Darius Twin is the first Super Nintendo entry in Taito's Darius series of shoot 'em up. It is the third game in the series chronologically. Like the rest of the series, the game has multiple branching paths and aquatic-themed bosses, often resembling sea creatures like angler fish and hermit crabs.
Darius Twin was followed by another Super Famicom/SNES exclusive game in the Darius series, 1993's Darius Force. Darius Force is known as Super Nova in the US.
Darius Twin takes place sometime after the events of Darius II (known as Sagaia outside of Japan). Darius, the home planet of the Darius series, has been taken over by an alien race, the Belser and their alliance, who have ruthlessly conquered parts of the galaxy in aquatic-themed spaceships. The player's job is to pilot a 'silver hawk' fighter craft, making their way back to Darius, and free it from the Belser. Depending on the path taken, and whether or not the player is successful at the task, there are five different endings that can be attained. While they differ in how thoroughly the player has managed in driving off the Belser, in all of them it's apparent that the player will be called back into action against some foe sooner rather than later.
This game does not depend much on the storyline. The only reference to the story seen is in the intro before the title screen and in the outro screens at the various endings.
In Darius Twin each game level (called "rounds" in-game) represents a planet that is being cleared of the Belser forces on the way to liberating the home planet of Darius. Every time a round is cleared, a screen displaying 12 planets arranged broadly in the shape of a fish is shown. The player has the option of 12 different paths through these, meaning that one playthrough requires only seven rounds.
The choice of path can affect what enemies will be faced, what upgrades will be received, and also which ending will be seen. The following table gives an overview of what upgrades are to be found on which levels, and where mini-boss fights are faced.
|B: Danto||Weapon||Bomb||Mini-Boss||Screen Kill|
|D: Lankus||Bomb||Shield||Weapon Switch||Bomb||Bomb||Bomb||Shield||Shield|
|E: Padi||Shield||Extra Life||Shield||Bomb||Mini-Boss*||Screen Kill*||Weapon||Shield||Weapon||Bomb||Bomb||Shield|
|F: Rear||Weapon||Mini-Boss||Weapon*||Shield||Shield||Bomb||Extra Life||Bomb||Shield|
|I: Karudo||Shield||Shield||Screen Kill||Weapon||Weapon||Mini-Boss|
|J: Noemu||Weapon*||Shield||Weapon Switch||Extra Life||Shield||Screen Kill||Shield|
|K: Horolain||Weapon Switch||Shield||Shield||Screen Kill*||Shield||Extra Life||Bomb|
* Denotes a random encounter
Weapon upgrades are red, bombs green, shields blue, extra lives are orange, screen kill yellow, and finally, weapon switches are red octagons (as opposed to cubes).
"Weapon Switch" upgrades is where the type of weapon the ship has is changed. Getting two of these would revert the ship's weapons back to the original type, and is not recommended. "Screen Kill" is an upgrade that. When activated, it destroys all the regular enemies on screen and deals a large amount of damage to mini-bosses.
The final level, Darius, has no upgrades, only a series of repeated encounters with the mini-bosses from the other levels.
Multiple upgrades are available in all planets/levels. To upgrade, the player must break a special cube container, which appears in packs of six. The sixth container will reveal a crystal that will yield an upgrade. The color and shape of the crystal will determine the kind of upgrade will be received. In typical arcade-game style, the upgrades appear mixed into the action, and it is entirely possible to miss them while fighting off the waves of enemies that appear along with them. This is an integral part of the gameplay of Darius Twin, with a lot of the challenge consisting in making use of the upgrades when available and, in co-operative mode, distributing them in the best way between the two ships.
The red upgrades that are collected change the weapons available to the player. When the game begins, the player has small orange lasers and, depending on what upgrades are chosen, the player may end up with the big white fireballs or the more powerful wave weapon that also cuts through all enemies and obstacles. Each new upgrade increases the damage dealt and changes the look of the weapon's shots.
The red octagon switches weapon type. Picking up the red octagon twice in a game will just switch back to the original weapon.
Starting weapon progression
- Small orange laser.
- Larger orange laser.
- Dual orange lasers, larger than before.
- Small orange energy ball.
- Dual orange energy balls.
- Triple orange energy balls
- Large white energy ball
- Larger white energy ball
- Largest white energy ball
Alternate weapon progression
- Small orange laser.
- Longer blue laser.
- Thicker, brighter blue laser.
- Longer red laser.
- Brighter red laser that cuts through enemies.
- Narrow white wave that cuts through enemies.
- Broad white wave that cuts through enemies.
- Broader white wave that cuts through enemies.
- Broadest white wave that cuts through enemies.
The green upgrades signify new types of bombs that are added to the arsenal and serve as a secondary weapon. The player starts with a single bomb that drops down in front of the ship. When they are at the maximum level, it finishes with four red fireballs shooting out diagonally that can hit multiple enemies.
Secondary weapon progression:
- One small bomb that drops in front.
- Two small bombs that curve out (upwards and downwards) in front.
- Two additional bombs curving out of the back.
- Diagonal blue lasers shooting out in front, two ballistic bombs from the back.
- Four blue lasers shooting diagonally out from the ship.
- Four thicker, brighter blue lasers shooting out diagonally that cut through enemies.
- Four dual bright blue lasers shooting out diagonally and cutting through enemies.
- Four violet fireballs shooting out diagonally and cutting through enemies.
- Four larger violet fireballs shooting out diagonally and cutting through enemies.
The shield upgrades are found in blue cubes, and add together to move the ship into one of three tiers of shielding. Before any shield upgrades are picked up, the ship has no defenses and will die in one hit. The shield allows multiple hits but it will get thinner and thinner as the ship gets struck, until finally it fails.
- One blue upgrade - Green shield.
- Four blue upgrades - Stronger silver shield.
- Nine blue upgrades - Strongest gold shield.
Orange cubes contain extra lives - there are only two of these in the entire game. Yellow cubes are like bombs which kill every enemy on the screen, except for mini-bosses, who are damaged badly by them.
As the name implies, this game allows two-player simultaneous mode. Player 1 will get the red silver hawk and player 2 will get the blue one. There are no differences in upgrades, enemies or difficulties between one and two-player mode. Maxing out the primary weapons or the bombs of both ships will not be possible before reaching the last boss. The shields on the other hand can reach their highest levels for both ships if the correct order is chosen, and if no upgrades are missed.
There are five different endings. Which ending is attained depends on which path is chosen, how many times the player died, and how many mini-bosses and bosses were not destroyed in time. Be aware that there might be more ways to receive these endings than those listed below.
|Attaining the Ending||The Ending|
|Finish the game.||Proco and Tiat (the series' main characters) regain their old home planet of Darius, but the enemy fleet is approaching the new home planet of Orga. Proco and Tiat turn around and travel back with light speed.|
|Taking the path ACDFHKL.||Proco and Tiat regain their old home planet Darius. The text reads:|
The ship descends into an elevator of some sorts.
|Taking the path ACDFHKL, starting with three lives, finding two more and only dying once.||Proco and Tiat regain their old home planet Darius. The text reads:|
Numerous silver hawks and a large round battleship fly through space.
|Taking the path ACDFHKL, starting with three lives, finding two more and not dying at all.||Proco and Tiat regain their old home planet Darius. The text reads:|
A bunch of silver hawks and a huge grey version of a silver hawk appears on screen as they fly through space.
|Letting some mini-bosses or regular bosses escape||The text reads:|
A cartoony blue planet with the text "Darius" written on it is displayed as two silver hawks circle around it.
If the player meets the qualifications for more than one ending, the one lowest down the chart takes precedence.