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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
Genre: Action































Number of players:
Arcade
Sega Mega Drive
1-2,
Sega Mega-CD
Sega Master System
1
Release Date RRP Code
Arcade
JP
1989-05[1] ¥?  ?
Arcade
US
1989 $?  ?
Arcade
EU
1989 £?  ?
CD-ROM² System/Super CD-ROM² System
JP
1990-03 ¥? TJCD0005
Bandai WonderSwan
JP
2002-02-28[2] ¥5,040 with tax  ?


Sega Mega Drive
JP
¥6000 G-4018
Sega Mega Drive
US
$
Sega Mega Drive
US (Classic)
$29.95 1106C
Sega Mega Drive
UK
£34.99[4][5]
Sega Mega Drive
FR
?F
Sega Mega Drive
DE
DM ?
Sega Mega Drive
ES
?Ptas
Sega Mega Drive
AU
$? ?
Sega Mega Drive
BR
R$? ?
Sega Mega Drive
KR
₩? GM4005JG



Sega Master System
US
$39.95[6] 9004
Sega Master System
UK
£29.95[7][8] 9004
Sega Master System
FR
?F 9004
Sega Master System
DE
DM ? 9004
Sega Master System
ES
?Ptas 9004
Sega Master System
BR
R$? 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, 12 rounds. "Beginner" is another new mode, allowing you to play the first three stages with easier enemies. A single use of magic takes away only two magic pots and you fight "Death Adder Jr" as the last boss.

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. Much of the text was also slightly rewritten to make more grammatical sense.[11]

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"). You can still select one of the magic elements that each of the three original characters had.

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.[12]

Production credits

Mega Drive version

Source: In-game credits

Digital manuals

Magazine articles

Main article: Golden Axe/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

CVG UK 100.pdf

Master System print advert in














Computer & Video Games (UK) #100: "March 1990" (1990-02-16)
also published in:













  • ACE (UK) #30: "March 1990" (1990-xx-xx)[13]













  • ACE (UK) #31: "April 1990" (1990-xx-xx)[14]

CVG UK 101.pdf

Master System print advert in














Computer & Video Games (UK) #101: "April 1990" (1990-03-16)
also published in:













  • ACE (UK) #32: "May 1990" (1990-xx-xx)[15]

CVG UK 102.pdf

Master System print advert in














Computer & Video Games (UK) #102: "May 1990" (1990-04-16)

CVG UK 103.pdf

Master System print advert in














Computer & Video Games (UK) #103: "June 1990" (1990-05-16)
also published in:













  • ACE (UK) #33: "June 1990" (1990-xx-xx)[16]

SegaVisions US 02.pdfSegaVisions US 02.pdf

Master System print advert in














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













  • GamePro (US) #18: "January 1991" (199x-xx-xx)[17]

CVG UK 113.pdf

Master System print advert in














Computer & Video Games (UK) #113: "April 1991" (1991-03-16)
also published in:













  • Computer & Video Games (UK) #114: "May 1991" (1991-04-14)[18]

SegaVisions US 04.pdfSegaVisions US 04.pdf

Master System 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)[19]













  • Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #27: "October 1991" (1991-xx-xx)[20]

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

Mega Drive US print advert in














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

GamePro US 010.pdfGamePro US 010.pdf

Mega Drive US print advert in














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

ACE UK 37.pdfACE UK 37.pdf

Mega Drive print advert in














ACE (UK) #37: "October 1990" (1990-xx-xx)
also published in:













  • Computer & Video Games (UK) #107: "October 1990" (1990-09-16)[21]

CVG UK 111.pdf

Mega Drive print advert in














Computer & Video Games (UK) #111: "February 1991" (1991-01-16)

Dorimaga JP 20020308 2002-04.pdf

WonderSwan Color print advert in














Dorimaga (JP) #21: "2002-04 (2002-03-08)" (2002-02-22)

Physical scans

System 16 version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
80 №93, p89[22]Media:CVG UK 093.pdf
89 №69, p96/97
89 №69, p96/97
Arcade
86
Based on
3 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, p77[23]Media:ASM DE 1990-03.pdf
96 №2, p100/101
94 №4, p30[24]Media:CGtC UK 04.pdf
95 №101, p98/99[25]Media:CVG UK 101.pdf
78
92 №28, p30/31[26]Media:TGM UK 28.pdf
91 №5, p58[27]Media:Joystick FR 005.pdf
86 №3, p78[28]Media:MDAG UK 03.pdf
85 №1, p64
94 №1, p78[29]Media:MegaTech UK 01.pdf
91 №1, p42-44[30]Media:MeanMachines UK 01.pdf
90
93 №3, p38/39[31]Media:PlayerOne FR 003.pdf
76 №4/90, p120[32]Media:PowerPlay DE 025.pdf
92 №3, p62/63[33]Media:Raze UK 03.pdf
82 №13, p20/21[34]Media:SegaPower UK 13.pdf
80 №23, p53
91 №3, p41[35]Media:SegaPro UK 03.pdf
72 №18, p65
85
94 №6, p74
Sega Mega Drive
87
Based on
21 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, p63[7]Media:ACE UK 33.pdf
92 №2, p28/29
92 №4, p98[36]Media:CGtC UK 04.pdf
92 №1, p57Media:TheCompleteGuideToSega UK.pdf[37]Media:TheCompleteGuideToSega UK.pdf
89 №100, p90/91[38]Media:CVG UK 100.pdf
80 №32, p51[39]Media:TGM UK 32.pdf
90 №4, p40[40]Media:Joystick FR 004.pdf
80 №2/25
92 №1, p133[41]Media:MeanMachinesSega01UK.pdf
85 №1, p46/47[42]Media:PlayerOne FR 001.pdf
88 №4
75 №16, p44
80 №23, p57
76 №25, p40
81 №3, p19[43]Media:SegaPro UK 03.pdf
74 №13, p24-25
80
85 №6, p75
Sega Master System
84
Based on
18 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, p92[44]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

