[[caption-width-right:320:Delicious mechanical fish.]]

->''"I've always wanted a thing called tuna sashimi!"''

''Darius'' is a series of side-scrolling {{Shoot Em Up}}s developed by Creator/{{Taito}}.

One of the series' most distinguishing features is its bosses. Bosses tend to be huge, robotic versions of marine life; for instance, King Fossil and Dual Shears from the original ''Darius'' are a giant coelacanth and a giant lobster, respectively.

The ''Darius'' series has had many incarnations, including:
* ''Darius'' (Arcade, 1986) \\
Perhaps best well-known for its unusual setup consisting of three screens lined up horizontally. Got multiple ports on the PCEngine:
** ''Darius Plus'' - The only [=SuperGrafx=]-enhanced game also compatible with the regular system.
** ''Darius Alpha'' - A limited edition with [[BossGame only the bosses]].
** ''Super Darius'' - An UpdatedRerelease on CD-ROM with new bosses.
* ''Darius II'' (Arcade, 1988) \\
Uses the same three-screen setup as the first game (and also ''VideoGame/TheNinjaWarriors''), but also came in a two-screen variant. Got ported to the Genesis/[=MegaDrive=] and Master System under the title ''Sagaia'' and to the PC-Engine CD under the title ''Super Darius II''. It was later ported to the SegaSaturn under the original title.
** ''Sagaia'' (Game Boy, 1991) - A compilation of levels and bosses from the first two games, with no stage selection.
* ''Syvalion'' (Arcade/Sharp X68000/SNES, 1988) \\
A spin-off game but still part of the series. Was re-released in 2006 as a part of ''Taito Legends 2''
* ''[[CanonDiscontinuity Darius+]]'' (Amiga, Atari ST, ZX Spectrum, 1989) \\
A home computer version released by The Edge, more closely resembling ''R-Type''. It only featured five bosses from the Darius series, one of which is a scaled-down version of another one.
* ''Darius Twin'' (SNES/SFC, 1991) \\
The first of two console-exclusive original ''Darius'' games. Less punishing than other titles (that is, [[DifficultySpike until the last stage]]), but fewer branching paths.
* ''Darius Force'' / ''Super Nova'' (SNES/SFC, 1993) \\
The second of two console-exclusive original ''Darius'' games. Slower-paced than other titles in the series, has [[DarkerAndEdgier a dark and moody tone in comparison]], and utilizes ''VideoGame/RType''-style checkpoints that you respawn at when you die.
* ''Darius Gaiden'' (Arcade, 1994) \\
Uses a normal-sized screen. Contains pretty boss explosions and very weird music. Ported to the Saturn, [=PS1=], and PC, then to [=PS2=], Xbox and PC (again) via the compilation disc ''Taito Legends 2''. Unfortunately for some players, the ''Taito Legends 2'' port prevents you from achieving extremely fast autofire via ButtonMashing.
** ''Darius Gaiden Extra'' (Arcade) \\
An apparently official ROMHack with rearranged stages, much faster autofire, and if you start a game on the player 2 side, you will do a 28-stage mode in which you do all of the stages, instead of just 7 of them.
* ''G-Darius'' (Arcade, 1997) \\
The first game in the series with fully 3D graphics (before ''Darius Burst'' 12 years later), which allows for some freakishly huge bosses, leading to many {{Battleship Raid}}s. One of its most distinguishing features is the "Alpha Beam" system, which if fired at a boss can result in a BeamOWar that grows bigger until it covers the entire screen. Also ported to [=PS1=], PC, and [=PS2=].
* ''Darius R'' (Game Boy Advance, 2001) \\
A shorter, single-screen remix of the original with music and enemies from various games in the series. Published by PCCW Japan, a company known previously and since as Creator/{{Jaleco}}.
* ''Darius Burst'' ([=PlayStation=] Portable, 2009); ported to {{iOS}} in 2012 as ''Second Prologue''.
