It has been quite some time since we've had a Favorite Tunes centering around a central theme or series, so this week is all about my favorite SHMUP series that involves fish, Darius. Consider this a bit of a musical Darius history lesson if you're new to the series or a trip down memory lane if you're a long time fan.
Main Theme : Chaos - Darius (ARC)
From the one that started it all, the music in the original Darius title holds up quite well. The game's main theme may take a while to grow on you but once it gets going, this is a pretty sick tune. Eerie, yet upbeat and very off-world sounding.
Cosmic Air Way - Sagaia (GB)
Being on the GB, you might think a Darius game may not translate to well. Sagaia actually turned out to be one of the better shooters on the handheld. Much of the music was lifted from the first Darius title (by the time Sagaia landed on the GB, Darius II was already two years old) and it sounds really good in GB chiptune form.
Muse Valley - Darius II (ARC)
Darius II was released as Sagaia outside of Japan. Not to be confused with the GB title of the same name, Darius II is by and large a much better game than the original and like the first title, features more outstanding audio by Zuntata. When it comes to official Darius arrangements, Muse Valley is frequently chosen.
Rodeo Diver - Darius Twin (SNES)
The game that introduced me to the Darius series has the honor of being the second SNES game I ever owned (the first being Super Mario World.) The soundtracks of the Super Famicom and SNES version of Darius Twin have some very subtle differences that may not be apparent if you aren't very familiar with the game's score. The guitar riffs are even more pronounced in the SNES version than they are the Super Famicom and overall, the soundtrack sounds more fleshed out. As a result, tracks like Rodeo Diver really pop in the SNES version of Darius Twin.
FAKE - Darius Gaiden (ARC)
While the earlier Darius titles were comprised of mostly cheerful, peppy music, the series would later shift to more haunting, experimental, moody music and that is greatly apparent in Darius Gaiden, a game released in the mid 1990s where 3D gaming was finally becoming a reality. Music in Darius Gaiden can be on the creepy side (along with G. Darius, my favorite game in the series) but the tunes are still good and FAKE is even dance-worthy.
Suite Photoconductivity ~First Tune: Iron Fossil~ - Dariusburst Another Chronicle (ARC)
This is is the longest track I've listed, clocking in at over seven minutes in length. It takes a little bit to start up, but the wait is definitely worth it. Music in Dariusburst Another Chronicle is more in line with what you'd hear in Darius Gaiden and G. Darius. As much as I enjoy the music from the earlier entries, I've no problem with what Darius music evolved into, especially when it sounds this good.
Favorite Tunes Database