Golden Axe is a hack n' slash video game initially developed by Sega in 1989 for the arcades and their 16bits console, the Megadrive. A year later, in 1990, a Golden Axe port hit the 16bits home computers Amiga (OCS) and Atari ST.
STORY / GAMEPLAY You travel through the fictional world of Yuria, to find Death Adder. Death Adder is a warrior who kidnapped the King and the Princess of the land and found the great Golden Axe. He threatens to kill everyone if they don't accept him as a ruler. You can fight through Yuria, facing multiple enemies by choosing one of the three available characters: Gilius the Thunderhead, is a dwarf who lost his brother by Adder's soldiers and he wields a battle axe. Ax Battler is a Barbarian with a strong two-handed sword seeking to avenge his mother's assassination. Tyris Flare is a beautiful but cruel amazon, who can slash everyone in her path with her long-sword. Her parents were killed by Adder's soldiers as well. Apart from each characters main weapons, you can use magic by gathering energy bags from other dwarfs that show up in the game after completing a level and resting on a campfire. The game is absolutely gorgeous, entertaining and fun, especially when played in 2-players mode. You slash and blast foes around, you avoid traps or even ride dragons that spit fire and crash your enemies with their tails. Death Adder's army varies from simple warriors to armed skeletons and other "nice" creatures. Golden Axe is pure fun and looks fantastic even today!
GRAPHICS / SOUND Golden Axe on the ST is a quite decent conversion. Compared to the original arcade or the Amiga/PC (MS-DOS) versions, the visuals on the Atari ST look nice but fail to include some of the original details (i.e. the smooth screen scrolling, the daylight changing effects etc) mainly due its inferior graphics hardware (i.e. the lack of a Blitter chip for smooth graphics scrolling) while the color palette is quite satisfactory and comparable enough to the Amiga version (the ST uses 25 colors on screen). Note also that the playable area is smaller thus less details can be seen during gameplay. Regarding the game's sound, the ST offers the original arcade gameplay tune plus some nice sampled sound effects (note that the Amiga version has -as expected- superior sound, since the Commodore computer reproduces intact, the original coin-op sounds). Overall, yes the Atari ST conversion suffers from "jerky" scrolling and occassional slowdowns but it still remains a game that'll offer great fun to every ST owner!
In-game music sample:
Some videos belong to retroshowcase.com (indicated); others not
CPU: Motorola 68000 16/32bit at 8mhz. 16 bit data bus/32 bit internal/24-bit address bus. MEMORY: RAM 512KB (1MB for the 1040ST models) / ROM 192KB GRAPHICS: Digital-to-Analog Converter of 3-bits, eight levels per RGB channel, featuring a 9-bit RGB palette (512 colors), 320x200 (16 color), 640x200 (4 color), 640x400 (monochrome). With special programming techniques could display 512 colors on screen in static images. SOUND: Yamaha YM2149F PSG "Programmable Sound Generator" chip provided 3-voice sound synthesis, plus 1-voice white noise mono PSG. It also has two MIDI ports, and support mixed YM2149 sfx and MIDI music in gaming (there are several games supported this).