Catalogue of Arcade Emulation Software - the Absolute Reference

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Golden Axe (set 6, US, 8751 317-123A)

Golden Axe (c) 06/1989 Sega.

A classic sideways scrolling beat-em-up set in a traditional fantasy world, in which between one and three warriors take up arms to save the King from the evil Death Adder. The three different player characters are an Amazonian warrior, a barbarian hero and a viking dwarf. Each hero 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 carried a different weapon : the amazonian warrior and the barbarian both use swords while the viking dwarf uses the Golden Axe itself.

Each character in the game 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 cause the player to charge and smash into opponents. At certain points during the game, players will come across certain creatures (such as dragons) which, once their original riders have been knocked from the saddle, can be mounted and used against the enemy.

At certain points during a level, as well as at the end of each level, drawfs appears carrying a sack on their back. Players can hit the drawfs causing them to drop food and magic potions.

Once the game has been beaten, the ending will show a view of an arcade where the characters 'jump out' of the game, run out of the arcade and down the street.


Sega System 16B hardware

Game ID : 317-0110 / 317-0112 / 317-0120 / 317-0121 / 317-0122 / 317-0123a

Main CPU : 68000 (@ 10 Mhz)

Sound CPU : Z80 (@ 5 Mhz)

Sound Chips : YM2151 (@ 4 Mhz), UPD7759 (@ 640 Khz)

Screen orientation : Horizontal

Video resolution : 320 x 224 pixels

Screen refresh : 60.00 Hz

Palette colors : 6144

Players : 2

Control : 8-way joystick

Buttons : 3



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 pursuiting 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 21/10/1989.

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 fleetways '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

* Additional 'Winners Don't Use Drugs' screen.

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.

* Additional 'Winners Don't Use Drugs' screen.

8751 317-0123a

* US version.

* Uses an additional I8751 @ 8 Mhz

* Additional 'Winners Don't Use Drugs' screen.


* Two Player Health Restoral : 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. Golden Axe II (1991)

4. Golden Axe - The Revenge of Death Adder (1992)

5. Golden Axe III (1993, Sega Mega Drive)

6. Golden Axe - The Duel (1995)


Designed by : Makoto Uchida

...and Team Shinobi.


* Consoles :

Sega Mega Drive (1989)

Sega Master System (1989)

NEC PC-Engine Super CD-ROM2 (1990)

Sega Mega Drive (1994, "MegaGames 3in1 Vol 2")

Sega Mega Drive (1995, "6-PAK")

Bandai WonderSwan Color (2002)

Nintendo Game Boy Advance (2002,"Sega Smash Pack")

Sony PlayStation 2 (2003, "Sega Ages 2500 Vol. 5 : Golden Axe")

Sega Dreamcast ("Sega Smash Pack Vol. 1")

Sony PlayStation 2 (2006, "Genesis Collection")

Sony PSP (2006, "Genesis Collection")

* Computers :

Atari ST (1990)

Amstrad CPC (1990)

PC [MS-DOS, 5.25''] (1990)

Commodore C64 (1991)

Commodore Amiga (1991)

Sinclair ZX Spectrum (1991)

Commodore C64 (1991, "2 Hot 2 Handle")

Commodore Amiga (1991, "2 Hot 2 Handle")

PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] (1999, "Sega Smash Pack")

* Others :

Tiger Handheld LCD Game (1987)