Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Weaponlord

Go To

"Since the dawn of time... man has battled!! The DemonLord reigns supreme... At the height of the demon's power, six warriors dare to face him. It was foretold one will live to meet the demon in combat and the Lord of Demons will fall by the hand of the... WeaponLord."
— Opening Narration

Weaponlord (sometimes WeaponLord) is a 1- or 2-player Fighting Game originally designed for release on the Super Nintendo by Visual Concepts, and published by Namco. During the inception of the title, the development team also began work on a Sega Mega Drive/Genesis version and both were released in October 1995. Weaponlord introduced many groundbreaking gameplay aspects that appear regularly today. In fact, James "DJames" Goddard, one of the driving forces behind the game's creation and a former game designer for Street Fighter II, believes that his weapons-based fighter helped inspire Namco's Soul series. Also, unlike other titles, Weaponlord was not intended to replicate an arcade fighter, but built from the ground up on home consoles. This was a reverse of the normal trend, which had arcade versions being developed first, then getting ported to home consoles.

On a battlefield a demon spirit enters the body of a dying mercenary. He is reborn and defeats twenty rulers in bloody combat. He goes on to found the reign of the DemonLord Raith. At the height of his power, his doom is foretold by a blind shaman: "When the night turns violent and the moon bleeds, gripped by the skeletal fingers of death...a child will rise to face the demon in combat...and the lord of demons will fall by the hand of...the WeaponLord."

Against the advice of his lieutenants to kill the children born that night, the DemonLord waits to face his foretold killer in fair, one on one combat. Years later the demon Zarak overthrows Raith and becomes the new DemonLord. 25 years after the prophecy was made, Zarak holds a great tournament of champion warriors. The winner will face the demon in a final battle. The DemonLord prepares to meet his destiny head on and to destroy the WeaponLord.

If one wishes to see a few minor details of the game and the process of how it even got to where it is, game developer James Goddard has his own website with a description about the game, a few videos showing features the game had, a few drawings and even a link to the full promotional video.

This video game provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Naturally, the female cast.
  • All Webbed Up: A unique Finishing Move Zarak has lets him wrap his enemy up in webs. He can then rip this webbing apart with his spider-armor's legs.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: Divada's skin is chalk-white by default (green for 2P), likely to reflect the "ugly" result of her years dabbling in Black Magic.
  • Amazonian Beauty: All three of the women (Talazia, Divada, and Jen-Tai), with their meager garments and fighting stances only serving to accentuate nearly every inch (and curve) of their heavily muscled yet completely feminine builds.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Talazia. The best guess would be somewhere akin to Africa or the Caribbean (or whatever the setting's closest approximation is).
  • Animal Motifs: Talazia wears a headdress in the shape of a falcon's beak, Bane dons the skin of a wolf, Jen-Tai's ancestral helmet sports horns like those of a ram, and Zarak's helmet and armor resemble a spider. Bonus points in that Talazia actually is a falcon, Bane howls like a wolf in celebration of a victory, Jen-Tai's style of combat has her buck at her opponents with an upward swipe of her head, and Zarak has his unique Fatality mentioned above.
  • Artifact of Doom: Zorn's shield is very definitely one. It managed to possess him and compel him to kill his former fellow thieves. At the end of his Story Mode, it turns out to be housing the spirit of the DemonLord Raith, who is now returning to life.
  • Atop a Mountain of Corpses: Zarak's level takes place upon a pile of skeletons which lies upon the resting form of a gigantic demon.
  • Barbarian Hero: All the characters have a "barbarian" aesthetic, with many of the characters actually being barbarians to boot. As noted by Hardcore Gaming 101, the game's cover art (drawn by Simon Bisley) is even based on certain illustrations by famed fantasy artist Frank Frazetta, known for drawing a character frequently held up as the Barbarian Hero. note 
  • Battle Cry: Jen-Tai's round win pose has her hold up her weapon and give a triumphant post-victory war cry along the lines of "ANOURAH!"
