Contributors
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