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 Post subject: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2005 7:05 pm 



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DISCLAIMER:

This thread has survived to the last forum onslaught because of Bydoslasher's brilliant efforts.Many thanks and my infinite gratitude to his work :D!

Ok ladies and gentlemen, i want to try out an hybrid thread: I'm writing the few basics for this *excellent* game and propose a discussion to have many contributions on bosses and routes, which are the main core to a proper approach to the game. So, let's start the experiment:


INDEX

O. FACT FILES
1.O BASIC MECHANICS
1.1 BASIC ATTACKS
1.2 BLACK HOLE BOMB
2.0 ADVANCED TECNIQUES
2.1 RANK
2.2 SECRET BONUSES
2.3 AUTOFIRE
2.4 MID-BOSSES AND CAPTURE
2.5 FINAL BONUS
3.0 BOSSES

APPENDIX


0. FACT FILES

Darius Gaiden is the third arcade installment of the much praised Taito series.There's a urban legend about this game: one of Darius II/Sagaia endings had a reference to Darius III in one of its endings.It seems that, at the beginning, Metal Black was planned to be Darius III, a sort of apocaliptic chapter of the series (The original idea was to have Darius devastated by aliens and etc etc).Then, Metal Black was developed as a different game, and we had to wait 5 years for a new Darius, which is a "side story" (Gai-Den=side story).

This new Darius was developed on Taito's F3 board, and was (and still is to some extent) the most popular of the series. For its age, the game was almost a graphic demo, featuring a lot of psychedelic effects and nicely animated bosses...not to mention some of the most hardcore boss battles of the time (Titanic Lance anyone?). There's an extra version which has shuffled zones (instead of A, you get R as the first zone), and an official hack (i.e. Taito didn't sue the hackers or something like that) of the extra version: it has full autofire and,if you start a single player game on 2p side,you will do all zones in alphabetical order!

Now, let's cover the basics:

1.0 BASIC MECHANICS

Darius Gaiden is a pretty simple game, and not really different from the other Dariuses.One main difference is the presence of a much useful "Black hole bomb" and the ability to capture mid-bosses. Let's thus cover the

1.1 BASIC ATTACKS

Forward shot and and missiles (called in this way to distinguish them from the bomb) are mapped to A button, in this game.Like in other Darius games, they will change in nature by levelling them up, i.e. by taking a given number of power-ups without dying (3).Once you level up your missiles and shield, if you die, you will lose partial power-ups but not the weapon level.You have the level-up bar, keeping track of how many power-ups you still need to level up,just under your score.The forward shot works in a different way, being the main weapon for mass destruction at your disposal: there's no bar tracking your progress in power, because you basically lose 2 power levels every time you die. Rank also depends from your basic attack, as we'll cover in the proper section.Finally, a list of the various power-up colours, which will also repeated in the appendix:

RED=Forward shot
GREEN=missile shot
BLUE=Shield

I will also put the various weapon levels in the appendix.

Now, let's talk about the

1.2 BLACK HOLE BOMB

Finally!A smart bomb to deal huge damage to enemies!The black hole bomb is very powerful: once you use it, it will "suck in" all enemies and bullets on the screen (you're immune to its effect...damn, i wonder how the physics behind works ).Once the hole disappears, an electromagnetic storm damages all other enemies remaining on screen.
As you can guess, it's very powerful and useful, in fact it's the less frequent power-up you will get.Its icon is:

PURPLE=Black Hole bomb

Once we have covered our weapons, we can easily say that we know all that's necessary (aka basic) to the game.We can then switch to

2.0 ADVANCED TECNIQUES AND KNOWLEDGE

This section is thought to be enriched by the GD part: i'm listing here the simplest tricks and secrets that are useful in the game, but i really would like to put in contributions on bosses (the most important aspect of the game!) and thus create an organized guide after having some insightful discussions on this aspect.At any case:

2.1. RANK

It's simple: if you power up your main shot, you will trigger the default level for the stage.The default difficulty levels for the stages are:

