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Genesis Sega Master System Arcade MS-DOS Description
Neutral dpad Neutral dpad Move. Double-press left/right to run.
A button 1 button+2 button Use magic.
B button 1 button Attack.
C button 2 button Jump.
Start button Pause


  • Combo: hit attack repeatedly to combo. Only actual hits will start one. There are two combos. If you are far from an enemy, the combo is two swings and a thrust (or overhead chop for Gilius). If you are close, after the two swings, there will be two raps to the head, followed by a kick. Unless the enemy is out of health, only the thrust and the kick knock down.
  • Throw: while an enemy is stunned, close in and press attack to throw them. Knocks down, of course, but does little damage. Useful for getting an enemy into a pit.
  • Jump attack: jump, then hit attack while in mid-air. This will always knock enemies down. Highly effective in the arcade, less so on home versions.
  • Dash Attack: tap left or right twice, then hit attack when within melee range of the target. Very useful against bosses that have slower or no dash ability. Always knocks down.
  • Special Attack: hit attack and jump at the same time. Your hero will swirl the sword around his head and strike behind (Ax Battler, Tyris Flare) or do a rolling attack to hit enemies behind (Gilius Thunderhead). Can't be done while riding. Always knocks down, does high damage. Very effective against smaller enemies when they aren't dashing.
  • Death stab: dash, then jump, then press attack to thrust your blade into your enemy's skull. This will always knock enemies down, and deals very high damage. Can't be done while riding. Enemies will try to dodge this attack. If you are slightly above the bottom of the screen though, they will usually try to dodge low, and still get hit. This doesn't work as well on the arcade, but you can stun them first with normal attacks. Note that the skeletons know this move too, and it hurts just as much when they do it.