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Video Game / Darius

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Delicious mechanical fish.

"Reactions on the radar!
Recognized code CC30.
Distance: 12,000 DAL.
3rd and 4th thrust engine, ignition!
Main engine energy level, 20% increase!
I always wanted a thing called tuna sashimi.
3.. 2.. 1..."

Darius is a series of Horizontal Scrolling Shooters developed by 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 PC Engine. A new port was released in 2019 on the Sega Genesis/MegaDrive Mini:
    • Super Darius - The CD-ROM2 version.
    • Darius Plus - A HuCard version notable for being the only PC Engine game that is dual-compatible with regular consoles and the SuperGrafx.
    • Darius Alpha - A limited mail order version of Darius Plus with only the bosses.
  • Darius II (Arcade, 1988)
    Uses the same three-screen setup as the first game (and also The Ninja Warriors), 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 Sega Saturn under the original title.
    • Sagaia (Game Boy, 1991) - A compilation of levels and bosses from the first two games, with no stage selection.
    • Sagaia (Arcade, 1988) - A western Arrange Mode of sorts, featuring entirely different, shorter but more intense levels, a simplified brancing path system and other tweaks to encourage a shorter play cycle (for example, bosses have more dense and faster bullet patterns but much less health)
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    • Sagaia (Version 2): An extremely obscure revision of the arcade version with various graphical and level design tweaks, done in the same style as the above. This version was essentially unknown until it was unearthed for the Darius Cozmic Collection.
  • 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
  • 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, until the last stage), but has fewer branching paths and continuing after running out of lives here is completely impossible.
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  • 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 a dark and moody tone in comparison, single-player-only, and pushes you back to R-Type-style checkpoints 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 Button Mashing.
    • Darius Gaiden Extra (Arcade)
      An apparently official ROM Hack 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 Dariusburst 12 years later), which allows for some freakishly huge bosses, leading to many Battleship Raids. One of its most distinguishing features is the "Alpha Beam" system, which if fired at a boss can result in a Beam-O-War 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 Jaleco.
  • Dariusburst (PlayStation Portable, 2009); ported to iOS in 2012 as Second Prologue.
    • Dariusburst: 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)
    • Dariusburst: Another Chronicle EX (an updated arcade version — arcade, 2011)
    • Dariusburst: Chronicle Saviors (a consumer port of Another Chronicle EX with an exclusive campaign mode — PC, PlayStation 4, PS Vita, 2015 (NA/PAL) / 2016 (JP))
  • Darius Cozmic Collection (Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, 2019)
    A Compilation Re-release developed by noted porting/emulation house M2 of the arcade and console installments series split into multiple version. The Game Boy version of Sagaia was a pre-order bonus for the Japanese releases with no apparent plan to release it through other means.
    • Japanese Regular/Worldwide Arcade Version: Includes Darius and its major rebalancing patch (titled "Old", "New" and "Extra"), Darius II and its overseas rearrangement Sagaia and Sagaia Version 2, and Darius Gaiden.
    • Japanese Collector's/Worldwide Console version: Includes the Genesis and Master System versions of Darius II, Darius Twin, Darius Force, the PC Engine Darius Plus (added in a patch) and Darius Alpha and their regional variants.
    • Japanese Special Edition/International Addition: Includes all of the above beside the Game Boy Sagaia and features various Feelies.
  • Darius Cozmic Revelation (Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, February 24. 2021)
    Another compilation featuring G-Darius HD and Dariusburst Another Chronicle EX+. The western Switch physical release also includes the Game Boy Sagaia.
    • G-Darius HD: A straight release of the game, featuring the usual assortment of online leaderboards and gadgets expected from M2's modern shoot em up rereleases. Features both a port of the arcade version and a HD version with upscaled textures and a new 3D model for the Silver Hawk. The arcade-exclusive G-Darius Version 2 was added in a later patch.
    • Dariusburst Another Chronicle EX+: Another port of the arcade game with new events.

Has nothing to do with a certain Persian king or League of Legends champion.


  • Abnormal Ammo: 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.
  • Aerith and Bob: Most of the bosses have fancy names, like Emperor Fossil and Absolute Defender, though a few of them have rather bland ones, like Red Crab and... Octopus. And then there's My Home Daddy...
