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Promotional flyer
Platform(s)Arcade, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, Microsoft Windows
  • JP: June 1997
  • NA: September 11, 1998[1]
  • EU: September 11, 1998[1]
Genre(s)Horizontal-scrolling shooter
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer
Arcade systemTaito FX-1B

G-Darius[a] is a shoot'em up arcade game, released by Taito in 1997. It is the fourth arcade installment of the Darius series and the first in the series to feature three-dimensional polygonal graphics.


Screenshot of G-Darius
An example of 'beam-dueling' in G-Darius. The blue beam on the right is the player's beam.

Much like previous installments in the Darius series, G-Darius is a horizontally scrolling shoot'em up. While the game features three-dimensional polygonal graphics, the gameplay remains two-dimensional. The player controls a spaceship named the Silver Hawk and must battle enemies and avoid obstacles throughout the game's stages (referred to as "zones" in the game). The ship is armed with forward-firing missiles, small aerial bombs, and a protective force field. These can be upgraded by power-ups, in the form of large orbs, that are dropped by specially-colored enemies when they are destroyed. When the player reaches the end of a zone, a boss appears, which must be defeated to proceed. Once the boss of a zone is destroyed, the player is given a choice of which zone to play next via a branching path.[2][3] There are 15 zones in total, numbered using the Greek letters alpha to omicron, but the player only needs to complete five in a row to reach one of five alternative endings. Each level also has two alternative routes that the player can choose about halfway through. Some of these are duplicated in later stages but result in the bosses appearance and attack sequences being slightly different.

Among the player's arsenal is the 'capture ball', which the player can launch to capture enemies. Once captured, the enemy will follow and aid the player's ship.[4] Each enemy contains a unique enhancement; some will act as extra turrets and others will act as shields. Additionally, the player can detonate their captured enemy as a bomb.[5] The captured enemy will continue to follow the player until either they are destroyed after taking enough damage, the player's ship is destroyed or the player 'absorbs' them to utilize a special ability.[2][3][4]

New to the series is the concept of beam-dueling. The player can absorb a captured enemy to fire a powerful laser beam over a short period, which will instantly destroy nearly every enemy it comes into contact with. This is primarily used during boss fights. Every major boss in the game has an equivalent laser beam. If the player and the boss fire their lasers simultaneously, a 'duel' between the two will initiate. The player must overwhelm the boss' laser by repeatedly tapping the fire button as quickly as possible. If successful, the boss' beam will eventually dissipate and the player's beam will multiply in size (as well as in power) and severely damage, if not kill, the boss.[2][4] Some bosses have multiple beams and if the player counters all of them, their own beam can multiply up to four times. Some enemies and large bullets are invulnerable to the beam, allowing bosses to shield themselves. Familiarity with a boss's attack patterns is thus vital for the successful use of the beam dueling mechanic.

An upgraded version of the game, G-Darius Ver. 2, added a beginner mode in which the player's power-up level goes down only one rank upon death, and the game ends after completing only 3 zones.[6]


G-Darius is a prequel story that revolves around a conflict between the humanoids of Amelia and cyborg/chimera biovessels known as the "Thiima" (meant to mean simply "deliverer of death"). The Thiima had been aroused by the Amnelian army's use of the weapon A.N. (All-Nothing) to annihilate the world Blazer, whom Amelia had been at war with over jurisdiction over the moon Mahsah. Determined to protect their existence, and long ago programmed to protect the universe from just such threats as A.N., the Thiima swarmed Amelia. Although the armed forces were badly ravaged, Amnelian scientists and engineers were able to make use of both A.N. and reverse-engineered Thiiman technology/life systems to create the Silver Hawk fighters. Ultimately, two pilots—Same-luck Raida and Lutia Feen—are chosen to perform a decisive attack on the main Thiima base: Kazumn, a satellite of the planet Darius.


G-Darius was ported to the PlayStation as G Darius[2] and released in 1998 for Japan on April 9 by Taito, in Europe on September 11, and in the United States on September 17[7] by THQ.[2] The PlayStation port is based on the "ver. 2" arcade release.[5] The original arcade version of G-Darius was later re-released on the PlayStation 2 port of Taito Legends 2, a compilation consisting of several arcade games by Taito.[8] The Windows 95 version, based on the PlayStation port, was published by CyberFront Corporation, MediaKite, and Sourcenext in 2000–01.

