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Golden Axe

From Sega Retro

For the home computer versions, see Golden Axe (home computers).
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GoldenAxe Title.png
Golden Axe
GoldenAxe iOS icon.png
Publisher: Sega,
CD-ROM² System/Super CD-ROM² System
Telenet Japan,
Bandai WonderSwan
Bandai
Developer:
System(s): Sega System 16, Sega Mega Drive, Sega Master System, CD-ROM², WonderSwan Color, PlayStation 3 (PSN), Virtual Console, Xbox Live Arcade, iOS, Windows, Steam
ROM size:
Sega Mega Drive
Sega Master System
512kB
Genre: Action































Number of players: 1-2
Release Date RRP Code
Arcade
JP
1989-05 [1] ¥?  ?
Arcade
US
1989 $?  ?
Arcade
EU
1989 £?  ?
Sega Mega Drive
JP
1989-12-23 ¥6000 G-4018
Sega Mega Drive
US
1990-02Media:VG&CE US 11.pdf[2] $
Sega Mega Drive
US (Classic)
1992 $29.95 1106C
Sega Mega Drive
EU
1990-11 £34.99 Media:Raze UK 03.pdf[3]Media:MegaDrive UK PrintAd 1990-10.jpg[4]
Sega Mega Drive
AU
199x $?  ?
Sega Mega Drive
BR
1990 R$?  ?
Sega Mega Drive
KR
199x ₩? GM4005JG
CD-ROM² System/Super CD-ROM² System
JP
1990-03 ¥? TJCD0005
Bandai WonderSwan
JP
2002-02-28 [5] ¥5,040 with tax  ?


Sega Master System
US
$39.95Media:VG&CE US 18.pdf[6] 9004
Sega Master System
UK
£29.95 Media:ACE UK 33.pdf[7]Media:DoMeAFavour8New SMS UK PrintAd 2.jpg[8] 9004
Sega Master System
FR
?F 9004
Sega Master System
DE
DM ? 9004
Sega Master System
ES
?Ptas 9004
Sega Master System
BR
R$? 028060
Sega Master System
KR
₩? ?



Wii Virtual Console
JP
¥600 points ?
Wii Virtual Console
US
$800 points ?
Wii Virtual Console
EU
€800 points ?
Wii Virtual Console
AU
$800 points ?
Wii Virtual Console
JP (Arcade)
¥800 points ?
Wii Virtual Console
US (Arcade)
$900 points ?
Wii Virtual Console
EU (Arcade)
€900 points ?



Xbox 360
JP (Download)
¥400pts ? ?
Xbox 360
US (Download)
$400pts ? ?
Xbox 360
EU (Download)
€400pts ? ? ?
Xbox 360
AU (Download)
$?pts ? ?



iOS
JP
¥85 ?
iOS
US
$? ?
iOS
EU
€? ? ?



Steam
US
$2.99 ?
Steam
EU
€1.99 ? ?



Sony PlayStation 3
JP (Download)
¥571 (600) NPJB-00129
Sony PlayStation 3
US (Download)
$4.99 ?
Sony PlayStation 3
EU (Download)
€? ? ?



Golden Axe (ゴールデンアックス) is a beat-'em-up developed by Sega and released in 1989 for Sega System 16 arcade hardware. The development team was headded by Makoto Uchida, who also led the team behind Altered Beast.

The game was the first in the long-running Golden Axe series. It is said to be heavily inspired by the Conan the Barbarian films, and that the game took roughly one year to make. The game also "borrows" voice data from said movie and other Hollywood blockbusters.

Story

The game takes place in the fictional land of Yuria, in which an evil entity known as Death Adder has kidnapped Yuria's King and his daughter, holding them captive in his castle. Perhaps more importantly, Death Adder has stolen the "Golden Axe", a magical emblem of Yuria, and is threatening to destroy it if the people of the land do not accept him as their ruler.

It is up to a band of three heroes to venture to Death Adder's castle and stop him, rescuing the captives, avenge their losses and save the land: Ax Battler, Tyris Flare and Gilius Thunderhead.

