The Astyanax, known in Japan as The Lord of King (ザ・ロード・オブ・キング?), is a side-scrolling action game developed by Aicom released for the arcades by Jaleco. A home version for the Nintendo Entertainment System, simply titled Astyanax, was released during the same time as the arcade version.
The player's main weapon is his axe, with a power gauge that fills automatically when the player is not swinging it. When the gauge is filled, the player's axe will be lit on fire, allowing for a stronger attack. This allows the player a choice between faster weak swings or a slow strong one.
The player can obtain power-ups by destroying stone pillars such as crystals for points or red jewels for additional health. There's also a blue arrowhead that will increase the strength of the player's thunder attack by up to four levels (the player must have at least one arrowhead in stock to perform a thunder attack) and a shield that allows the player to block enemy attacks until it breaks.
NESUnlike the arcade version, the NES version can only be played by one player. Like in the arcade version, the player has a life gauge, a strength gauge that fills automatically when he is not attacking and a magic gauge for his spells. Unlike the arcade version, the player can wield other weapons besides the default axe, as well as use different magic spells, which are selected by pausing the game.
The player's magic spells consist of a binding spell that temporarily freezes all enemies for a few seconds, a fire blast spells that damages all enemies within range and a thunderbolt spell that damages every enemy on-screen. Each spell consumes a different amount of magic points, with the binding spell consuming the least point, while the thunderbolt consumes the most.
Other power-ups include a power supply that extends the length of Astyanax's power gauge (allowing for stronger axe swings), a wing that increases the refill speed of Astyanax's power gauge, potions that restore the player's health and magic and extra lives. Astyanax can also encounter Cutie throughout certain stages, who will offer to either change Astyanax's weapon or refill his magic points.