** ''Darius Burst: Another Chronicle'' (an enhanced double wide-screen (as in, two 16:9 monitors set up side-by-side) arcade port of the PSP game, 2010)
** ''Darius Burst: Another Chronicle EX'' (an updated arcade version, 2011)
** ''Darius Burst: Chronicle Saviors'' (a console port of ''Another Chronicle EX'', 2015)

Has nothing to do with a certain Persian king or ''VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends'' champion.
!!We are now rushing into Example Zone. Be on your guard!
* AbnormalAmmo: One of the attacks of the Embryon, the boss of Nu stage in ''G-Darius'', fires what is essentially a smaller, stripped down version of Eclipse Eye, the ''first boss of the game''. They also fire off their own shot to boot.
* AffectionateParody: ''Akkanvader/Space Invaders '95: Attack of the Lunar Loonies'' is mostly a parody of Space Invaders, but it references Darius a few times. ''Bubble Symphony'' has a world themed after the Darius games, and even has the "WARNING: A HUGE BATTLESHIP" thing as well, along with a boss that parodies both the Yamato (an actual World War II ship) and the whole "mechanical seafood" thing simultaneously. What's more, ''Bubble Memories'' references the boss warning with "WARNING: ROOM GUARDER ____ IS APPROACHING FAST" at every boss fight. [[VideoGame/BubbleBobble Bust-A-Move 2]] had CR 20-100190 Mechanical Prototype Bubblen as the final boss, [[PreAssKickingOneLiner complete with the "WARNING: A HUGE BATTLESHIP" intro]].
** Actually, Yamato was a boss in Darius II, complete with a hermit crab Thiima wearing the bridge as a shell.
* AllJustADream: [[spoiler: the ending for Zone Y in Darius II]].
* AmazingTechnicolorBattlefield - ''G-Darius''' [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NArEuTOyKo "Genesis" stage]].
* AntiFrustrationFeatures: ''Dariusburst'' grants the player one point of shield upon respawning, so that they're not vulnerable to being killed again repeatedly.
* AscendedGlitch: Manually ButtonMashing the fire button in ''Darius Gaiden'' will yield a much faster rate of fire than the built-in autofire. The Saturn port allows you to enable this via a code. There is a ROMHack called ''Darius Gaiden Extra'' which has this rapid rapid-fire as the default, but its status as an official game is debatable.
* AspectRatio: When ''Darius'' and ''Darius II'' were released in arcades, they were infamous for using multiple monitors to achieve an exceptionally wide aspect ratio. Both games use three 4:3 screens laid side by side[[labelnote:More specifically...]] The monitors aren't actually side-by-side; two of the monitors use horizontally-flipped imagery and placed under an angled half-reflecting mirror (similar to the ones used for teleprompters so that news anchors read the script without looking away at the camera or having the script be visible to viewers) that reflects them toward the player, with the center, non-flipped screen behind the mirror. There are usually slight seams between each of the screens in practice, but it's a lot cleaner than just straight up laying the three monitors together, especially when they're CRT monitors.[[/labelnote]], resulting in an aspect ratio of 12:3 (or 4:1), giving the Silver Hawks and their enemies a large amount of horizontal space. ''Darius II'' also comes in a more compact two-screen format for 8:3 play. However, subsequent games simply stuck to more standard ratios; it was not until 2009 that ''Darius'' began to once again use any remotely widescreen aspect ratios, with the release of ''Dariusburst'' on the PSP, which uses a 16:9 ratio. Taito would then bring back the multiple monitor gimmick for ''Dariusburst Another Chronicle'', which uses two widescreen monitors for a 32:9 ratio.