Gameplay

Golden Axe supports a maximum of two players. Any character can be selected but both players cannot play as the same character.

The Golden Axe arcade cabinet assigns one button for attacking, another for jumping and a final button for using magic. Using magic will cause all of the enemies on screen to be damaged and effectively acts as crowd control. Each player carries a limited supply of magic (indicated by a meter at the top of the screen) and will use it all at once when the magic button is pressed. Some magic can also re-kill already defeated enemies, adding extra score. This bug is only present in the arcade version. More magic can be collected by attacking the short thieves clothed in blue who appear at certain points throughout the game. Green thieves carry life energy, also represented in the HUD.

Golden Axe is also notable for its ability to allow players to ride "beasts", often giving them an offensive advantage at the expense of speed.

Similar to Altered Beast, the ending is less serious and has characters from the game breaking out of the arcade machine and causing havoc in the real world. Most ports replace this ending.

Playable characters

{{{imagewidths}}} Ax-Battler
Ax Battler is a male barbarian fighting to avenge the murder of his mother. Despite his name he uses a two handed broadsword and carries earth magic. Ax Battler is one of the constants of the series, appearing in most Golden Axe games (including Ax Battler: A Legend of Golden Axe, a game based entirely around him).
{{{imagewidths}}} Gilius-Thunderhead
Gilius Thunderhead is a dwarf whose brother was murdered by Death Adder. Gilius is the only character to actually carry an axe, as well as thunder magic.
{{{imagewidths}}} Tyris-Flare
Tyris Flare is an amazonian woman whose parents were killed by Death Adder. She also uses a sword but carries fire magic.

Stages

GoldenAxe System16 US Stage1.png Stage 1 - Wilderness
GoldenAxe System16 US Stage2.png Bonus Stage 1
GoldenAxe System16 US Stage3.png Stage 2 - Turtle Village
GoldenAxe System16 US Stage4.png Bonus Stage 2
GoldenAxe System16 US Stage5.png Stage 3
GoldenAxe System16 US Stage6.png Bonus Stage 3
GoldenAxe System16 US Stage7.png Stage 4 - Fiend's Path
GoldenAxe System16 US Stage8.png Bonus Stage 4
GoldenAxe System16 US Stage9.png Stage 5 - Death Adder's Castle
GoldenAxe MD US Stage6.png Stage 6 - The Palace Gates
The Mega Drive version of the game adds three more levels. This is the first, which is part of stage 5 in the arcade version.
GoldenAxe MD US Stage7.png Stage 7 - The Dungeon
Also a Mega Drive exclusive.
GoldenAxe MD US Stage8.png Stage 8 - The Battle with Death Bringer
Also a Mega Drive exclusive.

History

Legacy

Golden Axe has been ported to a number of systems over the years, though many cuts were made in the process.

The game has enjoyed many years of success on the Sega Mega Drive, and was used in the early days of the console to advertise the system's power over its then-main rival, the Nintendo Entertainment System. Some levels were shortened, but an extra level was added which includes another boss, "Death Bringer", a recolored version of Death Adder. Also in this version is a "duel" mode, which allows players to fight a succession of enemies one-on-one.

This game saw a software revision. The original release had a graphical bug after defeating the final boss: his axe, while spinning around in the air, displays as garbage graphic data.

The Mega Drive version of the game has been included in numerous compilations, such as 6-Pak, Mega Games 2, Mega Games 6 and Mega Games 10. The game has also been emulated and sold in the form of Sega Smash Pack Volume 1, Sega Smash Pack, Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection, Sega Archives from USA Vol. 1 and Sega Mega Drive Classic Collection Volume 1, as well as services such as PlaySega and built-in to numerous consoles by AtGames.

This version was so popular that it got direct sequels in the form of Golden Axe II and Golden Axe III. In the arcades, the "true" sequel is Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder. A Sega Mega-Tech version also exists, which is based on the Mega Drive version, as is the version released for the Wii's Virtual Console service.

