Much of the text and research for this article was provided by Doc Lithius, on Gradius Wiki and copied with kind permission from Doc Lithius. This page only serves to cover content from the game related to the Darius Series. For additional information on the game, such as other bosses, please go to Gradius Wiki
The year is 2525. It is a time of war.
As Bacterian continued to attack the planet Earth, humanity desperately turned to a new kind of alien bio-weapon to help them, the "Bydo". While the Bydo helped win the battle against Bacterian, it soon grew too intelligent and too powerful to stay under Earth's control, turning against its creators. Soon, Bacterian learned of this and convinced the Bydo to unite with them against Earth. Together, the forces of Bydo and Bacterian -- henceforth known as "Byderian" -- would destroy the universe! However, before it could come to pass, Earth used experimental weapons to blow the new unified forces out of this dimension.
Unfortunately, not all was well. Somewhere, out there, Byderian continues to learn, to evolve, to plot and plan... Somewhere in the distance past of 2219... Earth is once again under siege, and it's up to a small squadron of brave pilots to stop this new threat of Byderian before they can realize their evil intentions...
In the game, the player controls the R-9A "Arrowhead" ship from R-Type complete with all its weapon systems and Force (modular pod) intact, but uses a "level-up" power-up system (as in Gradius) instead of collecting all-at-once power-ups (as in R-Type and Salamander). Enemies and locations come from a combination of the two games and a few of the bosses are hybrids of bosses from both games (particularly the Moairatops, a combination of a Big Moai head and the Dobkeratops boss from R-Type).
The default weapon the R-9 uses is a pretty standard energy shot. While comparatively weak, it can be fired rapidly.
The normal shot can also be charged into a more powerful pair of shots. Slightly charging your cannon will cause the ship to fire a wave of shots. Fully charging your cannon will cause the ship to fire a large burst of energy called the Cannon Wave. The Cannon Wave kills most weak enemies and keeps going and will travel through any solid surfaces or objects. This can be especially useful when an enemy on the other side of a wall may be a threat later on. However, be warned. Using a fully-charged Cannon Wave will cause your ship to be unresponsive for a moment as well as knock it backward a little.
The R-9 can be upgraded by collecting power-up items in the game. The upgrades to the R-9 itself last until the ship is destroyed, but any upgrades made to the Force unit will remain even after death.
- Speed: Anyone familiar with this type of game knows that the starting speed of the ship can generally be lackluster. Enabling Speed upgrades gives your ship faster mobility.
- Missile: The Missile upgrade gives the R-9 the ability to drop missiles from its undercarriage. These missiles, upon contact with an enemy or a solid surface, explode into a stream of smaller explosions which travel in a forward-moving direction. Keep in mind, it won't travel through or up walls or solid objects.
- Option: Not to be confused with the Vic Viper's own Options, the R-9's Options are called "Bits". Bits are basically little indestructible gizmos that hover above and below the ship. The first upgrade gives you the top one while the second upgrade gives you the bottom one. A secret item found in Stage-1 also allows them to fire shots for the rest of the game.
- Force: The Force is a force to be reckoned with. It appears as an indestructible and upgradeable unit which can be mounted at the front of the rear of the ship. It can also be launched at enemies and fires its own shots as the player fires once upgraded. It will always fire normal shots, similar to a Gradius Option, if not attached to the R-9 and if upgraded, can fire shots up, down, and diagonal-forward when free-standing.
Once you've enabled the Force unit, the following upgrades become available and will remain on the Force until changed or the end of the game:
- M-Way: Replaces "Force" when you've gained the Force. Multi-Way gives the Force the ability to fire shots in up to four different directions. The first upgrade makes it fire directly up and down. The second upgrade adds diagonal-up and diagonal-down shots.
- Laser: The Reflect-Laser is a weapon that comes directly from R-Type. The first Laser upgrade makes the Force fire short, piercing lasers straight and at 45° angles up and down from there. The second Laser upgrade elongates the lasers. These lasers can bounce off of solid objects and terrain.
- Burst: Arguably the most powerful weapon, the Burst-Shot fires a small burst of energy forward which detonates into several damaging explosions. This is extremely useful against enemies with high health. The shot will detonate if it contacts an enemy or solid objects, but also detonates after traveling a short distance from the ship. Needless to say, this is a medium-ranged weapon. The second upgrade allows the Force to fire two of these at a time rather than one.
This is the main mode of the game where the player eradicates the forces of Byderian through five awesome and action-filled stages.
- Stage-1: August 4, 2219
- Easy: Space Satellite Metropolis (Easy)
- Normal: Space Satellite Metropolis (Medium)
- Hard: Space Satellite Metropolis (Hard)
- Stage-2: August 5, 2219
- Easy: Biohazard Area
- Normal: Biohazard Area (alternate route)
- Hard: Asteroid Belt
- Stage-3: August 6, 2219
- Easy: Ruin of Moais
- Normal: Space Battleship
- Hard: Boss on Parade
- Stage-4: August 7, 2219
- Easy: Asteroid Belt
- Normal: Boss on Parade
- Hard: Plant of Bydo
- Stage-5-1: August 8, 2219
- Easy: Enemy Fortress (Scroll Section)
- Normal: Enemy Fortress (Speed Section)
- Hard: Enemy Fortress (Speed Section, Hard)
- Normal: The Final Attack
- Hard: The Final Attack
- Hard: The Final Escape
- All Modes: Dual Big Cores
- Easys: Gomander Eye
- Normal: Spider
- Hard: Meteorites Storm, Gravity Core
- Easy: Moairatops
- Normal: Vic Viper Bydo
- Hard: Zub Rush, Darius Bydo x4 ("Fossil Golem", "Twin Metalshell Death Core", "Lizard Sword", "Tetran Mist"), Mother Bydo
- Easy: Meteorites Storm, Gravity Core
- Normal: Zub Rush, Darius Bydo x4 ("Fossil Golem", "Twin Metalshell Death Core", "Lizard Sword", "Tetran Mist"), Mother Bydo
- Hard: Scrap Wall
- All Modes: Final Guard
- Normal: Bio Computer
- Hard: Bio Computer
- Hard: "Brain Golem"
- Fossil Golem is the first Darius Bydo being a hybrid of Salamander's Brain Golem and Darius's King Fossil boss, the body being the King Fossil and the arms coming from the Brain Golem. As with Brain Golem, it slowly (read: very slowly) follows you around, its arms reaching out to try and destroy your ship. Similar to the Brain Golem, this version can only be attacked in one spot - its mouth, and only when it's open. The arms can be destroyed, but doing so causes it to start spitting out bullets and throwing destroyable fish scales at you. On Hard difficulty, it spits bullets out when it opens and closes its mouth regardless of whether the arms are intact. The fish scales also become indestructible.
