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Golden Axe

Golden Axe BoxGolden Axe is a beat ‘em up arcade video game developed by Sega R&D1 and published by Sega in 1989 for the System 16-B arcade hardware. It was the first game in the Golden Axe series and was quickly ported to the Sega Genesis by Sega’s R&D2 team. Sega wanted to boost sales for their new home console and strengthen their market share in order to get a head start in the 16-bit home console race over Nintendo.

The game was designed by Makoto Uchida who was also responsible for the creation of Altered Beast. Uchida wanted to create a game similar in gameplay to Double Dragon and was very fond of action movies, particularly the Conan films. Influenced by the Conan movies and inspired by studying the world of magic and swords from admiring Dragon Quest, combined with the gameplay of Double Dragon the concept of Golden Axe was born.

The game takes place in the fictional land of Yuria, in which an evil entity known as Death Adder has kidnapped Yuria’s King and his daughter, holding them captive in his castle. Death Adder has also stolen the “Golden Axe”, a magical emblem of Yuria, and is threatening to destroy it if the people of the land do not accept him as their ruler. It is up to a band of three heroes, Ax Battler, Tyris Flare and Gilius Thunderhead to venture to Death Adder’s castle and stop him, rescuing the captives, avenge their losses and save the land.

Golden Axe Logo
Developer(s)Sega R&D1 (Arcade)
Sega R&D2 (Genesis)
SeriesGolden Axe
SuccessorGolden Axe II
Media TypeArcade Cabinet
WW: May 1989

Sega Genesis
NA: December 22, 1989
JP: December 23, 1989
EU: November 30, 1990
Genre(s)Beat ’em up
Development Time1 Year
RatingESRB: E
PEGI: 12
Rereleased Platform(s)Ports
Sega Master System – 1990
Turbografx-CD – 1990
Amiga – 1990
Amstrad CPC – 1990
Atari ST – 1990
Commodore 64 – 1990
DOS – 1990
ZX Spectrum – 1990
WonderSwan Color – 2002

Virtual Console
Wii – 2006
Xbox 360 – 2007
PlayStation 3 – 2011

Game Screenshots:

The Video Game Years - Golden Axe


The Video Game Years

A TV show that examines the history, culture and oddities of video games. Each episode focuses on a specific year and the influential games of that year.

Profile PlaceholderKanako KoyamaProducer
Katsuhisa SatoKatsuhisa SatoDesigner
Makoto UchidaMakoto UchidaDesigner
Mutsuhiro FujiiMutsuhiro FujiiAssistant Director
Takahiro HamanoTakahiro HamanoSoftware Design
Profile PlaceholderMasahiro WakayamaSoftware Design
Profile PlaceholderHiroto SaekiAssistant Programmer
Profile PlaceholderYang WattAssistant Programmer
Tohru NakabayashiTohru NakabayashiComposer
Profile PlaceholderYo TakadaMusic Contribution
Profile PlaceholderYoshiaki YoneshimaJapanese Cover Artist


Arcade (North American Release)

Genesis (North American Release)

Mega Drive (Japanese Release)

Mega Drive (European Release)

Sega Master System (European Release)

Media & Promotional Material