A work cratered in a billion dark hands.
Lungs of enamel coated in sweat.
Dariusburst CS is its own cathedral.
It isn’t an homage to history.
It isn’t a lesser reflection.
A modern beast stuck in the ecstasies of devouring its origin.
An ambitious miracle.
Cave’s implosion was devastating.
Premium arcade STGs were drowning.
Cave let it all slide away.
Rigidity and poor marketing.
Too close to the intent. Ignoring the institution.
A warehouse of icons in a land of dead faith.
It was never sustainable.
Zeal and audacity aren’t enough.
From their final era others emerged.
Cave’s failure allowed for new growth.
For a new redemption.
Sine Mora. Crimzon Clover. Revolver 360 Reactor. Jamestown. Strania. Blue Revolver.
Some pay quiet tribute. Some leap into a frenzied ecstasy.
Fractured color in the pale light of tired eyes.
This land cannot sustain new legends. Only a small, rigid elegance.
Here, Dariusburst CS is impossible.
It didn’t emerge from the barren fire of Cave’s immolation.
It cracked through the sky. It collapsed through another time.
A dead star burrowing through the infinite wake.
Ignorant of the solemn.
Blind to the dust.
Swallowing any sense of permanent memorial.
It is impossible that it released in arcades with a custom widescreen cabinet.
It is impossible that anyone decided to port it.
It is impossible that it released in the West.
It is impossible that real work was put into its release on a ‘dead’ platform.
2015: Iwata’s death and Rodea.
Konami’s pachinko and MGSV.
Light guns and Panoramical.
A circus of violence. Of disappearing.
Of explosive prophecy.
DCS is a future language.
It is coherent visual systems discussing events in real-time.
It is iterative, complex repetition with the end-goal being organic fluency.
Its control is slick and fluid.
Its music is transcendental.
Its environments sweep from vague subtlety to vast detail.
Cave attempted Dariusburst once in 2005.
Ibara is a sublime art.
An art one can dedicate their life to understanding.
But it failed. Cave’s followers turned away.
It was too dense.
It was the right message to a wrong people frozen in worship of a non-existent horizon.
Ibara is difficult and brilliant.
Its best systems are hidden beneath invisible layers of intricate feedback.
Where Ibara is Quranic in its depth, uniqueness, and importance, Dariusburst CS is The Tale of Genji.
It is the modern transformation of the genre.
It is the epic of Einhander written down for the first time.
It possesses the same intimate desperation.
DCS asks the player to focus. To meditate:
On the enemy. On the self.
What color is the boss? What type of ship am I piloting? What bullets am I shooting? Where will the enemy enter my plane?
It isn’t about dodging bullets.
It’s about understanding the tools to carve out progression.
It holds to the same purity as Bloodborne.
It bears the same light and grit.
The same evolutionary path:
Become a better hunter through expanding focus.
30 years honing this raw precision.
Darius is as old as Mario.
Before Street Fighter. Before Contra. Before Cave existed.
30 years studying, meditating in the arcade dark.
Bodhidharma spent nine years meditating in a cave in South China.
He fell asleep around year seven. He cut off his own eyelids in rage so that it never happened again.
Nine years in a cave pruning away his weakness.
Darius – three decades.
DCS is enormous, but not bloated.
Soft and unpolished.
The UI is awkward. The localization is vague.
But none of this takes away from the core experience.
None of this dims its glow.
Dariusburst CS is impossible.
Under the usual considerations, it could not have happened.
But here it is.
A living, impossible work.
A post-modern language chanting back through time.
A prophet and its machined heart screaming through space.
What Cave should have been.
What Ibara was.
What we’ve always needed.