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Sagaia (Arcade)

From The Cutting Room Floor
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Title Screen

Sagaia

Also known as: Darius II (JP)
Developer: Taito
Publisher: Taito
Platform: Arcade (Taito The Ninja Warriors hardware (3 screen), Taito Darius II hardware (2 screen))
Released internationally: 1989
Released in JP: September 1989


GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
ItemsIcon.png This game has unused items.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
LevelSelectIcon.png This game has a hidden level select.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.
Carts.png This game has revisional differences.


Sagaia, better known as Darius II now, has bigger fish, better weapons (at the cost of a very unforgiving death power-down), and either fewer or the same number of screens as Darius depending on what version you're playing.

Debug Functions

Stage Select

SagaiaArcStageSelect.png
This game uses the Taito Code:

  • After the game boots, hold the Service Coin button until the "SERVICE SW ERROR" message pops up on the screen.
  • Then, press 1P Start (x3), Service Coin, 1P Start and a stage select menu should appear.

Press 1P Left / Right to select a stage and press 1P Button 1 to exit the menu.

Cursor Test

In the 3 screen version only, there's a hidden cursor test that's not referenced anywhere in the game's code. Put this code in MAME's darius2.xml cheat file and enable it to replace the standard crosshatch screen with this cursor test:

  <cheat desc="Cursor Test">
    <script state="run">
      <action>maincpu.mw@006372=5BDA</action>
      <action>maincpu.mw@015BE8=6602</action>
    </script>
    <script state="off">
      <action>maincpu.mw@006372=35E6</action>
      <action>maincpu.mw@015BE8=6702</action>
    </script>
  </cheat>

SagaiaArcCursorTest.png
Use 1P Joystick to move the cursor, and hold 1P Button 1 to quadruple the cursor's speed.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Invulnerability

In the 3 screen version, dip switch B6 will make both players invulnerable to enemies and their projectiles. This dip switch does nothing in any of the 2 screen sets, but there's still a RAM address that controls dip switch invulnerability. Put the appropriate code in darius2d.xml or sagaia.xml to enable this feature:

darius2d.xml
sagaia.xml
  <cheat desc="Invulnerability">
    <script state="run">
      <action>maincpu.pw@101F1C=FFFF</action>
    </script>
    <script state="off">
      <action>maincpu.pw@101F1C=0000</action>
    </script>
  </cheat>
  <cheat desc="Invulnerability">
    <script state="run">
      <action>maincpu.pw@101F20=FFFF</action>
    </script>
    <script state="off">
      <action>maincpu.pw@101F20=0000</action>
    </script>
  </cheat>
(Source: Original TCRF research)

Unused Item

SagaiaArcItemCrash.png
There's one unused item in the game, represented by a sinister skull. Place one of the following codes in the cheat file for the Darius II / Sagaia set of your choice to replace the first power-up in Zone A with this item:

darius2.xml
darius2d.xml
sagaia.xml
  <cheat desc="Crash Item">
    <script state="run">
      <action>sub.mw@00157C=0004</action>
      <action>sub.mw@00158A=0004</action>
      <action>sub.mw@001596=0004</action>
      <action>sub.mw@0015A0=0004</action>
    </script>
    <script state="off">
      <action>sub.mw@00157C=0002</action>
      <action>sub.mw@00158A=0002</action>
      <action>sub.mw@001596=0002</action>
      <action>sub.mw@0015A0=0002</action>
    </script>
  </cheat>
  <cheat desc="Crash Item">
    <script state="run">
      <action>maincpu.mw@026A54=0004</action>
      <action>maincpu.mw@026A62=0004</action>
      <action>maincpu.mw@026A6E=0004</action>
      <action>maincpu.mw@026A78=0004</action>
    </script>
    <script state="off">
      <action>maincpu.mw@026A54=0002</action>
      <action>maincpu.mw@026A62=0002</action>
      <action>maincpu.mw@026A6E=0002</action>
      <action>maincpu.mw@026A78=0002</action>
    </script>
  </cheat>
  <cheat desc="Crash Item">
    <script state="run">
      <action>maincpu.mw@0222CA=0004</action>
      <action>maincpu.mw@0222D8=0004</action>
      <action>maincpu.mw@0222E4=0004</action>
      <action>maincpu.mw@0222EE=0004</action>
    </script>
    <script state="off">
      <action>maincpu.mw@0222CA=0002</action>
      <action>maincpu.mw@0222D8=0002</action>
      <action>maincpu.mw@0222E4=0002</action>
      <action>maincpu.mw@0222EE=0002</action>
    </script>
  </cheat>

SagaiaArcCrashGame.png
Collecting it will destroy all on-screen enemies. It's very likely that this item was replaced by the nuclear bunkers, which have a more impressive screen-clearing effect and are able to be placed in more interesting ways.