  • Affectionate Parody: 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. Bust-A-Move 2 had CR 20-100190 Mechanical Prototype Bubblen as the final boss, complete with the "WARNING: A HUGE BATTLESHIP" intro.
  • All Just a Dream: The ending for Zone Y in Darius II.
  • Alliterative List: The three starting stages in Another Chronicle EX's EX mode: Expert, Extreme, and Exceed.
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield - G-Darius' "Genesis" stage.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • In Darius II, if the player dies on the third level or later, destroying one of the enemy waves that normally doesn't drop any power-ups will instead spawn a power-up that upgrades all of the Silver Hawk's attribute at once, making it easier to get back on your feet after dying. Of course, you have to be able to destroy the waves with your now non-existent firepower...
    • Dariusburst grants the player one point of shield upon respawning, so that they're not vulnerable to being killed again repeatedly.
  • April Fools' Day: For 2011, Taito "announced" Dariusburst Another Chronicle 48, an extra-extra-wide version of the game that accomodates 48 players on combined screens that produce a 384:9 aspect ratio. The special "Unagi Boss" has armor that can only be penetrated with a 48-player linked Burst.
  • Arrange Mode:
    • Darius Gaiden has an "Extra" version that increases the speed of the autofire, rearranges the stages, adds 2 extra laser power levels, and a mode that allows you to play on all 28 levels if you start a game on the Player 2 side.
    • G-Darius has a "Ver.2" PCB that has increased difficulty as well as minibosses on all stages, and a beginner mode that ends after three zones as opposed to five. In addition, Capture Balls no longer grant invincibility, and there's a timer on boss fights (3 minutes on normal bosses, 7 on the final boss) that grants 10000 points for every second remaining after boss destruction.
    • Dariusburst Chronicle Saviors has the CS mode, which consists of 186 stages in hexagonal tiles on a map, classified by major and minor stages. DLC mode is an offshoot of CS mode that uses the 15 DLC ships in custom stages.
    • The 2019 port of Darius released for the Genesis Mini lets you play as either Proco for the original gameplay rules, or Tiat for an "Easy" mode that, upon losing one life, respawns you in place (rather than kicking you back to an earlier position) and keeps your powerups (instead of reverting them to level 0 of the last major upgrade you got). Finally, there is the option to choose between the original set of bosses, or the Super Darius set (one boss for each of the 26 Zones).
  • The Artifact: Another Chronicle's game over screen features a caution for players to "mind [your] head when leaving", as the game is played in a sit-down cabinet with a roof over the players. This notice is still present in the home ports of the game.
  • Aspect Ratio: 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 sideMore specifically... , 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. The Another Chronicle EX port on Chronicle Saviours allows players to play in 32:9 mode as well, either through letterboxing (although you'll probably need a 21:9 monitor to be able to see anything) or two monitors if on the PC version.
  • Bait-and-Switch Boss:
    • In Darius II, you fight the IJN battleship Yamato... for about five seconds, before the real boss, a Giant Enemy Crab, pops out of it, using the midsection as its shell.
    • 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.
  • Battleship Raid: 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).
  • Beam-O-War:
    • G-Darius''s Alpha Beam. When met with a boss's Beta Beam, it turns into a Button Mashing contest during which 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.
  • Big Good: Ti2 from Dariusburst represents Darius itself.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Many in the series, particularly in G-Darius where every single one of the ending is either this or a Downer Ending.
    • In the Mu ending, 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 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.
      • The same 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. 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.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: The Zone H ending in Second Prologue.
  • Book-Ends: One of the final bosses in Darius Gaiden - the boss of Zone V' (with an apostrophe), specifically - is the Storm Causer, which is a Palette Swap of the Golden Ogre, the mandatory first boss.
  • Boss Game: Darius Alpha.
  • Boss-Only Level: Many missions in the Dariusburst sub-series consist only of boss fights.
    • Downplayed examples are the Zones that Titanic Lance in Darius Gaiden and Peace Destroyer in Darius Force reside in, which are a rather short section leading up to said bosses. It's probably to make up for the two bosses being rather long.
  • Boss Rush: G-Darius has the appropriately-named "Vs. Boss" mode. Dariusburst Another Chronicle also has boss rush modes.
  • Boss Warning Siren: 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.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: Kyokkuho from Chronicle Saviours, which can be unlocked by completing all the other missions of the game, is a 20-stage gauntlet that takes an hour to complete ending with a Boss Battle with G.T.V.
