The fun thing about coin-ops is that their scenarios
are so vague, so forget all mention about Golden Axes and such like.
According to the intro sequence, his majesty and the princess have been taken by the 'Death Adder', so you must
revenge them as well as your relatives. The game begins in a temple where you must choose between barbarian
Ax Battler, amazon woman Tyris Flare and dwarf Gilius Thunderhead. Each of these have lost their family
members to the dreaded Death Adder and are dedicated to his overthrow.
From the temple their quest will take them across many bizarre lands, each teeming with Death Adder's minions,
skeletons, amazon women, giant sumos armed with hammers, massive knights in armour and numerous other fiends
will oppose you. Some ride dangerous beasts, such as fire-breathing dragons and 'chicken-leg' creatures with
vicious swinging tails. If you can knock the riders off, you can mount the creatures yourself.
Each character has three lives, with each life having three energy units. Every so often thieves come on screen
-hit these to grab their potions. Green thieves' potions restore energy, blue thieves' potions provide magical energy.
Magic is a sort of smart bomb which can be activated at any time, the more potions the more powerful the effect
-the graphics are also different. Tyris's fire magic transforms into a hugh flame-breathing dragon's head at full
power! Gilius has lightning magic, while Ax uses explosives.
Zzap! Issue 69 January 1991, p.92
Whereas the C64 version was virtually a work of art, a sumptious feast of
superlative backgrounds and genuinely magical magic, the Amiga game is a more workmanlike effort.
All the character sprites are very nicely done, move quickly and have a massive amount of moves
-it's great how they throw baddies who've been broken down. There's also the two-player mode,
which adds a lot, three enemies attacking at once and the chickenleg creatures -all of which
makes for a game which fairly accurately recreates the basic coin-op. On the negative side the
background graphics are weak in places, while the magic is abysmal by comparison with the C64.
Difficulty is set so that but one-player mode is harder and while completing the game shouldn't take too long,
getting a high warrior grade is harder. All in all, a pleasant-looking, nice-playing conversion
of an imaginative beat'em-up which fans will like, and is worth a look from anyone. My favourite Amiga
beat'em-up so far.
Though nowhere near as technically impressive as the C64 game, Amiga Golden Axe benefits
greatly from the simultaneous two-player mode. As in Shadow Warriors it's possible to hurt
your partner -easily done by accident during the hectic fighting, or sometimes on purpose
in the rush to get potions and food! (Don't I know it! -Ed). Even with a clumsy colleague (You! -Ed),
the game is definitely more fun with two players, although it's made a lot easier -Stu and I got
well into the game on our first attempt. Thankfully then, playing solo is considerably more challenging
with effectively double the number of well-animated enemies to fend off.
As with the C64 version, my favourite part of the game is riding the creatures, especially the fire-breathing
dragon -great for roasting your 'colleague'! Generally good graphics -apart from the unbelievably crude magic
effects -and a nice soundtrack to complement some highly enjoyable hack'n'slay action.
Pics of main characters, simultaneous two-player warrior evaluation stats, interlevel map and temple characterchoosing scene. Disk access is surprisingly frequent but very rapid.
All the characters and creatures look good, nicely detailed and well-animated. Backgrounds are okay to good, but magic is disappointing.
Mediocre title tune, pleasant soundtrack can be turned off, okay FX.
Extremely easy to get into, great fun with two players.
Getting to the end with two players isn't too difficult and coin-op isn't packed with amazing variety. Good to play though.
A good conversion of a good coin-op