Unused Graphics

SagaiaArcItemA.png
Another unused item graphic. There's a tilemap for this in the ROM, but no code for it, so whatever that "A" is for is lost to time.

SagaiaArcBombExplodeTemp.gif SagaiaArcBombExplodeTempF.gif
The nuclear bunkers have placeholder explosion graphics that are always hidden behind the larger mushroom clouds in the final game.

SagaiaArcAntlionCrater.png SagaiaArcAntlionHide.png SagaiaArcAntlion.gif SagaiaArcAntlionCharge.gif

An unused antlion enemy, complete with a crater pit trap. Looks like it would be able to charge and shoot at the player. No tilemap exists for this enemy.

Used Alt
SagaiaArcZoydUsed.png SagaiaArcZoydAlt.png

The Zoyd enemy's graphics are taken directly from the first Darius, but there's an alternate set of graphics with more advanced shading that matches the new art in the game. The updated design is almost complete and is only missing a few turning frames.

Early Final
SagaiaArcLeadainSketch.png SagaiaArcLeadainFinal.png

A sketch of Leadain's body with simpler shading and less detail on the metal plating. Unlike the final design, the two shell halves are asymmetrical and have different spike arrangements.

Early Final
SagaiaArcMotherHawkEarly.png SagaiaArcMotherHawkFinal.png

The Mother Hawk's cutter was originally part of the main sprite, as can be seen on the left. Once the cutter was turned into a proper attack, it was made into a separate sprite and layered behind the main Mother Hawk ship.

SagaiaArcMotherHawkOrbs.png
After the Mother Hawk's graphics are these strange black and blue orbs. Seems they could be broken by the player's shots.

Intact Broken
SagaiaArcMotherHawkOrbed.png SagaiaArcMotherHawkOrbBroke.png

These fit pretty nicely on the Mother Hawk ship. Could have been an alternate means of attack before the cutter was implemented.

Cropped Full
SagaiaArcAttractCrop.gif SagaiaArcAttractFull.gif

All of the game's full-screen graphics are 960 pixels wide, but even the 3 screen version only has a maximum resolution of 864x224. A few details, like the three green screens on the far left of the characters screen in the game's attract mode, are never seen on-screen.

Cropped Full
SagaiaArcEnding1Crop.png SagaiaArcEnding1Full.png

Two of the people in Ending A aren't visible on-screen. These same graphics are flipped on the other side.

Cropped Full
SagaiaArcEnding2Crop.png SagaiaArcEnding2Full.png

Some of Tiat Young's ship in Ending B is hidden behind the left monitor's left border...

Cropped Full
SagaiaArcEnding4Crop.png SagaiaArcEnding4Full.png

...as is most of Tiat Young's model ship, the back of the Green Coronatus model, and most of its model box in Ending D.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Leadain Easter Egg

SagaiaArcRascal.png
SagaiaArcRascalAnim.gif
When Leadain dies, there's a 1/64 chance that the green pilot that normally falls out will be replaced by Rascal, a character that debuted in Taito's Japanese-only release Ben Bero Beh.

Revisional Differences

Demos

The gameplay demos in Darius II were originally recorded for the 3 screen version and weren't re-recorded for the 2 screen version's smaller playfield. Consequentially, the first demo ends quicker in the 2 screen version, while the second demo lasts a little bit longer.

Power-ups

In the 3 screen version, power-ups will slowly float upwards. In all other versions, power-ups will slowly float downwards. According to a developer interview, the 3 screen version is bugged and they're supposed to float downwards.

