When it was released in the arcades, Sega's Golden Axe was immediately hailed as a classic beat-em-up. Just like many other coin-op games, the license for converting Golden Axe was quickly snapped up, this time by Richard Branson's Virgin/Mastertronic software label. After a year and a half of coding, the Amiga version is finally upon us. Is it as good as the arcade game?
You get to power up your weapons, which are a sword, a spiked chain, and, of course, the Legendary Axe. When you get this, you'll want to hang on to it. It may not have the range of the chain or the area-effect of the powered-up sword, but it's wickedly powerful. The game isn't all that bad, honestly, until you hit stages 7 and 8. Golden Axe Curse of Death Adder 3.0 on the OpenBOR. Published by Unknown. Developed by Unknown. Released in Unknown. View video of game. Screenshot of game. Title screen.
Yes it is! The gameplay is all there. The controls move smoothly, and executing an overhead chop (probably the most difficult move in the game) is no problem at all. Control is via the joystick, though the keyboard must be used if one is to cast magic spells. All the major features found in the arcade game, from the running villagers to the great endgame sequence, have been included. The flashing 'GO' sign, the camp fire sequences where you can get extra magic potions and health drumsticks, the tattered map with the animated quill - none have been left out.
Most importantly, the fun of bashing monsters (in Double Dragon style) is still there. Many arcade conversions fail to bring the 'fun' of playing the original onto the home computer, but Golden Axe conveys this feeling superbly.
So what is the plot? Basically, just slay and slaughter every evil creature that roams the land. The land in question is Yuria, now under the clutches of the evil
Death Adder. It is up to you, brave warrior (or warriors, for your friend can also join in the monster bashing with a joystick plugged into the mouse port) to free the land of this tyranny. When you kill the tyrant, you will also recover the precious Golden Axe, symbol of the good and strong that will return to Yuria following Death Adder's demise.
You can choose from three valiant knights: Ax Battler (a Conan look-alike with a huge sword), Tyris Flare (a female Conan with huge, uh, muscles?), and finally Gilius Thunderhead (a dwarf with nothing really huge at all). All three have their personal reasons for slaying Death Adder.
Each character has a wide variety of combat manoeuvres, as well as a special skill. Ax and Tyris possess a great overhead swing which spins the warriors 180 degrees and kills the monster trying to sneak up behind them, while Gilius has the ability to roll on the ground to avoid attacks and strike at the enemy's under belly (and it hurts, too!). Then there's magic. After collecting the magic potions left behind by blue thieves, our brave heroes are able to call upon this ancient art.
The graphics of Golden Axe are up to Amiga standard, with good usage of colours (especially in the background), shading, and some great detail in the depiction of enemies. The animation, however, is not as good as it could have been. Movement of characters would be more realistic if more frames had been used. Not that the screen is jerky -it's just that the animation is lacking in comparison with other Amiga beat-em-ups.
Musically, the tune is great but the sound effects are pretty ordinary (I especially missed the meaty 'Arrgghhh' when your warrior died. On the Amiga, it's just a whimper of defeat).
Overall, Golden Axe is a good game (it got some great reviews in UK mags) on its own, and a fairly accurate arcade conversion. Understandably, the programmers of the computer versions chose to concentrate more on the gameplay of the arcade machine rather than just converting (the brilliant) Sega Mega-Drive version, and therefore some parts of the MegaDrive version (like the extra two levels and most unfortunately, the one-on-one combat section) will not appear. However, the programmers have made the right choice, and Amiga Golden Axe is (after the arcade machine) arguably the best of the lot.
One of the most legendary games of all times. Back in 1990, when it was made, Golden axe made an army of fans! The game places You in a role of Barbarian, Amazon or Dwarf on a holy quest of bringing the peace to their country. All that You have to do is run, jump and cut Your enemies. Real cool thing in a game is a possibility of capturing enemy beasts who will serve You from that moment on. Oh, and there is some magic as well..
Old arcade game, a very big classic! Double Dragon style beat'em up game. You just run across levels and beat every enemies you can reach. You also can use magic. 3 characters available for playing.
How to run this game on modern Windows PC?