  • Bullet Hell: Darius Gaiden and possibly G-Darius. Made worse by neither game having small hitboxes.
    • This Flash game on Twitter. All seems to be going well until the Fail Wh... I mean, Great Thing shows up...
  • Button Mashing: As with most of the Darius games, pressing the fire button rapidly Darius Gaiden will yield a much faster rate of fire than the built-in default autofire speed. The in-game demos showcase this, firing with a very high rate of fire compared to the speed you get from holding down the fire button. The Saturn port allows you to enable this via a code. There is a ROM Hack called Darius Gaiden Extra which has an incredible 30 hz speed rapid-fire as the default, but its status as an official game is debatable. This applied in Gaiden Ship in Another Chronicle and Chronicle Saviour.
  • Capcom Sequel Stagnation: Dariusburst has several versions.
  • Color Animal Codename: The game's Player Character is Silver Hawk, and one of the Recurring Bosses is Red Crab, which is exactly what you think.
  • The Computer Is a Lying Bastard: Alternate routes in Chronicle Saviours. The game simply lists "Get over x pts." as the unlock condition, but what it doesn't tell you is that you need to have that many points before the last zone in the mission. On top of that, the mission won't have the "mission clear" badge until you unlock and finish via the alternate route. This can lead players to think it's a form of Game-Breaking Bug.
  • Compressed Adaptation: Sagaia (arcade) is basically Darius II with shorter, but more difficult stages and less branching paths, the idea being to encourage shorter runs (and thus more people putting money in the game, in case someone's good enough to 1-credit it).
  • Continuity Cameo: Zone Lambda in G-Darius has what seems to be Titanic Lance, a particularly famous ancient squid That One Boss 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?
  • Continuing is Painful: 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 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. Also averted in Dariusburst, so you don't lose your current power ups (minus your shield) when you lose a life or even use the "continuous play" feature.
    • Furthermore, continuing after running out of lives will reset your score to 0!
  • Converging-Stream Weapon: Dariusburst Another Chronicle allows two players to intersect their laser weapon, making it merge into a larger, stronger beam.
  • Copy-and-Paste Environments:
    • Darius has a lot of Palette Swap stages.
    • Another Chronicle's Chronicle Mode and Chronicle Saviours's CS Mode have you flying across hundreds or thousands of different star systems, however they just reuse the same 30 or so base stages over and over with occasional variations.
  • Crossover: Chronicle Saviours features not only almost all the ships from the other Darius games, but also the Murakumo ship from Scramble Formation, and it will later include ships from other video games such as the X-LAY fighter from RayForce, the Inter Gray from Night Striker, and the Black Fly from Metal Black as DLC packs. It's also set to include Opa-Opa, Space Harrier, and the TRY-Z fighter from Galaxy Force II.
  • Darker and Edgier: Darius Force
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: 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.
  • Decapitated Army: In the CS Mode of Chronicle Saviours, after defeating Gigantic Bite, the ending mentions that following the success of the final mission, the Belsar ceases their attack on humanity.
  • Deflector Shields: 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.
  • Detachment Combat: 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.
  • Developers' Foresight: EVERY ship in Dariusburst Chronicle Savior on consoles plays EXACTLY like it did in it's original game.
    • Every single ship NOT from Darius has a guide as to how their particular weapons map to the Dariusburst controls.
    • When using Windia, all the enemies eject increasing numbers of medals, just like in her original game.
    • As mentioned above, The Darius Gaiden ship has a bug with it's auto-fire system that remains unpatched.
  • Dual Boss: Emperor Fossil and Queen Fossil in Darius Twin. Dariusburst Another Chronicle has Dual Spin.
  • Downer Ending: Two endings in Darius Gaiden:
    • Zone V: Your ship, which has been underwater fighting one of the Final Bosses, gets destroyed by the crushing pressure of the sea.
    • Zone Z: 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 Planet Darius as it violently explodes.
    • Also, in the first Darius, the two-player ending for Zone V. Yes, you wipe out the Belser Army fortress that Strong Shell was kamikaze attack.
    • The ending to Zone W in Darius II 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, at least according to a file hidden somewhere on the Japanese PSX disc, After you beat the Thiima archon The Embryon, its creation energies flare out and interact...badly...with the Silver Hawk's 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. 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 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.