A port for Nintendo Switch and Sony PlayStation 4 was released in 2021 worldwide digitally. It contains the standard resolution version, as well as a new HD version of the game. In the US and Europe, it was also released as a physical edition. In Japan, the physical release is part of the compilation Darius Cozmic Revelation. This compilation was released internationally by Strictly Limited Games. G-Darius HD Steam version was released on March 30, 2022.[9] An update to the Switch and PS4 ports on the same date added G-Darius Ver. 2, G-Darius Ver. 2 HD and G-Darius for Consumer (the Japanese PlayStation port).


The PlayStation port received favorable reviews according to the review aggregation website GameRankings.[10] Next Generation said that the game was "fun for those fogies who can stomach it, but the average gamer will be bored to death".[17] In Japan, Famitsu gave it a score of 29 out of 40.[13] Also in Japan, Game Machine listed the arcade version in their August 15, 1997 issue as being the fourth most-successful arcade game of the month.[19] Five issues later (November 1), however, the magazine demoted it to being the tenth most-successful arcade game of the month.[20]

In a 2014 retrospective, Euro-gamer called the game "one of the greatest shooting games ever released".[21]


  1. ^ Japanese: Gダライアス, Hepburn: Jī-Daraiasu


  1. ^ a b c "G Darius Releases". MobyGames. Retrieved 2023-07-02.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Bartholow, Peter (May 1, 1998). "G Darius Review [Import]". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved November 6, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c Nelson, Randy (September 17, 1998). "G. Darius". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved November 6, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c "G Darius (Preview)". Sega Saturn Magazine. No. 19. EMAP. May 1997. p. 94.
  5. ^ a b "G-Darius". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 104. Ziff Davis. March 1998. p. 66.
  6. ^ Ken Ogasawara; Major Mike (January 1998). "The 1997 Amusement Machine Show: The Year of the Cobra". GamePro. No. 112. IDG. p. 50.
  7. ^ IGN staff (September 16, 1998). "G. Darius [sic] Shoots Toward Stores". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved November 6, 2020.
  8. ^ Miller, Greg (June 4, 2007). "Taito Legends 2 Review (PS2)". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved November 6, 2020.
  9. ^ "「ダライアス」シリーズ2作品がSteamで登場!!|タイトーのゲーム情報". Taito (in Japanese). October 1, 2021. Retrieved October 1, 2021.
  10. ^ a b "G Darius for PlayStation". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on April 29, 2019. Retrieved November 6, 2020.
  11. ^ Edge staff (June 1998). "G Darius (PS) [Import]". Edge. No. 59. Future Publishing. p. 97. Retrieved November 6, 2020.
  12. ^ EGM staff (October 1998). "G Darius". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 111. Ziff Davis.
  13. ^ a b "Gダライアス [PS]". Famitsu (in Japanese). Enterbrain. Retrieved November 6, 2020.
  14. ^ McNamara, Andy; Storm, Jon; Reiner, Andrew (September 1998). "G. Darius [sic]". Game Informer. No. 65. FuncoLand. Archived from the original on October 1, 1999. Retrieved November 6, 2020.
  15. ^ Chau, Anthony "Dangohead"; Ngo, George "Eggo"; Higgins, Geoff "El Nino" (June 1998). "G-Darius [Import]". GameFan. Vol. 6, no. 6. Metropolis Media. p. 21. Retrieved November 6, 2020.
  16. ^ Major Mike (October 1998). "G. Darius [sic]". GamePro. No. 121. IDG Entertainment. p. 170. Retrieved November 6, 2020.
  17. ^ a b "G Darius". Next Generation. No. 46. Imagine Media. October 1998. p. 128. Retrieved November 6, 2020.
  18. ^ "G Darius". Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine. Vol. 2, no. 1. Ziff Davis. October 1998.
  19. ^ "Game Machine's Best Hit Games 25 - TVゲーム機ーソフトウェア (Video Game Software)". Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 547. Amusement Press, Inc. August 15, 1997. p. 21.
  20. ^ "Game Machine's Best Hit Games 25 - TVゲーム機ーソフトウェア (Video Game Software)". Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 552. Amusement Press, Inc. November 1, 1997. p. 25.
  21. ^ Higham, Rupert (March 30, 2014). "Darius retrospective". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved March 31, 2014.

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