Sword of Sodan

From Sega Retro


SwordofSodan title.png
Sword of Sodan
System(s): Sega Mega Drive
Publisher: Electronic Arts (US/EU), Sega (JP)
Genre: Action

Number of players: 1
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega Drive
¥6,000 G-4056
Sega Mega Drive
$49.95[1] 702601
Sega Mega Drive
£39.99[2][3] E168SMXI
Sega Mega Drive
Sega Mega Drive
Sega Mega Drive
?Ptas E168SMXI
Sega Mega Drive
R$? ?

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Sword of Sodan (ソード・オブ・ソダン) is a 1988 beat-'em-up by Discovery Software International. Innerprise Software Inc ported it to the Sega Mega Drive for Electronic Arts in late 1990.


Sword of Sodan is a side-scrolling beat-'em-up where the player can control either an unnamed male or unnamed female, walking towards the right of the screen and hacking and slashing enemies along the way.

Being originally written for the Amiga, the control scheme of Sword of Sodan is built around one-button joysticks which were prevalent across home computing at the time. On the Mega Drive the main controls are split across B and C - jumping is assigned to B (where holding down the button results in a higher jump), but is also used in conjunction with Left or Right to turn the character around. C swings the character's sword, and combined with Up, Right and Down other attacks can be made. Down crouches.

The strength of the player's attacks depend on the current "HIT" value displayed on top of the screen, which decreases when losing a life. Attacks have very specific hit zones - spear wielding guards for example need to be attacked at point blank range, while giants can only be hurt by using high attacks.

A is used to drink potions dropped by defeated enemies. Potions are selected in the pause menu, and can be combined to create more interesting results.

The game features an undocumented level skip in stage 5 - if the player deliberately falls down the third pit, they will skip directly to stage 6.


  • Red: increases attack strength
  • Orange: defeats the closest enemy
  • Blue: restores health
  • Transparent: no effect
  • Red + transparent: extra life
  • Orange + transparent: flaming brand (stronger sword with fire effect)
  • Blue + transparent: temporary invincibility
  • Red + orange: flaming brand (stronger sword with fire effect)
  • Transparent x 4: skip stage

Other combinations either have no effect or are poisenous to the player.


Despite sharing a name, Sword of Sodan was significantly altered during its transition to the Mega Drive, putting more of an emphasis on potions while reducing the amount of content. Most of the graphics were re-drawn, with layouts also being modified and swordplay being tweaked. Enemies attack from both left and right (a feature missing in the Amiga version), however the ostrich-like creature in the dungeon stage is missing.

Some levels (such as the wood area) were removed, while others combined, bringing the total number of stages to eight. Five of the thirteen enemies seen in the Amiga version were removed also.

Neither version of Sword of Sodan has in-game music.

Magazine articles

Main article: Sword of Sodan/Magazine articles.

Physical scans

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
43 [5]
28 [6]
57 [7]
57 [8]
48 №148, [1]
88 [9]
22 [10]
40 №1991-11, p91
45 №13, p113
40 [11]
55 [12]
59 [13]
73 [14]
45 [15]
40 [16]
33 №18, p68
Sega Mega Drive
Based on
16 reviews

Mega Drive, US
SoS MD US Box Back.jpgSoS MD US Box.jpg
SoS MD US Cart.jpg
Mega Drive, EU
SoS MD EU Box.jpg
SoS MD US Cart.jpg
Mega Drive, JP
SoS MD JP Box.jpg
SwordofSodan MD JP CartTop.jpg
SwordofSodan MD JP Cart.jpg
Mega Drive, BR
SoS MD BR Box.jpg
SwordofSodan MD BR Cart.jpg
Swordofsodan md br manual.pdf

Technical information

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 9cb8468f
MD5 7b5c722bccce6f5301dd90b6d6b17f01
SHA-1 088b81c3bcda86b9803b7e3f8067beb21d1d2553
512KB 1990-12 Cartridge (US/EU)
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 58edb3f3
MD5 5d5d8d4bfcde93737cdd0bad207a0550
SHA-1 9c17187e3eb0842c5300f69616a58baa86b769e7
512KB 1990-12 Cartridge (JP)