Difference between revisions of "Golden Axe"

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'''''Golden Axe''''' is a fantasy beat-em-up by [[Sega]], originally released for the arcade in 1989, but then ported to many other platforms. This was the first title in the series which has spawned several more games.
 
'''''Golden Axe''''' is a fantasy beat-em-up by [[Sega]], originally released for the arcade in 1989, but then ported to many other platforms. This was the first title in the series which has spawned several more games.
  
I was in awe of the game when I first saw it in the arcades in the late 1980s because I loved high fantasy movies. Tyris' fantastic fire spirit magic in the attract was amazing. However, after playing the game, I learned how unfair it is, and I became disenchanted.
+
I was in awe of the game when I first saw it in the arcades in the late 1980s because I loved high fantasy movies. Tyris' fantastic fire spirit magic (which reminds me of the ghost from [[Raiders of the Lost Ark]]) in the attract was amazing. However, when I finally got quarters and played the game, I learned how unfair it is, and I became disenchanted. This really became apparent when, at my cousin's birthday at a Little Caesars children's restaurant (back when they still existed, circa 1990), several kids at the party were given quarters, and we collectively dumped about $20 in before finally beating the game. This game was also present at an Evangelical Christian summer camp I attended, but the pastors kept unplugging it because they felt it was evil, but most of the kids would plug it back in to play it.
  
 
==Status==
 
==Status==
I have beaten the game on the [[Genesis]] arcade mode at hard difficulty with a strength of 62.9.
+
I do not own the game, but I have beaten it on the [[Genesis]] in arcade mode at hard difficulty with a strength of 62.9.
  
 
==Review==
 
==Review==
Line 17: Line 17:
 
* The magic animations are amazing!
 
* The magic animations are amazing!
 
* Letting the player knock enemies off their dragons and steal them was a great addition.
 
* Letting the player knock enemies off their dragons and steal them was a great addition.
* I find joy in kicking the gnomes to steal their magic and food.
+
* I find joy in kicking the gnomes to steal their magic and food, probably because of their annoying giggle.
 
* The game's ending is hilariously cheesy.
 
* The game's ending is hilariously cheesy.
 
* The Genesis port adds an additional final level after you defeat Death Adder.
 
* The Genesis port adds an additional final level after you defeat Death Adder.
  
 
===Bad===
 
===Bad===
* Player control isn't too great. Players are left with only a few means of attack (weapon, charge, jump-attack, and roll) and evasion (walk, run, jump), some of which are difficult to pull off.
+
* Player control is pretty poor. Players are left with only a few means of attack (weapon, charge, jump-attack, and roll) and evasion (walk, run, jump), the charge and roll are not obvious, and roll is difficult to pull off.
* Becoming good at the game requires you to play it non-thematically. Using the simple weapon-swinging attack will get you surrounded and killed pretty quickly, so you have to rely heavily on the roll, charge, and jump attacks. it look silly more of a "press the right buttons at the right time" type of game than a heroic adventure.
+
* Becoming good at the game requires you to play it non-thematically. Using the simple weapon-swinging attack will get you surrounded and killed pretty quickly, so you have to rely heavily on the roll, charge, and jump attacks. This makes the game look silly and seem like more of a "press the right buttons at the right time" type of game than a heroic adventure.
* The Genesis version takes a hit on the graphics and sound, but it mercifully allows you to add more health. The ending is a bit worse too, lacking the funny run through the arcade, but it's nice to see the cast and credits.
+
* The graphics and sound are the game's main selling point, but most of the ports take a serious hit in these departments, especially the 8-bit computer ports. The Genesis is pretty close, and mercifully allows you to add more health or play on easier difficulties.
 +
* The Genesis ending lacks the funny run through the arcade, but it's nice to see actual credits.
 
* The final boss fight in the Genesis port is a pain in the ass. Two invincible skeletons and Death Bringer, who can cast unlimited spells. It basically requires you to hop around like mad trying to whack everyone to the ground before another spell goes off.
 
* The final boss fight in the Genesis port is a pain in the ass. Two invincible skeletons and Death Bringer, who can cast unlimited spells. It basically requires you to hop around like mad trying to whack everyone to the ground before another spell goes off.
 
* None of the releases have decent box art.
 
