The Arm barrier is a staple defensive power of the Silver Hawk, appearing in every Darius game to date. It can absorb enemy projectiles coming from any direction. The Arm barrier can be obtained or replenished by collecting a blue power-up.
Like the Silver Hawk's weapons, there are three tiers of the Arm barrier. The first tier is just called Arm, a green-colored barrier. The second tier is called Super and has a silver color. The third and final tier is called Hyper and has a golden color. As shown in Darius Gaiden, their full names are Super-Arm and Hyper-Arm, respectively.
The maximum number of hits the Arm barrier can take depends on the current tier. Conventionally, Super-Arm takes more hits than Arm, and the same goes with Hyper-Arm against Super-Arm. Additionally, Hyper-Arm can protect the Silver Hawk against terrain collision, which would otherwise result in instant death. Terrain collision protection still requires Arm energy, though.
Unlike with the Silver Hawk's weapons, picking up blue power-ups will still reinforce the Arm barrier even when its level is maxed out at Hyper-Arm. In this case, "Level" refers to the number of power-ups collected for the Arm barrier, not the number of hits it can take.
Except in Darius II, the Arm barrier will shrink when it has only one hit remaining. After that, it will disappear.
In different games Edit
The functionality of the Arm system varies between games.
Upon terrain collision with Hyper-Arm, the player's Silver Hawk briefly bounces in the opposite direction at about twice the normal movement speed. This recoil can be dangerous in tight passages since it can potentially throw the ship into more terrain which may destroy the Silver Hawk if Arm energy is insufficient. Colliding with terrain takes two hits off the Arm barrier, thus the Silver Hawk is not protected against terrain collision even if its Arm barrier has one hit left.
A blue power-up always gives the Silver Hawk 3 Arm hits. Each tier can hold one more hit than the previous, as follows:
|Arm Tier||Max Hits|
The Arm barrier is effectively the same as in Darius Gaiden in regards to maximum hits. Arm power-ups are significantly scarce, so it's ideal to block projectiles with captured enemies instead.
|Arm Tier||Arm Gained|
So technically, the maximum Arm hits a tier can hold is based on how many power-ups are required to upgrade the Arm barrier. In Dariusburst and its mobile port Second Prologue, 6 power-ups are required to upgrade a tier. Once the player collects 6 blue power-ups, the number of arm hits gained for every blue power-up collected thereafter will increase.
If a Silver Hawk is destroyed, the next ship may come with a certain number of Arm hits depending on the difficulty - 3 hits for Easy, 1 for Normal, and none for Hard.
PROTIP: On the Normal tier, if the Silver Hawk has only one Arm hit left and a blue power-up is collected then, the Arm barrier will only have two hits remaining. By depleting the Arm barrier and then picking up a blue power-up, the Arm barrier will have three hits remaining.
If a Silver Hawk is destroyed within the A-D-H route in Original Mode, the next ship respawns with 1 Arm hit. In Chronicle Mode, the Silver Hawk's Arm level and number of hits are reset to what is initially given in the mission, even if the player upgrades the Arm barrier to a higher tier.
Chronicle Saviours' CS Mode also requires 5 power-ups to advance the Arm's tier. A feature exclusive to CS Mode is the ability to display an Arm counter, displaying exactly how many hits the Arm barrier has left.
When starting a mission, the player has the option to use a preset Silver Hawk or configure their own. As with the Silver Hawk's weapons, the higher the Arm is set to, the more points it will cost to start the mission.
|Arm Value||Point Cost|
Extra Arm beyond 29 hits cost 8,000 points for each level. The player can start the mission with a maximum of 98 Arm hits, which costs 204,000 points. However, the Arm barrier can still take more than 100 hits if more blue power-ups are collected.