* BaitAndSwitchBoss: Sort of, at least in-game, in the Mu and Xi zones in ''G-Darius''. Our heroes come upon a four-spiked orb in the core of Kazumn. Once you play to the end of Nu, you'll know this orb is the main ingredient of the Embryon. Before Sameluck and Lutia can actually engage it, though, it teleports away and summons either Heavy Arms Shell (Mu) or Accordion Hazard (Xi) in its place. Then again, the warning klaxon from before you even SEE the orb DID mention the actual boss by name...
** There's also the large, unnamed battleship that appears in the Delta and Zeta zones, which you even get to go inside of in certain routes. In Delta, it releases a crystal containing Dual Horn, and in Zeta, it attempts to attack the mysterious comet that is actually Absolute Defender, who then blows the battleship away in a laser barrage.
* BattleshipRaid: Revenge Shark in Super Darius II, Great Alloy Lantern in ''Darius Twin'', Peace Destroyer in ''Darius Force'', Titanic Lance in ''Darius Gaiden'', most bosses in ''G-Darius'' (especially the two Fossils).
* BeamOWar:
** ''G-Darius'''[='=]s Alpha Beam. When met with a boss's Beta Beam, it turns into a ButtonMashing contest during which [[WaveMotionGun both beams can grow until they cover the whole screen]].
** ''Burst'' has the Burst Counter mechanic; if your Burst hits an enemy's Burst attack, it will amplify in power and give you a powerful score multiplier. ''Another Chronicle'', however, requires you to time your Burst deployment; if you are anything short of ''perfect'' when you fly into the enemy beam or firing your beam at the same time, you won't get a Counter and you'll lose valuable shield points at best and an entire life at worst.
* BittersweetEnding: Many in the series, particularly in G-Darius where every single one of the ending is either this or a DownerEnding.
** In the Mu ending, [[spoiler: Sameluck sacrifices himself to protect Lutia from Heavy Arms Shell's last-ditch attack. Lutia herself ends up stranded on Darius, and is understandably grief-wracked...until a mysterious stranger approaches her. Several fans swear that this is a reincarnated Sameluck.]]
** The Lambda ending has [[spoiler: Lutia's Silver Hawk caught by one of Lightning Coronatus' electric arcs and had to bail out. Sameluck, rather than abandoning her, ejects out of his intact Silver Hawk to embrace her. The red Silver Hawk continues on to a planet without a pilot as credits roll.]]
*** [[spoiler: The same [[AllThereInTheManual Japanese PSX file explaining the endings]] says that he's ''rescuing'' her, and is able to bring her with him to Darius. Still counts, though, at least in terms of them never being able to return to Amnelia.]]
** Omicron ending has the heroes finally defeat G.T. before coming home. [[spoiler: [[SequelHook Cue the Belser army appropriating the wreckage of G.T.]] This is canonical, as Belser are the future antagonists. It also counts as bittersweet for the same reason as Lambda: The heroes have no way to return to Amnelia, since the Hawks are too low on fuel.]]
* BolivianArmyEnding: [[spoiler: The Zone H ending in ''Second Prologue''.]]
* BossGame: ''Darius Alpha''.
* BossRush: ''G-Darius'' has the appropriately-named "Vs. Boss" mode. ''Darius Burst Another Chronicle'' also has boss rush modes.
* BossWarningSiren: The game has "A huge battleship is approaching fast!" in most (if not all) of its titles to herald the arrival of its various fish-inspired bosses.
* BulletHell: ''Darius Gaiden'' and possibly ''G-Darius''. Made worse by neither game having small hitboxes.
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tReTlr04P4 This]] Flash game on Twitter. All seems to be going well until the Fail Wh... I mean Great Thing shows up...
* CapcomSequelStagnation: ''Darius Burst'' has several versions.
* ContinuityCameo: Zone Lambda in ''G-Darius'' has what seems to be Titanic Lance, a particularly famous [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orthocerida ancient squid]] ThatOneBoss from Darius Gaiden, embedded on a cliffside, apparently crash-landing intact. Quite notably, it's so huge the game can only show it's head end; the fighter you're in is probably the size of...half its eye?