* None of the releases have decent box art.
Line 30: Line 31:
  
 
===Ugly===
 
===Ugly===
* Enemies unfairly have an attack advantage over the player when they first stand up, or when the player is knocked down. This was no doubt added to make the game harder to require more quarters to win, but it results in a great deal of frustration for the player who wants to beat the game fairly.
+
* Enemies unfairly have an attack advantage over the player when they first stand up, or when the player is knocked down. This was no doubt added to make the game harder to require more quarters to win, but it results in a great deal of frustration for the player who wants to beat the game thematically.
  
==Box Art==
+
==Media==
 +
===Box Art===
 
<gallery>
 
<gallery>
 
Golden Axe - ARC - USA.jpg|Arcade cabinet, North America. Just looks like clip art.
 
Golden Axe - ARC - USA.jpg|Arcade cabinet, North America. Just looks like clip art.
Golden Axe - GEN - USA.jpg|Genesis, Japan & North America. The layout is great, but the characters are all a little odd looking, and none of them match the game.
+
Golden Axe - ARC - USA - Marquee.jpg|Arcade marquee. I like the layout, but the art is too primitive.
Golden Axe - GEN - EU.jpg|Mega Drive, Europe. Looks more like a warning posted for steroid abuse. One body builder has a little boy's head, the other has a wizened old man's head. At least they got the colors and weapons right. But damn, those blue bikini bottoms!
+
Golden Axe - GEN - USA.jpg|Genesis, North & South America. The layout is great, but the characters are all a little odd looking, and none of them match the game.
 +
Golden Axe - GEN - EU.jpg|Mega Drive, Japan, Europe, Australia, South Korea. Looks more like a warning posted for steroid abuse. One body builder has a little boy's head, the other has a wizened old man's head. At least they got the colors and weapons right. But damn, those blue bikini bottoms! Different regions used minor graphic differences.
 
Golden Axe - AMI - EU.jpg|PCs, Europe. This one also has a good layout, but the people look messed up. The giant and the woman's axe is accurate, but Ax Battler has the face of a hard-boiled detective.
 
Golden Axe - AMI - EU.jpg|PCs, Europe. This one also has a good layout, but the people look messed up. The giant and the woman's axe is accurate, but Ax Battler has the face of a hard-boiled detective.
 
Golden Axe - DOS - USA.jpg|PCs, America. First of all, that's not an axe, it's a halberd, second, the barbarian wields a sword, third, why did he let his kid draw bear claws on his pecks?
 
Golden Axe - DOS - USA.jpg|PCs, America. First of all, that's not an axe, it's a halberd, second, the barbarian wields a sword, third, why did he let his kid draw bear claws on his pecks?
 
Golden Axe - SMS - EU.jpg|Master System, Europe. Seriously, what's up with his face? And of all the things to copy off the European Mega Drive cover, they went with the blue bikini bottom?
 
Golden Axe - SMS - EU.jpg|Master System, Europe. Seriously, what's up with his face? And of all the things to copy off the European Mega Drive cover, they went with the blue bikini bottom?
 
Golden Axe - PCCD - Japan.jpg|PC Engine CD, Japan. Probably the best cover because it doesn't have a horribly painted barbarian on it.
 
Golden Axe - PCCD - Japan.jpg|PC Engine CD, Japan. Probably the best cover because it doesn't have a horribly painted barbarian on it.
 +
Golden Axe - PS2 - Japan.jpg|The Japanese PS2 remake. Although the characters are given a child-like anime look, the art is really good.
 +
Golden Axe - WSC - Japan.jpg|Japanese WonderSwan Color. Fantastic idea and color, but the characters all look a little wonky.
 
