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YMMV / Darius

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  • Broken Base:
    • Darius Gaiden. Is it fair to play the game with externally-assisted autofire that outpaces the default rate? Should high score threads for the game on Shoot 'em Up forums allow or disallow it? Does the fact that Arcadia magazine accept turbo autofire scores change anything? A few questions that are often followed up with responses comparable to discussions on how to play Super Smash Bros. "correctly".
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    • Dariusburst Chronicle Saviours has been hit hard with this:
      • The surprisingly expensive price points; for the PS4 release the game runs for 60 USD, while the PS Vita release has a 40-USD price tag and the Steam release has a price of 50 USD. To compare, the Steam releases of Mushihime-sama and Eschatos, also commercial shmups, cost only 20 USD and 15 USD, respectively. Some think there's enough content to warrant the price and that it helps support the developers. Others think giving the game the same price as the latest Call of Duty and Dark Souls is going too far and is a great way to turn the game into a commercial failure. Others point out that the non-Windows versions are much worse value, as the Steam release features the dual-monitor mode that the other versions lack and costs less than the PS4 version. When the Steam version dipped down to 35 USD for the 2016 Steam summer sale, many were thankful to see the lowest price yet for this version, but some were still of the belief that it was too expensive.
      • The lack of a physical release except for the Vita version coupled with the prices above. Some players are not happy about having to pay so much for non-physical copies or that digital releases have shortcomings like DRM, and are willing to deal with the shortcomings of the Vita version just to get the physical copy. Others are fine with digital releases, and would rather not deal with the problems of the Vita version (extremely small game window for AC Mode, lack of multiplayer, and for the physical version, no non-Japanese language options) just to be able to have a tangible copy.
      • What counts as legitimately completing a mission in CS Mode? Does one have to use presets, or are customizations also acceptable? Some players feel that using customizations, especially to give oneself a huge amount of shield, is a form of cheating, while other players point out that since it's part of the game, it's perfectly acceptable.
      • Notably, Taito themselves feel that the presets are the only 'acceptable' way, forbidding scores based on customized ships.
      • The theme song, "Freedom", has split opinions very widely. Is it worthy of Awesome Music, or is it So Bad, It's Good due to its cheesy lyrics and shrill vocals? This song being an ear worm doesn't help either.
      • On the topic of DLC, the most common argument is over which Shoot 'em Up franchise should or should not be in the game, with franchises such as Gradius, R-Type (which got the winning vote on Twitter), and Thunder Force included. This is very comparable to the fandom of Super Smash Bros. And then there are those whose answer is "none, unless Pyramid/G.Rev decides to come up with new levels and bosses instead of recycling them."
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  • Contested Sequel: While many praise Darius II's continued use of combined monitors, some players dislike it due to the Silver Hawk's disproportionately large sprite and hitbox and the player losing all powerups upon death (rather than just being reduced to their current upgrades' lowest levels), which are major sources of Fake Difficulty.
  • Covered Up: "Captain Neo" is known more as the Zone A theme from the original Darius than for its original apperance in Metal Soldier Isaac II.
  • Fridge Brilliance: Darius Force's soundtrack sure gave odd names to the tracks, right? That is until you realize that the words correspond to the zones they play in: "A King", "B I O", "C H a N G e", "D E F end" (Zone J is not represented), "L a M e".
    • The Darius Burst boss Dark Helios (an oarfish) transforms into the dragon from Syvalion when defeated. Sounds strange, until you find out that the oarfish could have been the inspiration for the Eastern dragon.
  • Fridge Horror: Titanic Lance is one of the hardest and largest bosses in the entire series and can take several minutes (and possibly credits) to defeat. The level picture for Zone M in Darius Gaiden shows multiple Titanic Lances. Beating one is hard enough, but the very idea that it was mass produced is terrifying.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • In Dariusburst (including spinoffs) with ships that have Fixed Burst: Fixed Burst "shielding"; that is, deploying the Fixed Burst at the top or bottom of the screen and pointing it towards the opposite side, is a common tactic against bullet-heavy bosses such as the Great Thing and "Thousand _____" families. The beam will suck up the bullets and refill the Burst meter as a result, allowing the player to simply focus on shooting the boss. Any ship with a Fixed Burst can pull it off, but it's easiest with the Next and Next Zero ships, whose Fixed Bursts turn faster and move in the direction of the ship rather than away from it, making it easier to make beam walls of safety.
