Cult Classic Throwback: Die By The Sword

It’s time for yet another cult classic throwback! This time we are taking it on back to the year 1998, when Tantrum Entertainment released Die By The Sword for Microsoft Windows.

The concept behind this game was meant to be revolutionary – the player was given “full” control of the avatar’s sword wielding with a choice of the computer keypad, a joystick, or a player favorite (and the trickiest to master) the mouse. Whatever method you chose to use your weapon had its own series of pros and cons. While this might have been the talk of the gaming world at the time, it was quickly realized that the controls used for gameplay was more complicated than necessary.


Aside from the challenging controls, there were several game plays you could choose from. You had the main story quest, which followed the epic adventure of Enric on his journey to rescue his fair maiden. Pretty basic stuff. If Story Mode wasn’t your goblet of ale, perhaps the Arena was more suited for your taste. In this mode, you and three buddies or NPCs duked it out in one of nine arenas (with the Limb From Limb expansion pack that dropped New Years Eve of ’98.) If that was still not enough gory fun for you, Tournament Mode gave you the adventure of moving through the arenas up to the big boss battle.

Die By The Sword boasted “revolutionary new play mechanics” and while this might have been true for the time, it left the concept a bit, well, flaccid. The dialogue is lackluster (DO NOT get me started on the female warrior’s scream after winning a battle. Just do not go there) and the arenas, while initially pretty cool, lack much depth or room.


My girl kicking some monster booty in an ever-changing arena. Bonus: look at that super protective armour! 🙃 #leavesexualizedarmourbehind

I personally love Die By The Sword because of nostalgia. This was a fun classic that my brother and I would battle out on multiplayer, or have the four female warriors fight on AI mode in the spinning cross arena to see which was stronger *SPOILER ALERT: they all usually just fell to their deaths without a real winner* so, this is a nice piece of my childhood.

Believe it or not, you can still buy a copy of Die By The Sword, but you better have Windows 95, 98, or ME.


Let us know what you think! Did you ever take out your frustrations on poor simulated monsters by hacking off their pixilated limbs in an arena surrounded by lava? Okay, but did you do all of that while also playing Die By The Sword? Tell us your best stories and opinions in the comments! ✌

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