Weird Video Wednesday: Beam-dueling in G-Darius (PS1)

World dominating fish-robots aside, I don’t know if I’d consider G-Darius the weirdest title out there, but as far as gimmicks go “beam-dueling” is certainly unique, not to mention visually arresting.

What does count as weird is the fishy-mechanical nature of these bosses. Something all the Darius games share are aquatic-robotic nemeses. Well, every franchise needs a Unique Selling Point I suppose. Much like what happened in the Megaman series (Sheep Man says hello), G-Darius is the sixth in the series and as a result features some absurdly named fish bosses: Tripod Sardine and Accordion Hazard anyone?!

This particular boss fight featured in the video however is against the slightly more conventionally titled Fire Fossil. Fire Fossil is great because, thanks to a whole lot of laser action, the boss fight allows for the most extreme example of beam-dueling in the entire game, to the point where it’s basically Dragon Ball Z: The Videogame (quite apart from all of those actual DBZ games).

G-Darius, alongside Adventures of Alundra, was one of the first PS1 games I got after picking up the system. I love having an arcade-y game to dig into and explore alongside a longer, more expansive game like an RPG. As a result of that habit, I now invariably associate G-Darius with Alundra, and so the fact that I’ve lavished Alundra with praise more than once makes my silence on G-Darius practically feel like a betrayal. But now I’m saved, and it was all thanks to you, Weird Video Wednesday! Tune in next time for more weird videos. (Weird Video Wednesday is brought to you by Japan.)

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2 comments

  1. moresleepneeded

    I have not played this game. It seems unusual for a side-scrolling game featuring a spaceship to use such good graphics and 3-D effects, I thought this sort of game was less fashionable when those effects were used in games. I like the way the backgrounds seem to range from a cloudless sky to Earth’s orbit to psychedelic. There seems to be a bit of a craze of giant robots in Japanese culture at the time this game was released.
    I agree, the bosses do seem to have an aquatic theme, why is the boss called Accordion Hazard? He looks more like a fish than a musical instrument. The beam-duelling looks like a good effect, how do you do this move? Is it a difficult move to learn? The fact the final boss is a sperm whale reminds me of the Moby Dick book.

    • veryverygaming

      Yes, 2D shooters were slowly on the way out by this time. There are a few others though – R-Type Delta and RayStorm are two others for the PS1 with similar 3D graphics. They all but died out with Gradius V and R-Type Final on PS2 though, shame. I really like the look of this game, it’s very colourful and bright. Do you know until you mentioned it I just assumed that accordion was a type of fish! Ok, so it’s not, now this game makes even less sense than it did before :/

      It’s been a while since I played the game so I’m a bit rusty, but I think to use the beam attack you have to capture an enemy. You have a capture ball (basically this game’s version of a Pokeball) that can give you a floating companion to shoot with you. You can then decide whether to keep it floating around as a helper, or you can use it as a bomb for self-defence, or you can do the laser beam. Then when it comes into contact with another beam, you have to mash the button to “win” the beam duel and power up your laser.

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