Golden Axe


The [Coin-Op] Arcade Video Game by Sega Enterprises, Ltd. [Tokyo, Japan]

[Coin-Op] Arcade Video Game

Golden Axe © 1989 Sega.

Golden Axe is a sideways scrolling beat-em-up set in a traditional fantasy world, in which up to three warriors take up arms to rescue the kidnapped King and his Queen from the evil Death Adder.

The game's three different playable characters are an Amazonian warrior, a Barbarian hero and a Viking dwarf. Each character has a special attack move that is activated by pressing both JUMP and ATTACK at the same time. Also, double-tapping the joystick right or left will make the character charge and smash into opponents.

At certain points during the game, players will come across enemies riding creatures (such as dragons). If the player knocks the original rider from the saddle, the created can be mounted and used against the enemy.

At certain points during a level, as well as on the between-stage intermittent levels, Goblins appear carrying a sack on their back. Players can hit the Goblins causing them to drop food and magic potions - the latter of which are used to create a special magical attack that damages or kills all on-screen enemies.

Each of the game's heroes uses a different kind of magic: the Barbarian uses Earth magic, the Amazon uses fire magic and the Viking dwarf uses lightning magic. In addition: each player character also carries a different weapon: the Amazonian warrior and the Barbarian both use swords while the Viking dwarf wields an axe.

Golden Axe consists of 9 levels, although only 5 of these are true levels as every 2nd stage is a short intermittent level featuring only the sack-carrying Goblins.

Once Golden Axe has been beaten, an end sequence is a scene of a video arcade, in which the game's characters jump out of the arcade cabinet and chase the game's players out of the arcade and down the street.
Golden Axe machine
Click to enlarge (members only)
Game ID : 317-0110 / 317-0112 / 317-0120 / 317-0121 / 317-0122 / 317-0123a

Runs on the Sega "System 16B" hardware.

Players : 2
Control : 8-way joystick
Buttons : 3
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.
FD1094 317-0110
World version.

8751 317-0112
US version.
Uses an additional I8751 @ 8 Mhz

FD1094 317-0120
World version.

FD1094 317-0121
Japanese version.
Additional 'warning' screen.
Added blood dripping on the character selection screen.
Added in-game Japanese subtitles.
Contains an extra violent scene.

FD1094 317-0122
US version.

8751 317-0123a
US version.
Uses an additional I8751 @ 8 Mhz

NOTE: All of the US revisions add the 'Winners Don't Use Drugs' screen.
Two Player Health Restoration : If a player's health is at zero (no life bar visible) when the bonus level/intermission ends, s/he will begin the next level at full health (three life bars). So if you CAREFULLY hack one another, you can restore your health. You should allow the other character to recover after each swipe, otherwise you may throw or kick and actually kill the other player.
1. Golden Axe (1989)
2. Golden Axe Warrior (1990, Sega Master System)
3. Ax Battler - A Legend of Golden Axe (1991, Sega Game Gear)
4. Golden Axe II (1991)
5. Golden Axe - The Revenge of Death Adder (1992)
6. Golden Axe III (1993, Sega Mega Drive)
7. Golden Axe - The Duel [Model 610-0373-01] (1994)
8. Golden Axe - Beast Rider (2008, PS3 /XBOX 360)
Designed by: Makoto Uchida
...and Team Shinobi.


