(MD / Mega Drive)

Golden Axe (MD / Mega Drive)

Game Profile

Sega's classic arcade beat-'em-up game, Golden Axe puts in the shoes of one of three heroes, each with his own reason for trying to overthrow the evil rule of Death-Adder, who - along with his forces of darkness - kidnapped and imprisoned the King and his daughter and stole the legendary Golden Axe.

This is a horizontal fighting game, where you basically take one of the three characters (a warrior, a dwarf or an amazon) and bash everything which stands between you and Death Adder himself.

Game Review


USA USA Version

Posted by Damien McFerran

Golden Axe puts in the shoes of one of three heroes, each with his own reason for trying to overthrow the evil rule of Death-Adder.

Double Dragon meets Conan is the best way to sum up Golden Axe. Easily one of the better side-scrolling fighers to be found on the Megadrive (regardless of the basic nature of the fighting system compared to the likes of Streets of Rage), Golden Axe is...

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User Comments (24)



Baldasacoot said:

Another accurate arcade conversion for the Megadrive.

I remember we all went mad over this when it first came out. A great hack & slash title but as always with these VC games, it'll be loved by the fans & probably hated by newcomers. But then, that's what the VC is all about isn't it?

btw.. Check the manual for details on how to do extra moves like the shoulder charge (useful against ALL enemies) and the twisting rear slash (press jump & kick buttons together). These extra moves give the game more depth.



MojoPain said:

One of the greatest two player games ever. Its dated looking and its old but hey, its a legend for a reason. The harder the difficulty the longer the game is as well so stick at it to get the most out of it. Is there anything better than the sound of the dwarf's THWAK! cutting into a gimp enemy?



Praadur said:

As I recall, this was one of the earliest releases as far as the launch of the Mega Drive in Great Britain is concerned, it wasn't that long after the likes of Sonic that it appeared on the scene. And it did much to further cement the idea that Sega truly were the masters of both the arcade conversion and console games of arcade quality.

For a long time, this held true and there are so many examples of this, not only on the Genesis but the Master System, the Saturn and the Dreamcast. One can point at a game like this and denote it as a classic example of Sega doing "their thing".

Of course, I think it was also one of the earlier games to create the trend of adding things to a console release that the original arcade machine didn't have. In this case, it was an extra level over the arcade's original, which was wholly worthwhile.

If only Sega had kept up their tradition and tried to port the real Golden Axe II (arcade) to the Genesis instead of the bloody awful one it ended up with. I still have nightmares of Timmy Mallet skeletons which go "Bleh."



Joe said:

I can only warn everyone in Europe wanting to get this. I did - and I love Golden Axe. But it's running so slow... far slower than the video shows.

No fun

__Conor S.


Conor S. said:

I bought this in conjunction with FINAL FIGHT and was also severly disappointed with this version. It was NOTHING like the arcade versions! DON'T BUY IT! BEWARE!



John said:

I may have never played the original, but I'm glad this was the first game I got on the virtual console! It's a great old fashioned fighter which has a great two-player mode! It's so fun playing it with friends because you can accidentally attack each other (how thats a plus I don't know, but it is in my book )



Thomas said:

I purchased this game after reading several glowing reviews about it being an enduring beat-em-up, and especially looked forward to playin it co-op with a friend. 30 minutes later, we'd beaten the game with ease and couldn't believe where the $8 went. Combat is single-button unless you cast a spell to knock everyone over or dash into people. All the bosses use the same sprites as regular enemies, just with the colors changed. The best part of the game is riding a mount, and those are short-lived and one-buttoned as well. And then between levels, your adventure is described as much cooler than it is on a map (I was on a giant turtle? really?)

And then in 1-player, I just got double-teamed up the wazoo. While this is a plain fighter with two players, solo is just insufferable. I can't understand how the sequels, which supposedly add features, can be graded lower than the original. If this had more levels or abilities I could see the "charm," but otherwise it's a money trap.



Damo said:

There's so much wrong with what you've just written that I won't even begin to counter what you've said, Thomas.



Mixer152 said:

So much nostalgia with this game right here. Although it has its flaws like occasionally unresponsive commands and hit detection, it's multiplayer co-op at its best. Great soundtrack too!

I would've given it 5 stars if it wasnt for the flaws mentioned above.



yeeat said:

I would say this is easy 4 stars but i think i would like to give 4,5
Funny thing is, this is the best one in the series and it's such an awesome one. Love the music and quality and gameplay. Golde axe kick as usual



Indy said:

It is a fun game, but most fun if you have a second player to join you:) Too bad it so short.



Roo said:

Very dated - it all seems so quaint these days. Get Streets of Rage 2.



Beau_Skunk said:

Like most "beat-'em-up-as-you-go" style arcade games, the gameplay is a bit repetative, yet pretty fun. Some new things like using magic for a strong hit all enemies attack, and using ride-able animals adds some fun ellements to the genre.
A classic Sega game, I say. I hear it has more levels then the arcade version, so it might even be better then it's arcade version.



blackknight77 said:

You don't see box art like that anymore! Anyway I have fond memories of this game, but its best played with a friend.



BJ1 said:

I only played the arcade version once at a hotel but it was pretty fun. This game is cool if you like beat em' up games, like me. Anyone going to get the new Beast Riders game? Me?....I don't have a 360 or PS3.



SNK said:

i remember bying this in 1990 for £35 i loved it i played it to death along with altered beast.



Kifa said:

Ah, I remember playing this with my friend loooong time ago on his PC - it was total fun, and well - how can I resist getting it on VC? Just let me get some points now...



parallaxscroll said:

Baldasacoot, Praadur and especially CraZH, you are wrong about the MegaDrive-Genesis version of Golden Axe being as good as the System 16 ARCADE game.
Totally and completely wrong. The MegaDrive-Genesis version is NOT exactly the same as the arcade.

Conor S is RIGHT, Golden Axe & Final Fight on Wii VC are not nearly as good as the arcade versions because they're based on the MegaDrive-Genesis & SFC-SNES versions, respectively.

Even the review here states that MegaDrive-Genesis Golden Axe on Wii VC is not exactly like the arcade:

It's also worth noting that it's not arcade perfect (although lots of people seem to think it is)

The 16-Bit System 16 arcade version of Golden Axe is graphically superior to the 16-bit home MegaDrive-Genesis version. The arcade ROM is 32 megabit size, while the home version is only 4 megabits. The home version is missing alot of color, detail and animation that the arcade had. There was parallax scrolling and many frames of animation present in the arcade that were cut from the MegaDrive-Genesis conversion.

Comparison -

  • System 16 Arcade:
  • MegaDrive-Genesis:

That only shows the color difference and just a little of the detail difference - These pics do not show the other downgrades that were made to the MegaDrive-Genesis Golden Axe such as parallax and animation cuts.

Don't think so? Watch video of the System 16 arcade version:

For those of you still debating which version of Golden Axe to get, I recommend you buy the Xbox Live Arcade version which is based directly on the System 16 arcade version. Don't waste your money buying the MegaDrive-Genesis conversion on Wii VC. Hopefully the System 16 arcade will be released for Wii Virtual Arcade in the near future.

Beyond that, I hope SEGA releases the true arcade-sequel, Golden Axe Revenge of Death Adder to any of the download platforms.



jwl said:

It might be fun in US, but with the PAL framerate the game feels very sluggish and plain boring.

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