This stage starts with the dogfight theme, Departure For Space. Stages 2, 5, 7, and 9 use this track. The stage theme is Sand Storm.
This stage starts out simple, with cannons and hatches found. Sand Lions are found (Arcade only), which leap around and shoot sand balls. They are easy to destroy. Sand Dragons are found in the middle of the stage, which try to ram the Vic Viper.
The boss theme is Dark Force, and the boss is Goliath.
|Stages||Desert • Bubble Zone • Volcanic Planet • High Speed Dimension • Moai Zone • Cell Planet • Prominence Planet • Plant Planet • Crystal Zone • Boss Rush • Mechanical Base|
|SNES exclusive stages||High Speed Zone • Fortress • Cell|
|Bosses||Goliath • Bubble Eye • Godrei • Big Core MK III • Dogas • Vaif • Twin Vaif (SNES) • Gregol • Wyvern • Vulture Dragon • Choking Weed • Lizard Core • Beacon (SNES) • Tetran • Covered Core • Big Core MK II • Crystal Core • Death MK II • Dellinger Core • Disrupt • Shadow Gear • Shadow Gear MK II (SNES) • Big Core • Golem • Bacterian|