  • Drop-In-Drop-Out Multiplayer: Can be turned off in Another Chronicle at the beginning of the player's or players' credit, locking out players from joining partway through.
  • Drought Level of Doom: Many missions in Chronicle Saviours have no powerups, replacing all powerup items with grey point items of negligible value, leaving you to use whatever the game starts you with.
  • Dynamic Difficulty: 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.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: 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 bright idea to use a nightmarishly powerful weapon, All-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...
  • Easy-Mode Mockery:
    • Dariusburst 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.
    • Chronicle Saviours's CS Mode allows you to forego the preset ship configuration and use a customized ship instead. Because the customization can be used to give oneself 99 ARM and maxed out weapons, among other things, scores will not be submitted to rankings if customization is used; however, the mission will still be counted as completed if you reach the end of it.
  • Emotionless Girl: 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.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin - The boss "Red Crab" is...a red crab. And let's not even bother mentioning "Octopus" or "Cuttle Fish".
  • Fake Difficulty: In Darius II, your ship is scaled up in size from the original. Your enemies aren't.
  • Fake Longevity: Dariusburst Another Chronicle's Chronicle Mode is touted to have "3,000 stages". However, in reality, those are 3,000 missions that take place over the preexisting 24 stages, with some variations in enemies, attacks, stage permutations, and mandatory ship selections. Perhaps to alleviate this, individual cabinets save progress for everyone who plays on the machine, so that players can collaborate together, and the consumer ports allow players to play on "virtual cabinets" with other players. Chronicle Saviours is a bit more fair, featuring 200 missions with some brand new stages for good measure, but you'll be seeing several of the same bosses frequently.
  • Flawless Victory:
    • Dariusburst awards a 10 million point bonus for clearing the game with no lives lost.
    • Dariusburst Chronicle Saviours's CS and DLC modes award 3 million points for clearing a stagenote  with no damage, as in not just clearing the stage without dying, but also without any shield damage.
    • Chronicle Saviours has an achievement for clearing a Defender mission with no damage to the gauge.
    • The Chronicle Saviours port of Dariusburst Another Chronicle EX has achievements for clearing the QUZ route (the path consisting of the three hardest stages in EX mode) with no lives lost and clearing it with no damage.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: 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.
  • Flying Seafood Special: Almost all the bosses in the series are Humongous Mecha sea creatures, and most of them are fought in mid-air.
    • The SNES Darius game Darius Force averts this with some bosses: The boss of Zone O, the Gaulst Vic, is what appears to be a Humongous Mecha ape/human skeleton. Another of the final zones has you up against the Megalopros, a mecha-pterodactyl. Meanwhile, Zones J and K feature the Stealther boss, which is a chameleon. Darius Twin features a walrus as one of the final bosses, and Darius II has a ''fetus-like'' creature as a boss (Twice, once as Bio Strong and the Mech. Bio Strong, and, bizarrely, a giant Silver Hawk- I.E, you.
  • Gaiden Game: 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 Dariusburst
  • Gainax Ending: Some of the endings in G Darius are quite weird.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: Some of the bosses. Most of the time, they attack your weak point for massive damage to your lives.
  • Giant Mook: 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).
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Azure Nightmare in the CS Mode is thought to be this at first, but it turns out to be helping you reach Gigantic Bite.
  • Golden Ending: Should Great Thing be destroyed in the original Darius, so will all the rest of the Belser Army; but Proco and Tiat's home planet will be saved from destruction!
  • Good All Along: Azure Nightmare in the CS Mode, despite being fought as a boss several times throughout the course of the game, is revealed to be guiding you to Gigantic Bite.
  • Grand Finale: The CS Mode in Chronicle Saviours seems to be this.
  • Guest Fighter: 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.
  • Harder Than Hard: Another Chronicle labels its starting Zone choices as "Easy", "Normal", and "hard". Another Chronicle EX has EX mode, where the starting zones are labeled "Expert", "Extreme", and "Exceed".
  • Heartbeat Soundtrack: Darius Force has this for the title screen and it later reprises for the final boss theme of Galst Vic
  • He Was Right There All Along: The Embryon from G-Darius. The background actually shows it being formed, while your character revolves around it destroying mooks.