* ContinuingIsPainful: In general, dying takes away a ''lot'' of firepower. In some games, you lose whatever powerups you have since your last major upgrades (4-6 per category), or your main shot loses several levels. In the cases of ''Darius II'' and ''Darius Force'', you lose ''all'' of your powerups. It's even worse than in ''VideoGame/{{Gradius}}'' because powerups are less frequent; it's not uncommon for a beginner to be stuck coasting through the latter half of ''Darius Gaiden'', for example, with the lowest shot level with no hope of ever getting the laser or wave shot back. ''Darius Twin'' averts this, letting you keep your firepower.
** Averted in ''Darius Burst'', so you don't lose your current power ups (minus your your shield) when you lose a life or even continue from a Game Over.
* ConvergingStreamWeapon: Darius Burst Another Chronicle allows two players to intersect their laser weapon, making it merge into a larger, stronger beam.
* CopyAndPasteEnvironments: ''Darius'' has a lot of PaletteSwap stages.
* DarkerAndEdgier: ''Darius Force''
* DeathIsASlapOnTheWrist: As mentioned above in Continuing Is Painful, this is only present in ''Twin'' and ''Burst''. As Twin was an SNES title, players who started there and moved on to other titles were probably quite unsettled after discovering death is generally a sucker punch to your powerups.
* DeflectorShields: [[MeaningfulName Absolute Defender]], one of the tier 3 bosses in ''G-Darius'', has this as its main schtick. As long as the shield's active, '''''NOTHING''''' hurts it, not even Alpha Beams. First, you have to overload the shield generator on its lower jaw, then get in your hits before the generator goes back up. Thankfully, each time you blow out the generator, it takes longer to come back.
* DetachmentCombat: Titanic Lance in ''Gaiden'' could do this with part of its shell, and Eternal Triangle from ''G-Darius'' could do it with his whole body.
** The octopus from ''Darius+'' also had an eye that would detach from the body, but this is more of a defense to make it harder to hit the eye. However, the eye sometime glitches, making the boss fight impossible.
* DualBoss: Emperor Fossil and Queen Fossil in ''Darius Twin''. ''Darius Burst Another Chronicle'' has [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aiieEyTXOWM#t=04m50s Dual Spin]].
* DownerEnding: Two endings in ''Darius Gaiden'':
** Zone V: [[spoiler:Your ship, which has been underwater fighting one of the {{Final Boss}}es, gets destroyed by the crushing pressure of the sea.]]
** Zone Z: [[spoiler:Due to the severe damage Planet Darius itself sustained from battles, along with the fighting inside of the planet's core itself, the players escape [[EarthShatteringKaboom Planet Darius as it violently explodes]].]]
** Also, in the first Darius, [[spoiler:the two-player ending for Zone V. Yes, you wipe out the Belser Army fortress that Strong Shell was guarding...by kamikaze attack.]]
** The ending to Zone W in Darius II [[spoiler:has the players return to a planet Oruga where human civilization is long gone due to time dilation]].
** In G-Darius in the final Zone Nu, [[AllThereInTheManual at least according to a file hidden somewhere on the Japanese PSX disc]], [[spoiler: After you beat the Thiima archon The Embryon, its creation energies flare out and interact...[[YinYangBomb badly]]...with the Silver Hawk's [[DeaderThanDead omnidestruction-capable]] All-Nothing systems. Sameluck and Lutia are caught up in the storm, and are only able to share one final kiss before they're absorbed. [[BittersweetEnding But then again, it would seem they reincarnated back in the past as PLANET DARIUS ITSELF...]]]]
** Xi however, pulls an even less subtle punch. Apparently, Accordion Hazard's explosion [[spoiler: was so strong it engulfed both crafts. With no hope of survival, they flew close to each other.]] The next shot is a single "soul" in the shape of a silver hawk flying away. Cue the credit roll.
