Darius (ダライアス) is a horizontal-scrolling shooter arcade game developed and released by Taito in February 1987. It runs on two Motorola MC68000 processors with a Yamaha YM2203 chip for sound. The game is unique from other shooters at the time in that the cabinet features three monitors, with a mirror in the cabinet making the monitors appear seamless.
The game was ported to the Amiga and Atari ST under the title Darius+ by The Edge and Softek, while a PC-Engine port by Taito was released under Super Darius. A second port to the PC-Engine, Darius Alpha, was also released as a boss-rush version of the original. The original arcade version would later be ported to the PlayStation 4 in 2016 as part of the Arcade Archives series, and will later be ported to the Nintendo Switch in 2019 as part of Darius Cozmic Collection.
The player controls the Silver Hawk spacecraft, and must venture throughout seven of the game's twenty-eight zones while shooting enemies. The Silver Hawk can collect three different colored orbs from colored enemies, which will powerup either the ship's missiles, shield and projectiles. Each stage features a boss, usually themed after fish or other marine life, and once defeated, will allow the player to take one of two paths, which will determine the zone the player must travel through next. The 1988 arcade game Syvalion was originally planned as a sequel to Darius, however it was later turned into a standalone game.
A sequel, aptly titled Darius II, was released in 1989, and featured both a two-screen cabinet and a three-screen cabinet. Two sequels for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Darius Twin and Darius Force, were released in 1991 and 1993 respectively. An arcade sequel, Darius Gaiden], was released in 1994, running on Taito F3 hardware and omitting the multi-screen layout of the first two games. A second arcade sequel, G-Darius, was released in 1997 and was the first in the series to use 3D polygons. The latest entry, Dariusburst, was released for the PlayStation Portable in 2009.
The Silver Hawk would later appear as a summon in Bubble Symphony, and as a playable character in Space Invaders '95: The Attack of Lunar Loonies. The Silver Hawk also appears as a playable avatar in Space Invaders Infinity Gene and Groove Coaster 2 Original Style.
- The music for Zone A, "Captain Neo", was originally taken from the game Metal Soldier Issac II. When Darius was shown off at a trade show, the song was originally meant to be a placeholder, however the song was kept in the final version as the game's composer, Hisayoshi Ogura, liked the song and kept it intact.