Golden Axe, involves guiding three noble warriors across five horizontally-scrolling stages, whilst systematically slaughtering hordes of evil Orcs and warriors. The reason for your trail of destruction is an evil warlock called Death Adder, who, in the process of seizing control of the surrounding land, killed each hero’s family. You, of course, must avenge their deaths and free your country, but before the quest can begin you must choose which of the three heroes to take into battle.
Each of the trio – an Elf, an axe-wielding Conan lookalike, and a female warrior – have different battle and magic attributes, and what one makes up for in strength, he or she will lose in magical powers – thus, a nice balance between the two should be selected. Once this has been done, the game begins with our heroes walking or running from left to right. As you progress, the twisted servants of Death Adder start to attack in groups of two or three. Using a combination of the joystick’s directional controls and the firebutton, each character can perform a number of easy-to-use aggressive moves, which include shoulder barging, throwing and, of course, using whatever weapon you are holding.
Each enemy must be knocked down several times before they will give up. Too many hits from them will reduce your character’s energy and will eventually cost one of your three lives. Making your task slightly easier, though, are the aforementioned magic abilities, which, when activated, summon a hellish force which kills or weakens everyone in the vicinity and is an impressive visual showcase.