- Twin Metalshell Death Core is the Second Darius Bydo and is a hybrid of Salamander's Death, Gradius III's Big Core MK III, and Darius Twin's Full Metal Shell boss, the sides being that of two Full Metal Shell's. For all intents and purposes, this boss attacks just like Big Core MK III. When it opens up, the core becomes exposed, but only to fully-charged shots and the Force. During this time, the Full Metalshells fire long lasers high and low while diagonal lasers fire outward, reflecting off the larger lasers. While it's folded-up, it swaggers back, forth, up, and down on the right side of the screen, firing out waves of four small lasers at the player. On Hard difficulty, more lasers are fired while it's closed and the Full Metalshells slowly close while firing their long lasers, causing the rebounding lasers to bounce inward with each passing moment. However, the Metalshells never close completely, always giving the player just enough room to fly back and forth. There's always enough room for the player to scoot between the rebounding lasers from the start as well.
- Lizard Sword is the third Darius Bydo and is a hybrid of Nemesis 2's Lizard Core and Darius Twin's Demon Sword boss, which is mainly composed of Demon Sword. Its red-and-grey arms are a definate nuisance, the claws of which slip to a random location before firing off small lasers. To make matters worse, the claws and arms block your shots and cannot be destroyed. It also has an attack where it fires solid walls of lasers sraight forward, its claws moving up and down as it fires. Should the player be between these walls when the attack starts, they'll have to follow the makeshift "pathway" or be destroyed. Hard difficulty causes this Bydo to attack faster and more aggressively, its laser sweep attack too fast for an under-powered player to avoid. More lasers are fired from its claws as well.
- Tetran Mist is the last Darius Bydo and is a hybrid of Salamander's Tetran and Darius Twin's Red Mist boss, which is mainly composed of Red Mist.As with Tetran, its four tendrils whirls around at a slow pace. Unlike the original Tetran, the body follows the player akin to the Brain Golem, though will always give the player more than enough room to rotate around it with its tendrils. The tendrils also drop pulsing balls of energy which cannot be destroyed and will kill the player on-contact. After this Darius Bydo places a number of energy balls on the screen, it stops moving for a few seconds. After this pause, it rapidly whips its arms around itself and blows all the energy balls away. After another moment, it resumes slowly scooting around the screen with arms rotating. On Hard difficulty, the arms will occasionally switch direction and move faster overall.
Omake mode is unlocked by beating Hard difficulty. As one could guess, it's a bonus mode with two extra stages and a final boss. The first stage, an arrangement of a classic Gradius stage, is unique to the game. The second stage is a much harder version of Easy Stage-3 from the main game.
- Stage-1: G-Type Practice
- Stage-2: G-Type '02kai
- Stage-3: The "Saikyou Ketteisen" (Lit. "The "Strongest Deciding Match"")
- Stage-1: Overactive Volcano
- Stage-2: Moairatops MSX
- Stage-3: R-9Ø Ragnarok
The Hole of Inferno
Upon unlocking Hard difficulty (by beating Normal difficulty), you can also play a mini-game called "The Hole of Inferno". (This is done by setting the difficulty to Hard, then entering and exiting the Start or Config menu repeatedly until the title screen changes into "G-Type: The Hole of Inferno" and the music becomes much more sinister.) Players are given 8 power-ups and five lives to fight through a five-tier boss rush where "dark" versions of five of the in-game bosses await. These bosses are much harder than their base forms and all have a dark, sinister coloration to them. Upon beating the final boss in this mode, you unlock Omake Mode's third stage.
- Target 1: Dark Gravity Core
- Target 2: Dark Spider
- Target 3: Dark Darius
- Target 4: Dark Scrap Wall
- Target 5: Dark Viper
- Dark Darius is a updated version of Twin Metalshell Death Core which is a hybrid of Salamander's Death, Gradius III's Big Core MK III, and Darius Twin's Full Metal Shell boss, the sides being that of two Full Metal Shell's. While it lacks the ability to fold in its wings while firing rebounding lasers like Twin Metalshell Death Core, it "wanders" much faster and fires several more lasers when completely folded up, making navigation the "laser path" all the more difficult. As with the original, it can only be damaged by fully-charged shots and/or the Force unit.
- Though not explicitly mentioned, the Bio Computer's graphics are taken from the Red Falcon Core from Contra III: The Alien Wars.
- One of the bonus modes features a reference to Nemesis '90 Kai, doing a similar move as Konami, but in reverse.
- Free G-Type Download - Acid-Play's download page for G-Type