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Darius II
ダライアスII
1989






 

Arcade Flyer [inside] [back]
 
The original Darius (1986) was a massive success for Taito. Its lavish visuals and epic boss battles made it an instant classic. So who could blame Taito for wanting a sequel that would be even bigger?
Darius II is a superb production: it presents even more dramatic backdrops, larger characters, and one of the most ridiculously overworked soundtracks ever heard.
The spectacular end-of-level bosses are back en force, while the entire cast of the original make quick cameo appearances here and there. It's a straight up 'sequel' of sorts, and a massive effort from Taito who seemingly went all out with this one, granting it a worldwide release.
The problem maybe was that the first Darius arcade wasn't very widespread outside of Japan, and hadn't made much of a name for itself by 1989. While it was a great relief to see Darius II cabinets pop up in Europe and the US, the game didn't catch on anywhere near as much as it should have. Taito seriously aggravated this issue by re-naming the game 'Sagaia' for international release. It's as if the original was deliberately ignored.
The other problem maybe is that like its predecessor, the game is exceptionally hard: enemy formations are faster, stage layouts are far more unforgiving and to many, the player's large ship made things very tough to deal with.
While the anonimity of the original might've hindered the arcade reaching superstar status in the West, it did relatively well at home, with top-class conversions appearing on the Mega Drive (1990) and Master System.
A long-awaited PC Engine version appeared in late 1993, but the best home version appeared much later on in the form of a 1996 Sega Saturn release, featuring arcade-perfect gameplay and an in-game 'zoom' feature.
Rating:
 

 
Darius II
ダライアスII
-G.S.M. TAITO 4- / ZUNTATA
DETAILS
Format Audio CD
Released 21 Nov 1989
Publisher Pony Canyon
Product ID PCCB-00010
Size (cm) 14.2 x 12.4 x 1
Weight (kg) 0.20
PRICE
STATUS
Vintage 2-CD soundtrack album from Zuntata that covers both:
- Darius II (1989)
- Night Striker (1989)
CD1 features 6 'Arrange' tracks while CD2 covers the arcade OSTs.
View [back] for tracklisting.

Double-CD case, 2 x audio CDs (6 & 25 tracks), booklet, spine card.

Darius II
ダライアスII
MEGA DRIVE
DETAILS
Format Mega Drive
Released 20 Dec 1990
Publisher Taito
Product ID T-11083
Size (cm) 17.8 x 12.8 x 2.5
Weight (kg) 0.18
PRICE
STATUS
Considering Taito's usually ropey Mega Drive standards this is a superb version of Darius II, easily one of the best MD shooting games of its era.
One-player only, but all 26 stages are here, and so is the difficulty level!

Taito-stamped MD case, 8Mbit cartridge, 12-page colour booklet.

Sagaia
サーガイア
GAME BOY
DETAILS
Format Game Boy
Released 13 Dec 1991
Publisher Taito
Product ID DMG-S8A
Size (cm) 10 x 9 x 2
Weight (kg) 0.06
PRICE
STATUS
Despite its name and release date the GB Sagaia is much closer to the original Darius (1986) in terms of content. Features 8 stages and no route split.
Quite a rarity these days!

Standard small-size GB packaging, 1Mbit cartridge, monochrome booklet.

Super Darius II
スーパーダライアスII

PC ENGINE SUPER CD-ROM²
DETAILS
Format PC Engine
Released 24 Dec 1993
Publisher NEC Avenue
Product ID NAPR-1031
Size (cm) 14.2 x 12.4 x 1
Weight (kg) 0.10
PRICE
STATUS
The PC Engine Darius II was delayed for so long that the MD version had been out for 3 years by the time it finally appeared.
It's still a great game though, if a little underwhelming for a late '93 release.
Best has to be its completely over-the-top CD soundtrack!

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

Darius II
ダライアスII

SEGA SATURN
DETAILS
Format Sega Saturn
Released 7 Jun 1996
Publisher Taito
Product ID T-1104G
Size (cm) 14.2 x 12.4 x 1
Weight (kg) 0.10
PRICE
STATUS
Super-deluxe port of the arcade Darius II, complete with two-player gameplay and 'stretchable' widescreen modes.
The definitive home version!

CD case, Sega Saturn CD-ROM disc, 12-page colour manual, spine card.

 



'Darius' and 'Taito' are registered trademarks of Taito Corporation
'Mega Drive', 'Master System' and 'Sega' are registered trademarks of Sega Corporation
'Game Boy' and 'Nintendo' are registered trademarks of Nintendo Co., Ltd.
'PC Engine' and 'NEC' are registered trademarks of NEC Corporation
Darius II TM & © 1989 Taito All Rights Reserved
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