  • High-Tech Hexagons: The maps in Another Chronicle's Chronicle Mode and Chronicle Saviours's CS Mode use hexagonal grids for their maps. Additionally, the stage lineups and CS Mode's ship select use hexagonal icons.
  • Hold the Line: Several missions in Chronicle Saviours require you to stop enemies from reaching an off-screen target that is represented by a Life Meter on the left side of the screen. Allowing enemies to escape will decrease the meter; don't lose the whole meter or you'll get a Game Over even if you have lives remaining!note 
  • Homage: Dariusburst Another Chronicle has the ships from Darius Force/Super Nova and Darius Gaiden, among others. They play the same way as they did from their source games.
  • Kaizo Trap: The first game's level selection isn't a menu like the following games, but rather require you to fly your ship into an upper or lower corridor after defeating the boss. They're separated by a wall, meaning you can die just by not picking your next stage properly.
  • Kill It with Fire: Fire Fossil's preferred mode of attack is lots of incendiary weapons.
  • Later Installment Weirdness:
    • Another Chronicle (including its Expansion Pack Another Chronicle EX) is the only arcade Darius game to support four players at once.
    • AC and Chronicle Saviours are the only games to allow the player to voluntarily change their ship's direction.
    • CS is the only game to explicitly show the exact amount of shield health remaining, while in past games the only indicator is that the shield sprite shrinks when you have one point of shielding left. That said, Darius Cozmic Collection Arcade adds this to its ports of Darius, Darius II, Sagaia, and Darius Gaiden as part of an optional on-screen widget.
  • Life Meter: Chronicle Saviours has something like this, displaying the amount of remaining shield you have. In other games, the indication of how much shield remains is that the aura around your ship gets smaller (at which point it's down to one point of shielding left).
  • Lightning Reveal: 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 very last lightning strike reveals that the player was being watched by reoccurring final boss G.T. (Great Thing). It's a rather eerie atmosphere, further established by the track, Kimera II.
  • Lonely Piano Piece: The final mission in Chronicle Saviours has this for its background music, titled "Dream Road".
  • Loose Canon: Twin and Force/Super Nova seams to have become this. Syvalion on the other hand always was.
  • Marathon Level: In Chronicle Saviours, many missions usually have no more than 5-6 scenes, which can be beaten in about 10 minutes. But then you start getting missions with at least 14 scenes, which can take about half an hour. Kyokkuho is by far the king of this trope, with 20 scenes that can take an hour to get through.
  • Massive Multiplayer Crossover: Chronicle Saviours has become this thanks to its DLC packs:
  • Meaningful Name: Pretty much every single boss. For example, the (insert adjective) Fossils are based off a coelacanth, a "living fossil".
  • Mechanically Unusual Fighter: The DLC ships in Chronicle Saviours all play very differently from the main/"canon" ships, especially the Sega ships:
    • X-Lay uses a reticule for its lock-on attack, and earns huge multipliers by killing waves of enemies with a full set of lock-on shots. It does not gain anything from green power-ups, as it doesn't fire bombs.
    • Black Fly does not charge up its Burst gauge by shooting enemies; instead, it collects Newalone particles that are dropped from enemies and spawn regularly during bosses. It can still refill its meter by firing its Burst into an enemy Burst (for the Burst Counter), however. Only the blue shield powerups have any effect on it, as its shot power is influenced by the Burst meter, and it doesn't have bombs.
    • Inter Gray's Burst can be made more powerful by collecting green power-ups.
    • Harrier can create temporary clones of himself that fire thin beams until they vanish, and can make his clones' lasers intersect to fire larger and stronger beams. He can increase how many clones he can launch at once by collecting green power-ups. He also cannot turn around instantly like all of the other ships; instead, to make him turn, you stop firing and then move, and he'll gradually change direction rather than just flipping his firing angle 180 degrees.
    • Try-Z can raise its on-screen multiplier by rolling through enemy fire.
    • Opa-Opa's shot upgrades and special attacks have to be bought with coins dropped from destroyed enemies. In addition, each time he uses a particular weapon, that weapon's price for the next activation increases. In lieu of shops that Opa-Opa runs into to buy upgrades, upgrades can be purchased on the fly at any time, as long as he has the money for it and the upgrade is not currently in use.