STAGE 1: 3/15
STAGE 2: 7/15
STAGE 3: 10/15
STAGE 4: 12/15
STAGE 5: 13/15
STAGE 6: 14/15
STAGE 7: 15/15

As you can see, the difficulty's increase is stern at the beginning and slower at the last stages, but the difference between level 14 and 15 is bigger than level 3 and 7!The trick to keep rank relatively low is avoiding to max out the forward shot: every time you level-up with main shot, you will trigger the above increase of difficulty.For example, if you enter the second stage with the laser (lvl 2) shot, you will have that stage at difficulty 7.The interesting thing is that on almost all routes,you will max out by stage 4, so you have to level up 4 times to trigger stage 4 difficulty (12/15).Why? because the rank increase is triggered in this way:

Stage 1/lvl 2 shot (laser)--->rank increase to 7/15
stage 2/lvl 3 shot(small wave)--->rank increase to 10/15
stage 3/lvl 4 shot (big mixed wave)---> rank increase to 12/15
stage 4/lvl 5 shot (not maxed out though)--->rank stops at 12/15.

As long as your power level isn't maxed out, difficulty stays "low" (12/15), which means faster bullets than the beginning, but bosses have way less hit points than at 15/15: this also means shorter boss battles, and way easier final bosses!

Once said that, there are a few notes regarding

2.2 SECRET BONUSES

Every stage has usually 2 of both types of secret bonuses.The trick is shooting against the scenery (once you have at least a level 3 shot,it's even easier)to reveal them.They come in two kinds: the bonus icon and the "screen-clearer" icon.The bonus icon's value circles around an invisible centre, if you take it exactly at the equivalent of 3 o'clock it will be worth 51,2k points, 50 points at 9 o'clock: intermediate values are based on the "hour", and they basically increase in the upper sector (from 9 to 3 o'clock), decrease in the lower sector (from 3 to 9 o'clock).The screen clearer icon simply cancels all enemies and bullets on screen (obviously). Their colours are:

ORANGE=bonus icon
GOLD= Screen-clearer icon

also, there's a secret life on all stage 3 and stage 6 zones: it's a small bobble with a miniature Silver Hawk in it.

2.3 AUTOFIRE

If you use a cheat ( Press and hold B, and press Y, Right, Left, X, Z, L and R ) you can trigger the equivalent of superfast autofire (like in the official hack) speed, or you can use your Saturn's joystick hardware autofire for the same speed.Else, normal autofire is pretty slow...but!If you actually tap both button shots (on Saturn), you can have two buttons for normal shot), you can reach the same speed with some effort (useful during bosses, you can tire less by doing the double tap only during these sections).

2.4 CAPTAINS AND CAPTURE

All stages save the fourth have a mid-boss, and all mid-bosses have a sphere on their head (more or less).If you can damage enough this sphere without destroying the mid-boss, you will freeze the boss:if you take the floating sphere, you will capture the mid-boss ("captain") and will fight at your side until destroyed!


2.5 FINAL BONUS

The points you will get after you clear the game,obiously.
It is:

NUMBER OF SILVER HAWKS IN STORE*1M
NUMBEROF BOMBS*3OOK
NUMBER OF CAPTURED CAPTAINS*200K

Now an appetizer for the discussion:

3.1 BOSSES AND MID-BOSSES

Darius games have always been famous for their boss battles and Darius gaiden is no different.Its bosses can be pretty nasty, though.Now, since Tar-Palantir has written an excellent guide to DG's bosses, i'm reposting here said list with this link . You will find a lot of pics and clear,insightful explanations on the best tecniques to use against the various giant fishes in the game:Not only that, you will also find the most comprehensive guide to Darius games in English



APPENDIX

ICON COLOURS

RED= Forward shot
GREEN=Missile shot
BLUE=Shield
PURPLE=Black Hole Bomb
ORANGE=Bonus
GOLD= Screen-Clearer

Silver Hawk=extra life

FORWARD SHOT LEVELS

Note: you always need three power-ups for next level, you lose two levels if you die.

