Welcome to this week’s vintage review of Golden Axe for the Sega Genesis. This week we are going back to play one of the greatest beat em up/slash em ups ever made and an all time classic.
It began with a Golden Axe…
Lightning strikes across the screen and the words Golden Axe rumble, you don’t know it yet but you’re going on an epic journey of Barbarians, Dwarves, Amazon Warriors and magic.
You could choose from 3 characters; Ax Battler the barbarian who is out to avenge his murdered Mother, Gilus Thunderhead out to avenge his murdered brother, or Tyris Flare – a warrior out to avenge the murder of her parents (an uncomplicated storyline if there ever was one).
All three characters have a knowledge of magic, magic was gained from collecting little blue potion bottles, which were gained from little elves appearing between levels. These elves would randomly run onto the screen along with their little green buddies who would also provide you with health.
The magic came in very helpful when you found yourself overwhelmed by bad guys ranging from mace carrying ogres to dragon riding women warriors, and giants with huge mallets. Ax commanded the lightning, Thunder Head controlled the earth and boulders, and best of all was Tyris Flare who controlled fire and with a full potion bar would summon a dragon to burn everyone on screen.
How Golden Axe unfolded
The game begins with you in the woods fighting your way to a village, it all gets very Jason and the Argonaut as skeletons leap from the ground trying to stop you in your quest. Small ridden animals with dangerous swinging tails controlled by scantily class women attempt to take you out, but what’s helpful is you can commandeer any ridden animal to help in your quest.
The map you follow is drawn before you, why was the last level you played rocking up and down? Oh because the town was on the back of a Giant turtle. Why was the last level so windy? Oh yes of course, we were fighting on the back of a giant Eagle.
You eventually made your way to the castle that was home to the murdering mad man that was causing carnage across the land; Death Adder. He was a massive horn-helmeted behemoth of a man that could control all forms of magic and was surrounded by skeleton warriors, dragons, and giants to finish you off once and for all.
A game in a class of its own
Golden Axe was ported to all systems and was hailed as one of the best games made during its time. The Megadrive and PC versions had an extra level where you faced Death Adders Master Death Bringer.
All versions from Spectrum to PC were used to the best of their abilities to give the best version of the game capable. All succeeded except there was a small flaw with the Commodore 64 version; the last level was missing! You were shown the ‘you will now face Death Adder’ screen, a load screen commenced and the end screen title was shown ( I must admit to being totally pissed off at this).
Star Struck Gaming Rating
The graphics and music for the game were brilliant for the time but unfortunately its starting to show its age now as was stated when it was put on a compilation for Mega CD that’s not to say if you get a chance to play this classic you should leap at it.