Regional Differences

Zones

Darius II
SagaiaArcZoneSelectJP.png
Sagaia
SagaiaArcZoneSelectINT.png

The greatest difference between Darius II and Sagaia is the number of zones and splitting paths in the game. Darius II has 28 zones in total, with the path branching with every phase (like how it was in the first Darius), while Sagaia only has 16 zones and the path branches every other phase. The phases in Darius II are based on the Solar System, which Sagaia drops in favor of a more general space theme.

A table of zone differences follows:

Darius II Sagaia
Zone Environ(s) Boss Zone Environ(s) Boss
Sun / Phase 1
Zone A Sun (Red) Hyper Sting Zone A Oceanside Steel Spine
Mercury / Phase 2
Zone B Surface (Brown, barren)
Cave (Orange)
Surface (Brown, barren)
Alloy Lantern
Steel Spine
Zone B Surface (Brown, barren)
Cave (Orange)
Surface (Brown, barren)
Alloy Lantern
Zone C Cave (Orange)
Surface (Brown, barren)
Cave (Orange)
Alloy Lantern
Killer Higia
Venus / Phase 3
Zone D Deep space (Purple) Driosawm Zone C Deep space (Purple) Driosawm
Zone E Deep space (Orange) Driosawm Zone D Deep space (Orange) Driosawm
Zone F Cave (Red)
Volcanic
Driosawm
Moon / Phase 4
Zone G Surface (Brown, ruins)
Cave (Red)
Surface (Ruins)
Red Crab Zone E Surface (Brown, ruins)
Cave (Red)
Surface (Ruins)
Red Crab
Zone H Surface (Brown, ruins)
Enemy base (Blue)
Red Crab
Zone I Surface (Brown, ruins)
Cave (Red)
Surface (Ruins)
Red Crab
Zone J Surface (Brown, ruins)
Enemy base (Blue)
Red Crab Zone F Surface (Brown, ruins)
Enemy base (Blue)
Red Crab
Earth / Phase 5
Zone K Ruined city
Enemy base (Silver)
Ruined city
Yamato
Zone L Arctic
Cave (Arctic)
Arctic
Leadain Zone G Arctic
Cave (Arctic)
Arctic
Leadain
Zone M Ruined city
Enemy base (Silver)
Ruined city
Yamato Zone H Ruined city Yamato
Zone N Oceanside
Enemy base (Silver)
Leadain
Zone O Cave (Red)
Underwater
Leadain Zone I Cave (Red)
Underwater
Cave (Underwater)
Leadain
Mars / Phase 6
Zone P Volcanic
Cave (Yellow)
Grand Octopus Zone J Volcanic
Cave (Yellow)
Grand Octopus
Zone Q Surface (Red, ruins)
Cave (Yellow)
Grand Octopus Zone K Surface (Red, ruins)
Cave (Yellow)
Grand Octopus
Zone R Surface (Red, barren)
Cave (Yellow)
Grand Octopus
Zone S Volcanic
Cave (Yellow)
Grand Octopus
Zone T Arctic
Cave (Yellow)
Grand Octopus Zone L Arctic
Cave (Yellow)
Grand Octopus
Zone U Surface (Red, barren)
Cave (Yellow)
Grand Octopus
Jupiter / Phase 7
Zone V Deep space (Orange) Bio Strong
Zone W Deep space (Purple)
Gas planet
Little Stripes Zone M Deep space (Purple)
Gas planet
Killer Higia
Zone X Deep space (Orange) Little Stripes
Zone Y Deep space (Purple) Little Stripes Zone N Deep space (Purple) Little Stripes
Zone Z Sun (Blue) Mother Hawk Zone O Sun (Red) Bio Strong
Zone V' Deep space (Orange) Mother Hawk Zone P Deep space (Orange) Mother Hawk
Zone Z' Sun (Blue) Bio Strong

The contents of each zone were adjusted as well, mainly to remove captains (mid-bosses that were originally bosses in the first Darius) and their associated sections.

Zone B

  • This zone is 12 screens shorter in Sagaia. The cut content is made up of the Green Coronatus captain's section and an extended sequence after the cave area.

Zone D / Zone C

  • There's an extra screen worth of space in-between the rocket launchers and the spinning satellites in Sagaia.
  • This zone is 12 screens shorter in Sagaia. The cut content is made up of the Fatty Glutton captain's section and some of the ending.

Zone E / Zone D

  • There's an extra set of power-up enemies in the rocket section at the start of the stage in Sagaia.
  • The Fatty Glutton captain's section was replaced with more enemy waves. This is the only zone that's the same length in both versions.

