Golden Axe

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Golden Axe
Title image from the game
Game No. 340
Voting 6.56 points, 16 votes
Developer Steve Crow, Mark W. J. Kelly
Company Probe Software Ltd.
Publisher Virgin Mastertronic
Musician Jeroen Tel
HVSC-File /MUSICIANS/T/Tel_Jeroen/Golden_Axe.sid
Release 1990
  • 1989: Sega Master System, Sega Mega Drive, Arcade
  • 1990: Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, C64, NEC, PC Engine, ZX Spectrum
  • 1991: MS-DOS PC
  • 2002: Bandai Wonderswan
  • Downloadable: Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony Playstation 3, several Smartphones
  • In compilations also further systems
Genre Arcade, Beat'em Up
Gamemode Single player
Operation Icon Port2.pngJoystick Keyboard
Media Diskette
Language Language:english

Description[edit | edit source]

The choice of characters...

The mighty tyrant Death Adder has raided the land Yuria with his troups and reduced it to ashes. The population was almost completely killed or enslaved. The king and his daughter were abducted and emprisoned by Death Adder, the holy relic, the "Golden Axe", was robbed from him.
Three brave warriors are now ready to stand up to the tyrant and to free the land...

Aim of the game

The hero or the heroine need to beat Death Adders troups and advance to his fortress. There, they need to defeat him, free the king and his daugher and reconquer the Golden Axe...

Design[edit | edit source]

Here starts the happy battue...

Golden Axe is a classic side-scrolling beat'em up in a gloomy fantasy atmosphere. The coin-op board was converted for a number of different systems. Unfortunately, there is no 2-player snychrone mode on the C64 and they also had to cut back on the graphics. Next to the enemies, there are also every now and then small goblins from which you can take magical pots and healing potions. The annoying tots preferrable appear at night and try to steal the players' supply. The magic from the magical pots can be collected and then activated.
The player has three continues after he has drawn his last virtual breath, Golden Axe is after all a conversion of an arcade machine.
The barbarian's name is Ax Battler in other conversions, on the C64 he is named Axe Battler. This seems a bit paradox, because he fights with a two-hand sword. Also the golden axe, that the dwarf warrior uses as a weapon, can be a bit irritating, as it has - according to the story line - only in the arcade version and a few other conversions something to do with the name-giving Golden Axe.

Screenshots[edit | edit source]

Gilius Thunderhead, the dwarf warrior...
Tyris Flare, the amazon...
Axe Battler, the barbarian...

There are also female warriors in Darth Adder's army...
Undead are more difficult enemies...

The characters[edit | edit source]

  • Axe Battler is a dark-haired hero of the barbarians. He is able to use the volcanic energy of lavl for his spells. His mother was killed by Death Adder's troops. He is the most balanced character, has a little better reach, but less magic power than Tyris and is not so strong as Gilius - but has in comparison to him more magic power.
  • Tyris Flare is an amazon with red-brown hair who swings her sword while being lightly dressed. Her parents were murdered by tyrant Death Adder's armed forces. Her mighty spells use the energy of fire, with enough magic power she can even conjure up a gigantic, fire-breathing dragon. She is as strong as Axe Battler, but has the shortest reach with her sword.
  • Gilius Thunderhead is a white-haired, bearded dwarf warrior. He swings a golden axe and is extremely strong. He wants the revenge his brother's death, who fell victim to Darth Adder's army. Although he does not understand a lot about magic, he has an enormous reach with his battle axe despite his shortness. For his spells he uses the power of lightning.
  • Death Adder is a huge tyrant who terrifies the land with his army of mercenaries and undead. Next to his enormous strength and speed, he also uses different types of strong spells. He abducted the king and his daughter and is responsible for the death of many innocents.

The stages[edit | edit source]

  • The Woods Here the cruel troops of Darth Adder spread terror and horror in the population.
  • Turtle Village Here are the soldiers a bit more intelligent and you also find Bizarrians.
  • Eagle Island The island has this name not without good reason...
  • Approaching the Castle The castle of Darth Adder is within reach.
  • The Castle The base of the cruel tyrant...

Hints[edit | edit source]


  • In all directions: Move the character
  • press fire button: Blow with the weapon
  • Joystick forwards and press fire button: Jump
  • Joystick left-Joystick left: Walk to the left (pull joystick 2x and hold)
  • Joystick right-Joystick right: Walk to the right (pull joystick 2x and hold)
  • During walking press fire button: Ram attack
  • Joystick left forwards and press fire button: Jump attack to the left
  • Joystick right forwards and press fire button: Jump attack to the right
  • Space Bar  : Activate magic from the magical pots
  • RUN/STOP : Pause
  • Q  (during pause): End

Partially it is not possible to proceed further before all enemies on the screen are destroyed. A sword with the word "Go!" flashes, as soon as scrolling is possible again.

Solution[edit | edit source]


  • Knights can be pushed off their mounts (Bizarrians). Then there is short time span to get on yourself.
  • While you are riding on a Bizarrian it will take the enemies' blows.
  • Bizarrians have different abilites depending on the race. Some can breathe fire or fire balls (press fire button), others cause harm to the enemies by beating with the tail (pull joystick left or right).
  • The activation of the magic in the pots works only on enemies in the current screen.

Cheats[edit | edit source]

  • next level: Run/Stop  for pause, then ,  or ; 
  • unlimted lives: POKE 13158,173
  • The version by "Nostalgia" contains all 5 levels, the manual and different cheats (played through and OK - H.T.W ).