* DropInDropOutMultiplayer: Can be turned off in ''Another Chronicle'' at the beginning of the player's or players' credit, locking out players from joining partway through.
* DynamicDifficulty: ''Darius Gaiden'' has a nasty version of this. Each layer of stages has a default difficulty level; powering up your main shot will set the game difficulty to that level. It's recommended that you stop powering up after your fourth stage, as this keeps the last few stages managable...oh wait, you just died and now you have reduced power? Well, too bad for you, the difficulty level never goes down, so you have to stay powered down. Deal with it.
* EarthShatteringKaboom: In addition to a certain ''Darius Gaiden'' ending, the events preceding ''G-Darius'' involved a scuffle between Planet Amnelia and one of its moons, Blazar, over who should have jurisdiction over another moon, Mahsah. Someone on the Amnelian side got the [[SarcasmMode bright idea]] to use a nightmarishly powerful weapon, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin All-]][[DeaderThanDead Nothing]], to settle the dispute by ''obliterating Blazar''. It was this act, by the way, that alarmed the Thiima into their attempt to conquer Amnelia...
* EasyModeMockery: ''Darius Burst Another Chronicle'' has an Infinite Ships mode, which provides all players with infinite lives, but costs additonal credits to play (the idea being to split the cost with up to three extra players) and invalidates any scores achieved with it.
* EmotionlessGirl: Lutia in the events before ''G-Darius'', thanks to the first Thiima attack killing off the rest of her family.
* {{Engrish}}: A lot, but most notoriously in the endings to ''Darius II'' and ''Darius Gaiden''.
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin - The boss "Red Crab" is...a red crab. And let's not even bother mentioning "Octopus" or "Cuttle Fish".
* FakeDifficulty: In ''Darius II'', your ship is scaled up in size from the original. Your enemies aren't.
%% * If the enemies being modeled after marine life aren't this, here's some boss names: "Fatty Glutton," "Great Thing," "Electric Fan," "My Home Daddy."
* FluffyTheTerrible: One of the possible final bosses of Darius II is an Angel Fish called "Little Stripes". In the arcade edition, anyway. The PC-Engine port, however, has several new bosses to take Little Stripes's place. It helps that Little Stripes appeared as a third-tier boss in that system's own Darius I port.
* FlyingSeafoodSpecial: Almost all the bosses in the series are HumongousMecha sea creatures, and most of them are fought in mid-air.
** The SNES Darius game ''Darius Force'' averts this with some bosses: Zone O's final boss is what appears to be a HumongousMecha ape/human skeleton. Another of the final zones has you up against a mecha-pterodactyl .
* GaidenGame: The game ''Syvalion'' is meant to be a spinoff of the series, with you helping the people of Planet Darius halfway through the game. The metal dragon makes a cameo in ''Darius Burst''
* GainaxEnding: Some of the endings in ''G Darius'' are quite weird.
* GiantEnemyCrab: Some of the bosses. Most of the time, ''they'' attack ''your'' weak point [[ThatOneBoss for massive damage to your lives]].
* GiantMook: ''All'' of the popcorn enemies in zone Beta of ''G-Darius'' are half again as large as they should be. They also award more points than normal (e.g. dispatching an entire squadron will net you 1000 more points than for a squadron of the same goons at normal size in other zones).
* GuestFighter: The Silver Hawk appears as a playable ship in ''Space Invaders 95: Attack of Lunar Loonies'' (the Good Tatio-Prouding Fighter Plane!) and ''Space Invaders: Get Even''. It's also a DLC vessel for ''Space Invaders: Infinity Gene''.
* HarderThanHard: ''Another Chronicle'' labels its starting Zone choices as "Easy", "Normal", and "hard". ''Another Chronicle EX'' has EX mode, where the starting zones are labeled [[AddedAlliterativeAppeal "Expert", "Extreme", and "Exceed"]].