  • Bolivian Army Ending: Zarak's special Story ending, where after finding out that he is the Weapon Lord, assumes he already fulfilled the prophecy when he killed Raith. However, Raith returns from the dead to reclaim his throne and punish Zarak.
  • Boots of Toughness: Jen-Tai and Divada. Talazia, on the other hand, opts to go barefoot.
  • Braids of Action: Talazia and Divada have their hair tied up in braids.
  • Chainmail Bikini: Jen-Tai and Talazia's armor are essentially these.
  • The Chosen One: Everyone is generally considered this by being born under the Warrior's Moon, even Zarak.
  • The Chosen Many: The six champions that seek to defeat the DemonLord in combat were all born on the night of the Bloodmoon. Then DemonLord Raith received word of a prophecy foretelling his demise at the hands of one of these children. He chose to ignore his counsel's advice and wait a quarter of a century for them to mature in body, mind, and spirit, so he could fight them at their strongest.
  • Clothing Damage: A very primitive form of this was present as hair-cutting, where the player could use a combo to cut the player's head (such as cutting off Korr or Divada's ponytails or one of Jen-Tai's horns).
  • Compressed Hair: Jen-Tai's match win pose has her dramatically remove her helmet to reveal a long, dark, flowing mane that blows in the wind, an act that adds to both her fierceness and allure.
  • Cool Helmet: Worn by Jen-Tai and Zarak, as mentioned above in Animal Motifs. Talazia and Bane arguably count as well.
  • Counter-Attack: Everyone has one, called Deflect moves.
  • Dark Magical Girl: Divada is one in addition to a Dark Action Girl, having slain her own father in order to attain the family's magic orb.
  • Death from Above: Going with her falcon theme, Talazia is able to swoop down from the air to attack, complete with the bird's cry accompanying her movement.
  • Developer's Foresight: Since the game was being developed for online back in 1990s via XBAND, the game is full of moments of this. For example, foreseeing that cross-up attacks would be hard to defend against in a laggy environment, the team added a technique called "Vertical Thrust Blocking" to counter cross-ups.
  • Devil, but No God: Demons (and DemonLords) are objectively real in this setting. If there are any angels or good gods, on the other hand, we never see anything of them.
  • Disappeared Dad: Jen-Tai's dad was presumed killed in battle, and his broadsword delivered to her. Her dialogue before fighting Zarak expands on this by explaining that Zarak killed her father in an honorable duel. After lamenting the loss of a powerful ally and an excellent foe, he decided to make Jen-Tai a new Arena Queen. He even delivered the sword to her for that reason.
  • Drop the Hammer: Bane has a crude stone hammer.
  • Drunk on the Dark Side: Divada turned to Black Magic because only the males in her family were allowed to become sorcerers. Let's just say it didn't work out so well... for the men.
  • Easy-Mode Mockery: Completing the Story Mode at lower difficulties will not net you the full ending, if any at all. The only way to get the full ending is to complete the game on Warlord difficulty, the hardest difficulty, and boy is it HARD!!
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Divada, sans the brunette part (though she has an alternate color that rectifies this).
  • The End... Or Is It?: Jen-Tai's Story Mode ending indicates that perhaps there might finally be peace in the world... until a picture of a monster (revealed to be the former Demon Lord Raith) appears, suggesting that no, the battles will continue!
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Upon hearing the prophecy of the WeaponLord, the DemonLord Raith decides to reject the advice of his lieutenants to pull a Herod, and instead wait to face his foretold killer in fair one-on-one combat because "even evil can have honor".
  • Evil Laugh: Divada lets out a haughty, triumphant laugh during her Rolling Attack and upon proving victorious over her foe.
  • Evil Redhead: Divada, though she's more on the auburn side of things.
  • Evil Sorceress: Divada, yet again.
