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Die by the Sword is a third-person action game set a medieval fantasy world. The player controls Enric, a knight whose sweetheart Maya was kidnapped by kobolds and who swears to bring her back. The game's distinguishing feature is its sword-fighting system, which allows detailed and precise control of the player character's moves, giving it a fighting game flavor. The game features a fairly complex and elaborate control system, with separate keys and button combinations assigned to moves such as running, jumping, slashing, stabbing, parrying, etc., which allows the player to execute these moves simultaneously in a variety of combinations.

A somewhat simpler control system, dubbed "arcade mode", is also available. This system limits the amount of combinations to three kinds of slashes and blocks - low, medium, and high. The game also incorporates local damage system, in which wounding specific body parts will inflict different conditions on the enemies, including severing their limbs and even decapitation. The game's levels include, beside enemies, many hazardous traps that Enric will have to avoid.

In addition to the story mode, the game also features arena and tournament modes, which allow up to four players participate in free-for-all battles using the game's sword-fighting system. The player is also given the opportunity to create his own custom moves with a built-in editor.


Die by the Sword Windows Tournament mode
Die by the Sword Windows Choosing a difficulty level
Die by the Sword Windows Main Menu
Die by the Sword Windows Quest mode

Promo Images

Die by the Sword Magazine Advertisement
Die by the Sword Magazine Advertisement
Die by the Sword Magazine Advertisement
Die by the Sword Magazine Advertisement


Alternate Titles

  • "DBTS" -- Common abbreviation

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User Reviews

A decidedly different third person fighting game. Evan Kerr (10) 3.4 Stars3.4 Stars3.4 Stars3.4 Stars3.4 Stars
A typical fantasy action game with a plot older than gaming itself... and one of the most memorable and fun games I've ever played. George Shannon (115) 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars
Would be an excellent game for the Wii kvn8907 (179) 2.6 Stars2.6 Stars2.6 Stars2.6 Stars2.6 Stars
Good first person RPG hack & slash journey Robert Peters (2) 4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars

Critic Reviews

Game Players Jun, 1998 9.4 out of 10 94
OK PC Gamer May, 1998 89 out of 100 89
Gamezilla Jun 11, 1998 88 out of 100 88
PC Action (Germany) Apr 15, 1998 84 out of 100 84
Gameplay (Benelux) Apr 30, 1998 82 out of 100 82
Power Play Apr, 1998 79 out of 100 79 1998 75 out of 100 75
GameSpot Apr 10, 1998 7 out of 10 70
Retro Gamer Jul 16, 2009 51 out of 100 51
The Retro Spirit Dec 23, 2013 2.5 out of 6 42


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A "cuss-pack" patch, which adds more mature comments, powerful insults and witty lines to the main character's vocabulary, is available from the Interplay site (support section). Most of the added speech files are not suitable for younger people.


Enric's taunts include "The other white meat!" after slaughtering an orc (a decidedly pig-like enemy), and "There can be only one!" after decapitating a foe (quoting Highlander where immortals could only be slain by cutting off their heads).

Information also contributed by re_fold.

Related Web Sites

Tom Louie (10) added Die by the Sword (Windows) on Jun 04, 1999