Golden Axe

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Golden Axe

Post  msistarted on Sat Dec 11, 2010 7:44 pm

Golden Axe is a side-scrolling arcade hack and slash game released in 1989 by Sega for the System 16-B arcade hardware. It is the first game in the series.
Makoto Uchida was the primary developer of the game and also was responsible for the creation of Altered Beast, a similar game. Several ports of the game were created, most notably for the Mega Drive/Genesis and Master System.
Contents [hide]
1 Plot
2 Gameplay
3 Development
4 Ports and remakes
5 References
6 External links

The game takes place in the fictional land of Yuria, a Conan the Barbarian-style high fantasy medieval world. An evil entity known as Death Adder has captured the King and his daughter, and holds them captive in their castle. He also finds the Golden Axe, the magical emblem of Yuria, and threatens to destroy both the axe and the royal family unless the people of Yuria accept him as their ruler. Three Warriors set out on a quest to rescue Yuria and avenge their losses at the hands of Death Adder. The first is a battle axe-wielding dwarf, Gilius Thunderhead, from the mines of Wolud, whose twin brother was killed by the soldiers of Death Adder. Another is a male barbarian, Ax Battler, wielding a two handed broadsword looking for revenge for the murder of his mother. The last is a long-sword-wielding Tyris Flare, an amazon, whose parents were both killed by Death Adder.
The warriors save the inhabitants of the ransacked Turtle Village, which turns out to be situated on the shell of a giant turtle. The turtle takes the characters across the sea, and they then fly to the castle itself on the back of a giant eagle. Once at the castle they defeat Death Adder, who is wielding the Golden Axe and save the land. In the Mega Drive version and other ports, the characters also battle Death Adder's mentor, Death Bringer, as the true final boss.

The Duel mode
Progress is made through the game by fighting through Death Adder's henchmen, including men armed with clubs and maces, skeleton warriors, and knights. Players are able to attack using their weapon, jump and cast spells that hurt all enemies on the screen. The force of this magic depends on the number of "bars" of magic power currently available. The bars are filled by collecting blue 'magic potions' attained by kicking little sprites who then drop the potions. These sprites appear during regular levels and during bonus stages in between levels. The male warrior Ax is able to cast earth spells. The dwarf Gilius, casts lightning spells and the female warrior Tyris casts fire magic. Each character has a different number of maximum magic bars and varying ranges of attack.
Various steeds known as bizarrians are found in the game. These can be ridden when the enemy rider is knocked off, or if one is found dormant. The least powerful steed is known as the Cockatrice (which also appeared in Altered Beast)[2], which can be used to knock down enemies with a swipe of its tail. The more powerful dragon, which can either shoot fireballs or breathe fire, is found later in the game.
In addition to the main quest, some home versions of the game included "duel mode", a survival mode type game that pitted players against increasingly powerful foes in consecutive rounds of play. This mode also featured a two-player one-on-one option.

Lead producer Makoto Uchida was fond of action movies, particularly the Conan films and wanted to create a game influenced by these films. He states that the development team for the game was small and development of the game took about a year. [3]
[edit]Ports and remakes

Several ports of Golden Axe exist for many platforms. The Mega Drive version remained largely faithful to the arcade game, adding an additional level and the aforementioned duel mode, along with a new ending. A one-player only version was later re-released on the Mega CD as part of the Sega Classics Collection, with new Redbook background music and new voice-overs. The Mega Drive version was later released in other compilations - Sega Smash Pack, Sega Genesis Collection, Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection. The Mega Drive port is also available on Virtual Console. [4] The arcade version is also on the Virtual Console and Xbox Live Arcade[5]
The IBM PC compatibles version released in 1990 is similar to the Mega Drive version, but features richer 256 color palette in VGA mode as well as the ability to run in 16 colors (EGA/Tandy 1000), 4 color (CGA) and 2 color (Hercules Graphics Card) modes.The Atari ST and Amiga versions of the game released in Late 1990 by Virgin Software are more similar to the arcade.[6] Unlike the PC version, the Amiga version is not a port of the Mega Drive version - rather, it is virtually identical to the arcade game with no loss of colors or animations.[7] The ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64 versions suffer from the limitations of the two platforms.
Variations of the original game have also been released. The Sega Master System version of the game retells the original story from the perspective of Ax Battler, who is called "Tarik" in this game. While the game is only one-player, it features all of the levels and magic powers of the arcade version. In Japan, Golden Axe was released by Telenet for the PC Engine CD-ROM sometime in 1990 with high-quality resampled music and cut scenes. An enhanced remake with 3D graphics and orchestral music was released for PlayStation 2 as part of the Sega Ages line.

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