  • Facial Markings: Korr (see Tribal Face Paint below) and Divada. Divada has additional stripes that run down to and cover her arms and legs.
  • Finishing Move: Weaponlord was the first game that allowed players to chain together finishing moves. This becomes more important in Story Mode, as killing certain people can affect the ending you get, as well as forcing you to fight everyone you spared right before facing Zarak.
  • Haunted Castle: Divada lures unsuspecting passers-by into her castle so she can drain them of their vital energies.
  • Heavy Mithril: The game's aesthetic. Everything looks like it stepped off a fantasy-themed heavy metal album cover, and it is awesome.
  • The Hedonist: For all the killing that Zorn does, he is noted to enjoy women and rare treasures.
  • Heroic Build: Everyone. As Hardcore Gaming 101 puts it:
    "As popular as swords and sorcery seems to be among video game developers, there is a surprising lack of Conan the Barbarian-style thematics. There are a few games that flirt with it, but other than the early fighter Barbarian, the Rastanseries, and a couple of others, it's few and far between. WeaponLord is a strong exception. If it wasn't made with a fondness for Conan, then certainly with a commitment to faithfully replicate the movie's atmosphere. So expect plenty of roided-to-the-gills muscle men with huge swords, scantily clad (and equaly [sic] roided-up) women, and loin cloths."
  • Hired Sword: After coming of age and leaving behind her family, Jen-Tai started out as a mercenary.
  • Honor Before Reason: The previous Demon Lord, Raith, believed in following the warrior's code above all else even if it didn't seem practical. Zarak felt that was an old-fashioned way of thinking and killed him for it, but seem to start believing that he should follow it after the men he sent to ambush the Tarok were all killed by Bane.
  • Horn Attack: Jen-Tai can throw people around using her horned helmet.
  • Humanity Ensues: This is revealed to be the true origin of Talazia, while her earliest memories only date back to the time she was cursed to become human seven years ago.
  • Incendiary Exponent: A majority of Korr's moveset involves him setting his sword ablaze as he swings it.
  • Inconsistent Spelling: The game isn't all that clear on how many words Weaponlord and Demon Lord should be. Expect to see WeaponLord and DemonLord thrown out there a lot.
  • It's a Wonderful Failure: If the player is killed during Story Mode, it has a quote about the kill-or-be-killed way of life barbarians have. If the player loses with Zarak, however, a longer page appears, blaming the player's total ineptitude for Zarak's death and generally mocking the player's skill.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: Certain attacks known as Take Downs will floor opponents and flip them onto their backs, allowing the attacker to continue thumping the downed fighter.
  • Klingon Promotion: How Zarak became the new DemonLord against his former master, Raith. The story endings for both Divada and Jen-Tai also involve supplanting Zarak as ruler.
  • Leaving You to Find Myself: A familial example is used in Bane's Story Mode ending, as Korr has just found (and realized) that Bane was actually his long-lost brother Kӓng. Believing that Kӓng no longer exists and would be marked for death if he were, Bane states that he must leave again to find his soul.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Bane is actually Korr's long-lost brother Kӓng, who has been missing for seven years. Bane for one has no real desire to reunite with his brother.
  • Lots of Dexterity Required: There are several moves each character has that use very unusual motions in order to perform certain special moves, and many of them require the player to hold a button down and then release after the command is input (known as negative edge) to perform it. More generally, this game offers nothing to button-mashers — either you will learn how to time and execute your character's moves or you will suck and die.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Talazia, Jen-Tai, and Zorn.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: The previous DemonLord, Raith, is revealed to be Zarak's father in Zarak's special Story ending.
  • Magic Knight: Divada has magical powers (which incorporate into some of her moveset), but she's just as comfortable with melee brutality as any of her barbaric rivals.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Zarak could be considered this for Jen-Tai in a legal sense. Zarak himself was a minion to the previous DemonLord, Raith.
  • Mighty Glacier: Bane is the slowest of the six champions, but he hits like a giant sledgehammer. Which, in fact, is one of his weapons.
