Year Of Release: 1989
Golden Axe which was released in 1989 was just a huge hit for Sega. The man behind the arcade game, Altered Beast, Makoto Uchida who would be the main drive behind the game. Golden Axe was clearly inspired by some of the popular fantasy movies of the 1980’s most notably the Conan series and Red Sonya. The game would prove to be a huge hit and when Sega released their Sega Mega Drive (or Genesis) Golden Axe was the first must own game for the system.
Golden Axe has a really cool story that centres around an evil entity called Death Adder, Death Adder wants to be the ruler of the land. To do this he has kidnapped the king and his daughter and also a magical item known as The Golden Axe. Unless he is the new ruler he will destroy the Axe and the king and his daughter. Three heroes set out to stop, Death Adder. The plot here is actually very complex. As well as wanting to save the king and his daughter each of the three characters also has a personal reason for wanting to destroy Death Adder. Ax Battler is a powerful barbarian whose mother was murdered. Tyris Flare is an amazon who lost her parents at the hands of Death Adder. And lastly we have Gilius Thunderhead, a dwarf who is seeking revenge for the death of his brother.
Golden Axe is best described as a side scrolling beat em up. But it has an incredible amount of depth to it. You progress through a highly detailed stage taking down various enemies. You have a good range of attacks such as being able to use your weapon, running attack, jumping attacks and you can even ride on beasts! As well as this though you also can wield magic. You collect potions and you have the choice of using them as you get them or you can save them up and unleash a more powerful magic blast. In all Golden Axe is just a really fun game to play and even after all these years it holds up well both in its game play and graphics.
Current High Score: NA
Golden Axe would be released in near arcade perfect form for the Sega Mega Drive. As well as this other ports would be released such as the Sega Master System, which is a great port in its own right, but it does change a few things.
In 1991, Sega would release Golden Axe II for the Sega Mega Drive as a direct sequel. Interestingly enough though there would be another sequel called Golden Axe: The Revenge Of Death Adder which was released in 1992 and would still to this day remain an arcade exclusive.
Golden Axe III would be only released on a cartridge in Japan in 1993. Which when you consider how popular the other two games in the series were is very surprising.
A few spin off games would be released over the years such as the Zelda inspired, Ax Battler: A Legend of Golden Axe which was released for the Sega Game Gear in 1991. Golden Axe The Duel was a one on one fighting game released in arcades in 1993, this game would eventually be released on the Sega Saturn.
The last Golden Axe game to be released was the game, Golden Axe: Beast Rider for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2008. It moved from 2D to full 3D hack and slash action. The game was not very well received by critics and its sales were nothing to get excited about either.