Mace: The Dark Age is a 3D medieval-fantasy weapon-based fighting game developed and released by Atari Games for arcades in early 1997. It was later ported to the Nintendo 64 by Midway in October 1997.
The sole 3D fighting game released by Atari Games, Mace features a grimdark medieval-fantasy theme and 3D-accelerated graphics (utilizing 3dfx Voodoo graphics hardware). Similar to some of Midway's fighting games at the time (such as Mortal Kombat 4 and War Gods), Mace features multiple 3D arena layouts (with hazards and other obstacles), multiple evasion options (this time using a dedicated Evade button), and the use of violent post-match finishing moves.
The game is set in the year 1300, after seven lords from Europe, Arabia, and Asia have grown powerful from an alliance with the demon Asmodeus (who feeds his power from the fabled Mace of Tanis), forming the Covenant of Seven. Now, the Seven seek to wield the dark magic of the Mace for themselves, while several others vow to stop the spread of its evil.
The game plays like a traditional 3D fighting game with three attack buttons (Quick Slash, Strong Slash, and Kick) and one Evade button. Along with a number of short combo chains and moves that can link into combos, each fighter has a number of special moves and one Execution, which can only be performed once the opponent loses the match. Throws can also be performed by holding forward and pressing the Quick button.
The arcade version of the game includes 12 playable fighters (four of which are time-locked), a sub-boss (who can be played with cheat codes), an unplayable final boss, and a hidden joke character.
The N64 version unlocks two of the time-locked characters from the start while hiding the other two behind cheat codes. In addition, it includes a hidden model swap joke character, as well as an unplayable training mode dummy (known as Spanky).
One notable feature of the game is its use of multiple endings, where receiving a Game Over in the battle against Asmodeus causes the game to end with the character's bad ending.
- Al' Rashid - An Arabian assassin, and the son of the King of Assassins, seeking to use the Mace to usurp his father as the master assassin. Fights with dual scimitars.
- The Executioner - A master torturer who seeks to use the Mace to bring forth a new age of torment. Fights with an executioner's axe.
- Koyasha - A Japanese kunoichi who fights only to prove her prowess with ninjitsu. Fights with dual wakizashis.
- Lord Deimos - A centuries-old demonic warlord and one of the Covenant of Seven, seeking to use the Mace to unify the lands under his hellish rule. Fights with a largesword. Known in some versions as "Lord Diemos".
- Mordos Kull - A mercenary whose family were killed by the forces of the Seven, seeking to infiltrate and eliminate the Seven while vowing to use the Mace as a tool for good. Fights with both a flail and shield.
- Namira - An Arabian harem girl, believed to be the lost Princess of Arabia, who seeks vengeance against the forces of the Sultan (who murdered her family to become one of the Seven). Fights with a scimitar.
- Ragnar Bloodaxe - A Viking warlord who seeks to use the power of the Mace to rebuild his village of Torsgard. Fights with dual hand axes.
- Takeshi Tsunami - A Japanese samurai and the son of Japan's ruler, seeking to destroy the Mace and redeem his brother Ichiro. who Fights with a katana.
- Taria de Castillo - A sorceress and daughter of one of the Seven, seeking the power of the Mace to conquer Hell. Fights with both a sword and a dagger.
- Xiao Long - A Chinese blind monk who seeks to destroy the Mace in order to prevent the spread of evil. Fights with a bo staff. The N64 version of the game includes a hidden model swap of Xiao, a joke character known as "Ned" (who is a modern-age janitor fighting with a broom).
- Hell Knight - A demonic warrior who seeks to return the Mace to its rightful owner in Hell. Fights with dual axes. Time-locked in the Arcade version, and unlocked from the start in the N64 version.
- Sir Dregan - An undead knight from the Crusades and one of the Seven, seeking to use the Mace to find the whereabouts of his soul. Fights with a sword and shield. Time-locked in the Arcade version, and unlocked from the start in the N64 version.
- Ichiro Tsunami - A corrupted samurai and brother of Takeshi, seeking to use the power of the Mace to usurp his father as both the leader of Japan and one of the Seven. Fights with a katana. Time-locked in the Arcade version, and unlockable with cheat codes in the N64 version.
- War Mech - A humanoid machine piloted by the dwarf craftsman Gar Gunderson, who seeks to use the Mace to free his underground people. Fights with a large hammer and morning star. Hidden time-locked character in the Arcade version, and unlockable with cheat codes in the N64 version.
- Grendal - The game's penultimate boss and a large stone monster who does Asmodeus's bidding. Fights with a large war hammer. Only playable with cheat codes.
- Asmodeus - The game's final boss and a gigantic four-armed demon. He wields no weaponry other than his brute strength and only his upper-half is shown through the arena floor. Unplayable.
- Pojo - The game's joke character, Pojo is a large chicken. She is playable with cheat codes.