The Mega Drive Golden Axe was enhanced for the Sega Mega-CD and delivered as part of Sega Classics Arcade Collection. This version is single-player only, although offers numerous improvements in terms of audio and some graphical tweaks.

The Sega Master System version is also one-player only, forcing you to play as Ax Battler (named "Tarik").

There is also a NEC PC Engine CD port which takes a big hit in terms of aesthetics, has very poor sound effects and is only single-player. It was also ported to the WonderSwan Color and as part of Sega Smash Pack for the Game Boy Advance.

Golden Axe was also remade as part of Sega Ages 2500 Series Vol. 5: Golden Axe, and has been brought to Xbox 360 XBLA, Wii Virtual Console, PlayStation 3 PSN, and is available for iOS and other mobile devices. The iOS version was removed from sale on iTunes in 2015. [11]

Production credits

Mega Drive version

Source: In-game credits

Magazine articles

Main article: Golden Axe/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

SegaVisions US 02.pdf SegaVisions US 02.pdf

Master System US print advert in













Sega Visions (US) #2: "October/November 1990" (1990-xx-xx)

SegaVisions US 04.pdf SegaVisions US 04.pdf

Master System US print advert in













Sega Visions (US) #4: "April/May 1991" (1991-xx-xx); also published in













Sega Visions (US) #5: "Summer 1991" (1991-xx-xx)Media:SegaVisions US 05.pdf[12]

GamePro US 006.pdf GamePro US 006.pdf GamePro US 006.pdf

Mega Drive US print advert in













GamePro (US) #6: "January 1990" (19xx-xx-xx)

GamePro US 010.pdf GamePro US 010.pdf

Mega Drive US print advert in













GamePro (US) #10: "May 1990" (1990-xx-xx)

Digital manuals

Physical scans

System 16 version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
80 №93, p89Media:CVG UK 093.pdf[13]Media:CVG UK 093.pdf
89 №69, p96/97
89 №69, p96/97
90 2005-02-25
Arcade
87
Based on
4 reviews

System 16, US
GoldenAxe System16 US Marquee.jpg
GoldenAxe System16 US Manual.pdf
Manual
System 16, JP
Goldenaxe instructions.jpg

Mega Drive version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
75 №1990-03, p77Media:ASM DE 1990-03.pdf[14]Media:ASM DE 1990-03.pdf
96 №2, p100/101
94 №4, p30Media:CGtC UK 04.pdf[15]Media:CGtC UK 04.pdf
95 №101, p98/99Media:CVG UK 101.pdf[16]Media:CVG UK 101.pdf
90 2005-09-24
78
92 №28, p30/31Media:TGM UK 28.pdf[17]Media:TGM UK 28.pdf
91 №5, p58Media:Joystick FR 005.pdf[18]Media:Joystick FR 005.pdf
86 №3, p78Media:MDAG UK 03.pdf[19]Media:MDAG UK 03.pdf
85 №1, p64
94 №1, p78Media:MegaTech UK 01.pdf[20]Media:MegaTech UK 01.pdf
91 №1, p42-44Media:MeanMachines UK 01.pdf[21]Media:MeanMachines UK 01.pdf
90
93 №3, p38/39Media:PlayerOne FR 003.pdf[22]Media:PlayerOne FR 003.pdf
76 №4/90, p120Media:PowerPlay DE 025.pdf[23]Media:PowerPlay DE 025.pdf
92 №3, p62/63Media:Raze UK 03.pdf[24]Media:Raze UK 03.pdf
82 №13, p20/21Media:SegaPower UK 13.pdf[25]Media:SegaPower UK 13.pdf
80 №23, p53
91 №3, p41Media:SegaPro UK 03.pdf[26]Media:SegaPro UK 03.pdf
72 №18, p65
85
94 №6, p74
Sega Mega Drive
87
Based on
22 reviews

