Golden Axe for the Amiga is a near-flawless arcade conversion of the Conan-meets-Double-Dragon fantasy brawler game.
The arcade game was designed by Makoto Uchida, who is also the designer responsible for the well-known game Altered Beast. Sadly, that port to the Amiga really was a beast.
But Golden Axe on the Amiga, however, is extremely fun to play and, frankly, requires very little skill to enjoy. Back in the day, it merely required a ton of quarters at the arcade. If a gamer had a sibling or friend willing to chip in, they could play in cooperative style working to defeat the evil Death-Adder and his minions as a team.
While the game originated in Japan, it was ported to a multitude of consoles and computer systems. The Amiga version was created in England, and the team there did an outstanding job. While the PC and other systems got ports of the Genesis version, the Amiga is based directly off the original arcade game. The graphics in this conversion are breathtakingly perfect. There are some minor color palette differences, but otherwise this is as flawless a port one will ever find.
It’s worth noting that the software seems to have been coded for early systems only (e.g. 500, 2000, etc.) with no investment towards compatibility with future hardware. Therefore it did not originally handle AGA systems at all (well, it would get to the title screen then freak the floppy drive out if you tried to go any further). Note the separate ADF files for download below as a result of this issue.
Regardless of this annoyance, if only every studio had taken the care and attention to artistic details when porting games to the Amiga...
If you’re in for some mindless mashing, bashing, slashing and fire-balling, crack open a brew and give this game a spin (and have a friend help out, too). It’ll keep you laughing, hooting an hollering for a while.
Notes about playing the game on classic hardware:
All available non-original versions are cracked, which come with rather obnoxious start screens. And, they all allow unlimited life and spell power cheats. I typically avoid these types of cheats, but this particular game genre nearly begs for it.
Also, it is highly recommended to boot your machine into NTSC mode. This allows for a full-screen experience on CRT monitors with no distortion or letter boxing, and allows for very fluid animation. Pressing “P” will pause the game, and pressing the left Amiga key will cast your magical attacks (the female barbarian’s dragon fire attack is simply killer).