game Cover
game CDRom
©1993 NEC Avenue, Ltd.
Release : 1993-12-23 (¥7800)
SuperCDRom² NAPR-1031
Shooter / Horizontal
Super Darius II is a horizontal shooter by Nec Avenue and based on the arcade game Darius II originally released by Taito in 1989. The Belzer empire was successfully defeated at the battle on Darius, but the planet now lies in ruins, forcing the survivors to abandon their dying world. Some find refuge on planet Oruga, whereas others establish bases throughout our solar system. One day, large war ships belonging to the belligerent Belzer empire resurface, and this time they launch an attack against Earth. The inhabitants of Darius decide to send both Proco Jr. and Tiat Young, two of their most skilled pilots, to counter the invasion. The player progress through seven stages, from the surface of the Sun to the giant Jupiter where the head of the enemy forces hides. However, and in the typical Darius tradition, this progress is non-linear and the player is presented with a choice of two stages to choose from at the end of each level. All combined, the game features a total of twenty eight zones, and some paths are obviously more difficult than others. The ship comes equipped with three different types of weapons - front laser, side lasers and ground bombs, as well as a force field shield. Each weapon can be upgraded by collecting colored orbs left behind by specific formations of enemy fighters - red for the forward laser (8 levels), yellow for the side lasers (7 levels), green for the bombs (5 levels) and blue for the shield (8 levels). Although the introduction sequence clearly shows two ships, this version is single player only (the option menu gives the player the opportunity to choose from Proco or Tiat though).
DariusPlus (Pce-HuCard) SuperDarius (Pce-CDRom²) Darius Force (Sfc) Darius Twin (Sfc)
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Darius 2 arcade
The arcade game Darius II was originally released in 1989 (as pictured above). Although it featured the same three-screen wide display of the first Darius, a smaller two-screen version was also available. As for home conversions, things got a bit complicated... For some strange reasons, the game is also known as Sagaia, especially in the west. Darius 2 was ported to the Sega Megadrive (1990) and renamed Sagaia in the US. Beside, a Master System port also called Sagaia was exclusively released in Europe in 1991. Finally, a Game Boy version was exclusively released in Japan in 1991 and was also called Sagaia! However, strictly speaking, the game is not a direct conversion but a sort of remixed version of the first two games. Then, in 1993, an enhanced port called Super Darius 2 was released for the PC Engine Super CD system (version tested here). Finally, an arcade perfect conversion was released for the Sega Saturn in 1996, and this exclusively in Japan and Europe. See Darius Plus (PCE) for more information about the Darius series.

This PC Engine version of Darius II shows significant differences with the original arcade game. Obviously, the screen is not as wide as the original display, and is cropped and zoomed in (ships are fairly large on screen for that matter). Then, another obvious change is the soundtrack - T's Music (better known for their work on Winds of Thunder, Ginga Fukei Densetsu Sapphire or Dungeon Explorer II) rearranged Zuntata's original tunes and filled them with enticing electric guitar Super Darius 2 - spelling mistake riffs and slinky synthesizers. The gameplay is fairly identical to the original game, however this conversion offers three difficulty levels (easy, normal and hard) and the easy mode allows the player to keep all his weaponry after losing a life. The shield also feels less powerful and disappears after a few hits. But the greatest difference lies in the bosses, and although three are directly borrowed from Darius II - Killer Hijia (Zone C), Yamato (Zones K & M) and Leadain (Zones L, N & O) - all of the others are exclusive to this version! Super Darius II features a total of thirteen bosses (whereas the original arcade game included eleven). Finally, the Warning sign displayed right before each boss encounter shows a glaring spelling mistake - "A huge battle ship is approached fast" (picture on the right) - this is rather unfortunate because the original arcade game didn't commit any spelling mistakes.

Game Staff (Copied from the end credits) :

Nec Avenue, Ltd.

Toshio Tabeta

Ritsuko Honmyo
Special Thanks
Kenichi Tsubokura
kenichi Nakada
Kuniyasu Saitou
Go Kuwahara
Takashi Ozama
Kaoru Murohoshi
Kenichi Yamashita

A Wave, Inc.

Main program
Kazuhito Miyahara
Boss Program
Shoichi Horishita
Junji Takahashi

Shigeru Toda
Takeyuki Machida
Fumoi Koakutsu
Satoshi Uchida

Special Thanks

Music Arrange
T's Music

Presented by
NEC Avenue, Ltd.

Super Darius 2 - Japanese Soundtrack
Japanese Soundtrack


Super Darius 2 manual Registration Card Advertising Advertising Super Darius II Soundtrack
Click on picture to enlarge

List of different endings:
Super Darius II features five different endings.
Two are "good" (1st and 2nd), two are "bad" (3rd and 4th) and the last one wraps up with an "it was all a dream" kind of coup de theatre...

First Ending - Zone Z
"proco Jr. and Tiat Young who destoyed the center part of the fortress of the enemy's allied forces succeeded in escaping. The ambition of the enemy's allied forces was collapsed, everlasting peace has been brought to Darius inhabitants."

Second Ending - Zone V and Zone Z'
"The war was over. Proco Jr. and Tiat Young returned to the planet 'Oruga' after finishing their duties, and they were decorated by the darius king. Blessing - Everlasting peace for Darius inhabitants!"

Third Ending - Zone W and Zone V'
"The war was over Proco Jr. and Tiat Young returned to the planet 'Oruga' after finishing their duties. It has been, however, passed several thousand years in 'Oruga' and no Darius inhabitants remain living and only the wide jungle was desolated there what a matter.... Darius inhabitants have already ruined...."
Forth Ending - Zone X
"The war was over Proco Jr. and Tiat Young returnd to the planet 'Oruga' after finishing their duties. However, The next war awaits them. The enemy's allied forces will force again a war against Darius inhabitants."

Fifth Ending - Zone Y
"What a matter !! Was the whole mortal combat a dream...."

Slow motion:
Pause at anytime during the game. If you press I or II the game will play one image at the time allowing you to defeat even the most dreadful of enemies.

Add your Pov here !

As soon as you jump into the first level, you realize that Nec Avenue has spent a significant amount of time polishing Super Darius 2, and this conversion blows their previous Darius ports away (namely Darius Plus and Super Darius). The gameplay is a lot more balanced too, and the weapon system does not penalize the player as much as other Darius games (this was also the case for the original Darius II arcade game though). Although you still lose all your weapons when killed (except in easy mode), I feel that it is a lot easier to upgrade your ship. The exclusive bosses and their superlative design work are also incredible - I can't stress how cool Revenge Shark or the amazing Heat Arrow are. Finally, some players argue that the arranged tracks are generic and don't fit the action, but I think that most of them sound great and match the overall tone and feel of the game (granted, they don't have that epic and unique feel that Zuntata's originals had, and the last zone sounds too joyful to my taste). The only down point about Super Darius II is its paltry difficulty level - the game only becomes a real challenge on the hardest difficulty setting. The slow-motion mode (is it a debug function that was just forgotten by the developments team ?) makes the game way too easy. Well, you don't have to use it, but it is so tempting... All in all, Super Darius II is a brilliant horizontal shooter, an outstanding episode in the Darius series that offers bounteously memorable moments. A must have !

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