In Shadow of the Unicorn, the player assumes the role of multiple characters, trying to get rid of the evil and chaos unleashed upon two kingdoms when a magical book was unsealed.
At the beginning of the game, it's possible to switch between three different characters - the King of Oronfall, his Satyr friend, and a wizard. Eventually, the number grows to ten, once a controllable character has been found. The explored lands are shown from a side view, with a compass indicating the currently viewed direction. Pressing the appropriate keys or joystick changes the view and lets the player travel in a different direction. There are furthermore bars indicating the energy and injury level of the currently controlled character. Energy is decreasing slowly over time and may be refilled when magical bushes are found, while injuries occur from occasional fights with hostile creatures. Objects necessary to complete the quest are scattered throughout the land. Some clues in addition to the back story are contained in the accompanying novel of the game.