Written by Jonathan Wojcik
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Darius is kind of one of the flagship series of the "shoot-em-up" or simply "SHMUP" genre of arcade games, and one I might have gotten much more into as a kid if I'd just had more access to it; it would've been perfect for that same era when I obsessed over Mega Man bosses and Star Fox spaceships, since its bosses are traditionally giant, mechanical versions of sea creatures with excellent names, like a robotic Anomalocaris named "ACCORDIAN HAZARD" and a giant metal spider crab named "HYSTERIC QUEEN."
It's hard to even pick favorites, but CURIOUS CHANDELIER is certainly up there. I'd say it has the best name of them all, one that is simultaneously endearing, ominous, weird, and fully reasonable for an electronic jellyfish that traverses space. It's specifically modeled after Netrostoma setouchianum, the Crown Jellyfish, but pretty heavily stylized. I love the whole aesthetic of a jellyfish witha single big eyeball just under the bell, which I think looks a little cooler than the more common choice of adding an eye or eyes to the bell itself. A jellyfish bell is just more fun when you think of it as a hat or hairdo, or like a mushroom cap on top of the main creature!
It's an awfully organic looking eye as well. Is it? We don't know! Some Darius bosses are confirmed to have biological elements inside. Most of them are products of a villain or villains called Belsar, but it's still not known exactly who or what they are at all, let alone why their armada looks just like a bunch of fish from our own planet.