Zone G / Zone E

  • This zone is 5.5 screens shorter in Sagaia due to the removal of the Octopus captain's section.

Zone J / Zone F

  • This zone is 9 screens shorter in Sagaia. The cut content is made up of the Octopus captain's section and some of the ending.

Zone L / Zone G

  • This zone is 6 screens shorter in Sagaia due to the removal of the Strong Shell captain's section.

Zone M / Zone H
SagaiaArcBaseSilver.png

  • One of the more radical changes between regions. In Darius II, the opening section in the ruined city is brief, leading into an underground enemy base which eventually exits out into Yamato's arena. In Sagaia, that opening section was quintupled in length and the enemy base area no longer exists. All in all, this zone is about 14.5 screens shorter in Sagaia.

Zone N / Zone A

  • The length of this stage was drastically reduced when this zone was changed into the opening stage, removing 22 screens worth of content. The oceanside section was doubled in length, and the enemy base portion was deleted entirely.

Zone O / Zone I

  • The first clam robot was deleted from Sagaia.
  • There's an extra nuclear bunker before the underwater section in Sagaia.

SagaiaArcSeaCave.png

  • This zone is 14.5 screens shorter in Sagaia due to the removal of both the Strong Shell captain's section and the entire underwater cave area.

Zone P / Zone J

  • There's one more active volcano in the opening section in Sagaia.
  • This zone is 10.5 screens shorter in Sagaia. The cut content is made up of the Octopus captain's section and some of the ending.

Zone Q / Zone K

  • There's one more rocket in the opening section in Sagaia.
  • This zone is 10.5 screens shorter in Sagaia. The cut content is made up of the Octopus captain's section and some of the ending.

Zone T / Zone L

  • This zone is 10.5 screens shorter in Sagaia. The cut content is made up of the Octopus captain's section and some of the ending.

Ending Zones
None of the ending zones in Sagaia have equivalents in Darius II. Some basic information on how the zones are structured follows:

  • Zone M: Octopus captain section, monoliths section, soldiers on platforms section
  • Zone N: Strong Shell captain section, monoliths and alien soldier section, Fatty Glutton captain section
  • Zone O: King Fossil captain section, meteor and lava section, ship swarm section
  • Zone P: Green Coronatus captain section, Octopus captain section, meteor section

SagaiaArcBlueSun.png
Darius II's palette-swapped blue sun setting is absent from Sagaia.

Bosses

All bosses had their health reduced in Sagaia:

Darius II Sagaia
Alloy Lantern (Lure) 30 Shots 160 HP
Alloy Lantern (Body) 160 HP 80 HP
Steel Spine (Pods) 20 Shots 1 Shot
Steel Spine (Side Fins) 40 Shots 6 Shots
Steel Spine (Caudal Fin) 61 Shots 12 Shots
Steel Spine (Body) 720 HP 160 HP
Killer Higia 300 Shots 160 Shots
Driosawm 1,200 HP 600 HP
Red Crab (Big Arm) 76 Shots 5 Shots
Red Crab (Tiny Arm) 38 Shots 5 Shots
Red Crab (Legs) 19 Shots 5 Shots
Red Crab (Body) 800 HP 480 HP
Yamato 800 HP x2 480 HP x2
Leadain (Tentacles) 400 HP 96 HP
Leadain (Core) 720 HP x2 240 HP x2
Grand Octopus 1,000 HP 480 HP
Bio Strong 1,200 HP 276 HP
Little Stripes (Fins) 400 HP 160 HP
Little Stripes (Body) 300 HP 216 HP
Mother Hawk 2,400 HP 1,440 HP
  • HP is affected by the player's attack power, which defaults to 8/7/7/5 HP based on the difficulty dip switch. Attack power decreases by 1 HP when the player's weapons reach certain levels, which are also determined by the difficulty dip switch. Missile and Laser thresholds are shared, so hitting them with both weapons will only decrease the player's attack power once, not twice. Damage is floored at 2 HP.
Missile / Laser Bomb
Easy Level 4, 7 Level 3, 6
Medium Level 5, 7 Level 4, 6
Hard Level 3, 5, 7 Level 2, 4, 6
Hardest Level 4, 6, 8 Level 3, 5
  • Shots is not affected by the player's attack power and decreases by 1 per Missile / Bomb / Laser hit.

