Golden Axe III

Moby ID: 8738
Genesis Specs
Buy on Windows
$0.99 new on Steam

Description official descriptions

Golden Axe III is like its predecessors a beat 'em-up game that puts players in the shoes of a hero out to save the land from evil. This time Damud Hellbringer, the 'Prince of Darkness', has taken away the Golden Axe and put an evil curse over all the warriors of the land. However, one of the heroes has their curse relieved and is sent to set things straight and lift the curse off other warriors, defeat the villains and return with the Golden Axe.

The barbarian and amazon of the first two parts remain although receiving new names (Kain Grinder and Sahra Burn). The two new characters introduced are the panther warrior Chronos Raid and Proud Cragger the giant. Gilius Thunderhead the dwarf gives you instructions, but is not playable. The gameplay has been expanded slightly, but is essentially the same hack 'n' slash as in the previous games. New features to the series include junction points where you can choose which path to take. Like in the first Golden Axe, you get magic potions and health power-ups by kicking gnomes during the occasional intermission. Every character has unique magic spells, but they function in the same way: the power and the damage of the spell increase with the number of potions available (and you can't choose a weaker one if you want to spare more potions for later). New moves include blocks, grapples, sweeps and team attacks.


  • ゴールデンアックスⅢ - Japanese spelling
  • 战斧3 - Chinese spelling (simplified)

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Credits (Genesis version)

25 People (21 developers, 4 thanks) · View all

Main Planner
Character Design
Background Design
Main Program
Sound Program
Music and Sound Effect
Package and Manual
Cover Artwork
Special Thanks
[ full credits ]



Average score: 61% (based on 16 ratings)


Average score: 3.6 out of 5 (based on 48 ratings with 5 reviews)

My most-played game on the Genesis!

The Good
This is the game I've probably spent more time playing than anything else on the Genesis and I've played a lot.

Story: There isn't much that can be said about the story but it's the typical Golden Axe stuff: Bad Guy wields the powerful Golden Axe and the main characters have to save the kingdom from his reign of terror. Simple but it works for these type of medieval hack and slash games.

Gameplay: The game itself is a solid beat em up/hack and slash kind of game. Controls are fluid and very responsive. Combine that with the excellent Sega Genesis controller and it becomes are very enjoyable experience. Compared to the original Golden Axe, this one has way more moves and ways to attack which the player can execute. The characters can perform multiple jump attacks, a wide variety of grappling attacks and a power move unique to every character. There are plenty of levels and the ability to choose which path the character should take. Pretty awesome.

Graphics: The sprites in the game are awesome. The whole visual remind me of a 80's barbarian movie and that is really nice. The spells which the characters use are well animated and please the eye with 16bit goodness.

Sound and Music: For me this is where the game exceeds. Although I love the Sega Genesis, I've rarely seen a game with an above average music score but Golden Axe III has some of the best video game music I've heard on any console. Every song track fits the level perfectly and helps make each of the stages and boss encounters be more memorable. The sound is also excellent. My favorite sound being when you break a barrel or a road sign.

Multiplayer: Like the previous entries in the series the game becomes twice as fun when you played it with a friend. It makes up for some very tense gameplay since the enemies increase when the game is set to two players. Oh, and there are special moves you can only execute with another player which are awesome.

The Bad
I do have some minor gripes with this game.

Story: Nothing to complain here.

Gameplay: Some of the characters' power moves are really overpowered. They can easily breeze through the game with ease if the player masters their power move. There are other things that can be exploited as well like hitting a boss character with the same move repeatedly and that can really break immersion. Also, wish there was a bit more variety of enemies.

Graphics: No major complains.

Sound and Music: Absolutely no complains.

Multiplayer: Players can beat each other player to death and throw themselves in pits which is fun but sometimes it happens accidentally and that can ruin the game. I'm not against being able to hit each other during multiplayer but I wish there was an option to turn it off.

The Bottom Line
If you have a Sega Genesis and you are looking to expand your collection, get this game and I promise that you will not regret it. It's a medieval beat em up mixed with Conan the Barbarian with great visuals and amazing sound and gameplay. High replay value and exciting multiplayer guaranteed.

Genesis · by Ivan Obretenov (30) · 2015

There was a reason it was not released in the USA.

The Good
I didn't like very much about this game. It was not terrible by any stretch, but so inferior to Golden Axe and Golden Axe: Revenge of Death Adder that it turns my stomach.

They tried to add a lot of special moves and it is two player cooperative. It has more levels and you can choose different paths, but the game is so banal I can't imagine anyone would play it more than once.

The Bad
The original Genesis / Mega Drive Golden Axe game released in 1989 is several times better than this joke of a cartridge.

The graphics were mediocre and washed-out looking. The sound was terrible. It was very generic and uninspired.

The Bottom Line
This game was quite simply an inferior clone of earlier Golden Axe games with inferior graphics and more levels.

If you like this type of game check out the original Golden Axe arcade game, the Mega Drive version (few extra levels), Golden Axe: the Revenge of Death Adder, Dungeons & Dragons: Tower of Doom, Dungeons & Dragons: Shadow of Mystera, and King of Dragons. There is also rare arcade game called Blade Master. You will like each one of these games at least 10 times as much as Golden Axe 3.

Genesis · by Majestic Lizard (670) · 2006

A solid medieval beat 'em-up and the best of the series

The Good
Just like the two previous Golden Axe titles for the Genesis, Golden Axe III is a side-scrolling beat 'em-up in a medieval fantasy setting. In many ways it's also the best of the bunch. While its disappointing prequel, Golden Axe II, added only a new magic system to the series, Golden Axe III has several new features that improve the gameplay:

  • There are now four heroes to choose from including two new characters. Gilius the dwarf only has a minor role in the intro and is replaced by a fast & acrobatic panther and a slow & bulky barbarian. Both the swordsman Ax Battler and the amazon Tyris Flare return from the previous games. The characters differ enough from each other to warrant extra playthroughs. These heroes and their moves have been nicely designed and when you compare them with the characters of Golden Axe II, it's obvious that more frames of animation have been used.