</gallery>
 
</gallery>
  
==Gallery==
+
===Documentation===
 +
<gallery>
 +
Golden Axe - ARC - Manual.pdf|Arcade manual.
 +
Golden Axe - ARC - Japan - Instructions.jpg|Japanese arcade instructions.
 +
Golden Axe - SMD - Japan - Manual.pdf|Mega Drive manual (Japan).
 +
Golden Axe - GEN - USA - Manual.pdf|Genesis manual (North America).
 +
Golden Axe - SMD - Europe - Manual.pdf|Mega Drive manual (Europe).
 +
Golden Axe - SMD - Australia - Manual.pdf|Mega Drive manual (Australia).
 +
Golden Axe - SMD - Brazil - Manual.pdf|Mega Drive manual (Brazil).
 +
Golden Axe - SMS - Manual.pdf|Master System manual.
 +
Golden Axe - SMS - Australia - Manual.pdf|Master System manual (Australia).
 +
Golden Axe - SMS - Brazil - Manual.pdf|Master System manual (Brazil).
 +
Golden Axe - AMI - Manual.pdf|Amiga manual.
 +
Golden Axe - CPC - Manual.pdf|Amstrad CPC manual.
 +
Golden Axe - AST - Manual.pdf|Atari ST manual.
 +
Golden Axe - WSC - Japan - Manual.pdf|WonderSwan Color manual.
 +
Golden Axe - PS2 - Manual Cover.jpg|PS2 manual cover
 +
Golden Axe - ARC - Flyer.jpg|Arcade flyer.
 +
Golden Axe - ARC - Flyer (Japan).jpg|Japanese arcade flyer.
 +
Golden Axe - SMD - Japan - Full Art.jpg|Japanese full art poster.
 +
Golden Axe - SMD - Characters.jpg|Characters from the Japanese Mega Drive manual.
 +
Golden Axe - AMI - Poster.jpg|Amiga full art poster.
 +
Golden Axe - Book.jpg|Golden Axe novel.
 +
</gallery>
 +
 
 +
===Maps===
 +
<gallery>
 +
Golden Axe - GEN - Map - 1 - Village Outskirts.png|Genesis - Village Outskirts.
 +
Golden Axe - GEN - Map - 2 - Turtle Village.png|Genesis - Turtle Village.
 +
Golden Axe - GEN - Map - 3 - Mainland Coast.png|Genesis - Mainland Coast.
 +
Golden Axe - GEN - Map - 4 - Fiend's Path.png|Genesis - Fiend's Path.
 +
Golden Axe - GEN - Map - 5 - Eagle's Head.png|Genesis - Eagle's Head.
 +
Golden Axe - GEN - Map - 6 - Death Adder's Castle.png|Genesis - Death Adder's Castle.
 +
Golden Axe - GEN - Map - 7 - Dungeons.png|Genesis - Dungeons.
 +
Golden Axe - GEN - Map - 8 - Death Bringer's Lair.png|Genesis - Death Bringer's Lair.
 +
Golden Axe - GEN - Map - Maps.png|Genesis - Village Outskirts.
 +
Golden Axe - SMS - Map - 1.png|Master System - 1.
 +
Golden Axe - SMS - Map - 2.png|Master System - 2.
 +
Golden Axe - SMS - Map - 3.png|Master System - 3.
 +
Golden Axe - SMS - Map - 4.png|Master System - 4.
 +
Golden Axe - SMS - Map - 5.png|Master System - 5.
 +
Golden Axe - ZXS - Map.png|ZX Spectrum maps.
 +
</gallery>
 +
 
 +
===Fan Art===
 
<gallery>
 
<gallery>
Golden Axe - GEN - Manual.pdf|Genesis manual.
 
 
Golden Axe - Fan Art.jpg|Fan art.
 
Golden Axe - Fan Art.jpg|Fan art.
 
Golden Axe - Deimos-Remus - Fan Art.jpg|Fan art by Deimos-Remus.
 
Golden Axe - Deimos-Remus - Fan Art.jpg|Fan art by Deimos-Remus.
 
</gallery>
 
</gallery>
 +
 +
===Videos===
 +
* [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyKmnNJsbKc youtube.com/watch?v=OyKmnNJsbKc] - All magic animations.
 +
* [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQgHoshKghg youtube.com/watch?v=HQgHoshKghg] - Longplay, Arcade.
 +
* [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLzblT3JWVU youtube.com/watch?v=kLzblT3JWVU] - Longplay, Genesis.
 +
 +
==Titles==
 +
{| class="wikitable"
 +
! Language !! Native !! Transliteration !! Translation
 +
|-
 +
| English || Golden Axe || ||
 +
|-
 +
| Japanese || 戦斧 || Sen Ono || Battle Axe
 +
|}
  
 
==Links==
 
==Links==
 
* [http://www.mobygames.com/game/golden-axe mobygames.com/game/golden-axe] - MobyGames.
 
* [http://www.mobygames.com/game/golden-axe mobygames.com/game/golden-axe] - MobyGames.
 
* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Axe en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Axe] - Wikipedia.
 
* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Axe en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Axe] - Wikipedia.
* [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyKmnNJsbKc youtube.com/watch?v=OyKmnNJsbKc] - All magic animations.
+
* [http://spritedatabase.net/game/121 spritedatabase.net/game/121] - Arcade sprites.
 +
* [https://tcrf.net/Golden_Axe tcrf.net/Golden_Axe] - The Cutting Room Floor.
  
