Golden Axe Game Review: A Timeless Classic with Stunning Graphics

Golden Axe is a classic arcade game that was released in 1989 by Sega. This side-scrolling beat ‘em up game gained popularity due to its captivating gameplay, memorable characters, and stunning visuals. In this article, we will provide an in-depth review of the Golden Axe game, discussing its gameplay, graphics, sound, and overall gaming experience.

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Golden Axe Gameplay

The gameplay of Golden Axe is both simple and engaging. Players can choose from three characters: Ax Battler, Tyris Flare, and Gilius Thunderhead, each with their unique abilities and attacks.

The game takes players through various levels filled with enemies, where they must defeat them using a combination of melee attacks, magic spells, and special moves. The controls are responsive and intuitive, making it easy for players to enjoy the action-packed battles.



Even though Golden Axe was released over three decades ago, its graphics still hold up remarkably well. The game features vibrant and detailed pixel art, bringing the fantasy world of Golden Axe to life. The character designs are distinctive, and the enemy sprites are diverse and imaginative.

The environments are beautifully rendered, featuring lush forests, haunting caves, and epic boss arenas. The graphical prowess of Golden Axe contributes to the game’s timeless appeal.


Golden Axe boasts a memorable and immersive soundtrack that complements the gameplay perfectly. The music consists of epic and melodic tunes that intensify during battles, creating a sense of excitement and adventure. The sound effects, such as sword clashes, magical spells, and enemy roars, are crisp and satisfying.

The audio elements of Golden Axe enhance the overall atmosphere and make the gaming experience more enjoyable.

Replay Value

One of the strengths of Golden Axe is its high replay value. The game offers both single-player and cooperative multiplayer modes, allowing players to team up with a friend and battle through the game together.

Additionally, the branching paths and multiple endings add depth and encourage replayability. With its diverse character roster and various strategies to explore, Golden Axe provides hours of entertainment that keeps players coming back for more.

Golden Axe Game Review

Golden Axe Legacy

Golden Axe has left a lasting legacy in the gaming industry. It has inspired numerous sequels, spin-offs, and remakes, showcasing its enduring popularity. The game’s characters have become iconic figures, recognized and loved by gamers worldwide. Golden Axe’s impact on the beat ‘em up genre is undeniable, influencing future titles and establishing a benchmark for excellence in gameplay and design.

Golden Axe remains a timeless classic that continues to captivate gamers with its engaging gameplay, stunning graphics, and memorable characters. Whether you’re a fan of retro games or a newcomer looking to experience a piece of gaming history, Golden Axe is a must-play.

Its simple yet addictive gameplay, coupled with its immersive visuals and audio, ensure an enjoyable and unforgettable gaming experience. Golden Axe is a testament to the enduring appeal of arcade classics and an essential addition to any gaming library.

Golden Axe game walkthrough review

For years, a distant fairy tale kingdom has been terrorized by the Nightmare Killer and his henchmen. Oh, how much blood they have bled the peaceful peasants! You can play as one of three heroes who seek revenge. These are Axe the Barbarian (Gad kills his mother),

Axe the Barbarian

Tyreese the Flash from the Amazon nation (Gad kills both her parents)

Tyreese the Flash from the Amazon nation

and Gilius the Thunderdwarf (Gad kills his brother).

Gilius the Thunderdwarf

In the woods you meet a royal guard named Alex – he is all wounded and being pursued by the minions of the Assassin’s Gad.

you meet a royal guard named Alex

Before he dies, he manages to report that the Assassin-Gad has captured the king and his daughter. For you, this means it is time to act, no matter the risk. So you set off for the castle, and along the way you take on Gad’s soldiers.

you set off for the castle

The game compares favourably to other beat ‘em ups with the ability to cast spells (different for each character) and ride animals. Each character is played differently, and this applies to melee combat with weapons. Enemies scream as they die and their bodies don’t disappear like in other games, but remain lying on the screen. And that is cool. By the way, the enemy screams are taken from Rambo: First Blood and Conan the Barbarian.

Enemies scream as they die and their bodies don't disappear like in other games

For some reason all the other Amazons, except Tyreese, are fighting on Gad’s side. Curolysques are typical riding animals. By dropping the rider, your character can also saddle up a kurolyske himself to deal powerful blows to enemies with his heavy tail. In Golden Axe, the kurolyske comes from another Sega game – Altered Beast.

In Golden Axe, the kurolyske comes from another Sega game

The path to the castle leads through Turtle Village, but the road there is blocked by two giants with sledgehammers.

two giants with sledgehammers

After slaying the giants, you head towards the village, where frightened peasants are fleeing in droves.

you head towards the village

The village is called Turtle Village for a reason, as it was built on the back of a giant tortoise.

The village is called Turtle Village for a reason

Here you can see the edge of the turtle’s shell and the grey paw below. Here you are attacked by Amazons riding fire-breathing dragons.

you can see the edge of the turtle's shell

But the most dangerous opponent is the animated skeleton.

the most dangerous opponent is the animated skeleton

There are two kinds of dragons – blue and red. And while the blue dragon breathes fire, the red one spits it.

There are two kinds of dragons - blue and red

The turtle crosses the sea and swims to the continent to the south.

The turtle crosses the sea

Here you have to jump.

The town here conjures up associations with old German towns. Here you will have to fight the local champion – a huge knight with an enormous sword.

Here you will have to fight the local champion

From here the road leads to Gada Castle, but this path is so well guarded that you find another way to get there. Namely to fly in on the back of a giant eagle.

From here the road leads to Gada Castle

Of course, you have to fight here as well.

you have to fight here

Honestly, I myself sometimes wish it would just fall like that and stay lying there. The Great Eagle takes you to the castle.

The Great Eagle takes you to the castle

Here, among other opponents, are already two knights at once.

two knights at once

The Assassin-killer himself is a kind of demonic dark force in the form of a multitude of grey serpents that crawl and weave together to form a human figure. There he is, rising stealthily over the mountain of corpses as you fight your opponents.

The Assassin-killer himself is a kind of demonic dark force

When it finally materializes, however, it becomes fully alive, made of flesh and blood. A big, fat bull. Aside from the massive axe, he also wields magic. Fighting him is no easy task, but the moment of vengeance is sweet!

Aside from the massive axe, he also wields magic

The king and princess are suspended in chains near the throne. But luckily, they’re alive. The country is saved.

The king and princess are suspended in chains near the throne

At the end of the game we see the Sega arcade, where children play the Great Axe, the equivalent of the Golden Axe in this parallel reality. Another popular machine is called Opa-Opa. This is a reference to the game Fantasy Zone, where ‘Opa-Opa’ is the name of the intelligent spaceship the player controls. Finally, on the wall hangs an advertisement for Last Survivor, another machine from Sega, which appeared four months earlier than Golden Axe.

Suddenly the Great Axe starts to smoke and one by one the henchmen of the Assassin-Gad jump out and rush after the children. The main characters in the game jump out next and also run after their enemies. Such a humorous ending.

Golden Axe is a surprisingly simple and short game, you just toss coins around. It makes you want to play again, and it’s hard to resist playing the game for all three characters one by one.

Just like in this walkthrough video.

Overall Rating: 8.8/10 Golden Axe is a timeless classic that excels in gameplay, graphics, sound, replay value, and has a lasting legacy. It remains an essential game for both retro enthusiasts and newcomers alike.
  • Engaging Gameplay
  • Memorable Characters
  • Stunning Graphics
  • Immersive Soundtrack
  • High Replay Value
  • Limited Movesets
  • Lack of Depth
  • Difficulty Spikes
  • Limited Co-op Options
  • Aging Mechanics
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