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|Genre(s)||Beat 'em up|
|Platform(s)||Sega Genesis, Mega-CD, Game Gear, Master System, Sega Mega-Play, Virtual Console, iOS, Microsoft Windows|
|First release||Golden Axe|
|Latest release||Golden Axe: Beast Rider|
|Spin-offs||Action-adventure games, fighting game|
Golden Axe (ゴールデンアックス, Gōruden Akkusu) is a series of side-scrolling, beat 'em up, arcade video games developed by Sega. The series takes place in a medieval fantasy world where several heroes have the task of recovering the legendary Golden Axe, the mainstay element of the series.
- 1Main series
- 5In other media
Golden Axe is a side-scrollingarcadebeat 'em up game released in 1989 by Sega. Makoto Uchida was the primary developer of the game and also was responsible for the creation of Altered Beast. The game places the player in control of one of three warriors each bent on revenge against the vile dictator Death Adder. Death Adder has taken over the once peaceful land of Yuria and murdered their friend and partner, Alex. Several ports of the game were created, most notably for the Mega Drive/Genesis and Master System. Several sequels followed.
The game focuses on three heroes. One of them is a battle axe-wielding dwarf, Gilius Thunderhead, from the mines of Wolud whose twin brother was killed by the soldiers of Death Adder. Another is a male barbarian, Ax Battler, wielding a two handed broadsword looking for revenge for the murder of his mother. The last is a longsword wielding amazon, Tyris Flare, whose parents were killed by Death Adder.
Progress is made through the game by hacking and slashing your way through Adder's forces. Aiding the characters in this quest is their ability to cast spells that hurt all enemies on the screen. The force of this magic depends on the number of 'bars' of magic power currently available. The bars are filled by collecting blue 'magic potions' found throughout the game. The male warrior Ax, limited to 4 bars, is able to cast Earth spells. The dwarf Gilius, limited to 3 bars, casts lightning spells and the female warrior Tyris can cast devastating fire magic, but her most powerful spell costs 6 bars.
Golden Axe II
Each of the heroes from the first game return to battle the forces of evil villain Dark Guld in this sequel. While Golden Axe II was a Mega Drive/Genesis exclusive from a development point of view, it saw limited arcade exposure in the MegaPlay series of arcade machines. Released in 1991, the game featured new magic for each of the heroes with the characteristic magic pots from the first game replaced by spell books this time around.
Many video game magazine editors[which?] of the time expressed that the game was very likely rushed into production to give Sega another popular title to enable the Mega Drive/Genesis to compete with its new rival, the Super NES. In most respects this sequel was essentially the same as the original, though it had new sprites for enemy characters and new levels. Many fans were disappointed with this title as they were expecting more than a rehash of the first title. However, the title had the virtue of not straying too far from a successful formula and was still quite popular upon its release.
Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder
In 1992, Sega released Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder in arcades. Despite its popularity, the game remains an arcade exclusive as of 2019.
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Only Gilius Thunderhead makes a return, riding the back of new character Goah the giant. The rest of the cast is all new and includes Stern Blade the barbarian, Dora the female centaur, and Little Trix, a young lad who carries a pitch fork. The main enemy is once again Death Adder.
As well as introducing multiple paths to the franchise, the magic aspect was adjusted. Though still found in the classic Golden Axe pots, the magic spells did not increase in power with the number of pots collected but required a set number to work. The Revenge of Death Adder was the only Golden Axe game in which one of the magic attacks was not offensive, as Little Trix grew apple trees with fruit that replenished health.
At the game's end, Death Adder rises one more time. Gilius sacrifices his life to finally end Adder's. During the end cinematic Gilius is shown in a bar with every other character, and a banner appears saying, 'See you Next Game!'
Golden Axe III
Released in 1993, a few weeks after Revenge of the Death Adder, the third Golden Axe game on the Mega Drive was released only in Japan. However, the game was available for a while in North America on the Sega Channel, Sega's modem-based game downloading system. It was brought to Europe and North America on the Nintendo Wii's Virtual Console. The game's lineup of playable characters includes swordsman Kain Grinder (カイン・グリンダー), swordswoman Sarah Barn (サラ・バーン), giant Braoude Cragger (プラウド・クラッガー) and beastman Chronos 'Evil' Lait (クロノス・”イビル”・レート). Gilius also appear as a non-playable character at the character select screen.
In this game the object is to travel along a number of truly branching paths and eventually defeat the main boss of the game, the Prince of Darkness. The player can choose different branching paths in this game toward that objective just as in Revenge of Death Adder. However the paths in this game are more elaborate and do not loop back together. Many of the characters are good characters that were possessed, and once beaten they are freed. A king turned into an anthropomorphic eagle is a recurring boss who may possibly be Prince Hellbringer's right-hand man, and is playable in VS mode.