    • The Gaiden Ship has a rapid fire glitch which was applied in DariusBurst Another Chronicle and Chronicle Saviours. A max-out beam can shred many incoming mooks and filled your Blackhole Bomb bar extremely fast.
    • As far as ships go, the Murakumo in Chronicle Saviours combines the best parts of other ships. It has Attack Drones like the Genesis, but there's four of them, can have their firing angles adjusted when in rotation or formation modes, and act as temporary shields (especially in rotation mode). And as for its Burst, it's a Wave-Motion Gun (like the Legend's, Next's, and Formula's) that counters simply by touching an enemy Burst beam (like the Genesis's), and if fired long enough releases a massive explosion (like the Assault's).
    • Second is regarded as the easiest ship for scoring points on enemy waves, due to a combination of a powerful Spread Shot, omnidirectional piercing lasers, and a maximum base multiplier of x60.
    • Some of the DLC ships are no slouches, either.
      • The Inter Gray, from the Taito DLC pack. It has a weak main gun but compensates with mini homing shots when the ship is moving. That is just the half of it, though. Its burst is a Macross Missile Massacre, which rips through waves of popcorn enemies and charges fast with each kill. Also, when the burst is active, it generates a shield that is invulnerable to the majority of enemy fire. Said burst is also like the Genesis and Murakumo, in which it can execute a burst counter by touching enemy bursts rather than the timing based mechanic of the other ships. Even more, however, is that the Inter Gray during its burst can turn around while the counter burst is active, as opposed to other burst-based ships where they're stuck in a single direction.
      • The TRY-Z, from the SEGA DLC Pack. Its main shot and secondary shot are nothing to write home about, but what really sells this ship as being overpowered is its unconventional burst. When the TRY-Z's burst is used, not only does it gain a massive multiplier when rolling through enemy fire, it's also invincible and, when crossing enemy bursts, immediately recovers burst. This makes it great for taking on massive amounts of enemies and dealing with tough bosses.
      • Also from the SEGA DLC Pack, Opa-Opa. While his weapons rely on collecting coins for buying them, as well as weapons getting more expensive the more they're used, at the same time they're some of the most devastating in the whole game. The Seven Way weapon makes quick work of waves of enemies and large bosses, the Laser Beam rips apart mini-bosses in no time at all, and the smart bomb and the sixteen ton anvil bomb clears out waves of enemies and deals massive damage to bosses respectively. The smart bomb makes quick work of the Thousand series of bosses, which can destroy its fins that shoot weapons in one to two uses, and the sixteen ton anvil bomb will finish it off in no time at all.
      • The Delta Sword, from the Cave DLC pack. Its regular shot tears through popcorn enemies as well as erasing enemy bullets, and its laser is effective on waves of popcorn enemies and miniboss enemies. It has no burst, instead substituting it for the famed Hyper Mode. When its Hyper Mode is active, not only does it gain a firepower boost, but when enemies are killed with the shot they release medals adding to the score. The only issue is the lack of a burst, but it's strong enough by itself, and is arguably better for scoring than the Second Silver Hawk on DLC mode.
      • Miyamoto, from the Raizing DLC pack. His main shot is above average, but his options are what seal the deal. Being able to switch between a straight-firing piercing shot, a wide spread explosive shot and a search shot, Miyamoto is the most flexible of the pack. He lacks a burst, substituting it in favor of a smart bomb that also charges fast. With the piercing shot on the options, the bomb charges fast and can even destroy bosses and minibosses quickly enough.
      • The Saber, from the Capcom DLC pack. Perhaps the most overpowered DLC ship par excellence. It has access to three weapons, a machine gun, a laser, and a wide shot. The wide shot can wipe out waves of popcorn enemies, while the laser can tear up tougher enemies, minibosses and bosses in seconds. That's just part of what makes the Saber overpowered. If the Saber gets a green power up, it gets pods instead of missiles or bombs (or, with the DLC ships, a more powerful secondary attack or burst). These pods are indestructible all to but a few select enemy weapons, especially when you set the pods to 'napalm' mode, or with the pods fixed in front of you. This makes the pods into shields, and makes going up against bosses like Great Thing and Gigantic Bite utter cakewalks. Like the majority of other DLC ships, however, it lacks a burst. Instead, it uses smart bombs, but launched out straightforward rather than a big bomb. These smart bombs pierce enemies, and can even cancel out enemy projectiles. With all of these properties of the Saber, it is considered to be the best DLC ship, if not the best ship in Dariusburst period.
