Marcus of Massina was captured when Roman legionaries ransacked his village. Marcus was taken to Rome and sold as a slave where his owner sent him to gladiator school.
The object in Gladiator is to compete in gladiatorial combat and win fights. Money is earned by winning matches, but also by betting on them. The aim of the game is to become the Emperor's champion and to accumulate enough money to buy one's freedom.
Before a match, three out of forty-five different types of weapon can be selected. The weapons have different attack and defence ratings which are found by trial and error. During combat, 25 moves are available.
There is also a multi-player mode: 2 or 4 players can compete, with two facing off per bout.