Lv 1: Missile (more powerful than you'd think, but does not pass through enemies or terrain)
SubLv 1: Single Shot
SubLv 2: Double Shot
SubLv 3: Triple Shot

Lv 2: Laser (passes through enemies but not terrain)
SubLv 1: Double Laser
SubLv 2: Triple Laser
SubLv 3: Quad Laser

Lv 3: Wave (passes through enemies and terrain)
SubLv 1: Small Wave
SubLv 2: Small Wave w/ double missile
SubLv 3: Medium Wave

Lv 4: Large Wave
SubLv 1: Large Wave
SubLv 2: Large Wave w/ double missile
SubLv 3: Large Wave w/ double small wave

Lv 5: Red Wave:
SubLv 1: Large Red Wave w/ auto-aiming "Options"
SubLv 2: Ditto, also with double missile
SubLv 3: Same as sublv 1, also with double small green wave

MISSILE SHOT LEVELS

Note:You always need three power-ups for the next level, if you die you lose all power-ups but not the level.


Death will usually knock you back to the first sublevel of the previous level. (Dying with a sublevel 2 red wave sends you back to sublevel 1 Large Wave, for example.)

Bombs work the same way, although they never power down at death and require 3 green power-ups to move up a sub-level (does a simple sublevel increase boost their power? I'm not sure.

Lv 1: Napalm Bomb (down/forward only)
Lv 2: Twin Napalm (forward up and forward down)
Lv 3: Multi Napalm (up and down, forward and back)
Lv 4: Multi-Homing Napalm (forward homing bombs, regular back bombs)

SHIELD LEVELS

Note: i list colour, number of maximum you can take at full power,the increase on shield's strength with every power-up you take.If you lose your shield, you will get back the maximum level at the next power-up.

LEVEL 1=Normal (green, max 3 hits,+1 per power-up).
LEVEL 2=Super (silver, max 4 hits, +2 per power-up).
LEVEL 3=Hyper (gold, max 5 hits,+3 per power-up).
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2005 7:20 am 


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Would I be incorrect in saying the first boss can be milked infinitely? It seemed like the only consequence to waiting was that extra enemies came out. Those were easy to destroy though, you didn't even have to move. And the squares he shoots out are worth points.

Eventually he died, I was accidentally shooting him in the weak point though.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2005 12:05 pm 



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Well, it's a tad pointless. You can milk it, but you should find a way not to damage it at all, for infinite milking. THe enemies appearing are a small inside joke, they first appeared in Darius, and then were recycled in Arkanoid as well.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 4:52 pm 


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Just out of curiosity Rando, what do you reckon the best scoring route is? I'm experimenting with Darius Gaiden again and curious to know.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 5:10 pm 


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I'd say up all is the best scoring route, but ABDHLQV is the easiest high scoring route, possibly the easiest route in the whole game too.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 10:09 pm 



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Depends on which final stage you want. I can't reach Aiva now, but in general, going down is better. If you want to get a V clear, then you seriously need to do AC etc. In general, it's better to have as many as "classical" bosses as you can. Of course this means making the game ten times more difficult...but that's the price for awesum scorez!
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 10:19 pm 


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Do you know what the optimal routes for each end stage are, then? Or can you point me in the right direction of the info? In G.Darius the scoring routes are pretty well defined (up = low, down = high) but in Darius Gaiden the optimal routes are hazy since there are so many integral stages.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 10:47 pm 



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The most straightforward ones are the all upward and the all downward ones. the V optimal route is AC all up. The others require some checks: i think that the X (or whatever Vermillion Coronatus' stage is) is like the V one but then going down instead of up. As a general rule of thumb, crescent moon (or whatever) is a better boss than crusty hamner, score-wise (if you destroy all spinning fins). In general, the sequence AC is a given, possibly ACE. At any case, i'll be able to play the game from Sunday...
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 10:50 pm 


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Hmm... OK, thanks for the info guys. I'm going to give it a few plays over the next few days and see what I can dig up. If I find anything interesting, I'll pop it up here.

