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Rygar is a scrolling platform game where the player assumes the role of the "Legendary Warrior", who battles through a hostile landscape. The game relies on the player's ability to use an assortment of attacks and moves, which were vital to beat the game's harder levels later on. The main feature of gameplay is using a weapon called the "Diskarmor", a shield with a long chain attached to it.
"4.5 billion years have passed since Earth's creation. Many dominators have ruled in all their glory, but time was their greatest enemy and it defeated their reign. And now a new dominator's reign begins..."
From the opening of the arcade game
While this is very abstract, the manuals for the console releases reveal that the evil being Ligar has taken over the land of Argool, and that Rygar, a dead warrior who has risen from his grave, must use his Diskarmor along with a variety of other weapons to stop him. In console versions, clues and limited dialogue are given in the form of large, sage-like men encountered in stone green temples throughout the game. In the Japanese original, references to "Ligar" and "Rygar" are one and the same, due to the fact that the Roman syllables "Li" and "Ry" come from the same Japanese character. As such, the hero is only referred to as "The Legendary Warrior", while both "Rygar" and "Ligar" refer to the main villain.