It is the 12th century, and the Muslim world has been split into two warring factions. Meanwhile, Muhammad's disciples are also threatened external forces – in the west the Crusaders; in the east the Mongols. As the Persian assassin Sadler, you are given the task of murdering the Caliph, hopefully saving the future of the Islamic faith in the process, a process which will have implications ranging as far as 800 years into the future. First, however, you must find your three assassin friends and complete a range of quests, for this is an RPG.
Like many of Falcom's games, XZR (or Exile, as it is pronounced) is played in a traditional top-down view when in villages and towns, and shifts to a side-scrolling platform view when entering dungeons, castles and other action sequences. Apart from equipping your character with an arsenal of weapons and clothes in order to raise hit points and attack points, you can also quaff potions to boost your points. Mind you, these are not ordinary magical potions, but heavy drugs such as hashish, cocaine, LSD, and heroin. The effect of the drugs only lasts a short while, and too liberal usage of the narcotics will corrupt the screen, or even kill you.
Even though your party is made up of as many as four characters, only Sadler can be controlled; others do as they want and must be retrieved once they wander off to finish their specialised tasks. All battles are fought alone as well. Though magic can be used, it is seldom as strong or useful as hand-to-hand combat.