Don't hold your breath though, I have a lot on my gaming plate at the moment. ^_^;;
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 11:09 pm 


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Randorama wrote:
I can't reach Aiva now, but in general, going down is better.


http://www.aiva.emuita.it/d.php
The up all record is 14,060,350 and the down all record is 11,949,320 ;)

But generally in the Darius games, going down = harder = more points, but it means less points in Gaiden.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 11:53 pm 


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Smraedis wrote:
But generally in the Darius games, going down = harder = more points, but it means less points in Gaiden.


Hmm, thats weird. I'll have to try the All Up route and see how it goes.

In any rate, I just had a quick go and took the [A -> C -> Up to V] route, lost my run halfway through the fourth stage and had 2mil. Which is quite poor I guess. -_-;;

BTW, that page linked had this as a comment on the scores:
AUTOFIRE - POSSIBLE INFINITE SCORE (BUG)

There's a scoring bug?
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 12:03 am 


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The up all route is harder than the AC~V route, but there must be lots more to score on the later stages by going up all..

To the messing up half way: that used to happen to me lots, usually because I didn't hammer the fire button down as quick as you should do :D Using autofire really helps though, if you are alright with using it.

and to the score bug, I think its to do with shooting a part of a boss off, and it gives you a really high score for some odd reason, I've not had it happen to me though.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 12:12 am 


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Smraedis wrote:
The up all route is harder than the AC~V route, but there must be lots more to score on the later stages by going up all..


I'll give it a go, see whats different. I was quite happy in the AC~V run until the third stage boss (Zone E) hit me with a tentacle and then it went a little pear-shaped. -_-;;

Smraedis wrote:
To the messing up half way: that used to happen to me lots, usually because I didn't hammer the fire button down as quick as you should do :D Using autofire really helps though, if you are alright with using it.


I'm using MAME with autofire atm. I have no problems with using auto in shmups, especially in Darius Gaiden where the regular tapping fire rate is painfully slow.

Smraedis wrote:
and to the score bug, I think its to do with shooting a part of a boss off, and it gives you a really high score for some odd reason, I've not had it happen to me though.


Heh, never seen it happen before. Then again, I can barely knock off half of King Fossil's fins before it blows up. ^_^

By the way, just noticed your sig.
O_O;;
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 12:29 am 


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Okay, I don't think the up all route is much harder if you do use autofire, but I'd need to play it more to confirm that. The normal shot speed really is bad in this game, which is why I went to the Extra version at first (with inbuilt autofire)

And about the sig: you mean my DG scores? the ones with Extra in the names are done on the Extra version, which allows more scoring on each route, if you wondered how I got so much.
I won't put myself down much though! ^_^
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 1:33 am 


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Smraedis wrote:
Okay, I don't think the up all route is much harder if you do use autofire, but I'd need to play it more to confirm that. The normal shot speed really is bad in this game, which is why I went to the Extra version at first (with inbuilt autofire)


Grah! This game is as hard as nails. Taking the topmost route, ended at the fifth stage, 2.6mil. I think I need to learn the bosses seriously, as I bomb the crap out of them after Folding Fan.

Then again, I've only just started playing today. ^_-

Smraedis wrote:
And about the sig: you mean my DG scores? the ones with Extra in the names are done on the Extra version, which allows more scoring on each route, if you wondered how I got so much.
I won't put myself down much though! ^_^


I was referring to all of your scores. ^_-
I have a bit of catching up to do.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 8:33 am 


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Which zone does the Titanic Lance show up in? I got the game on Taito Legends 2 and I'm itching to take down this abomination.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 11:41 am 


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Shooters usually are really hard on the first day of playing them ;)
Icarus wrote:
I was referring to all of your scores. ^_-
I have a bit of catching up to do.

oh, well thank you then ^_^ I think I'm pretty good on the average shooter, but the Darius series scores do stand out for me.

Gorecki wrote:
Which zone does the Titanic Lance show up in? I got the game on Taito Legends 2 and I'm itching to take down this abomination.

That is Zone M, straight in the middle of the map, I don't think the boss is as hard as what people usually say though. :D
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Question: Is there any safe method of handling the second form of Fatty Glutton (Zone K)? I can pretty much manage to no miss no bomb up to this bit, but then I either get trapped by the fireball-straight laser spam, or have to reel off bombs to keep myself alive.

