Darius Gaiden

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DariusGaiden title.png
Darius Gaiden
Publisher: Acclaim, Taito (JP)
Publisher(s) of original games: Taito
Developer(s) of original games: Taito
System(s): Sega Saturn
Original system(s): Taito F3 Syetem
Sound driver: SCSP/CD-DA (15 tracks)
Genre: Shoot-'em-Up

Number of players: 1-2
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Saturn
¥5,800 T-1102G
Sega Saturn
$59.99[1] T-8123H
Sega Saturn
£34.99[2] T-8123H-50
Sega Saturn
?F T-8123H-50
Sega Saturn
DM ? T-8123H-50
Sega Saturn
?Ptas T-8123H-50

Darius Gaiden (ダライアス外伝) is the third main entry in Taito's Darius series of horizontal space shoot-'em-up games, first released in 1994 in arcades as a sequel to Darius II. During development it was known as Darius III. Why it was changed to a"gaiden" type of story (roughly meaning "side story"), is unknown. The game's soundtrack was composed by Taito's house band Zuntata.

Gaiden was ported to the Sega Saturn and released in late 1995, curiously arriving before the Saturn port of Darius II. It was the second of two Darius games to be brought to Sega systems - its arcade successor, G-Darius, which used polygonal graphics, skipped the Saturn in favour of the PlayStation in 1998.


Darius Gaiden closely follows the established formula seen in previous Darius entries, but dropped the eye-catching multiple screen setup in favour a simple one-screen solution. The difficulty of the game is considered to be lower than that of Darius II.

So called black hole bombs have been added, that damage enemies and neutralize projectiles, but also sucks in power ups. Not using any of these yeilds a special score bonus at the end of the game, but is tied to not using continues.

Stages are selectable in the usual branching path fashion after defeating a boss, with the "upper" routes typically being easier to clear. However, the upper routes also offer more scoring chances, which goes against the usual risk vs. reward design in arcade games, and as the high score table is not dictated by path, the only reason to use a different route is to see each of the different stages and endings.

Strangely autofire, a common feature in shooting game ports, is missing from options. It must be activated by a cheat code.

The game has a dynamic difficulty level, depending on power ups collected, survival time and so on.

Production credits

Source: In-game creditsMedia:DariusGaiden_Saturn_JP_SSEnding.pdf[4]
  • Producer: Hidehiro Fujihara
  • Game Design: Hisakazu Kato, Akira Kurabayashi, Masami Kikuchi, Hidetaka Harada, Naoto Omura, Rintaro Doi, Katsumi Kaneoka, Hisayoshi Ogura, Katsuhisa Ishikawa
    • Thanks: Kentaro Matsumura
  • Art Director: KAT, Masami Kikuchi, Baw-Baw
  • Programmer: Kurabar, Naoto Omura, Hidetaka Harada
  • Hardware Engineer: Katsumi Kaneoka
  • Decorator: Rintaro Doi
  • Sound Director: OGR (Zuntata), Katsuhisa Ishikawa (Zuntata)
  • Bit Pattern: Makoto Fujita, Ucky Maeda, Toru Kawaishi, Miwa Kamiya
  • Special Thanks: Hisao Shimizu, Rie Amino, Takako Akitsu, Masahiro Tashiro, Nakayama Jotohei, Nobuyuki Hayashi, Ryoto Komai, Yasunobu Kosokabe, Saori Hiratsuka, Ryota Sasaki, Naoto Yagishita, Takao Yoshiba, Nobuaki Kuroki, Yuichi Onogi, Makoto Osaka, Yoshihiro Mori, Naomitsu Abe, Masatoshi Tsuneoka, Yosuke Tsuda, V.G. Tokyo All Staff, Papara Kaito, Yoshinari Mitani, I.G Tatsunoko, ...And Default Members

Presented by: Taito®

Track list

1. [data track] (02:14)

2. VISIONNERZ: Genshibito (04:38)
EN: VISIONNERZ ~Hallucinated People~
Composed by: Hisayoshi Ogura

3. (Punctuation) (00:06)
Composed by: Hisayoshi Ogura

4. Burst Out (01:53)
Composed by: Hisayoshi Ogura

5. Induction (01:48)
Composed by: Hisayoshi Ogura

6. E.E.G. (04:16)
Composed by: Hisayoshi Ogura

7. Axon (02:20)
Composed by: Hisayoshi Ogura

8. TOUEI (04:11)
JP: 投影
EN: Reflection
Composed by: Hisayoshi Ogura

9. Fake (02:02)
Composed by: Hisayoshi Ogura

10. Singing In The Brain (01:46)
Composed by: Hisayoshi Ogura

11. Tranquilizers (02:58)
Composed by: Hisayoshi Ogura

12. SELF (04:12)
Composed by: Hisayoshi Ogura

13. Refrain (01:39)
Composed by: Hisayoshi Ogura

14. Name (00:56)
Composed by: Hisayoshi Ogura

15. End Titles (02:30)
Composed by: Hisayoshi Ogura

16. over (00:09)
Composed by: Hisayoshi Ogura
Running time: 37:38

Magazine articles

Main article: Darius Gaiden/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

Physical scans

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
67 №15, p92/93[5]
88 №51, p98/99[6]
87 №172, p46/47[3]
60 №30, p70[7]
83 №366, p33
79 №42, p76/77[8]
69 №43, p88[9]
90 №62, p94[10]
35 №77, p52/53
80 №5, p72/73[2]
80 №1995-14, p200[11]
89 №, p9Media:SnGwSISDRZK Book JP.pdf[12]
79 №16, p68/69
Sega Saturn
Based on
15 reviews

Saturn, US
DariusGaiden Saturn US Box Back.jpgDariusGaiden Saturn US Box Front.jpg
Dariusgaiden sat us manual.pdf
Saturn, EU
DariusGaiden Saturn EU Box.jpg
DariusGaiden Saturn EU Disc.jpg
Saturn, JP
DariusGaiden Saturn JP Box Back.jpgDariusGaiden Saturn JP Box Front.jpg
DariusGaiden Saturn JP Spinecard.jpg
DariusGaiden Saturn JP Disc.jpg