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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 Amstrad CPC Startup
Golden Axe Arcade Skeleton
Golden Axe Commodore 64 Jump attack
Golden Axe Commodore 64 Throne room

Alternate Titles

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

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Milestone in arcade to home ports. Genesis Majestic Lizard (655)
A classic beat em up. Genesis Mr. Huh (112)
We're off to see the Bringer, the wonderful Bringer of Death Genesis Liam Dowds (51)
An all-time classic. Period. Genesis aaron pridemore (11)
A good visual conversion of flawed gameplay. DOS Trixter (8790)
The king of a dead genre DOS Roedie (5211)
For those that crave something, *anything!* that offers some D&D-like action DOS Zovni (9317)
Classic!! DOS Emepol (1558)
A travesty of the original. Commodore 64 Gary Smith (65)

Critic Reviews

WIZ Amiga May, 1991 90 out of 100 90
Digital Press - Classic Video Games Genesis Sep 24, 2005 9 out of 10 90
Joystick (French) SEGA Master System Apr, 1990 90 out of 100 90
Raze Amiga Feb, 1991 82 out of 100 82
SEGA-Mag (Objectif-SEGA) Xbox 360 Nov 07, 2008 8 out of 10 80
Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) Genesis Mar, 1990 29 out of 40 72 WonderSwan Color Mar 26, 2004 7.2 out of 10 72 SEGA Master System Oct 21, 2004 7 out of 10 70
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) DOS May, 1991 7.8 out of 12 65
1UP! SEGA Master System Feb 06, 2004 56 out of 100 56


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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

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