Taking place after the stories of the other Darius games, the Silver Hawks are sent again to defeat the remaining battleships of the Belzer Army. However, there is no proof that indicates that the Belzer army sent the battleships.
One main difference between this game and the rest of the Darius series is that the player can choose one of three Silver Hawks to play. The green one is the Silver Hawk of Darius. The blue one is the Silver Hawk of Darius II. The red one is a new prototype of Silver Hawk that exists only in this game.
There is also 3 power ups on this game, which can be obtained on 3 ways:
- Destroying a flashing meteor during a meteor rain.
- Destroying a futuristic cage on the floor and/or ceiling of an area.
The power ups for this game are the red bubble (shot and bomb power up), the blue bubble (shield regenerate and level up) and the green bubble (randomly gives a bonus point or an extra ship). There is also a special power up that can destroy all enemies on screen if it's destroyed (like Darius II) or can make the Silver Hawk shot a powerful laser beam if its grabbed by the player.
There is no power up bar, which means that if a Silver Hawk is destroyed, the shots and bombs are powered down to the minimum level. Also, when the player loses a ship on a stage, it is returned to the beginning of that stage, unless the ships has lost during a boss battle.
Like Darius Twin, the player uses (by default) the Y button for shot and the B button for dropping bombs. As long as the player keeps pressed both buttons, the shots are powered down one level. The player can switch between bombs and side laser guns by pressing the R button.
The stages map for this game is very different of the rest of the Darius games. This map contains 15 stages, but only allows to take forward or up paths, until the player reaches the L, N or O stage. Each one of those 3 stages contains its own boss and ending.
Stage A: Bio Hazard (Water Flea)
Stages B and C: Mudy Crystal (Portuguese man-o'-war)
Stage E: Thunder Bolt Fans (sea anemone)
Stages D and F: Spiral Snail
Stage H: Peace Destroyer (moray eel)
Stages G and I: Devil Fish (cuttlefish)
Stages J and K: Stealther (chameleon)
Stage L: Zandik II (plesiosaur)
Stage M: Great Force (humpback whale)
Stage N: Megalopros (Pteranodon)
Stage O: Galst Vic (Terminator)
There is also a secret stage (Stage X) that contains only ships with power ups and bosses (Boss Rush). The bosses present on this stage are Bio Hazard, Mudy Crystal (B), Spiral Snail (D), Thunder Bolt Fans, Devil Fish (G), Stealther (K), Great Force and Megalopros.