Voting[edit | edit source]

Voting of the C64-Wiki users (10=the best vote):
6.56 points at 16 votes (rank 595).
You need to be logged in to cast a vote.
C64Games 5 28th November 2013 - 5 out of 10 points - 19463 downs
C64.COM 9 11th July 2014 - 8,5 out of 10 points - 10890 downs
Lemon64 6 28th November 2013 - 6,2 out of 10 points - 104 votes
The Legacy 8 28th November 2013 - "very good" - 26 votes
Kultboy 7 28th November 2013 - 7,28 out of 10 points - 60 votes
ASM (Bernd Zimmermann) 5 Issue February 1991 - 6 out of 12 points
64er (Jörn-Erik Burkert) 7 Issue May 1991 - 7 out of 10 points
Commodore Force 7 Issue January 1993 - 73% - p.18
Issue July 1993 - 66% - p. 22
Commodore Format 9 Issue December 1990 - 88% - p.20
Issue May 1992 - 89% - p.49
Your Commodore 8 Issue February 1991 - 75% - p.18
Zzap!64 10 Issue November 1990 - 96% - p.10
Issue April 1992 - 94% - p.50

Reviews[edit | edit source]


ASM February 1991 (Graphics: 7/12 Sound: 8/12 Vote: 6/12): "From Japan, fresh to the German table is SEGAs arcade hit Golden Axe. Death Adder - whoever that might be - has nicked the king and his daugther and the Golden Sword, and you have to reconquer all that to end the game successfully. The whole stretches about five single stage as typical for an arcade game and is limited to stupefying bashing and cutting. There would of course be nothing to say against that if the possibilites and features that are important for that game were ok. But that is not what they are and that is the dilemma. On the Amiga the controls are totally bang out of order, on the C64 on the other hand, they are acceptable. But here the graphics leave a lot to be desired. So e.g. the dragon on which you ride through the landscape looks less a fire-breathing monster than a kangaroo. So each version has its weaknesses. But by this the mark is missed, because a game thin on plot as Golden Axe should be at least technically faultless. For 50 or respectively 90 marks you will get something far better for your money. You should realize this before you dig deep into your pocket!" (original comment in German by Bernd Zimmermann)

64'er May 1991 (Graphics: 8/10 Sound: 7/10 Vote: 7/10): "This action adventure is a rather nice bashing on the screen, in which you - as often - have to risk your life, to put a stop to the villain's game and for this gain the highest highscore honour. The game characters are designed in 3D and feature a realistic animation and funny sprites. You get used to the unusual colour combinations of the game quite fast. Music and sound are adapted to the game's flair and are likeable. The controls need a bit getting used to, but are quite good. A joystick fight with axe and broad sword is lined up and if you are keen on a solid bashing on the screen, you should try this game. Fighting ho!" (original comment in German by Jörn-Erik Burkert)

Shmendric: "Unfortunately a mucked up conversion. I have played through Golden Axe on the PC several times in the old days, it had the best graphics and acceptable controls despite using the keyboard. The sound, however, was awful. But I had no fun at all on the C64.."

H.T.W: "Normally, such bashing games cannot enthuse me (and this one cannot either), but the controls are exact and by the possibility to mount a "pseudo horse" (why does this remind me of the dinosaur race of the Caveman Ugh-Lympics) and use its abilities and by the fact that the given number of hits until death and the type of attack pattern of each enemy stay the same, facilitates the game. Summary: It cannot match with the arcade machine concerning graphics and fun in the 2-player mode, but it is one of the better conversions.

Miscellaneous[edit | edit source]

  • The first tapes that were delivered by Virgin Games contained an unfinished version of the game. The last level was missing (level 5). This bug was fixed a short time later, but there are many crack versions out there that contain this mistake. The version by "Nostalgia" is error free.
  • The numerous sequels of this series were not converted for the C64.

Other conversions[edit | edit source]

None of the arcade conversions were really to the liking. The controls on the Amiga were seen as an unprecise gamble, on the Master System the resources did not allow a 2-player mode and the background graphics caused a quiz game. On the PC were graphics and technical converson blameless, but no sound card or joysticks were supported. The 8-bit systems displayed in general significantly less sprites at the same time on the screen. The Mega Drive version was indexed until 2006, then it received an age rating of 6 years. In some versions splattering blood and village inhabitants that are harassed by soldiers were removed. Partially the background story of the game varies. So partially, Gilius is the "carrier of the Golden Axe", partially was the name-giving axe also robbed by Darth Adder. In some versions, Gilius has an axe of steel in his hands.

Golden Axe on the Commodore Amiga...
The arcade original...
Thee MS-DOS PC version...

...on the SEGA Mega Drive...
...and on the SEGA Master System.

Video[edit | edit source]

In this longplay the merciless battle rages...

Cover[edit | edit source]

The cover (Virgin Games)
The back side of the cover (Virgin Games)

GoldenAxe Cover f2.jpg

An alternative cover, that was only published in the USA (SEGA)

Tape cover[edit | edit source]

GoldenAxe Cover tape.jpg

The cover of the tape version (Virgin Games)

[edit | edit source]

An advertisement for Golden Axe...

Highscore[edit | edit source]

  • In this game no points are given in the C64 version, therefore no highscore is possible.

Links[edit | edit source]

WP-W11.png Wikipedia: Golden_Axe