Mega Drive, US
GoldenAxe md us cover.jpg
Cover
GoldenAxe md us cart.jpg
Cart
GoldenAxe MD US Manual.pdf
Manual
Mega Drive, US (Sega Classic)
Goldenaxe md us classic cover.jpg
Cover
GoldenAxe md us cart.jpg
Cart
Mega Drive, EU
GoldenAxe md eu cover.jpg
Cover
GoldenAxe-PAL-cart-top.jpg
GoldenAxe-PAL-cart.jpg
Cart
Mega Drive, JP
GoldenAxe md jp cover.jpg
Cover
GoldenAxe MD JP CartTop.jpg
Goldenaxe md jp cart.jpg
Cart
Goldenaxe md jp manual.pdf
Manual
Mega Drive, AU
GoldenAxe MD AU cover.jpg
Cover
GoldenAxe-PAL-cart-top.jpg
GoldenAxe-PAL-cart.jpg
Cart
Golden Axe Megadrive AU Manual.pdf
Manual
Mega Drive, BR
GoldenAxe MD BR Box.jpg
Cover
GoldenAxe MD BR Cart.jpg
Cart
Goldenaxe md br manual.pdf
Manual
Mega Drive, KR
GoldenAxe MD KR Box.jpg
Cover
GoldenAxe MD KR carttop.jpg
GoldenAxe MD KR cartback.jpgGoldenAxe MD KR cart.jpg
Cart
Mega Drive, CA
GoldenAxe MD CA Box.jpg
Cover

Master System version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
89 №33, p63Media:ACE UK 33.pdf[7]Media:ACE UK 33.pdf
93 AllGame
90 AllGame
92 №2, p28/29
92 №4, p98Media:CGtC UK 04.pdf[27]Media:CGtC UK 04.pdf
92 №1, p57Media:TheCompleteGuideToSega UK.pdf[28]Media:TheCompleteGuideToSega UK.pdf
89 №100, p90/91Media:CVG UK 100.pdf[29]Media:CVG UK 100.pdf
90 2009-06-30
80 №32, p51Media:TGM UK 32.pdf[30]Media:TGM UK 32.pdf
90 №4, p40Media:Joystick FR 004.pdf[31]Media:Joystick FR 004.pdf
80 №2/25
92 №1, p133Media:MeanMachinesSega01UK.pdf[32]Media:MeanMachinesSega01UK.pdf
85 №1, p46/47Media:PlayerOne FR 001.pdf[33]Media:PlayerOne FR 001.pdf
88 №4
75 №16, p44
80 №23, p57
76 №25, p40
81 №3, p19Media:SegaPro UK 03.pdf[34]Media:SegaPro UK 03.pdf
74 №13, p24-25
80
91 2003-04-25
85 №6, p75
Sega Master System
86
Based on
22 reviews

Master System, US
Golden Axe SMS US Box.jpg
Cover
Goldenaxe sms us manual.pdf
Manual
Master System, EU
Golden Axe SMS EU Box.jpg
Cover
Master System, AU

GoldenAxe SMS AU Cart.jpg
Cart
GoldenAxeSMSAUManual.pdf
Manual
Master System, BR (cardboard)
Golden Axe SMS BR Cardboard Box.jpg
Cover
Golden Axe SMS BR Cardboard Cart.jpg
Cart
GoldenAxe SMS BR Manual.pdf
Manual
Master System, BR
Golden Axe SMS BR Box.jpg
Cover
GoldenAxe SMS BR Cart.jpg
Cart
Master System, KR

Goldenaxe SMS kr cart.jpg
Cart

CD-ROM² version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
65 №6, p92Media:Joystick FR 006.pdf[35]Media:Joystick FR 006.pdf
CD-ROM² System/Super CD-ROM² System
65
Based on
1 review

CD-ROM², JP
GoldenAxe CDROM2 JP Box Back.jpgGoldenAxe CDROM2 JP Box Front.jpg
Cover
GoldenAxe CDROM2 JP Spinecard.jpg
Spinecard
Golden Axe PCE CD-ROM2 JP CD.png
Disc
Golden Axe PCE CD-ROM2 JP Manual.PDF
Manual