Sega Master System usa europe (1989) [Model 9004]
Sega Master System brazil (1989) [Model 028060]
Sega Genesis usa (December 22, 1989)
Sega Mega Drive japan (December 23, 1989) [Model G-4018]
Sega Mega Drive [AU] (1990)
Sega Mega Drive europe (1990)
Sega Mega Drive brazil (1990)
NEC PC-Engine Super CD-ROM2 japan (March 16, 1990) [Model TJCD0005]
Sega CD usa (October 15, 1992, "Sega Classics Arcade Collection 4-in-1")
Sega Mega Drive europe (1993, "Mega Games 2" [Model 670-3282])
Sega Mega-CD japan (April 23, 1993; "Sega Classics Arcade Collection [Model G-6012]")
Sega Mega Drive europe (1995, "Mega Games 6")
Sega Genesis usa (1996; "6-Pak [Model 1717]")
Sega Mega Drive brazil (1996, "6-Pak" - Tec Toy)
Bandai WonderSwan Color japan (2002) [Model SWJ-BANC2B]
Nintendo Game Boy Advance usa (September 23, 2002, "Sega Smash Pack" - Genesis version) [Model AGB-A3PE-USA]
Sony PlayStation 2 japan (2003, "Sega Ages 2500 Vol. 5 : Golden Axe")
Nintendo Game Boy Advance europe (August 1, 2003, "Sega Smash Pack" - Mega Drive version) [Model AGB-A3PP-EUR]
Tapwave Zodiac usa (January 1, 2004)
Sega Dreamcast usa (January 31, 2001, "Sega Smash Pack Vol. 1" - Genesis version) [Model 51146]
Sony PlayStation 2 usa (November 7, 2006, "Sega Genesis Collection" - Genesis version) [Model SLUS-21542]
Sony PlayStation 2 europe (February 2, 2007, "Sega Mega Drive Collection" - Mega Drive version) [Model SLES-54333]
Sony PlayStation 2 [AU] (February 8, 2007, "Sega Mega Drive Collection" - Mega Drive version)
Sony PSP usa (2006, "Sega Genesis Collection" - Genesis version) [Model ULUS-10192] : also released as part of "Sega Fun Pack" (March 24, 2009)
Sony PSP europe (February 2, 2007, "Sega Mega Drive Collection" - Mega Drive version [Model ULES-00556]
Sony PSP [AU] (February 8, 2007, "Sega Mega Drive Collection" - Mega Drive version [Model ULES-00556]
Nintendo Wii usa (November 28, 2006, "Virtual Console" - Genesis version) [Model MAEE]
Nintendo Wii japan (December 2, 2006, "Virtual Console" - Mega Drive version) [Model MAEJ]
Nintendo Wii europe (December 8, 2006, "Virtual Console" - Mega Drive version) [Model MAEP]
Microsoft XBOX 360 usa europe japan [AU] (July 11, 2007, as a downloadable Live Arcade game)
Nintendo Wii [Virtual Console] japan (June 23, 2009)
Nintendo Wii [Virtual Console] europe (September 18, 2009)
Nintendo Wii [Virtual Console] usa (October 26, 2009)
Sony PlayStation 3 usa (February 10, 2009; "Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection [Model BLUS-30259]")
Sony PlayStation 3 korea (February 10, 2009, "Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection)"
Microsoft XBOX 360 usa (February 10, 2009; "Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection")
Sony PlayStation 3 europe (February 20, 2009; "SEGA Mega Drive Ultimate Collection [Model BLES-00475]")
Sony PlayStation 3 [AU] (February 20, 2009; "SEGA Mega Drive Ultimate Collection [Model BLES-00475]")
Microsoft XBOX 360 europe (February 20, 2009; "SEGA Mega Drive Ultimate Collection")
Microsoft XBOX 360 [AU] (February 26, 2009; "Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection")


Commodore Amiga europe (1989)
Atari ST usa (1990)
Amstrad CPC europe (1990)
PC [MS-DOS, 5.25"] usa (1990)
Commodore C64 usa europe (1990)
Sinclair ZX Spectrum europe (1990)
Commodore C64 europe (1991, "2 Hot 2 Handle")
Commodore Amiga europe (1991, "2 Hot 2 Handle")
PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] usa (February 1999, "Sega Smash Pack" - Genesis version)
PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] japan (June 23, 2000, "Sega Archives from USA Vol.1" - Mega Drive version)


Tiger Handheld LCD Game usa (1987)
Apple iPhone/iPod usa (June 17, 2009) [Model 319600514]
Game's ROM.
Game's picture.

Page last modified on March 25, 2014