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 Post subject: Darius Gaiden : Saturn/Arcade differences
PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2021 9:12 pm 



Joined: 24 Jan 2020
Posts: 23
The Saturn port of Darius Gaiden has often been descibed as faithfull, but even if the game experience resembles very much the arcade version, it’s quite far from « arcade perfect », though this time the differences are less perceptible and more subtle than it was with the ports of Darius I & Darius II. Everything said here comes from my personnal experience with the game (something like 2000 hours), spent mostly on Saturn, on the Cozmic Collection (PS4 version) since august 2020, and on the PCB (a bunch of times at IRL sessions), and other info that I gathered reading forums (which I took time to double-check). I’m assuming here the version present on the Cozmic is identical to the arcade (but maybe I’m wrong ?) except the epileptic black hole bomb that Rastan78 pointed out (big thanks !). If there is anything I might have missed feel free to tell me and I’ll edit the post ;). Feel free to add this on the wiki or anywhere else it could be usefull. A big thanks to Bofner for taking some time to correct my english !!

I) Differences in game design

- The first big difference between the two versions is that the angle taken by the missiles (or « bombs » in the official Darius terminology) shot by the Silver Hawk is wider, or more open on the Saturn version than in the arcade version. This is particularly noticeable when moving the ship in order to give missiles an altered angle of descent : for instance when sticking to the left side of the screen and maintaining a backwards direction the missiles will go backwards on the x axis, while they will take a purely vertical direction on Saturn. Overall the Saturn is easier because of this : since the missiles will be fired in a more frontal direction, it limits the risks you need to take to make the best use out of them, but it’s also worth noting that some spots will be harder because of that. In a non-exhaustive manner the end of zone G with all the weird globes, the appearance of the last mech in zone X, and the fight against Deadly Crescent Q are harder on Saturn. If those spots are harder on Saturn it’s because the missiles shouldn’t come out in such a frontal way, for instance on zone Q the down frontal missile will hit the scenery before it redirects itself towards the boss.

- The second big difference is that the rank will rise more slowly on Saturn. That is particularly noticeable when destroying boss parts. For instance if one would destroy extra parts on Ancient Dozer and Electric Fan, then Prickly Angler I will fire big bullets in the arcade version, while it will never be the case on Saturn. Score-wise this means that on Saturn you have more room to milk bosses without making the last captains impossible to capture because of rank (rapidfire off I mean). In the arcade version one needs to be more careful with the milk since rank rises sharply when milking.

- The third big difference is how rapidfire is handled. Like Darius I and Darius II, the game comes with a default autofire, unlike the previous episodes however it is usable (the previous ones required you to either tap or play with external tools). Here it’s also possible to tap in order to increase the fire rate as long as you exceed the default frequency, but every press while increase rank a tiny bit (the amount of bullets on screen doesn't matter, only presses). Thus in the arcade version of Darius Gaiden repeated use of rapidfire will increase rank significantly, but that is not the case on Saturn where maintaining rapidfire will still count as one press. The reason being that the rapidfire is in-game and it is unlocked via cheatcode, it’s not a an outside tool that allows a constant amount of presses. A direct consequence of that is that the captain’s « burst attacks » will still be fired on Saturn even with rapidfire. Another consequence is that on Saturn it is impossible to set different frequencies like it can be done on a cab, mame, or Cozmic : it’s either default autofire or 30hz rapidfire with no in-between.

-Some spots have a lot of slowdown on Saturn, which overall makes patterns easier to dodge. Here are certain spots where I could notice it : when Golden Ogre appears, when Golden Ogre and Storm Causer explode, on zone K and O, on the second pattern of Crusty Hammer P, when Crusty Hammer R and T do the jumping attack, when Deadly Crescent fires its Crescent shaped lasers, on many of Hysteric Empress' metallic marble patterns, especially the one where she gathers the marbles with her claws to throw them (the only spot where I think slowdown makes the pattern actually harder to dodge : the pattern isn’t very hard to read, but it’s hard because it requires good reflexes, in which what slowdown doesn’t really help, at least in my opinion based on my personal experience), during the whole Deadly Crescent U fight, and sometimes while using the black-hole bomb. The use of rapidfire also causes more slowdown on Saturn. Interesting to note is that on Saturn there is no slowdown on Neon Light Illusion H’s bullet spam (the first pattern), which makes the beginning of the fight harder.