  
 
[[Category: Games]]
 
[[Category: Games]]
 
[[Category: Video Games]]
 
[[Category: Video Games]]
 +
[[Category: Amiga Games]]
 +
[[Category: Amstrad CPC Games]]
 +
[[Category: Arcade Games]]
 +
[[Category: Atari ST Games]]
 +
[[Category: Commodore 64 Games]]
 +
[[Category: DOS Games]]
 +
[[Category: Genesis Games]]
 +
[[Category: Master System Games]]
 +
[[Category: TurboGrafx CD Games]]
 +
[[Category: WonderSwan Color Games]]
 +
[[Category: ZX Spectrum Games]]
 
[[Category: Action]]
 
[[Category: Action]]
 
[[Category: Beat-Em-Up]]
 
[[Category: Beat-Em-Up]]
 +
[[Category: Fantasy]]
 
[[Category: Games I've Beaten]]
 
[[Category: Games I've Beaten]]
 +
[[Category: Multi-Player]]
 +
[[Category: Multi-Player Co-op]]
 +
[[Category: Monochrome Graphics]]

Latest revision as of 08:28, 3 October 2018

North American Genesis box.

Golden Axe is a fantasy beat-em-up by Sega, originally released for the arcade in 1989, but then ported to many other platforms. This was the first title in the series which has spawned several more games.

I was in awe of the game when I first saw it in the arcades in the late 1980s because I loved high fantasy movies. Tyris' fantastic fire spirit magic (which reminds me of the ghost from Raiders of the Lost Ark) in the attract was amazing. However, when I finally got quarters and played the game, I learned how unfair it is, and I became disenchanted. This really became apparent when, at my cousin's birthday at a Little Caesars children's restaurant (back when they still existed, circa 1990), several kids at the party were given quarters, and we collectively dumped about $20 in before finally beating the game. This game was also present at an Evangelical Christian summer camp I attended, but the pastors kept unplugging it because they felt it was evil, but most of the kids would plug it back in to play it.

Status

I do not own the game, but I have beaten it on the Genesis in arcade mode at hard difficulty with a strength of 62.9.

Review

  • Overall: 3/10
  • Best Version: Arcade

Good

  • For the time, the backgrounds are very detailed and attractive, the sprites are well-drawn and animated, the music is memorable, and the sound effects are great, especially the screams.
  • The added graphics for beating up enemies (cracking them over the head, kicking them, tossing them, etc.) is a nice addition.
  • The magic animations are amazing!
  • Letting the player knock enemies off their dragons and steal them was a great addition.
  • I find joy in kicking the gnomes to steal their magic and food, probably because of their annoying giggle.
  • The game's ending is hilariously cheesy.
  • The Genesis port adds an additional final level after you defeat Death Adder.

Bad

  • Player control is pretty poor. Players are left with only a few means of attack (weapon, charge, jump-attack, and roll) and evasion (walk, run, jump), the charge and roll are not obvious, and roll is difficult to pull off.
  • Becoming good at the game requires you to play it non-thematically. Using the simple weapon-swinging attack will get you surrounded and killed pretty quickly, so you have to rely heavily on the roll, charge, and jump attacks. This makes the game look silly and seem like more of a "press the right buttons at the right time" type of game than a heroic adventure.
  • The graphics and sound are the game's main selling point, but most of the ports take a serious hit in these departments, especially the 8-bit computer ports. The Genesis is pretty close, and mercifully allows you to add more health or play on easier difficulties.
  • The Genesis ending lacks the funny run through the arcade, but it's nice to see actual credits.
  • The final boss fight in the Genesis port is a pain in the ass. Two invincible skeletons and Death Bringer, who can cast unlimited spells. It basically requires you to hop around like mad trying to whack everyone to the ground before another spell goes off.
  • None of the releases have decent box art.
  • Ax Battler has a stupid name.

Ugly

  • Enemies unfairly have an attack advantage over the player when they first stand up, or when the player is knocked down. This was no doubt added to make the game harder to require more quarters to win, but it results in a great deal of frustration for the player who wants to beat the game thematically.

Media

Box Art

Documentation

Maps

Fan Art

Videos

Titles

Language Native Transliteration Translation
English Golden Axe
Japanese 戦斧 Sen Ono Battle Axe

Links