  • Monstrous Scenery: The stage Destiny Battle takes place on the torso of a massive demon.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Due to the character designs, all of the women here, really, though Jen-Tai arguably edges out her competition for various reasons.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: If you have Korr kill Bane in Story Mode, Zarak will present the barbarian with Bane's head, revealing that Korr actually murdered his long-lost brother. Korr is haunted by that fact that he not only killed his own brother, but Bane — for reasons Korr will never know — chose not to reveal his identity when the two fought.
  • Nintendo Hard: And deliberately so. Weaponlord was designed with Fighting Game veterans in mind, a fact that its wicked difficulty curve will not let players forget.
  • Noble Demon: Raith is an evil demon, but he is also a thoroughly honorable one. Rather than leave himself open to a Nice Job Breaking It, Herod, he decides to instead wait out the prophecy and face the WeaponLord in a fair one-on-one duel, even going as far as organizing a grand tournament of all the fighters who were born under the Warrior's Moon. He doesn't live long enough to complete this plan as he is murdered by his son Zarak, who considered Raith's warrior code too old-fashioned.
  • Off with His Head!: When your opponent's health reaches zero, it's possible to decapitate them with an attack. Continuing to attack the severed head in mid-air can lead to the head bursting open and the brain falling out.
  • One Head Taller: Jen-Tai is explicitly stated to be one hand shorter than Zarak (approximately 6'10"), making her also something of a Statuesque Stunner.
  • Pelts of the Barbarian: Jen-Tai's outfit includes animal skins for her boots, gauntlets, and cape. Wolf pelts play a prominent role in Bane's outfit as well.
  • Prophecy Twist: Zarak's ending has one. He learns that he was born under the Warrior's Moon, which — as he killed the previous Demon Lord to become the current Demon Lord — means HE is the Weaponlord.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Korr, Jen-Tai, and Zarak. Korr is the leader of his tribe of Tarok, Jen-Tai is an arena queen who fights any challengers, and Zarak is the DemonLord.
  • Punch Parry: Seen with thrust blocking, a defensive tool that preceded the similarly-functioning Parry system of Street Fighter III and the repels found in The Last Blade, and supposedly inspired the Guard Impact system of its Spiritual Successor, Soulcalibur, though the earlier World Heroes 2 had a form of this present in its gameplay.
  • Rated M for Manly: Weaponlord was testosterone-coated even by the standards of fighting games.
  • Screw Destiny: Zarak attempts this but the trope is subverted; see Self-Fulfilling Prophecy.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Bane's defense for why he killed his attackers before he was allowed to according to Tarok traditions. After Korr learns that Bane is his lost brother Kang, he comes to sympathize with Bane's logic.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: For all the effort Zarak spent killing everyone in order to prevent the prophecy of the Weaponlord from coming true, his special Story ending reveals that Zarak himself was born under the Warrior's Moon, thus making HIM the Weaponlord.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Divada killed her own father and all her brothers in order to inherit a magical heirloom which would give her power. Zarak murdered his father, the previous Demon Lord, in battle to prove that the latter's methods were too old-fashioned to work, though he later grew to respect them.
  • Sequel Hook: Zorn's endings shows that an evil spirit is imprisoned within his own shield and uses its dark magic to revive the DemonLord Raith. Likewise Jen-Tai's ending suggests that Raith is still alive. However, Weaponlord 2 never came to pass. Goddard has expressed interest in making a Weaponlord sequel, but lacks the funding/support to do so.
  • Speaking Simlish: Similar to Mortal Kombat, many of the combatants' battle cries are nigh-unintelligible gibberish. However, some of the characters are perfectly comprehensible while belting out attack names, like Jen-Tai's "Aura Strike!", Zorn's "Hellfire!" and "Arise!", Zarak's "Inferno!" and "Kill!", etc.
  • Spectacular Spinning: Every character has at least one or two moves that involve having the player spin their weapon around.
