Game is included as one of 42 games on the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive Mini to release on September 19
Taito's shoot 'em up game Darius was first released in Japanese arcades in 1987. Although the game was never officially ported to the Sega Genesis (or Mega Drive as it was known in Japan), M2's official port of the game for the Sega Genesis Mini is based on the work of homebrew creator Hideki "hidecade" Konishi. The game will be included as one of 42 games with the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive Mini console, which is set to release worldwide on September 19. It will be included in both the Japanese and U.S. versions.
An interview with Sega's Yōsuke Okunari, M2's Naoki Horii, Taito's Yūichi Toyama, and Hideki Konishi conducted by Japanese games site 4gamer goes into detail about the circumstances behind the creation of the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive Mini port. Discussions for including a Darius port started when it was decided that the Mega Drive Mini would be exported overseas, which prompted discussion of including a "surprise" game in the lineup. There were initially some tensions within Taito about using a fan-made port, but because Darius was a popular game, it was decided that it would be the "surprise" game.
Konishi, whose programming skills are self-taught, first attracted attention from old-school arcade game fans when he recreated the Darius arcade machine in 2015. In 2018, he mentioned on his blog and Twitter account that he was working on a Mega Drive port for Darius, although he deleted those posts at a later date. Okunari indicated in the 4gamer interview that M2 had been working with Konishi back then, but only managed to obtain all the permissions to create an official port based on his work earlier this year. M2 worked with Taito and Sega to perform quality checks and modify the port accordingly.
Sega will release the console in Japan on September 19 under the name "Mega Drive Mini" and in the U.S. under the name "Sega Genesis Mini." The Mega Drive was Sega's third console, and Sega released the console in Japan in 1989. Sega released the console in the same year in North America under the name Sega Genesis. Sega withdrew from the games console market in 2001.