* HeartbeatSoundtrack: ''Darius Force'' has this for the title screen and it later reprises for the final boss theme of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUb085FvQ-k Galst Vic]]
* HeWasRightThereAllAlong: The Embryon from G-Darius. The background actually shows it being formed, while your character revolves around it destroying mooks.
* {{Homage}}: Darius Burst Another Chronicle has the ships from ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlW5uuPCSR0 Darius Force/Super Nova]]'' and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMSkS_tuG6Y Darius Gaiden]], among others. They play the same way as they did from their source games.
* KillItWithFire: Fire Fossil's preferred mode of attack is ''lots'' of incendiary weapons.
* LightningReveal: Notably used in the the first half of Zone Omicron, the last of the final stages in ''G-Darius''. Set during a thunderstorm, the background is totally dark, with flashes of lightning showing the ruins of a devastated city. The [[DramaticThunder very last lightning strike]] reveals that the player was being watched by [[spoiler:reoccurring final boss G.T. (Great Thing)]]. It's a rather eerie atmosphere, further established by the track, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ku--QDG-50 Kimera II]].
* LooseCanon: Twin and Force/Super Nova seams to have become this. Syvalion on the other hand always was.
* MeaningfulName: Pretty much every single boss. For example, the (insert adjective) Fossils are based off a coelacanth, a "living fossil".
* MultipleEndings: Many games in the series have branching paths, with each one having its own ending. ''Darius Twin'', which has only one final stage, instead requires you to fulfill other conditions to get different endings. ''[[GaidenGame Syvalion]]'', meanwhile, has ''one hundred'' endings.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: Many of the enemy battleships get this, such as "Demon Sword", "Deadly Crescent", "Odious Trident", "[[GiantEnemyCrab Hysteric]] [[GodSaveUsFromTheQueen Empress]]", "Death Wings", "Violent Ruler", etc.
* NintendoHard: Naturally, since it's a ShootEmUp series.
* NoOntologicalInertia: [[spoiler:Defeating '''Great Thing''' in Darius Gaiden removes all traces of the conflict]].
* PaletteSwap: Although they did have different attacks, Darius Gaiden had Golden Ogre and Storm Causer, G-Darius had Queen Fossil and Fire Fossil. Even more so in G-Darius is branching path system in every level, where each area led to a different colored version of the same boss with a different attack pattern.
** ''Darius+'', having only five bosses, used palette swap to make a boss look much different.
* PiranhaProblem: Fatty Glutton. Yes, his name may sound laughable, but he's usually ThatOneBoss in each of the games he's appeared in.
* PowerUpLetdown: Once you max out your regular shot (usually a column of shots three shots high), your next power-up is a very thin laser; the plus side is that it'll keep going through enemies, rather than dissipating on impact. It'll take you a few more power-ups to get to the wave, which can easily power up to be wider than the maximized missile shot.
** It appears that in Darius Gaiden, the white bullet + wave shot (second to last powerup), trumps the pure wave shot (last powerup) by quite a large margin that pro players advise dying to reset the attack powerup counter. It's often said to make the difference up to five whole seconds to kill bosses with the white bullet and some superplayers state whether or not they are using this shoot mode.
* ProudWarriorRaceGuy: Apparently, the Belser Army themselves.
* RecurringBoss: Two of them.
** (Insert Word Here) Fossil, a coelacanth. Starting with King Fossil from ''Darius''. Usually the first or second boss in the game, and appears in almost every single one of them.
** [[SpaceWhale Great Thing]]. A sperm whale with a load of cannons attached to it, and often the FinalBoss in every Darius game he's appeared in. Not to mention he's usually [[ThatOneBoss incredibly difficult]] in each game he's in. In ''Darius Twin'', he's an optional second-to-last boss, and is the only boss to have his own specialized music separate from the normal boss music.