Hyper Sting
SagaiaArcHyperSting.png

  • The original first boss, Hyper Sting, doesn't appear anywhere in Sagaia.

Alloy Lantern
SagaiaArcAlloyLanternInside.png

  • In Darius II, Alloy Lantern is not a true boss. After its defeat, Alloy Lantern will swallow the player, at which point they'll have to fight the real boss (Either Steel Spine or Killer Higia) in its stomach. In Sagaia, Alloy Lantern is an actual boss and will not swallow the player.
  • Alloy Lantern was toughed up a bit due to its newly-earned boss status. The amount of time Alloy Lantern's mouth was reduced from 140 frames to 70 frames, and the amount of time its mouth is closed was increased from 20 frames to 150 frames.

Steel Spine

  • In Darius II, Steel Spine fires one laser, then fires five lasers in rapid succession. This was reduced to four lasers in Sagaia.
Darius II
SagaiaArcSteelSpineLaserJP.png
Sagaia
SagaiaArcSteelSpineLaserINT.png
  • Since a blue laser would be hard to see against an oceanside background, they were recolored orange.

SagaiaArcSteelSpinBurst.png

  • Steel Spine will shoot out bullets in a spiral pattern in Darius II: First counterclockwise, then clockwise, rapidly counterclockwise twice, and finally two rapid clockwise bursts. These were all taken out in Sagaia, leaving a long period where it doesn't attack at all.

Killer Higia

Darius II
SagaiaArcHigiaBulletSpreadJP.png
Sagaia
SagaiaArcHigiaBulletSpreadINT.png
  • Killer Higia shoots one more bullet from the front in its first form.

SagaiaArcHigiaBurst.png

  • In Darius II, when Killer Higia goes into its second form, the bullet spread does not change: It still shoots three bullets from the front, four bullets from the sides. In Sagaia, it shoots three bullets from the front and nine larger bullets in a burst pattern.
  • Killer Higia takes 90 frames between missile launches in Darius II, 72 frames in Sagaia. This extra speed allows it to get an extra missile launch in.
  • The missiles it launches are twice as fast in Sagaia, with their maximum speed changed from 6 pixels per frame to 12 pixels per frame.
  • When launching missiles, Killer Higia stays open the whole time in Darius II. In Sagaia, it closes in-between launches, making it harder to hit.

SagaiaArcHigiaSplitSpread.png

  • It also shoots four bullets (a pair from each head) in Sagaia.

Leadain

  • Leadain's tentacles and metallic base will self-destruct after a certain amount of time passes; time starts counting down as soon as its tentacles enter the frame. In Darius II, these events happen at 40 seconds and 80 seconds, while Sagaia drastically reduces this to 10 seconds and 22 seconds respectively.

Yamato

  • The armaments on the Yamato battleship will self-destruct after a certain amount of time passes; time starts counting down as soon as the rightmost turret appears on-screen. In Darius II, this occurs after 30 seconds pass, but in Sagaia II, this happens only 4 seconds after!

Grand Octopus

  • Grand Octopus's three tentacles will eventually self-destruct in quick succession after 20, 25, and 30 seconds (Time starts counting down as soon as Grand Octopus appears on-screen) in Darius II. This was decreased to 10, 11, and 12 seconds in Sagaia.

Endings

SagaiaArcDariusIII.png
In Darius II only, going through the whole game on a single life and then beating Zone X gives a special message: "来年はダライアスIII", or, "Darius III next year." According to a developer interview, the jellyfish that shows up in this ending was originally planned to be Zone X's boss but was instead held over to be used in a possible sequel. According to Takatsuna Senba, one of the game's designers, work on Darius III did start right after but it was canceled and instead used as a basis for Metal Black. The next arcade game, Darius Gaiden, ended up coming out five years later and did feature a jellyfish boss, Curious Chandelier, but had a radically different design.

SagaiaArcEnding5A.png
SagaiaArcEnding5B.png
SagaiaArcEnding5C.png
Darius II has five different endings, but Sagaia only has four final zones. This ending, where Proco Jr. and Tiat Young escape from the enemy fortress as it explodes, was the one that didn't make the cut.