Golden Axe was released in June 1989.
Uchida originally wanted to make a theme similar to "Dragon Quest
", but seeing as how the higher ups at Sega didn't quite see the charm in that, Uchida and his team ended up making Golden Axe, thinking that selectable characters and flashy magic spells would make for a success. The game did end up becoming one of Sega's big franchises early on and spawned multiple sequels.
Note : The kanji on the title screen actually reads 'Senpu', meaning 'Fighting Axe'. This is an example of 'gikun', where Japanese artists use the phonetic value of a character to determine the game's name and not the meaning of the character itself.
Many of the samples used for Golden Axe and its sequel were taken from the movies 'Rambo - First Blood' and 'Conan the Cimmerian'. More specific when you kill bad guys sometimes they scream something like 'Oooh God!' which was taken from Rambo at the scene which takes place in the forest when one of the policemen fell into a trap and gets impaled by sharp pieces of wood. The sample used for the man who gets trampled by a bad guy in Golden Axe and the scream of Death-Adder when falling from the dragon at the final scene of "Golden Axe - Revenge of Death-Adder" was taken from the policeman who also fell from the helicopter pursuing Rambo. Finally the battle cry used for the big baddies when they die in Golden Axe and the scream for the big chained green monster on "Golden Axe - Revenge of Death-Adder" on stage 3 are the same and taken from Conan's scene where Arnold Schwarzenegger fights the two villains on a Stonehenge like background and again one of them gets impaled by a trap.
Pony Canyon / Scitron released a limited-edition soundtrack album for this game (Super Sonic Team : G.S.M. SEGA 3 - PCCB-00009) on October 21, 1989.
Wave Master released a limited-edition soundtrack album for this game (Golden Axe The Music - WM-0595~7) on February 21, 2008 containing music from the original arcade and Sega Mega Drive/Genesis series.
Two limited Edition Comic Book Series' to accompany the game were published in the UK in the early 1990's. They can be found along with other Sega-related adaptions in Fleetway's 'Sonic The Comic' which ran for approximately 200 issues.