  • Characters now have a lot more moves, making the combat (which is the most important gameplay element) a lot more interesting. The previous games in the series had a rather limited combat-system but Golden Axe III offers a multitude of ways to beat up the opposition. Depending on which character you pick there are two or three different ways to throw an enemy, each hero has three different aerial/jump-attacks, you can launch projectiles, block incoming blows, double jump & jump off walls (Tyris & panther), knock enemies of their feet with a low sweep attack, cover your back with a special attack that works in two directions etc. This just makes the gameplay so much more interesting. Since basically all you do in this game is beat up one group of enemies after another it is nice that you can do that in variety of different ways. Most of the available moves can easily be executed but there are some exceptions (see bad section).

  • I liked the fact that you can now pick your own route through the game (there's a junction point in nearly every level), it improves the replay value of the game. One path may have tougher enemies than another but may also contain more rewarding items (like magic potions, health power-ups, hostages which give you an extra life when you rescue five of them). You can choose to free the three other heroes from a curse by defeating "possessed versions" of these heroes but you can also avoid these battles if you pick a different set of levels.

  • These levels take place in a nice variety of different settings ranging from deserts and mountains, to cities, jungles, caves and the back of a giant eagle (just like in Golden Axe I). Some of these levels have a Conan-like low fantasy atmosphere about them, which I appreciate. Unfortunately the enemies are not as varied as the landscape. Excluding the possessed versions of the heroes and the endboss, you'll face eight different types of enemies in a variety of color palettes but it's hard to hold that against the game as that was a common practice when Golden Axe III was released.

  • Like every other good side-scrolling brawler, Golden Axe 3 has of course a two-player coop mode. What's new to this entry of the series is the ability to perform teammoves, a feature which was already present in Sega's other fighting franchise Streets of Rage. Every combination of heroes has it's own teammove which is nice. Another new feature is the ability to combine the magical attacks of player 1 & 2. If you have ten magic potions combined between the two of you and use your magic simultaneously (after you've given each other a small nod with your head), you will summon a very powerful & cool-looking magical attack. These additions make Golden Axe III a fun game to play cooperatively with two players.

  • The music is still "appropriately heroic" and fits the medieval-fantasy setting of the game. It is upbeat when it needs to be upbeat and tense when you face more serious opponents / bosses. Sound effects have been improved compared to its predecessor (they don't sound so weak anymore).

  • The AI of the enemies has also been improved a bit. They don't walk straight into pits & chasms anymore and some enemies will use their shield to block some of your attacks. However most of the times the strength of your opponents is still in numbers.

The Bad
  • The magic system introduced in Golden Axe II has strangely been left out of this game. This means you can't dose your magic and can only use all your magic potions at once, just like in the first game. I prefer being able to save some magic for an upcoming enemy. With the old system you often don't use your magic cause a tougher opponent is coming up, but since your magic capacity is limited some potions you could have collected go to waste.

  • The graphics are a bit of a mixed bag. As I mentioned above, I like the design & animations of the playable characters, the magical attacks (there's a different animation for every power level and each hero has its own type of magic), the intro and the design of some stages. However some other stages (Tender Hamlet, Bloody Street) look rather poor. Some enemies and beasts look silly (for example the little fat guys, the dragons that attack with their tongue) and don't move about very fluently, they seem to miss a a couple frames of animation. There are also some graphical glitches, the screen may start to flicker when it has several characters on it. The graphics of Sega's own Streets of Rage 2, which was released a year earlier, are better than those of Golden Axe III.

  • Some of the beasts you can ride on don't give you much of an advantage. The red fire-breathing dragon and the green saurus with the long tongue can be useful but you're better of without the green dragon or the purple saurus. Since you're not as agile, while riding a beast, as you are on foot, you can easily get knocked off them.

  • While the controls are mostly good, some moves are a bit tricky; blocking an attack is risky. You have to press back + the attack-button simultaneously, I often ended up slashing in the opposite direction leaving my back open for an attack. Each hero has two types of throws but it's hard to pick a specific one as the required key-combinations are nearly identical. To perform Ax's (and the Barbarian's) range-attack you'll need to do a full circle backwards & press jump + attack. It may be hard to find the time for this when there are five enemies attacking you. The Megadrive's joypad is part of the problem. Since one button launches your magical attack, there are only two buttons left for all the other moves. For instance if this was a SNES title I bet there would've been a special block button.

  • The first time you'll finish this game, the end-boss is probably surprisingly easy to beat and you'll find the ending disappointing. It's only when you manage to beat the regular game using only a single credit that you get to experience the more epic ending.

The Bottom Line
The final Genesis/Megadrive game in the Golden Axe series is also the best one. While you're still beating up wave after wave of somewhat similar looking goons, the improved combat system, the four different playable characters and the ability to pick your own route make this a fun 2D-brawler. Of course the gameplay is very dated, but even today I enjoy playing it when I'm in the mood for some mindless bashing.

Genesis · by Roedie (5239) · 2010

[ View all 5 player reviews ]


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Syed GJ.

Windows added by yenruoj_tsegnol_eht (!!ihsoy). Wii, iPhone added by Sciere. Linux, Macintosh added by Foxhack.

Additional contributors: Unicorn Lynx, j.raido 【雷堂嬢太朗】.

Game added March 27, 2003. Last modified February 15, 2024.