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Darius
ダライアス
1986







Arcade Flyer [inside] [back]

Darius hit like a bomb when it first appeared in 1986. Never before had such an effort been placed into presentation.
Presented inside a massive 3-screen cabinet, the game features dream-like environments and massive end-of-level sea creatures.
This extraordinary art direction is accompanied by an unforgettable soundtrack by Taito's Zuntata sound team, whose eerie and over-the-top arrangements really help build the atmosphere... The cabinet features a stereo headphone jack - and vibrating seat.
The gameplay itself is fundamentally basic: equipped with a shot and ground missile, the player must negotiate 7 out of a total of 25 stages, arranged into a pyramid-shaped map. It's the elongated screen that makes the gameplay tricky: missing a target can leave you wide open, since only 4 of your bullets can appear on screen at once and they take an age to reach the end of the screen.
It's a mean challenge too: everything can go horribly wrong very quickly - and if you want a shot at seeing the end, your only real chance is to not loose a single life.
Seriously: if you thought R-Type (1987) took the piss as the ultimate 'loose your kit and you might as well give up' game, then Darius was one step ahead. The only way to 'level up' your weapons is to save up not one, or two, but eight (8) icons of a certain colour, usually over the course of two levels or more. One mistake, and you're back down to the pea shooter for good.
You can cut the tension with a knife - especially during 2-player games, where power-ups are scarce and the two ships cannot fly through each other.
An undeniable masterpiece, whose name is firmly engraved as one of the greatest shooting games of all time.

Rating:

 

   
PC Engine
The excellent PC Engine version(s) went a long way in cementing Darius' reputation.
'Super Darius' was a superb early release for the CD-ROM2, that despite loosing the cinematic 3-screen display (and 2-player mode) really lets the trademark Darius gameplay shine through: every enemy formation, bonus power-up and end-of-level guardian has been meticulously organized. You can really learn the basics here - and high scores are saved in the machine's internal memory.
The only downside is the large amount of 'flicker' present during boss battles... This was fixed in the Supergrafx compatible 'Darius Plus', a HuCard version that remains pretty much identical to 'Super Darius' minus the CD soundtrack and a few bosses.
Customers who bought both versions could mail in for 'Darius Alpha', a super rare "limited to 1000 copies" promotional release featuring boss battles only.
 
 
 

 
 

 
Darius / Zuntata
ダライアス/ズンタタ
TAITO GAME MUSIC VOL.2
DETAILS
Format Vinyl LP
Released 25 June 1987
Publisher G.M.O. Records
Product ID ALR-22912
Size (cm) 31.3 x 31.3 x 0.2
Weight (kg) 0.34
PRICE
STATUS
1987 vinyl LP release of Zuntata's unforgettable Darius soundtrack.

Side A - 6 'Original' tracks
Side B - 5 'Arrange' tracks

Complete in great condition.

Darius / Zuntata
ダライアス/ズンタタ
TAITO GAME MUSIC VOL.2
DETAILS
Format Audio CD
Released 25 June 1987
Publisher G.M.O. Records
Product ID 28XA-166
Size (cm) 14.2 x 12.4 x 1
Weight (kg) 0.10
PRICE
STATUS
CD release of Zuntata's extraordinary Darius soundtrack.
Features the same 6 'Original Side' BGMs and 5 remixed 'Arrange Side' tracks as the vinyl.

A very rare item, especially complete with spine card.

PC Engine's World of Darius
PCエンジンズ・ワールド・オブ・ダライアス
SOUNDTRACK
DETAILS
Format Audio CD
Released 21 Nov 1989
Publisher Appolon
Product ID APCG-4001
Size (cm) 14.2 x 12.4 x 1
Weight (kg) 0.10
PRICE
STATUS
Super-rare pre-release soundtrack CD featuring a selection of tracks from the upcoming PC Engine CD and HuCard versions of Darius.

A very in-demand item!

Super Darius
スーパーダライアス
PC ENGINE CD-ROM²
DETAILS
Format PC Engine
Released 16 Mar 1990
Publisher NEC Avenue
Product ID HACD0003
Size (cm) 14.2 x 12.4 x 1
Weight (kg) 0.10
PRICE
STATUS
Taito and NEC Avenue team up for a top-class PC Engine conversion of the arcade milestone.
1P only, but it features all 25 stages, exclusive new bosses and a perfect replica of the soundtrack on CD.
A classic of its time!

CD case, PC Engine CD-ROM²
disc, colour booklet, spine card.

Darius Plus
ダライアス・プラス
PC ENGINE
DETAILS
Format PC Engine
Released 21 Sep 1990
Publisher NEC Avenue
Product ID NAPH-1009
Size (cm) 14.2 x 12.4 x 1
Weight (kg) 0.10
PRICE
STATUS
Top-notch HuCard re-issue of the PC Engine Darius. Identical to the CD version (minus the CD soundtrack), but also missing a few bosses.
Also, this is a one-off 'PC-SG' HuCard - when run on Supergrafx, the bosses don't flicker at all.

Standard PCE case, 6Mb
it HuCard, colour booklet.

Darius Alpha [Hibai Hin]
ダライアス・アルファ [非売品]
PC ENGINE
DETAILS
Format PC Engine
Released 1990?
Publisher NEC Avenue
Product ID n/a
Size (cm) 14.2 x 12.4 x 1
Weight (kg) 0.10
PRICE
STATUS
Promotional 'Not for Sale' HuCard given away by NEC Avenue as a mail-in freebie. Features a 'Boss Rush' game of end-of-level monsters only.
Limited to around 1000 copies only, 'Darius α' is now one of the most valuable HuCards in existence, worth around ¥100,000. Please contact for latest price / availability.

Standard PCE case, 3Mbit HuCard, insert.

Darius
ダライアス

FAMOUS RECORDINGS SERIES / ZUNTATA
DETAILS
Format Audio CD
Released 21 Aug 1992
Publisher Pony Canyon
Product ID PCCB-00093
Size (cm) 14.2 x 12.4 x 1
Weight (kg) 0.10
PRICE
STATUS
'Famous Recording Series' re-issue of Zuntata's epic Darius soundtrack.
Two arrange tracks, 23 original tracks, and S.E. Collection.

CD case, 26-track audio CD, booklet, spine card.

Darius R
ダライアスR
GAME BOY ADVANCE
DETAILS
Format Game Boy Advance
Released 13 Dec 2002
Publisher PCCW
Product ID AGB-A2DJ-JPN
Size (cm) 13.5 x 8.5 x 2
Weight (kg) 0.06
PRICE
STATUS
Half-hearted resuscitation of the original Darius for the GBA.
Not too bad, but the game feels grossly under worked and uneventful.
Oh well. Yet another classic name dragged through the gloopy muds of handheldom.

Standard GBA cardboard packaging, 32Mbit cartridge, colour manual.

 



'Darius' and 'Taito' are registered trademarks of Taito Corporation
'PC Engine' and 'NEC' are registered trademarks of NEC Corporation
'Game Boy Advance' and 'Nintendo' are registered trademarks of Nintendo Co., Ltd.
Darius TM & © 1986 Taito All Rights Reserved
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