  • Spin Attack: Divada can torpedo through the air as a special move. Multiple characters also have the more traditional 360 degrees weapon spin in their movesets, while one of Talazia's specials combines this with Shoryuken.
  • Statuesque Stunner: While Jen-Tai's impressive height can be inferred from a comparison to that of Zarak's (see One Head Taller above), if the sprites are meant to be an accurate depiction of the characters' sizes, Talazia and Divada are no less Amazonian in stature. (Yes, in that sense, too.)
  • Token Minority: As noted in Ambiguously Brown above, Talazia is the only dark-skinned combatant in the game. The fact that she's actually a falcon trapped in human form due to a transformation spell only muddies this further.
  • Talking Weapon: Zorn's shield, while normally only able to screech in combat is revealed to actually be the skull of an Orc, who comes to life after Zarak is slain.
  • Tribal Face Paint: Korr's face paint comes from a Tarok Rite of Passage that marked him as an adult, and thus able to take the life of an enemy. When his brother, Kӓng, was about to get his, marauders under the orders of Zarak ambushed the tribe and made off with the boy. When Korr found the last known location of the Marauders, the blood on the floor made Korr assume that his brother possibly murdered his captors, thus breaking an ancient taboo the face paint was meant to uphold. The breaking of this taboo is punishable by death.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: Divada's ending in Story Mode has her kill Zarak, take his power and that of the other warriors for her own, and unite all the kingdoms under her iron fist. She turns out to be even crueler than her demonic predecessor.
  • Villain Respect: Zarak is contemptuous of all of the champions except for Jen-Tai, who previously served him in the arenas. At the beginning of Zarak's Story Mode, he laments having to kill "sweetest Jen-Tai" along with the other challengers. Before the final battle of Jen-Tai's Story Mode, Zarak takes care to explain that he is only fighting her because she's in his way (as the last remaining WeaponLord candidate). Compare this with Zarak's pre-fight dialog with the other champions, where he derides their foolish quests for power and/or revenge.
  • Villain Teleportation: Favored by Divada as a special move. It's also how she leaves the battlefield after winning a round, a trait shared with Zarak.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Practically every male in this game. Only the women wear anything akin to a top, though that still doesn't amount to much.
  • Weapon Twirling: There is a lot of blade twirling in this game. Talazia also constantly twirls her double axe-boomerang when idle, presumably to have it ready to throw at all times.
  • World of Badass: Par the course for a Fighting Game, but the gritty setting and its aesthetics give Weaponlord a certain edge compared to many of its 90s contemporaries.
  • World of Muscle Men: All the characters, even the women, are quite ripped to say the least.
  • Wrecked Weapon: Similar to Clothing Damage above, there is also a certain combination that would break the opponent's weapon if they got caught in it. However, all this amounts to is a drastically reduced reach for all attacks.
  • You Cannot Fight Fate: Played with in Zarak's ending. He believes that he has defeated the WeaponLord and thwarted the prophecy, but he learns that he was born under the Warrior's Moon, which given that he overthrew the previous DemonLord Raith, makes HIM the WeaponLord. Then again, the last scene of Zarak's ending also shows Raith returning from the dead to avenge himself on Zarak, making it arguable which of the two DemonLords is actually the WeaponLord!
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Zorn's Story Mode ending culminates with his suddenly living shield killing the thief with his newly formed body.
  • You Killed My Father: Subverted with Jen-Tai. When she learns that Zarak killed her father, she is sad but not vengeful, as she knows that her father fought a fair duel with Zarak and therefore died with honor. She still wants to kill Zarak, but simply out of a desire to prove that the strength of her bloodline is greater than any demon.
  • You Will Be Spared: A less villainous example with Jen-Tai, who rarely killed her foes in the arena, preferring to let them learn so they can face her again. Doing this in Story Mode (as any of the characters) will force you to re-fight everyone you spared before the final battle with the Big Bad.