WonderSwan version

WonderSwan, JP
Golden Axe Wonderswan JP Top.png
GoldenAxe WSC JP Box Back.jpgGolden Axe Wonderswan JP Spine.jpgGoldenAxe WSC JP Box Front.jpgGolden Axe Wonderswan JP Spine2.jpg
Golden Axe Wonderswan JP Bottom.png
Cover
Golden Axe Wonderswan JP Card Back.jpgGoldenAxe WSC JP Cart.jpg
Card
Golden Axe Wonderswan JP Manual.pdf
Manual

Mega-Tech version

Mega-Tech,

GoldenAxe MT Cart.jpg
Cart

External links

References

Necretro-logo.svg
NEC Retro has more information related to Golden Axe.
  1. http://vc.sega.jp/vca_axe/
  2. File:VG&CE US 11.pdf, page 105
  3. File:Raze UK 03.pdf, page 63
  4. File:MegaDrive UK PrintAd 1990-10.jpg
  5. http://web.archive.org/web/20031006122440/http://www.swan.channel.or.jp/swan/software/line_up/golden/index.html
  6. File:VG&CE US 18.pdf, page 50
  7. 7.0 7.1 File:ACE UK 33.pdf, page 63
  8. File:DoMeAFavour8New SMS UK PrintAd 2.jpg
  9. http://www.4gamer.net/games/094/G009436/
  10. http://www.jp.playstation.com/software/title/jp0177npjb00129_00svcgoldenaxe16xxj.html
  11. http://www.polygon.com/2015/5/18/8622645/sega-pulls-games-from-itunes-app-store-google-play
  12. File:SegaVisions US 05.pdf, page 10
  13. File:CVG UK 093.pdf, page 89
  14. File:ASM DE 1990-03.pdf, page 77
  15. File:CGtC UK 04.pdf, page 30
  16. File:CVG UK 101.pdf, page 98
  17. File:TGM UK 28.pdf, page 30
  18. File:Joystick FR 005.pdf, page 58
  19. File:MDAG UK 03.pdf, page 78
  20. File:MegaTech UK 01.pdf, page 78
  21. File:MeanMachines UK 01.pdf, page 42
  22. File:PlayerOne FR 003.pdf, page 38
  23. File:PowerPlay DE 025.pdf, page 120
  24. File:Raze UK 03.pdf, page 62
  25. File:SegaPower UK 13.pdf, page 20
  26. File:SegaPro UK 03.pdf, page 41
  27. File:CGtC UK 04.pdf, page 98
  28. File:TheCompleteGuideToSega UK.pdf, page 57
  29. File:CVG UK 100.pdf, page 90
  30. File:TGM UK 32.pdf, page 51
  31. File:Joystick FR 004.pdf, page 40
  32. File:MeanMachinesSega01UK.pdf, page 133
  33. File:PlayerOne FR 001.pdf, page 46
  34. File:SegaPro UK 03.pdf, page 19
  35. File:Joystick FR 006.pdf, page 88
Golden Axe series of games
Arcade Golden Axe (1989) | Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder (1992) | Golden Axe: The Duel (1994) | Golden Axe (slot machine) (2010)
Sega Mega Drive Golden Axe (1989) | Golden Axe II (1991) | Golden Axe III (1993)
Sega Master System Golden Axe (1989) | Golden Axe Warrior (1991)
Home Computers Golden Axe (1990)
LCD Electronic Golden Axe (1990)
Sega Game Gear Ax Battler: A Legend of Golden Axe (1991)
Sega Saturn Golden Axe: The Duel (1995)
PlayStation 2 Sega Ages 2500 Series Vol. 5: Golden Axe (2003)
Sony PlayStation 3
Xbox 360
Golden Axe: Beast Rider (2008)
Xbox Live Arcade Sega Vintage Collection: Golden Axe (2012)
Golden Axe related media
Albums Golden Axe The Music (2008)
Books Golden Axe (199x) | Golden Axe: Beast Rider Official Strategy Guide (2008) | The Art of Golden Axe: Beast Rider (2008)