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Darius Gaiden is a 2D side-scrolling shooter for one or two players. Players begin each game with three ships and continues. The goal is to destroy as many enemies as possible and defeat a large boss at the end of each level. Most levels also include a middle boss which can either be destroyed or converted.
The space-fighter has two firing modes: an air shot, and a ground bomb. Included in the game are power-ups which can be obtained during combat in order to increase air firepower, bomb firepower, or give players a temporary shield. As a last ditch defense, the fighter can launch an ultra-powerful bomb called "The Black Hole Bomb." Three bombs are included on your ship when you begin and more can be discovered and collected.
There are seven levels in Darius Gaiden, subdivided into 28 zones. After a level boss is defeated, players choose what they want to do next from the available options. Seven possible endings exist. ~ Ishmael Aaron Benoliel, All Game Guide