  • Missing Secret: Another Chronicle has Zones A through L used for Original Mode, and Zones O through Z used for Original EX mode. Curiously, there is no "Zone M" or "Zone N". This is most likely in order to ensure that the EX set of stages end in 'Z'.
  • Multiple Endings: 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. Syvalion, meanwhile, has one hundred endings.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Many of the enemy battleships get this, such as "Demon Sword", "Deadly Crescent", "Odious Trident", "Hysteric Empress", "Death Wings", "Violent Ruler", etc.
  • Nerf: The Taito Legends 2 version of Darius Gaiden limits turbo-fire to the rate you get by holding down the fire button in most versions, preventing the player from pulling off the ultra turbo-fire that can be done with cheat codes or with controllers with a turbo-fire function.
  • Nintendo Hard:
    • The entire series naturally, since it's a Shoot 'em Up series for arcades. Bosses are bone-breakingly difficult and losing one life can seriously degrade your ship's weapons.
    • Chronicle Saviours has CS Mode, which like Chronicle Mode gives you a big chart of missions to complete, with each mission having a variable number of stages and bosses. Unlike in Chronicle Mode, you cannot use continues, making clearing each stage especially with Presets a hell of a challenge.
  • No Ontological Inertia: Defeating Great Thing in Darius Gaiden removes all traces of the conflict.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: Is it pronounced "Dahr-yus" like the Persian king, or is it "Duh-RAH-yus" as per the title's Katakana rendition?
  • Oddball in the Series: Darius Force stands out from the rest of the series with its comparatively darker, brooding art direction, multiple unusual gameplay mechanics (including restarts at checkpoints, weapon power being halved if both missiles and lasers/bombs are fired at the same time, and having to switch between laser and bombs instead of being able to fire both), an odd grid-based version of the branching path system that lets the player play anywhere from 5 to 7 stages, and it having the biggest proportion of bosses that aren't fish or marine life. Design sketches included in the Special edition of the Darius Cozmic Collection show that even wilder deviations from the series formula were considered, including making it a vertical shooter.
  • One-Hit Kill: Even if you have a shield active, crashing into terrain will instantly destroy your Silver Hawk!note 
  • One-Word Title
  • Palette Swap: 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.
  • Piranha Problem: Fatty Glutton. Yes, his name may sound laughable, but he's usually That One Boss in each of the games he's appeared in.
  • Point of No Continues: The original Darius is the Trope Codifier.
    • In the original Darius, you can't continue nor can a second player join in once you reach one of the final Zones; be careful not to lose all your lives at these points or your game will be over instantly and for real even if there are credits available!
    • The ability to continue is unavailable in Chronicle Saviours's CS mode; the very moment you run out of lives, your mission will be failed. This is mitigated somewhat by most missions being only a few stages and bosses and having a gradual difficulty curve as you go up each branch of missions. Some missions, however, throw at least 15 stages at you, making them the equivalent of playing a full arcade game.
  • Power Up Letdown:
    • 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.
    • In Darius Twin, your primary shot goes through several iterations as you upgrade it. The second to last 'set' of shots involves firing crescents that can pierce through enemies. The final upgrade fires large spheres, which cannot pierce. It's ironically advised not to upgrade your weapon fully.
    • This varies from ship to ship in the Dariusburst sub-series. Legend, Next, Assault, Murakumo, and Genesis all get piercing lasers when they reach the second tier of shot upgrades, which is great for waves and multi-part bosses, but terrible in the damage-per-second department, and get wave shots that pierce structures but not enemies for the third tier, making them mostly viable boss weapons. Formula actually benefits from the laser, due to the limited shot distance weakening the "four shots at a time" effect. Additionally, wave shots cannot cancel enemy shots like bullets and lasers can, and several enemies are immune to wave shots. Gaiden's third tier of shot upgrades are by all means powerful, but the last upgrade in the second tier, a wide green wave, has the fastest recharge time for its Black Hole Bomb, as detailed in this replay.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Apparently, the Belser Army themselves.
  • Recurring Boss: 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.
    • Great Thing. A sperm whale with a load of cannons attached to it, and often the Final Boss in every Darius game he's appeared in. Not to mention he's usually 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.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: "Captain Neo", the first stage music of the original game, is a rearrangement of the Attract Mode theme from the arcade game Metal Soldier Isaac II.
