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



Joined: 24 Jan 2020
Posts: 66
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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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: 66
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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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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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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 Post subject: Re: Darius Gaiden : Saturn/Arcade differences
PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2021 6:43 pm 


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


Any more info on this bug? He does seem to get angry really fast. Is this something that always happens or occasionally? Can it be avoided?


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 Post subject: Re: Darius Gaiden : Saturn/Arcade differences
PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2021 7:04 pm 


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It's unavoidable. The arcade version of Darius Gaiden associates the difficulty modifier increase of King Fossil's fins with the stage 2 difficulty setting * 2 + 1 (you can observe and change this in the service menu; the default stage 2 difficulty of (7) * 2 + 1 = 15, the same difficulty of stage 7), rather than the much lower value that stage 2 should normally have. At default settings, the value is exactly twice as much per body part as it should be, so blowing off all five of its fins is the equivalent of destroying 10 of Ancient Dozer's body parts if it had that many.

Edit: whoops, corrected an error from my older notes
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Last edited by MathU on Wed Mar 17, 2021 10:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Darius Gaiden : Saturn/Arcade differences
PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2021 12:22 am 


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Jeez, and I always take out all 5 fins. Might try some runs without and see how that goes.


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 Post subject: Re: Darius Gaiden : Saturn/Arcade differences
PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2021 12:49 pm 


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Another difference in the Saturn version is one a friend pointed out to me a while ago: after dying, instead of powering down to the beginning of your current 'tier' or shot level, and dropping down a tier on subsequent deaths, you actually power down to the starting peashooter every time, regardless of your current shot level. I stupidly suggested this couldn't be true and that it has never been the case in any Darius game, but was able to reproduce it myself on my Japanese copy. However, I haven't played my Saturn disc regularly in some years, so I can't say if this is a bug or the game's consistent, normal behaviour. Anyone noticed this? It seems like the first thing people would talk about when discussing major port differences, but I've never heard anyone else mention it.


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 Post subject: Re: Darius Gaiden : Saturn/Arcade differences
PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2021 3:24 pm 



Joined: 24 Jan 2020
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First time I've heard of it, if you can capture it somehow I'd be interested to see it.


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 Post subject: Re: Darius Gaiden : Saturn/Arcade differences
PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2021 4:38 pm 


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Are you sure you were not playing Darius II? I think that's what happens there.
In my Saturn Gaiden copy you don't power down to lowest on death.
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 Post subject: Re: Darius Gaiden : Saturn/Arcade differences
PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2021 5:20 pm 


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No, definitely Gaiden. I do have II but haven't touched the Saturn version in a decade! I'll do some more testing later tonight and see if I can get footage...


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 Post subject: Re: Darius Gaiden : Saturn/Arcade differences
PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2021 1:40 pm 


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Okay, so I haven't had much time to test this but I did discover something, at least. If I collect red orbs up to laser level two or three and then die, I won't revert to laser level 1 but missile/peashooter level 1. If I play until I'm at wave level 2 and die, I revert to laser level 1. I think I've just been mistaken all along and this is how it works. I.e. you don't revert to "current shot level 1" before losing a tier, you just lose a tier, every time. I dunno why I thought otherwise, but it's been a while since I died this early in a legit run.

https://youtu.be/GHZxDoUoVnQ

Excuse the terrible footage and autofire - I had my phone in one hand and a pad in the other. I'm at laser level 3 in the vid. I have a clip of a laser level 2 death too, but I forgot to fire it before dying as proof. :p

Edit: yep, false alarm. On testing in MAME it's clear there's no dropping to the start of your current tier, only dropping down a tier.


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 Post subject: Re: Darius Gaiden : Saturn/Arcade differences
PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2021 9:42 pm 



Joined: 24 Jan 2020
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Exactly, you only drop a level. So far the only Darius I know of that puts you back to the start everytime is Darius II.


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 Post subject: Re: Darius Gaiden : Saturn/Arcade differences
PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2021 10:20 pm 


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Yeah, definitely. I guess Gaiden differing from basically everything else in the series in this regard added to my confusion.

Feel free to delete my posts, which now add nothing to the thread! :P


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 Post subject: Re: Darius Gaiden : Saturn/Arcade differences
PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2021 7:00 pm 


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One of the most tricky scoring sections is in Zone J where you can get a massive bonus from destroying all the Prickly Angler enemies, but the timing is really strict on when they are destroyed. Basically if you time things wrong the sprite limit will be reached, causing waves of enemies to not spawn in.

The Saturn version supposedly doesn't have this sprite number limitation making getting a high score here far easier.

Don't have access to the Saturn version currently so this should probably be verified by someone who does before making it into the OP.

BTW Japanese players have a nickname for this section that takes so much practice to score consistently on "44486." This refers to the spawns you get if you are able to get max score. 4 Prickly Angler larva per wave x3, 8 Prickly Anglers, then 6 of the smaller winged enemies.


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