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Video Game Review: Golden Axe

Updated on March 20, 2017

Golden Axe Arcade (1989)

When you beat Death Adder and Death Bringer you save the King and queen of the town and bring peace back to the land.
When you beat Death Adder and Death Bringer you save the King and queen of the town and bring peace back to the land. | Source

Have You Tried It?

Have you ever played Golden Axe?

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Plot / Story

The King and his daughter have been kidnapped by Death Adder's thugs in this game. As a warrior with a sword, a dwarf with an axe or a female swinging a sword you must travel the land trying to defeat death adder and save the Royal family. Each warrior also has grievances with Death Adder as well. You battle on the back of a humongous turtle shell on your way to saving the Golden Axe and the King and his daughter. Towards the end of the game you must ride the back of a giant eagle to reach Death Adder's castle. Each of the three fighters has an axe to grind with Death Adder and truthfully it's really Death Bringer who is the ring leader that pulls the strings.

Grade: B-

Golden Axe Arcade: Insert Coin

This is the original arcade screen you see before putting in 25 and later 50 cents in order to play this one or two player arcade classic.
This is the original arcade screen you see before putting in 25 and later 50 cents in order to play this one or two player arcade classic. | Source

Gameplay

The gameplay in Golden Axe is basic but it's awesome. It's a side scrolling game where your character wields either an axe or a sword. You can slice or jump and swing the sword or axe. Also, each character has his own magic potion blend to help kill enemies. Riding the backs of wild animals and fire spouting dragons is fun too! The first Bizzare animal you ride is actually featured in Altered Beast as well but I digress. This animal only swings it's tail when you ride it and attack enemies but the two dragons are fun and easy to control. One breaths a ton of fire on the henchmen and the other shoots fireballs which is valuable from a distance. Although the action is a bit simple it's still as fun as can be. Enemies come from all directions but you can swing your weapon in all directions.

Grade: A-

Golden Axe Walkthrough (Sega Genesis)

Graphics / Background

For the late 1980's the graphics were considered amazing 16 bit arcade quality. The background scenes and quality of the characters and enemies are nice and the colors still look good even by today's high definition standards. The only thing that was around although new was 3D and the game failed to use it but otherwise the graphics were clear and the arcade version looked really nice. The colors are crystal clear and even though it's cartoon graphics it's still easy to see details of the characters and the land.

Grade: B+

Bring on The Magic!

When her magic is full the warrior woman brings down a dragon that kills all normal thugs and severely injures the bosses.
When her magic is full the warrior woman brings down a dragon that kills all normal thugs and severely injures the bosses. | Source

Golden Axe Enemies

Death Bringer
Death Adder
Henchmen
 
Red Armored Knight
Silver Armored Knight
 
 
 
 
 
 
The main bad guys of the original Golden Axe.

Music / Sound Effects

The music for this game is standard and nothing to write home about, however, it fits the game okay. On the other hand, the sound effects go great with this fighting video game. The noises, sounds during fights and background sounds are outstanding in this game. The main problem with the music is that the selection is slim. It gets a little repetitious. The sound effects are awesome though because the noise of the eagle, the sound of the skeleton warriors rising from their graves and the sound of the swords slashing. Certain sounds such as the magic being used sounds outstanding.

Grade: B-

Golden Axe Clips

In Golden Axe you can play as a female or male warrior wielding a sword or a Dwarf Warrior with an Axe. Each warrior also can obtain magic spells that eliminate enemies.
In Golden Axe you can play as a female or male warrior wielding a sword or a Dwarf Warrior with an Axe. Each warrior also can obtain magic spells that eliminate enemies. | Source

Video Game Ranking

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Enemies / Weapons

Along the way, you will battle henchmen with clubs, skeletons with swords, armored soldiers with swords and huge giants with sledge hammers. Also, your enemies will ride on dragons that can shoot fireballs and breath fire and of course swing deadly tails in the direction of your adversaries. The main two bosses are Death Adder and Death Bringer. These two guys are gigantic and they possess huge weapons. Also, they can unleash a stream of fire across the ground at you. The only issue with the adversaries in this video game is their just isn't enough of them.

Grade: B-

Select Your Warrior

Select between three fighters and you can also fight in two player mode simultaneously. The game is much easier to win at when two people are playing.
Select between three fighters and you can also fight in two player mode simultaneously. The game is much easier to win at when two people are playing. | Source

Levels / Action

Golden Axe has 8 levels or rounds of action which in all fairness are highly entertaining with a boss to beat and plenty of enemies each stage. But the stages are simple as can be and the biggest knock on the game would be that it is too easy to conquer. The action in this game is fantastic as you must battle past tons of enemies with magic and a sword. Multiplayer mode is fun but it makes the game far too easy that way. The levels are entertaining to play through and addicting as different enemies emerge to battle as you advance.

Grade: B-

Golden Axe Gameplay (1989 Arcade)

In Golden Axe you have a sword or an axe as well as animals that you can ride who breath fire, shoot fireballs and swing their painful tails.
In Golden Axe you have a sword or an axe as well as animals that you can ride who breath fire, shoot fireballs and swing their painful tails.

Golden Axe Review (Sega Genesis)

Final Thoughts / Overall Grade

I began playing Golden Axe when it was released in the arcades in 1989 when I was just 11 years old. It took different trips to the arcade and many quarters but I finally beat the game and a couple years later I bought it for the Sega Genesis as well. For it's time the graphics and sound were above average and the gameplay, even till this day, is very entertaining. The only real complaint with this game is that it is too short. It needs another four stages or so to make it more complete.

Overall Grade: B

* Please feel free to leave any thoughts or stories you have about Golden Axe or it's sequels in the comments capsule located at the bottom of this page.

Golden Axe (Arcade Ending)

© 2014 Buster Johnson

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