  • Gameplay Derailment: G-Darius's Beam-O-War mechanic is meant to be played by rapidly mashing the fire button. In practice, players just use autofire buttons, defeating the whole point. This is why Dariusburst and Dariusburst: Second Prologue use simplified Burst Counter mechanics and why Dariusburst: Another Chronicle and Dariusburst: Chronicle Saviours turn Burst Counters into a timing-based mechanic.
  • Goddamned Boss:
    • Midbosses in Dariusburst, due to them attacking you while enemies continue to pour in by the tens or even hundreds.
    • The "Gluttons" family of bosses in Dariusburst has swarms of little drones that surround the boss and will block your shots. Unless you have a piercing shot (most ships' maxed-out laser, Murakumo's laser option mode, wave shot for Gaiden or Origin), the boss can take a long time to whittle down, assuming they don't just self-destruct entirely.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Anna Steiner, the Player 2 character in Darius Gaiden, looks a lot like Saber.
  • It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": Some English-speaking fans pronounce it "da-rye-us" (from the katakana ダライアス) rather than "da-ree-us". A good way to tell who's talking about this game and not, say, Darius from League of Legends, is if they use the former.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: A common complaint about the Chronicle Saviours DLC packs is that they don't add any unique stages or bosses, making the 5 USD price tag for each ship feel unjustified.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Most Wonderful Sound: The Boss Warning Siren sound effects, which are iconic enough to warrant their own tracks on their games' respective soundtracks. On Another Chronicle's cabinet in particular, there are warning lights on the ceiling of the cabinet to accompany the bass-shaking warning klaxon!
  • Narm Charm: Tiat Young's line at the start of Darius II: "I always wanted a thing called tuna sashimi." Sounds silly on its own, but given that the series is known for bosses styled after various marine life, it makes sense as a Pre Ass Kicking One Liner.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • For a game series against deep sea creatures, there's surprisingly little of this with the setting itself, but some of the tracks for later game series can be...unsettling. Galst Vic from Darius Force and Dada from G-Darius.
    • Heck, Galst Vic himself. The one time we get a boss not based on marine wildlife, we get...a frickin' skeleton-like thing that resembles a Terminator. And just when you escape the base and think you're home free, its dismembered head comes back for one last stand!
    • "Bless You" from Dariusburst, the stage cleared theme, features a triumphant One-Woman Wail...but the rest of the 2-minute-53-second track consists of creepy ambiance. If you're playing the arcade versions, the timer forces you to the next zone so you won't hear the ambience, but if you're playing the consumer versions and stick around on the score screen, or are listening to the track through the OST, the sudden shift in mood is quite...spooky, to say the least. It's likely the shift is intended to subtely bug players to stop looking at the score screen and move to the next zone.
    • "Baptize Silver Hawk", one of the Dariusbrust stage themes, has the sounds of laughing children near the end of the track that can come off as creepy to some players. In the game version of the track, it lasts for a few seconds before reaching the loop point of the track. In the soundtrack version, it lasts for 15 seconds.
    • "Nangyoukugyou" from Dariusburst Second Prologue, used for some boss fights, has an eerie and ethereal sound to it, not helped by what sounds like footsteps starting at around 40 seconds.
    • "A d a m", used for several bosses in G-Darius, most notably the Final Bosses. It's a loud, booming piece evocative of a giant monster attack, painting the impression that the Thiima are not messing around.
  • Polished Port:
    • The Darius 1 port on the Genesis Mini, actually made by a fan, adapts very well to the smaller screen while remaining as faithful to the original as possible. It also adds a few new features, like an option to reduce the hitbox when a shield is active, Tiat as an "easy mode" character that adds more modern conveniences like keeping powerups upon respawn and removing the checkpoint system, and a "26 bosses" option that gives every single zone (even ones in the same tier of zones) a unique boss, including bosses that were never in the original arcade version.
    • Darius Cozmic Collection Arcade by M2 may not carry the M2 ShotTriggers label, but it's effectively an M2STG release in spirit. It features many different options to configure each game, including rapid-fire functions (a must for many Darius Gaiden players), useful gameplay info gadgets, and multiple revisions of Darius and Darius II, the latter of which marks the first time the Sagaia build is available officially for Japan and which also has the exceedingly rare Sagaia Ver. 2 build available.
  • Porting Disaster:
    • Darius+ (Not to be confused with Darius Plus) requires damaging the boss-vessel components in the correct order, some of which were near the back of the enemy. In this version, you also get stuck with a limited-range pea shooter if you get killed - even during a boss fight.