* [[RedOniBlueOni Red Pilot, Blue Pilot]]: Red (player 1) is male while Blue (player 2) is female. Darius Burst inverted this. Subverted with the 2-player game of Darius Twin whereas the 1-player game involves a green-colored Silver Hawk.
* RoboTeching: Expect ''lots'' of homing lasers of doom in ''Darius Gaiden'' and ''G-Darius'', along with all sorts of other nearly-impossible-to-dodge crap that makes the games border on FakeDifficulty.
* SeldomSeenSpecies: Many of the bosses are based off obscure sea creatures. Absolute Defender- [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b7/Monocentris_japonica.jpg pinecone fish]], Tripod Sardine- [[http://starofthelost.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/deepsea-tripod_fish_j02-illustration_closeup.jpg tripod fish]], Folding Fan- [[http://australianmuseum.net.au/Uploads/Images/11416/DSCF0121edited_big.jpg fanfish]], The Embryon- [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b6/Sea_angel.jpg sea angel]], (insert noun here) Fossil- Coelacanth, Accordion Hazard- ''[[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/archive/c/c3/20101107022939!Anomalocaris_BW.jpg Anomalocaris]]'', Brightly Stare- [[http://images.nationalgeographic.com/wpf/media-live/photos/000/210/cache/fish-transparent-head-2_21052_600x450.jpg Barrel Eye Fish]], etc.
* SequentialBoss: After you defeat ''Alloy Lantern'' in ''Darius 2'', you fly into his mouth to fight another boss. Also done the same way in ''Darius Twin''.
* SesquipedalianLoquaciousness: "Vermilion Coronatus".
** Then again, "Red Crowned Seahorse" wouldn't seem like a good name for it either...
*** It's a callback to the first game's "Green Coronatus".
* SdrawkcabName: Proco and Tiat, when put together, is "Taito Corp" spelled backwards.
* SharedUniverse: With the game ''VideoGame/Growl'', bizarrely enough. The animal poaching organization is called the Belser Animal Protection Organization in the Japanese version, after the Belser Army from this series. At first in may seem like just a simple ShoutOut, but then [[spoiler:the head of the poachers turns out to be a [[GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere giant alien millipede.]]]] However, the international versions changed their name to the Rendow Animal Protection Agency, which pretty much removes what little explanation there is for [[spoiler:a giant space millipede]] being in a game about fighting evil poachers.
* ShieldedCoreBoss: [[MeaningfulName Absolute Defender]] from ''G-Darius'', you had to destroy his regenerating shield generator in order to be properly damage him.
* ShoutOut: The Silver Hawk itself cameos in the relatively obscure game ''Syvalion''.
** An example from within the series; one of the final zones of ''Darius Gaiden'' features a hanger full of mecha in the background. A single one of these units is bright red and features a horn on its head, a possible Shout Out to the signature mech of [[Anime/MobileSuitGundam Gundam]] antagonist Char Aznable.
** Darius Burst and Darius Burst Another Chronicle has the Glutton bosses, who have a Mook [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSAiJCWYGaY#t=10m14s attack that resembles]] SpaceInvaders.
** One of the final bosses in Darius Burst and Darius Burst Another Chronicle has another possible Shout Out to the ''Gundam'' franchise, as it uses ''literal'' [[MobileSuitGundamCharsCounterattack fin funnels]].
* SpaceWhale: The recurring boss Great Thing (sperm whale) and Great Force (humpback whale) in ''Darius Force''.
* StalkedByTheBell: In ''Darius'', if you take too long to defeat a boss, cube-like enemies will appear on the ceiling and floor to harass you. However, skilled players can take advantage of them to milk [[ScoringPoints points]] from them.
* StoryBranching: The series is all about branching levels that take you to one of several MultipleEndings. The opportunity to choose a level occurs in the middle of the level that you are currently playing.
* TotalPartyKill: ''Dariusburst Another Chronicle'' employs a shared lives system; the entire group starts out with 3 lives. This means a party of three or four players getting killed all at the same time once will spell a GameOver.
