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Darius was Taito's effort to compete in the arcades against the likes of R-Type and Gradius. Technically impressive, it featured three screens depicting the largest playfield seen in a game so far (the same system was employed for Ninja Warriors), with the player sitting atop a big set of loudspeakers. Visually and audibly, it was a league above Irem's and Konami's offerings.

When Taito (and others) ported the game to home machines, they were forced to shrink the playfield to fit in one single screen, and re-dubbed it Darius Plus.

The plot of Darius involves the two heroes Proco Jr. and Tiat Young fighting the menaces posed by galactic fish and other sea animals again their homeworld.

What sets Darius apart from other shoot'em-ups of the time is its way of letting the player choose his path with a certain amount of freedom. At the end of each area (level), you are able to choose between one of two worlds which the area branches into. This renders a higher replay value, since there are many paths to reach the end of the game by. Apart from this, the gameplay is on the simplistic side, both due to unimaginative attack waves and little interaction with the surroundings, but mainly due to the very basic powerup system, which is nowhere near the complexity of the aforementioned R-Type's and Gradius'.


Darius Atari ST Entering the first level
Darius Game Boy Title screen
Darius Arcade Cannons
Darius Atari ST Explosions!

Promo Images

Darius Magazine Advertisement

Alternate Titles

  • "Super Darius" -- PC Engine CD title
  • "Sagaia" -- Game Boy title
  • "Darius Wide" -- Mobile title (widescreen devices)
  • "Darius Plus" -- PC Engine title
  • "Darius+" -- Amiga/Atari ST/ZX Spectrum title
  • "Arcade Archives: Darius" -- PS4 title
  • "ダライアス・プラス" -- PC Engine Japanese spelling
  • "ダライアス" -- Japanese spelling

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

There are no reviews for this game.

Critic Reviews

Power Play TurboGrafx-16 Jan, 1991 80 out of 100 80
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Amiga Jan, 1990 79 out of 100 79
Amiga Joker Amiga Dec, 1989 74 out of 100 74
ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) Atari ST Feb, 1990 725 out of 1000 72
1UP! TurboGrafx-16 May 09, 2008 72 out of 100 72
ST Action Atari ST Jan, 1990 62 out of 100 62
Retro Archives Atari ST Jan 27, 2018 12 out of 20 60
Video Game Den TurboGrafx-16 Mar 01, 2012 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars 60
Retro Archives TurboGrafx-16 Jan 27, 2018 11 out of 20 55
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) Atari ST Dec, 1989 6.4 out of 12 53


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1001 Video Games

The Arcade version of Darius appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

References to the game

Darius references can be found in several other Taito games. Rainbow Islands has a secret Darius level with a cutesy rendition of the soundtrack, and tunes from the game are also used in the arcade game Metro Soldier Isaac II.

Cancelled C64 port

The Edge announced a C64 version of the game and there even was a test of in ACE 1990/2, which is unlike was really about the C64 version of the game. Just because after payment troubles at the Edge several programmers left and the graphic developer Tahir Rashid only ever finished the graphics for level 1 and the development for that version was stopped (Source:

Contributed to by f1reball (298), Rik Hideto (456842), Kabushi (257509), gamewarrior (5042), Игги Друге (46318) and JudgeDeadd (27475)