Technical information

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 665d7df9
MD5 e4263c39487f0b55e8f33cbd5acd9b93
SHA-1 2ce17105ca916fbbe3ac9ae3a2086e66b07996dd
512kB 1989-10 Cartridge v01
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 e8182b90
MD5 04d2c7da9aac3fbeadf6bb8ccd27b560
SHA-1 564e51f6b7fe5281f281d5fcb66767ab83ecf7b9
512kB 1989-10 Cartridge v00

External links

References

Necretro-logo.svg
NEC Retro has more information related to Golden Axe.
  1. http://vc.sega.jp/vca_axe/
  2. http://web.archive.org/web/20031006122440/http://www.swan.channel.or.jp/swan/software/line_up/golden/index.html
  3. File:VG&CE US 11.pdf, page 105
  4. File:Raze UK 03.pdf, page 63
  5. File:ACE UK 37.pdf, page 51
  6. File:VG&CE US 18.pdf, page 50
  7. 7.0 7.1 File:ACE UK 33.pdf, page 63
  8. File:CVG UK 100.pdf, page 56
  9. http://www.4gamer.net/games/094/G009436/
  10. http://www.jp.playstation.com/software/title/jp0177npjb00129_00svcgoldenaxe16xxj.html
  11. https://tcrf.net/Golden_Axe_(Genesis)#Revisional_Differences
  12. http://www.polygon.com/2015/5/18/8622645/sega-pulls-games-from-itunes-app-store-google-play
  13. File:ACE UK 30.pdf, page 70
  14. File:ACE UK 31.pdf, page 64
  15. File:ACE UK 32.pdf, page 12
  16. File:ACE UK 33.pdf, page 28
  17. File:GamePro US 018.pdf, page 44
  18. File:CVG UK 114.pdf, page 33
  19. File:SegaVisions US 05.pdf, page 10
  20. File:EGM US 027.pdf, page 142
  21. File:CVG UK 107.pdf, page 122
  22. File:CVG UK 093.pdf, page 89
  23. File:ASM DE 1990-03.pdf, page 77
  24. File:CGtC UK 04.pdf, page 30
  25. File:CVG UK 101.pdf, page 98
  26. File:TGM UK 28.pdf, page 30
  27. File:Joystick FR 005.pdf, page 58
  28. File:MDAG UK 03.pdf, page 78
  29. File:MegaTech UK 01.pdf, page 78
  30. File:MeanMachines UK 01.pdf, page 42
  31. File:PlayerOne FR 003.pdf, page 38
  32. File:PowerPlay DE 025.pdf, page 120
  33. File:Raze UK 03.pdf, page 62
  34. File:SegaPower UK 13.pdf, page 20
  35. File:SegaPro UK 03.pdf, page 41
  36. File:CGtC UK 04.pdf, page 98
  37. File:TheCompleteGuideToSega UK.pdf, page 57
  38. File:CVG UK 100.pdf, page 90
  39. File:TGM UK 32.pdf, page 51
  40. File:Joystick FR 004.pdf, page 40
  41. File:MeanMachinesSega01UK.pdf, page 133
  42. File:PlayerOne FR 001.pdf, page 46
  43. File:SegaPro UK 03.pdf, page 19
  44. 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)
Windows PC
Golden Axe (1990)
LCD handheld game
Electronic Golden Axe (1990)
Sega Game Gear
Ax Battler: A Legend of Golden Axe (1991)
Sega Saturn
Golden Axe: The Duel (1995)
Sony PlayStation 2
Sega Ages 2500 Series Vol. 5: Golden Axe (2003)
Xbox 360
Sony PlayStation 3
Golden Axe: Beast Rider (2008)
Xbox Live Arcade
Sega Vintage Collection: Golden Axe (2012)
Golden Axe related media
Music
Golden Axe The Music (2008) | Golden Axe I & II (2016)
Book
Golden Axe (199x) | Golden Axe: Beast Rider Official Strategy Guide (2008) | The Art of Golden Axe: Beast Rider (2008)