  • Regional Bonus: The North American release of Darius Twin features a stereo soundtrack vs the original Japanese release's monaural sound mix. The game's description in the Darius Cozmic Collection even specifically notes the NA release as the definitive version of the game.
  • Rei Ayanami Expy: Lutia Feen in G-Darius and TI2 in Dariusburst.
  • Remixed Level:
    • Many missions in Another Chronicle's Chronicle Mode and Chronicle Saviours's CS Mode use modified versions of pre-existing stages.
    • CS Mode occasionally throws out "WARNING" versions of missions, signifying distress calls of enemy invasions. These replace existing missions with harder versions of them. You can't play the replaced missions again until you clear their respective WARNING versions, after which you can freely choose between the two variants.
  • Robo Teching: 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 Fake Difficulty.
  • Rush Boss: Bosses in Sagaia (arcade) have more powerful attacks, but in exchange have significantly less health.
  • Seldom-Seen Species: Many of the bosses are based off obscure sea creatures. Absolute Defender- pinecone fish, Tripod Sardine- tripod fish, Folding Fan- fanfish, The Embryon- sea angel, (insert noun here) Fossil- Coelacanth, Accordion Hazard- Anomalocaris, Brightly Stare- Barrel Eye Fish, etc.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: A Low Tier Origin Ship with no Shields and only one life, against Gigantic Bite. HOLY SHIT!
  • Sequel Hook:
    • In the Omicron ending of G-Darius, after defeating Great Thing, a mysterious aircraft captures the wreckage of it, foreshadowing the Belsar's role as the main antagonists.
    • A non-canon one after completing Kyokkuho in Chronicle Saviours's CS Mode. After freeing the galaxy, the ending notes that the Belsar remains at large, and the Planet Saviours must prepare themselves as they will one day return, they can be certain. It should be noted, however, that Kyokkuho actually takes place a month before Suriaha.
  • Sequential Boss: 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.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: "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".
  • Sdrawkcab Name: Proco and Tiat, when put together, is "Taito Corp" spelled backwards.
  • Shared Universe: With the game 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 Shout-Out, but then the head of the poachers turns out to be a 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 a giant space millipede being in a game about fighting evil poachers.
    • The CS Mode of Chronicle Saviors makes an effort to tie all the previous Darius games into one timeline.
  • Shielded Core Boss: Absolute Defender from G-Darius, you had to destroy his regenerating shield generator in order to be properly damage him.
  • Shout-Out: 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 Gundam antagonist Char Aznable.
    • Dariusburst and Dariusburst Another Chronicle has the Glutton bosses, who have a Mook attack that resembles Space Invaders.
    • One of the final bosses in Dariusburst and Dariusburst Another Chronicle has another possible Shout Out to the Gundam franchise, as it uses literal fin funnels. Not to mention that the designs include contributions from the mecha designers behind Mobile Suit Gundam 00.
    • The Final Boss of Darius Force, Galst Vic, is modeled after the T-800.
  • Space Whale: The recurring boss Great Thing (sperm whale) and Great Force (humpback whale) in Darius Force.
  • Stalked by the Bell: In Darius and Darius II, if you take too long to defeat a boss, cube-like "Yazuka" enemies will appear on the top and bottom of the screen to harass you. However, skilled players can take advantage of them to milk points from them.
  • Story Branching: The series is all about branching levels that take you to one of several Multiple Endings. The opportunity to choose a level occurs in the middle of the level that you are currently playing.
  • Succession Game: Dariusburst Another Chronicle's Chronicle Mode has a variation of this. The mode takes place over a few dozen star systems, with each of those systems having several dozen missions, with about 3,000 missions total. Whenever a mission is cleared, unlocking surrounding missions, it is applied for the entire cabinet rather than just the player that just finished it. Since only one mission can be played at a time on the cabinet, players take turns "liberating" planets by completing missions; one scenario where this mechanic can benefit all players in an arcade is if one mission keeps screwing over most players, but one particular player then pops in a credit and clears it, helping everyone else move on to the missions that were just unlocked.
  • Super Title 64 Advance: Done with Dariusburst's spinoff versions:
    • Dariusburst Another Chronicle (arcade cabinet)
    • Dariusburst Second Prologue (smartphone)
    • Dariusburst Chronicle Saviours (consumer software)
  • Suspicious Video-Game Generosity: The main body of Zone M in Darius Gaiden lasts for all of 30 seconds with a bunch of easy enemies before throwing the huge battleship warning at you. The boss it's warning you of is Titantic Lance, one of the longest and most difficult bosses in the entire game.