- The game runs slower naturally on Saturn, for instance in the first level there’s at least a two seconds difference from the beginning of the stage to when the warning rings.

- On the Saturn version the difficulty of Titanic Lance has been lowered : there are several differences on a some phases. I won’t fully go into details but I thank Lerebours (France’s greatest Darius specialist) for pointing out all the differences which can be found here : http://forum.shmup.com/viewtopic.php?t=2036.

- The HUD is outcentered on Saturn.

- On Saturn the screen and the music pause for a very short moment here and there, that can been seen when penetrating the Darius atmosphere on stage 6, and on the beginning of zone F.

- Golden Ogre has less HP on Saturn.

- There is a huge score bug on Saturn : when fighting Electric Fan destroying some parts before others will make the score go crazy (https://www.neo-arcadia.com/forum/viewt ... =5&t=73539).

- The fish that come out of Electric Fan aren’t worth any points on Saturn.

- Electric Fan’s blue « rainshower » pattern is uninterrupted on Saturn. Minus Titanic Lance it’s the only occurrence of a different pattern of I can think of.

- The bug causing an abnormal rank increase on King Fossil's Fins has been corrected on Saturn (region differences put aside).

- There is a minor bug on Saturn where options will turn backwards abnormally when Neon Light Illusion H switches to second phase.

- On Saturn the bonus value of the first « fighter » wave after the second shield doesn’t appear on screen even thought the destruction of the last enemy will give the exact amount of the wave value. I’m unable to tell if the destruction still causes the rank to rise or not.

- On Saturn there is a sound test and two additional difficulty modes : very easy and abnormal.

II) Visual differences

- The western Acclaim Saturn release features different ending texts which are not in engrish : https://darius.fandom.com/wiki/Endings#Darius_Gaiden

- Lots of graphical effects were taken out of the Saturn version, among them are the backgrounds of zone H and T (the sunset), the lights taken out when fighting Neon Light Illusion, etc.

- On Saturn the captains don’t shake when their cpture obrs are taken.

- On Saturn there is no forest background when fighting Ancient Dozer, but it is still possible to see some trees beneath the boss’s caterpillars (thanks to Rastan78 for pointing it out to me).

- Ancient Dozer flashes a bit differently on Saturn when he’s being hit.

- The game is overall brighter on Saturn, a problem that also affects the emulated mame version, but to a lesser extent. The Cozmic version looks quite dark in comparison, maybe too much (I don’t remember the PCB being this dark, but maybe my memory is failing). But in any case it’s true that the PCB is much darker than most people think.

- There are some color differences on Saturn, this is noticeable on some enemies, especially the captains.

III) Sound differences

- On Saturn several ost pieces lack some secondary tracks, this is the case of Axon & Singing in the Brain. However the OST has better audio quality due to the game being on compact disk.

- The Warning ! no longer has a whistle effect on Saturn.

- Lots of sound effects are either different, or simply not there on Saturn, that’s the case of the plasma shots, the enemy missiles, the enemy homing lasers, the background sounds of zone J, the captain captures, Fatty Glutton’s scream, when bosses switch phases, and many others.

- Overall the quality of sound effects is inferior on Saturn, and the sound effects are more in the back.


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 Post subject: Re: Darius Gaiden : Saturn/Arcade differences
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2021 3:18 pm 


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Joined: 19 Feb 2008
Posts: 2919
Very interesting write up! Thank you for all the detail. What is the Abnormal mode all about?
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 Post subject: Re: Darius Gaiden : Saturn/Arcade differences
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2021 3:19 am 



Joined: 24 Jan 2020
Posts: 23
It's basically the ultimate difficulty mode, lots of extra fast bullets :https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4mlwcm


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 Post subject: Re: Darius Gaiden : Saturn/Arcade differences
PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2021 8:47 am 


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Joined: 26 Jan 2005
Posts: 830
Location: Sweden
Very interesting read, thanks for sharing. Greater differences than I had assumed.


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 Post subject: Re: Darius Gaiden : Saturn/Arcade differences
PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2021 4:40 pm 


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Joined: 19 Feb 2008
Posts: 2919
Prickly Angler wrote:
It's basically the ultimate difficulty mode, lots of extra fast bullets :https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4mlwcm


Interesting, looks hectic. Thanks for the video!
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