Darius II

For: Arcade

Also Known As

Genres

Main Genre:
Action
Perspective:
3rd-Person
Setting:
Sci-Fi / Futuristic
Visual Presentation:
Scrolling (Horizontal or Vertical)
Gameplay Style:
Shooter

Overview

Darius II is a scrolling shooter first released in arcades by Taito in 1989. It is the sequel to Darius and continues the same style of gameplay while adding some new features along with new level designs and opponents.

Gameplay

Darius II is a scrolling shooter for one player or two players simultaneously. Players again control Silver Hawk class spaceships with the goal of making it safely through multiple zones heavily guarded by enemy ships. The same branching level design is used again; there are 28 zones in total, and each time a zone is completed players can select one of two to play next so a complete run through the game requires completing only 7 zones. While in the original game players selected the next zone by navigating their ship to one of two tunnels, Darius II instead includes an in-game map showing the zone layout which allows players to select their next destination. The zones in Darius II are inspired by planets in the solar system with the background graphics and any planet surface or cave walls matching a particular planet. The first zone in the game starts just above the surface of the sun and then moves outwards planet by planet.

Darius II maintains a similar weapons upgrade system as the original game; the player's ship is equipped with forward firing shots, bombing capability, and shields. After destroying certain formations of enemies, a power-up sphere is released; collecting a red sphere upgrades the forward shots strength and size, the green spheres upgrade the bombs, and blue spheres provide shields. Two new upgrade spheres also appear: a yellow one provides additional laser capability, and a rainbow colored sphere will upgrade all capabilities simulataneously.

Similar to Darius, each zone in the game ends with a large battleship. The end of zone battleships are more difficult to defeat than in the original game and now have multiple stages of attack (for example, a battleship may have an outer shell and after it's destroyed the ship returns again in a slightly different form with different attacks). New to Darius II are mini-bosses (called captains) that appear halfway through each level; the captains resemble the end of zone bosses from the original game and have similar attacks, however they are easier to defeat. The game continues the Darius tradition of having an aquatic theme with the end of zone battleships and many other opponents resembling marine life including various types of fish, crabs, squid, and more.

There are a few additional minor changes we well in comparison to the original game. Previously, the screen scrolled only horizontally towards the right; there are several sections in Darius II where the scrolling becomes vertical as players fly down into a cave. Also, when a player's ship is destroyed the screen continues scrolling (previously, players were sent back to a checkpoint or during a boss fight had to begin again).

Display

3 screen version of Darius II
3 screen version of Darius II
Similar to Darius, Darius II uses multiple monitors to create an extra wide screen. The game was available in two different configurations, the first using three screens (the same as with the original Darius), and the second version using only two screens. A two way mirror is used to align the images; one of the monitors is behind the mirror facing forward while the remaining monitors are in front of the mirror facing upward. The game was also ported to several consoles (including the Sega Master System and TurboGrafx CD) which modified the game to fit onto a single screen.

Credits

Platform: Arcade
The Credits
Directed and Produced by: Hidehiro Fujiwara
Game Designed by: Hidehiro Fujiwara, Takatsuna Senba
Programed by: Akira Ohtsuki, Tatsuo Nakamura, Masashi Tsuzura, Shinji Soyano
Art Designed by: Masami Kikuchi, Takatsuna Senba, Hisakazu Kato
Cabinet Design: Yoshinori Aiura
Hardware Designed by: Toshiyuki Sanada
Team Zuntata
All Music Composed and Arranged by: Hisayoshi Ogura
Sound Editor: Yasuhisa Watanabe, Norihiro Furukawa
Sound Software: Naoto Yagishita
Special Thanks to: Hiroshi Tsujino (Onijust), Akira Fujita, Takamasa Hori, Masaki Yagi, Masahiko Takaki, OGR Young, Hiroshi Aoki (Zippy Aoki), Koji Tsunekiyo, Hikaru Taniguchi, Staff of Kumagaya

Related Games