Golden Axe GA-HQ Beat'em Up Tribute

Golden Axe was released in 1989 by Sega for the System-16b arcade hardware, it was ported to multiple other systems later and saw also a remake for the Playstation 2.

 Golden Axe is not one of the first beat’em up games in general but one of the first which introduced different characters and character classes to the genre.


Ax Battler who looks almost like Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Japanese flyers made for the arcade version of the game, Tyris Flare, an Amazon with a wide hit range due to her longsword and Gilius Thunderhead, a Dwarf with strong axe attacks.

Like in Double Dragon before, the characters can move in every direction, and you can see the backs of both the playable characters as well as the enemies as seen in the screenshot.

 In later years, a few other similar upgrades like Horses or even panzers would be seen in other beat’em ups

Golden Axe Arcade Screen Tyris

Golden Axe added the element of “upgrades” in the form of the beasts like the Dragons which can breath fire and the Cockatrice which can use his tail to knock down enemies.

These beasts are often used by the enemies but once they are knocked off, the player can ride them.

You can enlarge most of the images here by clicking on them

Golden Axe Characters

The three characters of Golden Axe, Ax Battler the Barbarian, Tyris Flame the Amazon and Gilius Thunderhead the Dwarf. Death Adder is the main antagonist of the series

New to the beat’em up genre was also the use of magic /screen filling specials.

Makoto Uchida the lead producer of the game, mentioned that it was done by a small team in around a year and that he was inspired by movies like Conan the Destroyer and wanted to make a game influenced by them..which can be clearly seen with Ax Battler looking a lot like Conan 🙂


The game tells a rather traditional story with Death Adder being the main villain who captured the king and the princess of the fictional land of Yuria. He terrorized the whole country and killed the brother of Gilius, the parents of Tyris and the mother of Ax Battler. The three take their weapons and magic to finally stop Death Adder.

In the most ports of the game, the final battle is against the mentor of Death Adder, called Death bringer. The console ports also got additional game modes like a vs mode and even a survival mode. Golden Axe got a remake with 3d graphics and a new orchestrated soundtrack as part of the Sega Ages 2500 series in Japan. This version did not get a lot praise due to slow controls and other issues.

Golden Axe spawned a series of 4 sequels including Golden Axe: Beast Rider, released in 2008 for the Xbox360 and Playstation 3 and also three spinoff games including the fighting game Golden Axe: The Duel.

Sadly the till today best part of the series Golden Axe: The Return of Death Adder was only released for the Arcades and not ported into any Sega Compilation or as a downloadable game at least while Golden Axe is available today for almost every digital distribution channel. Fans of this game still have to rely on emulators like MAME.

While our beat’em up tribute is mainly about the artworks made for it, the fan album “Metal Axe” by the Brazilian band Mega Driver should be mentioned.

Like our art and this text it is available for free and really worth to check out if you like the Music of Golden Axe!

 Beside our illustration here, there are not many artworks related to Golden Axe as a whole game..but you can find a lot Tyris Flare fan art and cosplays 🙂

A 2nd illustration for this article would be welcome @ fans of the game out there!

Golden Axe Arcade Marquee



About our illustration of Golden Axe and the artist behind it

Emortal982 is an artist who won a Mortal Kombat II related art contest back in 2011 in one of the dA groups i administrate and when i looked through old private messages from back than i visited his gallery and thought “hmm…who knows..maybe he wants to be on board our big MK art tribute” Now a few weeks later we got not only a nice Shao Kahn illustration by him but also a good handful others including this nice piece about the very first Golden Axe. Emortal has a ton of gems in his gallery, many of them are video game related and i can truly recommend to check out this guy’s work!

He also had to say the following about his Golden Axe contribution:

“I wanted to give this one a somewhat vintage look, and I mainly wanted to illustrate my favorite parts of Golden Axe: Magic, and Riding beasts.”


Screenshot Gallery of  Golden Axe (Arcade Version)

Golden Axe Arcade Title Screen

Title Screen of Golden Axe

Golden Axe Arcade Screen Tyris 

Tyris Flare

Golden Axe Arcade Screen Gilius Thunderhead 

Gilius Thunderhead

Golden Axe Arcade Screen Ax Battler 

 Ax Battler


The other Beat’em Up Genre Tribute articles:

bad_dudes_vs_dragon_ninja_thumb 2 Double-Dragon-II The-Revenge Thumb

Golden-Axe-Thumb 2

Captain-Commando-Thumb Streets of Rage Thumb


TMNT The Hyperstone Heist Thumb Battletoads-Arcade-Thumb Legend for SNES Thumb Comix Zone Thumb

Panzer Bandit Thumb

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