Golden Axe (Virgin Games) Review | Amstrad Computer User - Everygamegoing

Amstrad Computer User

Golden Axe
By Virgin Games
Amstrad CPC464

Published in Amstrad Computer User #75

Golden Axe

Death Adder rules in darkness and only the mighty alliance of warriors can break his vice-like grip over Yuria.

Yuria, once a land of peace and plenty, has been defiled by the monstrous minions of the evil reptilian Death Adder. Innocent citizens have been slaughtered, the king and beautiful princess are held hostage and the only chance of salvation for the country lies in an alliance of warriors from the farthest corners of the land.

First of all, there's Ax-Battier, a ferocious barbarian from the plains, whose mother was cruelly put to death by Death Adder's soldiers before his eyes. Then there's Gilius Thunderhead, whose brother met his death in the defence of their beloved mines at Wolud.

Golden Axe

Finally, there's Tyris-Flare, the last surviving Amazon warrior Queen after her tribe were put to death by the reptile's minions.

As you can imagine, none of these characters are overfond of Death Adder, so choose which character you want to play and move off to gain revenge in the fiercest way you can imagine. Each of the warriors has his/her own special form of magic, which will come in very handy as you progress. Ax-Battler commands the awesome Volcano Magic, Gilius the Lightning and Tyris brings up the rear with some pretty hot Fire Magic.

OK, all set? Off you go then. The first thing you will need to do is master the controls. Some of the sword swipes and jumps take a little getting used to, but once you've mastered that back jump, downward sword swipe, you'll see it was well worth a little practice.

Golden Axe

You start off your mission to destroy the Death Adder and rescue the royals in the woods. Here, you'll meet some of the Reptile's lowliest minions. Don't be too casual though, they are still fearsome fighters. Towards the end of this section, be prepared for the Twin Sumos and the twisting Lizard Woman. you'll need to be on your guard to survive.

From the very start, the graphics are stunning, with some marvellous backdrops in lush woodland colours. Scrolling is smooth and the way forward is indicated by a flashing sword and the word 'Go' once you've finished off each set of baddies.

Along the way, keep your eyes peeled for magic pots. Use them sparingly to deal out some pretty hefty blows to the enemy and chase after the elves to make them drop more. The more magic pots you collect, the more powerful your particular form of magic spell will be, so make sure you work hard on the bonus stages.

Golden Axe

From the woods, you progress through Turtle Village, where you encounter meaner thugs as well as some ugly looking beasts called Bizarrians. Destroy their mounts, jump aboard and use their wicked tails to finish off Death Adder's men.

A brief look at the map tells you where Death Adder is and your next move is over the long and perilous bridge to Eagle Island. Keep your wits about you as the horrifying Skeleton Swordsmen attack, then make your way through the cobbled streets, beating off wave upon wave of evil enemies to take on Death Adder in the castle.

Golden Axe is a magnificently devised quest. The action is extremely diverse and you'll certainly find more adversaries than you bargained for.

Golden Axe

Starting off with three lives, your strength is divided up into units. Each time you take a hit, you lose strength, so if you happen to see an Elf scurrying around, nudge him and see if he drops a handy strength bar.

One of the nicer points of the gameplay, is the coin-op style credit counter. If you are unfortunate enough to lose all three of your fives, never fear, you've still got two more credits to continue with. Believe me, you will need these.

If you play the two player option, each player gets two credits to start with — pretty fierce firepower, and with your collected magic, you can build up a pretty formidable fighting front.

One thing to remember, Elves aren't always good. While you take your rest at the end of certain stages, take care that they don't sneak up behind you and try to steal some of your magic back.

Golden Axe is an excellent arcade-style adventure, guaranteed to addict you after only a couple of screens. The choice of three warriors allows you to experiment with completely different fighting styles, even if you have already completed the game with one of the characters.

The gameplay is stylish and, even if the rescue of the damsel in distress and her father is a well-used scenario, there's more than enough diversity of action to make this offering a guaranteed success and one to go out and get as soon as it hits the shelves.

Brad Fisher

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