As opposed to Golden Axe II, where the characters, moves, and controls remained largely the same, Golden Axe III brought many changes to the gameplay. The background scenery was less lush and colorful than in previous games, as were the sprites themselves. There was a greater variety of moves. Furthermore, there were several abilities unique to certain characters: for example, the Braoude could throw, while the Chronos and Sarah could double jump and wall jump. Finally, each character had a super-move with its own unique button combination.
Some features were returned to the title that had been cut in previous sequels. Golden Axe III brought back the thieves from the original game, rather than the mages from Golden Axe II. Also, extra lives could be gained by freeing prisoners scattered throughout the levels. The magic system was returned to the original version where all pots are used at the same time, as opposed to the improved system in Golden Axe II that allowed the player to only use as many spellbooks as they wanted.
Critics applauded Sega's decision not to release Golden Axe III in North America, speculating that the game's drab graphics and generally mediocre quality would have damaged the Sega Genesis's reputation.
Golden Axe: Beast Rider
The game is titled Golden Axe: Beast Rider and features the return of Tyris Flare, the female amazon warrior from the first installments of the series. Golden Axe: Beast Rider was released in October 2008.
Golden Axe Warrior
This Master System title tells another epic tale about the Golden Axe. It is an action-adventure game similar to The Legend of Zelda. The storyline continues the theme of the original Golden Axe games. The game's unit of currency is horns, and it is to be imagined that the hero cut these off of the enemies he killed.
Ax Battler: A Legend of Golden Axe
Released for the Game Gear, this action-adventure title follows the legend of the character Ax Battler. Unlike its console counterpart, it is based more on Zelda II: The Adventure of Link than the original game. The player moves around a top-view overworld and enemies randomly attack. However the player can not see them like in Zelda II. When a battle begins, the game zooms down to a platform-style fighting environment. After killing the foe (or the foe wounding them) the hero returns to the overworld.
Unlike previous Golden Axe games, the player can learn new attacks and moves at the training dojos in each town. The currency in this game is pots, the traditional Golden Axe magic-usage item. Pots double as both currency and as an offensive attack.
Golden Axe: The Duel
Released in 1994 in the arcades and in 1995 for the Sega Saturn, Golden Axe: The Duel is a one-on-one fighting game featuring characters who appear to be descendants of some of the characters in the original game. Though the potion-dropping imp mechanic was praised, most dismissed the game as a decent but nondescript one-on-one fighter.
- Ax Battler is a barbarian hero. He uses a claymore while wearing a loincloth and blue boots as well as iron bracers and a gorget. He calls upon volcanic magic, deploying lava and powerful eruptive blasts. Ax's mother is murdered by Death Adder's forces, providing his motive in the original Golden Axe. Ax was given a solo game for the Sega Game Gear title Ax Battler: A Legend of Golden Axe, in which he is charged with saving another kingdom. Battler is the most balanced character, having a better striking range and less spell-power than Tyris, and more powerful magic but not the extended physical reach of Gilius.
- Tyris Flare is an amazon who wields a cinquedea-type sword while wearing a chainmail bikini, bracers and red boots. Both her parents are murdered by Death Adder's forces, leading her to seek revenge in the first Golden Axe game. Her magic attacks are all fire-based, including the summoning of a giant, flame-spewing dragon. Tyris has the shortest range of the heroes, but possesses the most powerful spells.
- Gilius Thunderhead is a bearded dwarf who (at least in the arcade version) actually commands the Golden Axe. He wears a green tunic, leather boots and a horned helmet. He seeks revenge in Golden Axe after his brother is murdered by Death Adder's forces, returning again to defeat Dark Guld in Golden Axe II. In Golden Axe III, Gilius is the only character from the previous games to appear, though he is not playable, he starts each of the characters off on their quest at the game's beginning. When Death Adder returns from the dead in Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder, Gilius rides on the back of playable character Goah throughout the game, and sacrifices his life at game's end to vanquish Death Adder once and for all. Gilius is granted the least powerful spells in the game, but has the best striking range in battle. Gillius is a recurring playable character in the Sega SuperStars series.