  • Taking You with Me: The Nu ending of G-Darius involves the Final Boss (and leader of the Thiima) 'The Embryon' exploding, taking the two pilots along with it, as they outright cease to exist inside the void it leaves behind. However, according to Darius Odyessey, they're resurrected into planet Darius itself. The ending's title? "The Creation of Planet Darius".
  • Tech Demo Game: Alongside The Ninja Warriors, the original Darius was made to show off a triple-wide screen that uses mirrors to create a seamless image. Darius II uses the same concept but with two screens, although it is also available as a conversion kit for the original Darius and TNW. Dariusburst Another Chronicle also uses two screens, although it uses 16:9 monitors instead of 4:3 ones.
  • Total Party Kill: 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 cause the game to be over.
  • Turns Red: 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.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: When you fight Fire Fossil or any of the Final Bosses in G-Darius, with the exception of Lightning Coronatus, the main theme Adam plays.
  • Theme Naming: Every zone in G-Darius uses a Greek letter, starting with α (Alpha). Each area of their respective zone also all start with the letter 'G'.
  • The Unfought: 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 not quite clear.
  • This Is the Final Battle: Before the battle with Gigantic Bite in the CS Mode of Chronicle Saviours.
    "This is it, the final enemy of the human race!"
  • Time-Limit Boss: Taking a while in a boss fight causes seeking "cubes" to appear from the bottom of the screen and attack. Otherwise it's quite typical with bosses self-destructing.
  • Trick Boss: One stage on Earth in Darius II appear to pit you against a battleship that actually existed in real life: the Imperial Japanese Navy battleship Yamato. Which houses the actual boss: a giant hermit crab.
  • Unstable Equilibrium: Don't lose a life... or 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 Precision F-Strike. 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 Dynamic Difficulty 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 Sadistic Choice if you get killed during one of the final stages: Draw out the Final Boss with reduced firepower or elevate the difficulty to "superplayers only" levels.
    • To make things even worse in Darius Force, you can only continue up to three times before your game is truly over!
  • Updated Re-release:
    • The arcade version received two major upgrade kits (titled "New version" and "Extra" in the Cozmic Collection) which aim to smoothen out the difficult curve through methods like reducing the Dynamic Difficulty increase, lowering early boss healths while buffing later ones, buffing the laser so it's not such a Power-Up Letdown, etc while removing safe spots exploits.
    • Super Darius on the PC Engine restore the game's original 26 bosses plan. Its hucard version Darius Plus has less bosses due to the storage limitations of the cartridge format but introduces Supergrafx support (the only regular PC Engine cartridge to take advantage of the revision's specs) for reduced slowndown and flickering.
    • G-Darius Ver.2 adds an autofire button, a condensed "Beginner Mode" that ends after three zones, captains to Zones that originally didn't have them, a timer for boss battles with corresponding score bonus and features rebalanced (and generally tougher) enemy placement. This version remained exclusive to the arcades until it was added in an updated for the Cozmic Revelation.
  • Video Game 3D Leap: G-Darius takes the presentation route, allowing for enemies to approach from the background, as well as for some ridiculously large bosses not possible in the sprite-based games, such as both of the Fossil bosses.
  • Warm-Up Boss: In Sagaia (arcade), the Zone A boss Steel Spine can be destroyed by firing at its mouth for all of one second, before it can even attack.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: 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.
  • Weaponized Exhaust: Titanic Lance and Odious Trident from Darius Gaiden, Death Wings from G-Darius
  • A Winner Is You: 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!"
    • That's actually a callback to the ending for Zone Y's boss, Cuttlefish, in the first Darius.
  • Word Salad Title: Various boss names, among them "Eight Foot Umbrella", "Tripod Sardine", "Accordion Hazard", and of course "Risk Storage".
    • It Makes Sense in Context, 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).
  • Your Head A-Splode: In G-Darius, damaging Tripod Sardine enough causes his head to be blown off! 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".

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Video Example(s):


G-Darius (Fire Fossil 4X Counter)

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Example of:

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Media sources:

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