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- Golden Axe -




Golden Axe by Maddog
Game:Golden AxeCompany:Sega

(*Deep,epic sounding voice*) Once upon a time,in a far away land,people were living happily.Until one dreadful day,Death Adder and his minions arrived,throwing the land into chaos.Evil flourished and the peasants awaited for one brave hero to deliver them from the black-hearted beasts.Until...
Golden Axe is a scrolling,fighting game.Think of Double Dragon in a medieval setting and you'll get the idea.Your mission is to rid the land of the evil Death Adder and his servants and rescue your king. You have a choice of three warriors for the task:Ax Battler,the Barbarian,Tyris Flare,the Amazon and Gilius Thunderhead,the Dwarf.Each of them has different moves and abilities.For example,Gilius is tougher,but not as good in using magic.Having made your selection,you start your way,hacking and slashing at anyone who dares to stand in your path.For the harsher times,you can also use some devastating and impressive magic or ride on beasts that you take from the enemies.Your choice is between two types of dragons and a weird creature,looking like a chicken with a snake-like tail!You also meet some nifty little blue dwarves,carrying sacks with them.With a little bit of bashing and kicking,they 'll drop some potions.Taking them lets you enhance your magical powers.Occasionally,you 'll also find some green ones,which give you meat,to help restore some of the lost-in-fight energy.After several stages,you will meet the big-cheese,Death Adder,in person.Deal with him,in a vicious and bloody battle and your quest will be successful.
The graphics in this game are rather good for their time (1989),being quite colorful and big.Their animation,although satisfying,might have been smoother.But,mind you,they get the job done and help you get into the action.Pity,though,that Tyris the Amazon is not as foxy a lady as she could have been ;).Weirdly,too,the enemies seem generally better drawn than your hero!Aurally,there is a pretty background theme,quite appropriate for the games' medieval atmosphere and mostly nice sound effects.The ones that stand out mostly,are the use of magic and those related to the little dwarfs.What could have been better,are the death screams of the enemies,trying to show agony,but failing,IMHO.The option for simultaneous 2-player action is much welcome and makes the slashing a not-so-lonely affair,adding much to the fun of the game.Finally,the ending sequence will surely make at least a small smile shine on your face,when you finally make it this far.
Nagging?There's some of this,too...The types of different possible enemies are rather limited and despite being nicely drawn,soon you might get bored of hacking up the same guys (and gals!) over and over again.Similarly,the gameplay size is a bit limited,too and with the game being a little on the easy side,you are bound to take it to the very end rather soon.After this point,your interest to the game is bound to diminish rather fast.Finally,unlike the rest of the game,the final battle with Death Adder is MUCH harder,causing a sudden imbalance,which might need a few continue credits to be alleviated. ;) All in all,a pretty nice game,which,given a greater depth,would have been a masterpiece.Yet,it's still enjoyable and well worth checking out,especially for fans of the type.
Currently,Golden Axe is emulated by MAME and System 16.I suggest using System 16,which features sound (partially samples),while MAME is mute.Speedwise,System 16 is better too,allowing even standard systems to emulate it at playable speed.For console emulator fans,I also suggest checking out the Sega Genesis version,which is quite faithful to the arcade and makes some nice additions to it,too.
Bring peace back to the land!Play Golden Axe,now!
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Replay Value
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