And Crusty Hammer (Zone P) is a pain in the arse! >_<#
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2006 12:43 pm 


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That is the main reason why I go down once ;) I can't see any strategy apart from just going as close as you can and beating him before he goes all mad, I think you will have to bomb like once though.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2006 4:45 pm 


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Icarus wrote:
Smraedis wrote:
But generally in the Darius games, going down = harder = more points, but it means less points in Gaiden.


Hmm, thats weird. I'll have to try the All Up route and see how it goes.

In any rate, I just had a quick go and took the [A -> C -> Up to V] route, lost my run halfway through the fourth stage and had 2mil. Which is quite poor I guess. -_-;;

BTW, that page linked had this as a comment on the scores:
AUTOFIRE - POSSIBLE INFINITE SCORE (BUG)

There's a scoring bug?

Possible means theoretically, there's a bug that allows indefinite milking, but nobody's pulled it off successfully yet.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2006 11:05 pm 


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Smraedis wrote:
That is the main reason why I go down once ;) I can't see any strategy apart from just going as close as you can and beating him before he goes all mad, I think you will have to bomb like once though.


Unfortunately on current strategies I have to bomb three times - once on the second form, and twice on the final form to pass Fatty Glutton without dying. I can no-miss all the way up to stage6 and face Crusty Hammer, but the lack of bombs at this point makes progress extremely hard.

I'm tempted to skip the last three stages of the top route for now and drop down to the Upper V route to see if I can get close to a decent ALL from there. Great Thing also poses a lot of problems, as well as Zone Z' itself, I'm just not comfortable with that stage yet. The problem is I have to abandon all my strategies for the last three zones that way, and relearn the last half of the game.

Picked up a quick 5mil V route ALL though, so at least thats something to work on.

Twiddle wrote:
Possible means theoretically, there's a bug that allows indefinite milking, but nobody's pulled it off successfully yet.


Actually, the scoring bug refers to destroying certain parts of a boss before others. Rando stated in the high score thread that:

Randorama wrote:
Yes, it seems that on some bosses, if you meet some requirements, the scores for destroying single parts go crazy, like getting 95M on Folding Fan.I think that it's based on leaving some tentacles intact while revealing the inner parts of the boss, or something like that.I noticed a similar event on Prickly Angler-I once, wonder if it works on other bosses though.


I've never actually seen it happen though, so I'm not sure of the validity of it yet.
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I think going down once is the far easier way to finish, and should give you more points until when you can finish without bombing much.
It also seems like most of the scoring in the top route is from Great Thing itself, but then you'll lose some points when you need to bomb.. but just keep at it, and you'll be able to finish the game easily.

I've not played this game for a while now though, on Raiden DX at the moment ;)
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 2:41 pm 


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Smraedis wrote:
I think going down once is the far easier way to finish, and should give you more points until when you can finish without bombing much.
It also seems like most of the scoring in the top route is from Great Thing itself, but then you'll lose some points when you need to bomb.. but just keep at it, and you'll be able to finish the game easily.


Yeah, just saw a Great Thing replay on YouTube, and as expected, GT is the boss to milk. It appears that the spiral missles it fires are worth a lot of points - something like 30,000 each - and GT cycles between a homing laser phase and the spiral missiles quickly and regularly. The player picked up 2.5mil+ just off milking the missiles. o_O

The main problem though is getting to GT safely. Again, Fatty Glutton and Crusty Hammer causes the problems, and I need to work on safe strategies for both.

Having said that, my current route to V is very successful at the moment. My latest score knocks Rando off the top of the board (if the boards are consolidated) yet I could easily have retained four bombs for a bigger bonus (had none after no-missing Risk Storage). I'm not posting that score yet though, as 10mil is a current Zone V upper target.

