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. 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 in home consoles.
On a battlefield a demon spirit enters the body of a dying mercenary. He is reborn and defeats the reigning war king in a duel. He goes on to found the reign of the DemonLord Zarak. At the height of his power, his doom is foretold by a 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. 25 years later, sensing the prophecy is at hand, the DemonLord 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.
At its core, WeaponLord is a standard 2D fighting game experience. Where it differs is in its gameplay mechanics, and in some of its aesthetic choices and presentation. Some of WeaponLord's more original features were:
Thrust-Blocking - An aggressive blocking system two years ahead of Street Fighter III's similar Parry System.
Multiple Endings - Characters would have completely different ending sequences depending on which opponents were spared or killed with a Death Combo during the Story Mode.
Deflect - Each character has one special move that acts as a Deflect. This is similar to a thrust block, as it collides with an enemy's strike, knocks it backward...but it then automatically hits the character while they're off-guard.
Take Downs - Certain special moves that also knock an opponent onto their back. A player can then follow up with additional attacks while their foe is still on the floor.
Hair/Clothing Trim - When certain attacks are performed on an opponent in mid-swing, the player can cut off a piece of their clothing or their hair. An added humiliation.
Password System - A password is given at the end of a match, so the player can always return to the middle of a game, if need be. A secret password is also given so the DemonLord Zarak is playable in Story Mode.
Death Combos - Unlike Mortal Kombat or Primal Rage, Death Combos are a certain string of regular and special moves that each have a gory effect on their opponents. These combos take skill and timing to master, and can also be done in a few different sequences. Some effects include disembowellings, decapitations, head splittings which expose the brain, and body pulp; which tears away most of the flesh from the torso.
Source: Wikipedia, "Weaponlord", available under the CC-BY-SA License.