It's a local 2-player head-to-head game.
Aim the sword for blocking, stabbing, and throwing using UP/DOWN
controls. If an opponent's attack comes in low, middle, or high, you
can move your sword to block at the same height. This also works for
bare-fisted combat (though not against swords!) The player
will punch when in close, or otherwise kick (for more damage).
To RUN, press the RUN button and a direction left or right. Then while
running, press the RUN button again to jump. You can duck by pressing
RUN and down, and do a slide if you duck while you're running. You will
pick up a sword if you are empty-handed and duck near one.
Also while running, hold the ATTACK button to throw your sword. You
can throw it at various different angles, bounce it off of stuff. It
might even bounce back and impale you. Good times.