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You are Adam, a boy enchanted with an ancient story about a brave young lad who lived long ago during a time of monsters. According to legend, this youngster had a shield and a magic sword that he used to fight off all manner of foul beasts, keeping the land safe for man, woman and child alike. You found this tale so fascinating that you, with girlfriend in tow, set off on a quest for the legendary sword and armor.
When you found the ancient artifacts that you were looking for, the heavens burst open and fireballs fell from the sky, unleashing a hoard of monsters the type of which the world hadn't seen in centuries. Then you heard a voice say: "They're back. The monsters have returned. Pick up the sword. Lift your shield. For now, Adam, it is your turn to rid the land of monsters!"
Monster Lair features 14 levels of play, each of which is divided into two stages. The first stage of each level is a platform shooter while the second is more of a straightforward shooter with no jumping. Both types of stages scroll from left to right. The levels, which consist of jungles, caves, deserts, castles, ice worlds and other locations, are replete with obstacles and are swarming with more than 50 types of creatures, including Icerego, who fires ice cubes, and Armor King, who attacks with rocket punches.
You begin the game with a magic sword that fires energy from its end. As you progress through the adventure, you can pick up weapons left behind by monsters that you destroy. Picking up spirals, wide rings, beams, missiles, fireballs and big fire will temporarily "Power Boost" your fighting ability.
You can also pick up food items that will increase your life force, which is drained every time an enemy or its missile strikes you, or if you fall into the ocean or a hole. The passage of time also decreases your life force. A special two-player simultaneous mode of Monster Lair is available in which you and your gaming partner can either cooperate to destroy the monsters or compete for points. ~ Brett Alan Weiss, All Game Guide