Smraedis wrote:
I've not played this game for a while now though, on Raiden DX at the moment ;)


Yeah, I noticed. Stay away from the top spot on the board. ^_-
You're making good progress though. Stage 5 is definitely a tricky one to handle.
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Icarus wrote:
Yeah, just saw a Great Thing replay on YouTube, and as expected, GT is the boss to milk. It appears that the spiral missles it fires are worth a lot of points - something like 30,000 each - and GT cycles between a homing laser phase and the spiral missiles quickly and regularly. The player picked up 2.5mil+ just off milking the missiles. o_O

wow! I don't think they expected people to milk that much from the boss, shame that it is a hard route for that end boss..

I need to play this game again soon, to see how much should be possible by going on route V, I think I was dropping most of my points from bombing.


and on Raiden DX, I don't think I'll beat your score, but I might be able to get 5 million on it. :)
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Smraedis wrote:
wow! I don't think they expected people to milk that much from the boss, shame that it is a hard route for that end boss..


The stages aren't the problem to be honest, its the bosses. ^_-

Smraedis wrote:
I need to play this game again soon, to see how much should be possible by going on route V, I think I was dropping most of my points from bombing.


Well, I've estimated that I can easily break 10mil if I no-miss one-bomb the game. I know I drop at least 1.1mil in total as I don't know how to capture the Captains after stage2, and I still need a bomb to safely pass a difficult section in stage4. 12.5mil maybe? No doubt there's a few points to be had from boss milking too.

EDIT: Its actually stating to get a little annoying now. About ten credits tonight, all of them ALLs, but always one little mistake. Like using more bombs than I should have (new record 9.6mil from that credit), or dying once fighting Risk Storage (all credits ended at 9.2mil). I can sort of capture the third Captain, and can get the sixth Captain if I'm not fully powered up, but the rest are a little difficult to do. The no-miss one-bomb is coming, just need to do something about Risk Storage and the annoying tail.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 9:11 pm 


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I've just noticed this really weird bug/problem in the game, where if you destroy a formation too quickly, and the bonus points 'popup' on screen doesn't appear, you don't get the bonus points for clearing that formation. It also happens with the Captains too, in that you get less points for destroying something with the shots a Captain fires, and also you lose the formation bonus in the same way.

That is really aggravating. >_<'
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 9:21 pm 


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I think I noticed this happening before too, but taking the captains is worth doing so every time, and just try to take the kills for yourself :D
Also, the captains seem easier to capture on DG Extra, but maybe just because I've played that version so much more.

I'm having some problems playing the game in mame here, but its prolly this pc, dropping lots of frames at the bosses.. its making the game lots harder too. :(


Congrats on getting the 10 million too!
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 9:35 pm 


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Smraedis wrote:
Also, the captains seem easier to capture on DG Extra, but maybe just because I've played that version so much more.


Yeah, the Captains are a lot harder to capture in regular flavour Darius Gaiden. The last three are the most problematic - I can never get the fourth one (the snake), the fifth one (with the big gatling gun) I get once every ten years, the the sixth one depends on whether or not I have one less than maximum Shot power, and even then I can only ever get it once every ten credits.

For now I am just working on consistently getting the first three Captains, and picking up some more points from Deadly Crescent and Risk Storage.

Smraedis wrote:
I'm having some problems playing the game in mame here, but its prolly this pc, dropping lots of frames at the bosses.. its making the game lots harder too. :(


What version of MAME are you using? Alternatively you could use Raine. ^_^

Smraedis wrote:
Congrats on getting the 10 million too!


Thanks! ^_^
I have no doubt you can match or beat it once you get back into the swing of things. ^_^
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 10:46 pm 


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I think I'll leave the later captains at the moment too then, and try to focus on not using bombs... they really do take too long to capture too, its weird.

I'm using MAMEPlus! here, any version seems to be slower than the normal MAME versions.. and yeah, I'm using Plus because of the autofire settings it has, but something about it is slowing it down. I'll try the game on another pc soon.

and ^^ I should be able to make 10m, well I'm sure I can do it now. :)
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2006 3:17 pm 


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I'm getting constant 7m scores at the moment, but this is with bombing a lot, or getting hit once.. I'm missing too many captains still, it just seems like pure luck if you get them or not.

anyway, I'll just play it over and over, since I need to :D the ship goes way too fast now, after playing Raiden RX lots :( I keep on crashing into the scenery!
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