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Golden Axe is an arcade beat-'em-up game that puts players 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 (the barbarian Ax Battler, a dwarf named Gilius Thunderhead or the amazon Tyris Flare) and bash everything which stands between you and Death Adder himself. Each character has a special magical ability that can be charged by kicking small blue creatures that drop a potion. There is also a green variety off this creature that drops food that replenishes your health. Some enemies ride dragons and a scorpion like creature. The enemies can be knocked off and you can mount the creature yourself and attack the enemies with it.

The game allows to play up to two players on a same screen, however in the C64 version this option has not been implemented. C64 version was also stripped off in the other areas, such as: only one enemy can engage the player at a time or there are only two types of dragons instead of three.


Golden Axe Genesis Gilius in action
Golden Axe Genesis Gilius Thunderhead the Dwarf
Golden Axe Genesis Main menu
Golden Axe Genesis I'm on a Dragon.
Anything is possible when your man smells like Old Death Adder.

Promo Images

Golden Axe Screenshot
Golden Axe Screenshot
Golden Axe Screenshot
Golden Axe Screenshot

Alternate Titles

  • "戦斧" -- Japanese spelling
  • "战斧" -- Chinese spelling (simplified)

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Milestone in arcade to home ports. Majestic Lizard (655) 3.8 Stars3.8 Stars3.8 Stars3.8 Stars3.8 Stars
A classic beat em up. Mr. Huh (112) 4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars
We're off to see the Bringer, the wonderful Bringer of Death Liam Dowds (51) 4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars
An all-time classic. Period. aaron pridemore (11) unrated
One of the greatest arcade to home ports ever. Daniel Esquivel (3) 4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars

Critic Reviews

Computer and Video Games (CVG) Apr, 1990 95 out of 100 95
Zero Apr, 1990 94 out of 100 94
The Games Machine (UK) Mar, 1990 92 out of 100 92
Mean Machines Oct, 1990 91 out of 100 91
Digital Press - Classic Video Games Sep 24, 2005 9 out of 10 90 Apr 24, 2008 9 out of 10 90 Mar 26, 2004 8.8 out of 10 88
Tilt Apr, 1990 17 out of 20 85
All Game Guide 2007 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Power Play Apr, 1990 76 out of 100 76


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German index

On May 30, 1992, Golden Axe was put on the infamous German index by the BPjS. For more information about what this means and to see a list of games sharing the same fate, take a look here: BPjS/BPjM indexed games.

Since August 31, 2005, the game is no longer on the index.


The Chicken Stinger is a creature you fight in the second stage of Altered Beast. This creature later showed up in Golden Axe as one of the Bizarrians that you can steal from the enemies in the game (it's now called a Chicken-Leg). The Chicken-Leg also showed up later in the arcade game Golden Axe: The Revenge Of Death Adder.


The death screams of the bad guys are digitized from screams used in the films First Blood (several) and one from Conan The Barbarian. Fans of the game who watch the movies will be able to pick these out easily.


  • Amiga Power
    • May 1991 (issue #00) - #96 in the "All Time Top 100 Amiga Games"
  • EMAP Image's Golden Joystick 1991
    • April 1991: Best coin-op conversion - 16 Bit
  • FLUX
    • Issue #4 - #70 in the "Top 100 Video Games of All-Time" list
Information also contributed by Big John WV, mark abrams, Tiago Jacques and Xoleras

Related Web Sites

Satoshi Kunsai (1805) added Golden Axe (Genesis) on Jun 06, 2002
Other platforms contributed by Corn Popper (69323), PCGamer77 (3001), Lain Crowley (5425), 666gonzo666 (55056), chirinea (37546), Sciere (385857), Foxhack (12599), Kabushi (163155), Martin Smith (62902), Ben K (23048), Tomer Gabel (4354) and *Katakis* (38210)