- Death Adder is a tyrannical giant who wears a full iron helmet, pointed spaulders, and wields an enormous double axe. In addition to his brutal strength and speed while attacking, he can also cast magical spells. With his army, he enslaves the kingdom of Golden Axe and kidnaps its royal family. After dispatching his minions, Adder is finally killed by the game's three heroes, but is resurrected for Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder. Here, he survives an initial attempt on his life but perishes due to the self-sacrifice of Gilius Thunderhead. Death Adder reappears many years later in Golden Axe: The Duel, where he is a playable character, and the penultimate boss. In 2010, IGN ranked Death Adder 83rd in 'Top 100 Videogames Villains'.
- In home console versions of Golden Axe, Death Adder is accompanied by his son, Death Adder Jr., and father, Death Bringer. These characters are palette swaps of the original Death Adder sprite, with similar powers and abilities. In the Genesis sequels, Golden Axe II and Golden Axe III, Death Adder's role is filled by Dark Guld and Damud Hellstrike, both of whom bear a strong resemblance to Death Adder.
The characters from the original Golden Axe have made cameo appearances in other Sega games. Ax Battler, Gilius Thunderhead and Tyris Flare all make a cameo appearance in the arcade version of Alien Storm. They can be found on one of the in-game television screens; a Golden Axe logo can also be seen during that cameo. Gilius Thunderhead makes another cameo appearance in the game, as part of a panel of judges rating the player's score.
Gilius Thunderhead is also a playable character in Sega Superstars Tennis and Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. The latter also features a track inspired by Golden Axe called 'Adder's Lair'. Robinson helicopter serial numbers. Ax Battler and Tyris Flare are available as playable characters in the Easy Mode of the Sega Ages 2500 version of Dynamite Deka. Death Adder also makes an appearance as one of the game's bosses.
Chickenleg, the pink cockatrice with the tail lash from the first game, first appeared as an enemy in Altered Beast.
In other media
Film and TV projects
In 2014, Sega formed the production company Stories International and teaming up with Evan Cholfin for film and TV projects based on their games with Golden Axe as an animated project with Universal Studios developing as a Movie or TV series.
Gilius makes frequent appearances in the 2014 anime Hi☆sCoool!, alongside other SEGA characters. Of the cameo characrers, Gilius notably appears and is referenced more often than some of the others.
Golden Axe was featured in the British comic 'Sonic the Comic', which was published by Fleetway. The series was titled 'The Legend of the Golden Axe' and had two six-issue runs, written by Mark Eyles and illustrated by Mike White. Issues 1–6 feature the story 'Citadel of Dead Souls', wherein a necromancer attempts to resurrect Dark Guld. Issues 13–18 have the story 'Plague of Serpents', which involves a snake-charmer named Cobraxis kidnapping the Queen of Gilius' dwarf race. The story takes place in the aftermath of Golden Axe II.
Characters from Golden Axe would later appear in the Worlds Unite crossover from Archie Comics alongside several other Sega and Capcom franchises.
Inspiration for other games
The main themes of the series were later used in the one-on-one fighting game Soul Edge in 1995, as well as its sequels. The setting was similar (i.e. historical fantasy), and the storyline was for the heroes to recover a legendary weapon (this time an eponymous sword).
- ^'Golden Axe III'. Electronic Gaming Monthly (53). EGM Media, LLC. December 1993. p. 110.
- ^Thomas, Lucas M. (November 19, 2007). 'Golden Axe III Review'. IGN. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
- ^Guise, Tom (December 1995). 'Review: Golden Axe: The Duel'. Sega Saturn Magazine (2). Emap International Limited. pp. 80–81.
- ^'Golden Axe: The Duel Review'. Electronic Gaming Monthly (84). EGM Media, LLC. July 1996. p. 26.
- ^Marc Graser (December 11, 2014). 'Sega Taps Evan Cholfin to Adapt its Videogames for Films, TV, Digital Platforms (EXCLUSIVE)'. Variety. Retrieved December 11, 2014.
- ^Barry the Nomad (September 1, 2015). 'Rumor: Universal Studios Onn Track To Make A Movie or TV Show Based On Sega's Golden Axe'. Segabit.
- ^Dave McNary (December 5, 2016). 'Sega's 'Altered Beast,' 'Streets of Rage' Games to Be Adapted for Film, TV'. Variety. Retrieved 2016-12-05.
- ^Schedeen, Jesse (February 26, 2015). 'Capcom and Sega Join Forces for Worlds Unite Comic Book Crossover.'IGN.com. Retrieved January 26, 2019.
- Golden Axe at MobyGames