    • Darius Plus for the ZX Spectrum. Much Fake Difficulty (such as foes coming in from behind), too large collision boxes, extremely slow.
    • While the CS mode of Chronicle Saviours is perfectly playable on a Vita, the same cannot be said for AC mode (aka the Dariusburst Another Chronicle port), due to squishing a 32:9 display onto the screen, making it nearly impossible to see anything. One wonders if this particular version was developed with the PS TV in mind instead.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • Most games are notorious for heavily reducing the player's equipment levels upon death (usually resetting to 0 points in each upgrade tier). While many say this is still better than what Gradius does, it doesn't take away the pain of losing two or three stages' worth of powerups, especially if it happens against That One Boss. Dariusburst notably drops this mechanic, as does the 2019 Genesis Mini port if playing as Tiat.
    • In Dariusburst Another Chronicle, some Chronicle sectors require multiple players participating at once. This is fine in an arcade establishment that's open to the public, but this is a problem in the Chronicle Saviours version due to multiplayer being local-only, if you don't have local friends or family willing to play with you. Vita version players have it even worse, as they cannot play multiplayer and thus cannot participate in these missions at all.
    • For that matter, Another Chronicle on the Vita makes no effort to be readable on the system's portable screen, making it nigh-unplayable unless you have a magnifying glass.
    • Bosses don't have Life Meters (until the Cozmic Collection introduced an optional gadget to display boss healths); the only indication of damage is that they start to turn red and give off sparks. In Dariusburst, this can make whittling them down enough to finish them off with a Burst Counter—or worse, the Assault's and Murakumo's Burst finishes and the X-LAY's full lock-on finish—aggrevatingly difficult.
    • The point value of the grey (orange in Gaiden) orbs pick-up is semi-random in G-Darius and entirely random in all of the other games until Dariusburst, which is a bit of a bother for competitive score players as due to the variance in point distribution (anywhere from 100 to 128.000), the tiebreaker between two very close scores could be entirely down to luck. M2's collections even include a gadget that displays how much grey orbs were collected and exactly how much points were devided from them, presumably so people running private score competitions can substract them from the total score.
  • Shocking Moments:
    • Zone M of Darius Gaiden. You waltz into a stage with some easy enemies and a conspicuous lack of music. A mere thirty seconds in, "WARNING! A HUGE BATTLESHIP TITANIC LANCE IS APPROACHING FAST." Titanic Lance then zooms past you so you can see just how big it is while "Reflection" starts up, making you feel like you're up against a Final Boss, even though it's only about halfway through the game.
    • Zone Gamma in G-Darius. Queen Fossil shows up, revealing herself to be larger than any prior boss in the series, even bigger than Titanic Lance! Notice how there was no stage split during the main body of the stage? That's because the split is used here to determine which side of her to attack!
  • Signature Scene:
    • The battle with Titanic Lance in Zone M of Darius Gaiden, known for being huge, a long battle, and That One Boss.
    • The very first mission's first scene in CS Mode, which features a high-speed skirmish over an ocean while "Freedom", the only track in the series with actual lyrics, plays in the background.
    • The Final Boss battle with Gigantic Bite in Chronicle Saviours in Suriaha.
  • That One Attack:
    • Homing Lasers used by bosses are always a massive pain, since they're long, have somewhat good homing capability, and they keep dealing constant damage to your shields as long as they touch you.
    • The green, pulsing shots in Gaiden. They move a short distance, stop, aim at the player, move some distance again, stop, aim, move. This continues a few times and they last a good while on the screen, chasing the player very often. It gets particularly bad when one version of Neon Light Illusion continually uses this as its Desperation Attack.
    • Phantom Castle is mostly the same as Mirage Castle, but now fires small homing lasers any time it flies off the screen that curve tightly and can chip away at whatever shields you have.
    • The Thousand bosses all have a massive green laser that fires periodically at low health or after certain parts are destroyed. It comes with little warning, can happen in the middle of an attack phase, and is not blockable with any Burst. Many disgruntled players refer to it as the FUCK YOU Laser.
  • That One Boss: The series' bosses are known not only for basically being huge mechanical fish, but also being very punishing too.
    • Great Thing in pretty much all his appearances as a Final Boss. Even by final boss standards, he's a tough customer thanks to his gigantic health, relentless spam from his cannons (which are all over him), exploding projectiles and enemy spawning.
