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Video Game / Sword of Sodan

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Sword of Sodan is an Amiga game released in 1988 by Discovery Software. The game play was a simple 2D hack-and-slash where you can take control as Brodan (the male hero), or Shardan (the female hero) who are twin siblings of Lordan, the king of a northern kingdom. They both were sent away to the mountains, under the protection of a bitter old man who also trains them in sword combat. When they learned of Lordan's kingdom being torn apart by the evil necromancer, Zoras, they set off, but not before the old man provides one of them with the Sword of Sodan. That very sword which had foiled Zoras' first attempt by Sodan himself.

The game itself was well received for its time despite its simplistic gameplay, which was basically "move forward and slash everything in front of you while occasionally mixing and using potions for power-ups"; the graphics were impressive for the time, with big character sprites that looked fairly detailed, and the backgrounds being bright and colorful.

It was re-released in 1993 for the Amiga, and shortly thereafter, the Sega Genesis, which was handled by Electronic Arts. The former wasn't received as well, and the latter had been changed up for the worse: enemies can attack on both sides instead of one, some levels and enemies were cut, being far more difficult, and issues with faulty controls (not to mention the exaggerated advertising on the box), among other flawed game design choices.

Discovery Software was working on a sequel, Sword of Sodan 2, with Bethesda Softworks set to publish the game. But it ended up never seeing the light of day, with only a couple of screenshots having been released to the public.

You can see UrinatingTree's review, Blonde Guy Gamer's review, or the Joueur du Grenier's review (with subtitles) of the game if you want to see for yourself.

Sword of Sodan provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Bishōnen Line: Zig-zagged? Sorcerer Zoras appears as a large, bloated grey creature-thing whenever he faces the player character. However, in the final confrontation atop his tower, after the hero defeats the grey creature, a human appears to face the hero (either Zoras's true form, or he reverted to his human form).
  • Bloodier and Gorier: The Genesis version invokes this.
  • Death Trap: There are a couple of these in the castle. In the Genesis version, they are not so obvious to spot.
  • Decapitation Required: To kill the giants, you'll need to get them on their knees by doing enough damage, then swing at the head.
  • Excuse Plot: The plot can be summarized thusly: You are the son/daughter of the king, been trained since kids, and now have to stop an evil wizard!
  • Groin Attack: You can duck and stab at your enemies, which looks like you're doing this.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: These zombies like to shoot lights at you when they die. Made worse in the Genesis version since they can come from both ways.
  • Press X to Die: Mixing one of each of the four different-colored potions immediately kills you, with the message "Winners Don't Do Drugs".
  • Random Number God: Potions appear randomly throughout the game, and whether you live or die can depend entirely on the game handing you the proper potions. The final boss likewise shoots completely random numbers and patterns of projectiles.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: A scroll with a small rhyming quatrain appears on the screen before every stage.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Brodan for the entire game, save for the cape he has during gameplay.