Combining the side-scrolling gameplay of a beat 'em up with some aspects found in a computer role-playing game, Shadow over Mystara has many game mechanics not commonly found in arcade games. While things as simple as item collection, finding and equipping new gear and earning new spells as the player gains experience is an old idea in console games, it is a rare find at the arcades. Players can wield a large variety of weapons and armor, although this selection is limited by the character the players chooses. There is also an extensive assortment of magical and hidden items in the game, many of which are completely unknown to exist to the typical arcade gamer. This, along with the addition of multiple endings and forking paths, gives the game an extreme amount of re-playability and has led to its cult following among the fans of the genre.
Source: Wikipedia, Dungeons %26 Dragons: Shadow over Mystara , available under the CC-BY-SA License.