Sword of Sodan was developed by Discovery Software on the Amiga and ported on to the Genesis by Electronic Arts on the Genesis. Both games were side scrolling adventure games but the Amiga version had better graphics, more levels, and more enemy types.
The game opens with the following text:
At the city's gates
As so foretold in ancient lore
Here stands the opening test
Enter now this deaths door
And thus begin the quest
The game's story was about a king trying to get his throne back that has been taken by an evil wizard. At the beginning of the game you get to choose between a man or a woman. This does not change the gameplay and the character's design are heavily inspired by Golden Axe. You'll travel all over your kingdom from the kingdom's gates to zombie graveyard in your quest to get your kingdom back.
The game ends with a final boss. He's known for firing lasers straight at you that were impossible to dodge. The only way to defeat him was to use a shield potion and push him all the way to the right. The boss would glitch into the wall and you could finish him off. This only happened in the Genesis version.
Gameplay (Genesis Version)
Your goal is to go from left to right, killing everyone. You can jump, do horizontal and vertical strikes and croutch. You have four different kinds of strikes (horizontal, vertical, jump and a croutch strike) and you must use each one according to the enemy that you are facing. However the only effective move was the croutch strike as it was the only way to hit an enemy without getting hit back.
When enemies double up, you can only hurt the one that you can see and not the one behind him. Enemies can go through you and attack you from both sides. An enemies health is portrayed right beneath him and dead enemies sometimes drop potions. You meet different types of enemies during your quest like soldiers, giants and zombies. Each must be killed in a different way. For the giants, you must hit them twice with a vertical strike at close range then when his health is down to fifty percent you must back up and hit him again with vertical strikes. For zombies, when you kill them, deadly fire balls start spinning around them. Your best bet in this case is to hold down right to pass all of them.
You could pick up potions during your quest. Some potions would give you more health and some could be combined. For example, combining 4 white potions would let you automatically skip a level. The game was also known for its violence. This game was released a couple years before Mortal Kombat and seeing blood and decapitations on screen was new at the time.