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Golden Axe
Publisher: Virgin Games     Developer: Unknown
Year of release: 1990

Box scan missing - can you help? Golden Axe Click here to listen to the music from Golden Axe on-line
Genres : Beat-em-up / Coin-op Conversion
Artist : Kevin Bulmer    

Click here to see other games reviewed in this issue of ST Format
ST Format
# 18 - Jan 91

» Atari ST CD-Roms available for download from only $2 «


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small ST picture raytraced by Rich Davey 2001

Pascy wrote ...2007-06-19 06:28:46
I remember spending countless hours playing this in about 1991. Since firing it up recently on Steem I can't for the life of me remember why because it's pretty awful...
Universe Bandit wrote ...2007-03-07 22:47:50
Golden Axe was the original hack 'n' slash, nay, the ULTIMATE FIRE UP THAT AXE BABY!
Universe Bandit wrote ...2007-03-07 22:47:50
Golden Axe was the original hack 'n' slash, nay, the ULTIMATE FIRE UP THAT AXE BABY!
Universe Bandit wrote ...2007-03-07 22:43:38
Golden Axe was the original hack 'n' slash, nay, the ULTIMATE FIRE UP THAT AXE BABY!
NightSprinter wrote ...2006-03-03 19:28:41
Aqua, for Player 1 the magic key is either ALT key. For Player 2 it's the CAPS LOCK key.
NightSprinter wrote ...2006-03-03 19:21:16
It's not a bad conversion, really. The general gameplay and feel of the game are there. Though like with the other computer ports, It seems to be missing the songs for both Turtle Village stages, the Battle Field theme (end of most levels when it becomes sunset), the Game Over theme, the ending theme, and "Conclusion" (when you rescue the king/princess, or if you hit high score after the game is over). However for what music IS there it sounds phenomenal for something that can only generate square waves and whtie noise. The music gets a 3/5, if only for the lack of songs (which is probably a limitation of disk size). The sound is pretty good on the other hand. Sampled effects from the arcade, and the grating death screams of defeated enemies are replaced with simple "oof" samples (or a high-pitched "ugh" for the valkyrie type enemies). Though the sound is once again limited due to both memory and disk space constraints I have to say the sound is pretty good for the ST. 4/5 on sound effects. Graphics: Ok so the system only does sixteen colours out of a total palette of five-hundred-and-twelve. The ST makes a hell of a good effort in making it look as close as possible to the arcade as they can get (which on a sad note, the Amiga version never tapped into the higher palette or available color choice, but anyway). Character sprites are rather well-defined and have a good amount of color despite only being able to do sixteen colors in pure hardware. The scenery changing from day to evening is impressive as ever. Scrolling is a bit jerky, though, as I have to move back every few steps forward to keep the screen moving. But also it was amazing that they managed to have slain enemies turn a stone-grey before disappearing. Now that is pretty damn cool for what some think is "just a musician's computer". Whole-hearted 4.5/5 for graphics, with the cool border and life-meter icons despite the jerky scrolling. Gameplay: Wow, and again.. WOW. To think that Sega couldn't convert the fine 2D hack-em-up's three-button controls for a single-button joystick is just insanity. Ok so I don't get that "dangerous-but-might-work" air attack where I dash towards someone, jump, then push and hold attack. It wasn't useful to begin with. Everything else was kept intact. Both players had their own "Magic" button on the keyboard, and movement/attack is executed very fluidly (up+button for jump, down+button for evade, two seperate movements left or right to dash). Collision/hit detection is somewhat spotty at times (sometimes I hit someone and it doesn't register, especialy if using a jumping-slash, or trying to get on the saddle of a Bizarrian), but most of the time I walk up to someone, hack at them, they get hurt and vice versa. 5/5 even with the occasional spotty hit-detection. Atmosphere: It's essentially here. When you start the game you see Alex limping towards you on a crutch before he's fatally wounded by an enemy (get the opening dialogue, etc. before he collapses), the scenery looks rather lush and detailed, and of course we do have the sky changing color at the end of a level. We also have villagers running in the town stages. We are missing where enemies are pushing on helpless peasants with their foot. A minor detail but would add to the "save all from Death-Adder" premise. Otherwise it's damn good. 4/5 save for that one missing detail. For the game overall, I'd have to give it a pretty fair 4.38/5 due to the lack of music and such.
Aqua The Hedgehog wrote ...2006-01-04 23:59:36
How do you use magics in this?
Aqua The Hedgehog wrote ...2006-01-02 20:44:41
I used to play this game when i was six, I think... at snipe-hunt.com they say this game is preferred by fagboys everywhere, but I think NOT!!
Violent_Cat wrote ...2004-08-04 13:53:11
Of course the the MAME is the best its the original version of the game and we all know that the arcade versions are the best arcades rules!!!
Mento wrote ...2004-06-21 11:05:37
Brilliant conversion. My favorite level was the one which was set entirely on the back of a dragon (which was crawling with the undead for some reason). Damn Imps stole my potions every time.
SaTcom2 wrote ...2003-11-23 14:28:31
I remember my friend was showing this off on his PC because it used midi music through the sound card and yadda yadda. The ST version was way better though, as I convinced him when he heard the digitized sound effects and saw the better color pallette. I always think of this game, and Gauntlet 2 when I think of virtually arcade perfect ports on the ST. Just awesome.
Stevie B wrote ...2003-02-13 03:15:05
Yep a classic allright. Me and my brother in law spent hours tag-teaming all the nasties....one of my favourite things were the animals you could jump on then you could spit fireballs at enemies or swish them over with the animals tail.....still not sure I like it better than double dragon tho....DD was me and my bro`s game of choice on the ST
Andreas Wahlin wrote ...2003-01-13 15:51:50
The KING of fighter games as I believe they are called. Forget Double Dragon and the rest, this one is great fun to play (although unbalanced, the chick is the worst of the fighters, damn it) Also on MAME, well worth checking out. (well ok, also an every platform out there, but I think MAME is best, after Atari of course :)
Rickard S wrote ...2002-05-30 16:37:38
Now this is a real classic, one of the best games for Atari, really! :)
bazfan wrote ...2002-01-13 16:29:25
so erm he who as the biggest axe wins then, or he who as the biggest axe made of gold wins.... i luv the end sequence, being chased from the arcade by defeated baddies , lol..... :)
The Pacifist wrote ...2001-12-19 17:57:23
Just like the arcade. Kill everything, move right. Kill more stuff. Move right. It was made more impressive by the nice music and MASSIVE axe the green guy has, and the night-time sub game where you have to bash the little guys with the magic is fun.....
Unts wrote ...2001-11-10 09:32:25
I loved this game. I had it on the mega CD until the thing ate the cd! I also have a disk of it with me now. It's too damaged to use makedisk on it though, otherwise I'd have it on winston. Guess I'll have to find it on the net!