    • Fatty Glutton in Gaiden can only be harmed when his mouth is open (which is open for a very short period), and one variant of it will spam a very hard to avoid spray of multiple, large shots. His other variant will constantly use a spread of shots that will intermittently pause and aim/fly towards you multiple times, forcing you to move around and in a tricky fashion thanks to the number that will be on screen.
    • Titanic Lance. It's a Battleship Raid which is so large it is basically a Sequential Boss as well. Titanic Lance has attacks that are very difficult to avoid in almost all of its phases, such as moving towards your vertical position with a Wave-Motion Gun, a swarm of homing lasers, cannons with Macross Missile Massacre, electrical mines with crushers, and a Demonic Spider maker. You'd expect a boss of this caliber to be one of the Final Bosses, but nope, you can encounter it in the fifth layer of stages out of seven.
    • Storm Causer is ridiculously tough even for Darius final boss standards. Several of its attacks remove a lot of room to avoid, such as taking out a huge flamethrower while firing its mouth beam AND having several aimed shots fired at you, taking out a wide-spray gatling gun while firing the series' dreaded homing lasers and firing a laser from below, or are tricky to avoid such as going into the background and firing energy projectiles that swirl in a weird trajectory. To top it all off, he has a great amount of health too.
    • Oh, and if you thought Great Thing was a hard Final Boss, then you'll be happy to meet Gigantic Bite. He has plenty of attacks and they are deadly as ever such as; Shrapnels shards, Homing Beams, Mini bombs like the normal Silver Hawks drops, fast homing missile that has more hits, undestructable electric harpoons that aims at you leaves a line that covers the area and shotgun lasers. Not to mention he can always keep summoning dolphins that shoots homing lasers in several of his battle phase. Have fun buying enough shields, because 50 shields won't be enough for this boss and all of his attacks will absolutely tear off your brains out.
  • That One Level: Several in the CS Mode of Chronicle Saviours:
    • Narataki, one of the first Marathon Missions, featuring fourteen stages; bosses count as their own stages, but still. You also only have one spare life and start off with a bone stock ship and have to power it up yourself. Said ship is the Genesis from G-Darius which, while easy to do Burst Counters with, has to expend the entire Burst meter every time you use its Alpha Beam, unlike other ships that can freely cancel and conserve their Burst meters.
    • Ukofu includes a Boss Rush of Iron Fossil, then ramps up the difficulty with four very frustrating bosses, the worst of them being Dark Flame.
    • Nruso, an Escort Mission where tons and tons of enemies will swarm at you trying to get escape from you to the other screen. Once a lot of them get past you, it's Game Over.
    • Gurojin lulls you into a false sense of security with four moderate-difficulty stages and many powerups to arm yourself with. Then you get Great Thing—traditionally a Final Boss—of all things to fight. Since you're using the Second ship, you don't get the benefit of using the Fixed Burst bullet-blocking strategy.
    • Wani, a marathon stage without any power-up drops, so what you go into it with is all you're going to get. A series of stages that will put you on your toes and pits you against the likes of Thorn Wheel, Phantom Castle, and Thousand Knives. All this culminates in a final showdown against Savage Ruler and by then you're likely exhausted and low on shields.
    • The final mission, Suriaha. Right off the bat in the first stage, you get jumped by two snake-like mini-bosses, and the end of one stage has you fighting Phantom Castle again. But then the difficulty ramps up even further with Golden Ruler, which is basically Violent Ruler from hell. note . In the last stage, there are even more obstacles for you to fight through, which culminates in an epic but difficult final showdown with Gigantic Bite.
      • Ruminia, chronologially the first mission in the game, also ends in Gigantic Bite...but since you're using Origin, you don't have a Burst!
    • Uinda is where you have to score 65M points to unlock the alternate route. Unfortunately, it's very hard to score so much due to how minimal the enemies tend to be, and sometimes not even a fully powered up ship can be able to help.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Most fans advise avoiding the Taito Legends 2 version of Darius Gaiden, due to nerfing the maximum rate of fire to prevent people from blazing through with a turbo controller.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: Origin (based on the original Darius Silver Hawk) in Dariusburst. No Burst and weak weapons; sure, its wave shot can pierce enemies, but you don't want it to do that when fighting a single massive target due to the on-screen shot limit; meanwhile, the Gaiden ship also has piercing Wave shots but can also complement them with non-piercing shots for large targets. Second (based on Darius II's Silver Hawk) in Dariusburst Another Chronicle and Chronicle Saviours, despite also having no Burst, at least makes up for it with a powerful Spread Shot and 8-way piercing side lasers to go with its bombs.

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