Cadash is an early example of what would become a fairly common trend in Japanese-made arcade games of the early 1990s: the "Platform-RPG". Cadash borrows many principles of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link's gameplay, combining side-scrolling platform action with an RPG system of statistics, levels, money and magic.
Four characters can play at once in the arcade version, and up to two players may select from four different characters in the console versions: Fighter, mage, priestess, and ninja, each with different attacks, statistics and skills. Players then proceed through each level, killing monsters and bosses, collecting keys to unlock doors, and collecting gold and experience. Gold is also taken from slain foes and treasure chests. Villages sell items, weapons, armor, and (in the console versions) extra lives, each village encountered providing increasingly better equipment. Some villagers and benevolent creatures will also provide information. The arcade version has a limited game time, which can be extended by buying progressively more expensive hourglasses at shops, or by picking up rare bonuses. Also in shops, and in hidden places, are medicinal herbs (restore 10 HP if brought to 0) and antidotes (cure poison inflicted by specific foes). There are also two elixirs in the game, one dropped by the optional level 3 boss Crawling Kelp, and the other in the first part of level 5. These act like medicinal herbs, except they restore all HP.
Source: Wikipedia, "Cadash," available under the CC-BY-SA License.