* TurnsRed: The bosses in ''Darius Gaiden'' and ''G-Darius'' take on a reddish hue when they are about to be destroyed. Most of them also change their attack pattern to a more vicious one.
* TheUnfought: Whomever or whatever the actual leader of the Belser Army is, though Curious Chandelier in ''Gaiden'' is implied to be that leader...or something, it's [[{{Engrish}} not]] quite clear.
* UnstableEquilibrium:
** Lose one life and your shot, bomb, and shield sub-levels will go down. If you were right about to upgrade any of them (especially the shot), expect to let out a PrecisionFStrike. Some games, like ''Darius II'' and ''Darius Force'', have it worse: You lose '''ALL''' of your powerups.
** ''Darius Gaiden'' has one of the more unfair DynamicDifficulty mechanics in shoot-em-ups. Pick up a powerup and you set the rank to the stage default. However, you ''need'' that firepower to survive the later stages, despite a common strategy being to stop powering up after the fourth stage. This leaves you with a SadisticChoice if you get killed during one of the final stages: Draw out the FinalBoss with reduced firepower or elevate the difficulty to "superplayers only" levels.
* UpdatedRerelease: The PC-Engine CD version of Darius has a remixed soundtrack and some new bosses. As well as some bosses that debuted in Darius II (the PC-Engine port of THAT replaced all of the transplants, along with the sixth-tier Grand Octopus, with completely new bosses in turn). On a similar note, there's Darius Burst Another Chronicle, an HD re-release of Darius Burst for the arcade.
* WaveMotionGun: The Alpha Beam and Beta Beam in G Darius.
** How massive can they get?, A image of the alpha beam at it's biggest was the trope's page image. Mind you that your ship is about the same size as most other shmup ships.
* WeaponizedExhaust: [[BattleshipRaid Titanic]] [[ThatOneBoss Lance]] and [[FinalBoss Odious]] [[MultipleEndings Trident]] from ''Darius Gaiden'', [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Death]] [[FlyingSeafoodSpecial Wings]] from ''G-Darius''
** As well as the [[GoddamnedBats annoyingly tough exhaust rockets]] in Darius Gaiden.
* AWinnerIsYou: [[spoiler: defeat Vermillion Coronatus in Darius Gaiden and you'll get...a screen depicting that you just played a game and the "pilots" are teenage kids (in the shape of Proco and Tiat) sighing a relief, accompanied by the caption: "I finally beat Darius Gaiden!"]]
** [[spoiler: That's actually a callback to the ending for Zone Y's boss, Cuttlefish, in the first Darius.]]
* WordSaladTitle: Various boss names, among them "Eight Foot Umbrella", "Tripod Sardine", "Accordion Hazard", and of course "Risk Storage".
** ItMakesSenseInContext, as Eight Foot Umbrella refers to a webbed octopus (an eight-legged creature that looks like an umbrella), Tripod Sardine refers to a tripod fish (a fish species that "stands" on its elongated fins on the ocean floor to catch prey), Risk Storage refers to the gulper eel (an eel with a very large mouth-to-body ratio, swallowing is identical to "storing" stuff inside the body right?), an eel that can randomly shoot stuff from its mouth, hence "risky", and Accordion Hazard refers to the Anomalocaris (which has a segmented body similar to an accordion's creases).
* YourHeadASplode: In G-Darius, damaging Tripod Sardine enough causes his head to be blown off! [[BadAss He still survives, by the way]].
** A few medium-sized {{Mooks}} behave the same way in ''Darius Gaiden'' - destroy their head, and they switch attacks.
** You can blow up what ''seems'' to be the Embryon's head, but it'll just get replaced a few seconds later. You want to aim at its "heart".
'''[[BossWarningSiren WARNING]]'''

'''[-A HUGE BATTLESHIP-]''' \\
'''[-[[TheStinger THE STINGER]]-]''' \\