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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 DOS Message for next Stage 2 (EGA)
Golden Axe SEGA Master System The first boss fight
Golden Axe Commodore 64 Green thief - gives an extra live energy
Golden Axe Commodore 64 Time for some real city action

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. 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 (8783)
The king of a dead genre DOS Roedie (5204)
For those that crave something, *anything!* that offers some D&D-like action DOS Zovni (9307)
Classic!! DOS Emepol (1558)
A travesty of the original. Commodore 64 Gary Smith (65)

Critic Reviews

Absolute Games ( DOS Apr 02, 2001 95 out of 100 95 Arcade Mar 26, 2004 9 out of 10 90
ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) SEGA Master System Jun, 1990 890 out of 1000 89
Shin Force Genesis Nov 20, 2005 8.5 out of 10 85
The Video Game Critic Genesis Jan 26, 2000 B+ 83 SEGA Master System Apr 24, 2008 8 out of 10 80
CU Amiga Amiga Dec, 1990 78 out of 100 78
VideoGame Genesis Mar, 1991 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars 60
Amiga Joker Amiga Dec, 1990 56 out of 100 56
Video Game Den TurboGrafx CD Feb 21, 2011 1 Stars1 Stars1 Stars1 Stars1 Stars 20


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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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