Following their victory in the war against the Boondoggle invaders, the Western Hemisphere began further improving the overall design of the OF-1 Daedalus (since the original craft was destroyed in the true ending), although the OF-1 remained in service for reserve.
One early prototype was the OFX-2 Valkyrie, which improved upon the capabilities of the Force device the Daedalus had used in the earlier war, but this model had its flaws and was not largely used for major combat purposes.
Three years following the war, the Western Hemisphere developed a better prototype called the OF-3 Garuda which further improved upon the overall abilities of the two preceding models; but before it went into service, an unnamed alien armada located between the planets Saturn and Uranus was preparing an invasion against the planet Earth. The Western Hemisphere launched several OF-1 models to counter the potential invasion, but was unsuccessful, resulting in the destruction of all OF-1 crafts involved except for one piloted by Gregory Klaus, who afterwards retires from piloting and becomes a mechanic for the military instead.
Later, a new pilot named Sho Sawamura is summoned by Admiral Neil L. Fargason following a rescue of a military convoy and two successful simulation missions with the OF-1 Daedalus (inheriting the name of the original craft). There, Sawamura is introduced to the new OF-3 Garuda model much to his enthusiasm. Afterwards, the OF-3 Garuda is place into service and effectively replaces the role of the OF-1 Daedalus as the new protagonist.
Sho pilots the new craft against various Alien forces before confronting a familiar OF-1 craft. Sho then recognizes the pilot as his own father Masaya Sawamura, who was thought to be among the victims of the unsuccessful assault earlier on, but is in fact very much alive. The elder Sawamura however is revealed to have been infected by Alien forces and was brainwashed into being the commander of the spearhead forces of the armanda. Still having some free will, Masaya orders his son to stand aside as the armada's main battleship prepares to fire a destructive cannon wave. Sho evades the blasts before being forced to resort to eliminating his father to deliver him from his infectious misery. Sho successfully destroys Masaya's craft, killing him the process.
Sho then uses the OF-3 Garuda to finish off the remaining alien forces, succeeding in the mission that his father and the OF-1 he was piloting failed to complete.
Like its predecessor, the OF-3 Garuda uses a number of similar weapons and technologies for use in combat for a variety of situations. By contrast however, many of its Force weapons are different from its predecessor's.
- Vulcan Cannon - a standard rapid-fire cannon that can deal with small enemies quickly.
- OF Force/Parts - like its predecessor, the Garuda uses an early version of the Force mechanism used by later R-Crafts in combat. These are mechanical weaponry converters that attach to Garuda. It provides extra firepower and protection. Once combined with Garuda it is unable to be removed unless it is destroyed through enemy shots: As more durable enemies with more powerful attacking projectiles can destroy Garuda in addition to getting shot at any part of the plane other than front will destroy both the starfighter and the OF Force, discarding already attached OF Force from Garuda requires extremely precise and delicate maneuvering. Image Fight II, like like its prequel and the R-Type series, relies heavily on memorization of stage patterns and enemy locations. The weapons of the Garuda's force are much different from those of the Daedalus, and knowing what OF Force works best in which areas is crucial to survival. Depending on the power-up the Garuda obtains, the Force will provide one of the following weapons:
- Plasma Flame - A short-range flamethrower which can be adjusted up to 90 degrees to either side based upon the Garuda's horizontal movement.
- Side Search Laser - fires several small lasers similar to the Daedalus's Search laser, except it travels from the sides before adjusting 90 degrees upwards or downwards.
- Ground Missile - fires missiles from the sides of the craft, which then travel along the terrain.
- Gravity Bomb - fires a slow-moving bomb straightforward. Upon impacting an enemy, it explodes, creating a explosion with a radius that covers a small area around the impact site, damaging or destroying any enemies that come in to contact with that area.
- Multi-Barrier - creates a barrier in front of the Garuda, which protects the craft from enemy fire and slightly shifts whenever the Garuda moves. It can be launched at incoming enemies as a wide-range projectile.
- Speed Cannon - fires a cannon with a projectile size dependent on the Garuda's speed. Slower speeds create larger projectiles, whilst faster speeds create smaller ones.
- Pods - Small satellite-like devices can be obtained by the Garuda to provide extra firepower in combat. The Garuda can obtain up to three pods, with two stationing to the left and right of the craft, and a third stationed behind it. Just like OF Force device, knowing what type of Pods works best in which areas is essential for survival and smooth game play. Depending on the color of the pod, the attack pattern will be different:
- Red Pod - the pods will change direction according to the direction that the Garuda travels. This attack pattern makes these pods versatile in combat, as many enemy units will appear and attack in all possible directions.
- Blue Pod - the pods will fire straightforward, no matter what direction the Garuda travels. They are great for direct confrontations, but not as useful in overall combat.
- Pod Attack - with either one or both of the side pods, the Garuda has the ability to fire the pods to confront enemy forces ahead of the craft. The pods will then circle around an area of the battlefield, destroying or damaging any enemy they make contact with before returning to the Garuda, the rear pod will not participate in the attack.
- Thrusters - the thrusters of the Garuda can be used as a close-range weapon to any rear enemies that are unfortunate enough to come in contact with the craft. The technique is risky, but can be useful if used correctly.