Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder



Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder (GA: TRoDA) is the true sequel to the legendary Golden Axe – an arcade smash so popular that is was ported to almost every platform of the day. Unfortunately for the sequel, hardly anyone played it.

But Why? Because it was only released in the arcades in 1992 on SEGA's mighty System 32 board - designed to be a sprite scaling and special effect powerhouse - and never ported to any consoles or computers. Indeed, this is not to be confused with Golden Axe 2 on the Mega Drive/Genesis. This little-known arcade game represents the pinnacle of the Golden Axe series. It is leaps ahead of the original in every department, outshines its sequel and even most contemporaries of the time.

Golden Axe (Arcade) Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder (Arcade) Golden Axe II (Mega Drive/Genesis)

Golden Axe Games

HISTORY

As before, it is a 2D side-scrolling beat em'up / hack 'n' slash with familiar settings. There are still magical attacks and beasts to ride.

It sports great colourful graphics that are highly detailed with excellent character animation and plenty of sprite effects are in use too such as when one of the tree monsters is killed their twigs will explode out of the screen.

Music is composed by Masanori Takeuchi (After Burner Climax) and Tomoyuki Kawamura (SEGA Rally 2) and its easy to hear they are inspired from the Conan movies. Whilst the soundtrack and the sound effects might not shine was the graphics do it certainly does not detract from the gameplay which has the same fighting mechanics but has plenty of new originals. It clearly shows the developers imaginations were let loose and it shows SEGA at the top of their game.

The shortness of the original has clearly been addressed as the game is much longer. A typical playthrough will be 45 minutes to an hour compared with 15 minutes of the original. The only let down of the game is the bosses. They are repeated a few times and are not very inspiring.

It does pose a decent challenge also and the branching paths offers a little re-playability. Of course, these sorts of games are always best enjoyed with additional players and GA:TRoDA allows upto 4 player simultaneous co-op!

But why no ports? What were SEGA thinking? The 32X would not have handled it (ports of Space Harrier and After Buner were known to push the system) but it’s clear the Saturn could have based on Golden Axe: The Duel – a 1 on 1 beat’em up featuring characters from the series. If SEGA somehow combined the two it could have been a major hit for the system they so desperately needed. Its sad to consider that one of the earliest 32-Bit games was Clockwork Knight when this had been sitting in the arcades for a few years. But this was SEGA in the mid 90's and we all know the results of whatever craziness was going on there.

Golden Axe 3 (Mega Drive/Genesis) Golden Axe The Duel (Saturn)

Golden Axe games

Golden Axe 3 on the Mega Drive/Genesis was the next sequel and whilst a good game could never measure up and was the last traditional GA game. There were some other future titles also such as the appalling Golden Axe: Beast Rider on the Xbox 360 and PS3. A list of all Golden Axe games is below.

There has always been and remains, a clamouring by SEGA fans to release this game in some form. Perhaps with their SEGA Forever brand (which uses emulation) this could be a possibility someday.

For now, it remains a cult greatest hit and a lost gem but playable for those wishing to seek it out.

In this feature there will be in-depth information about the gameplay, moves list, screenshots and how to get the game running and more.

Note: This feature covers playing the game (World version) with MAME under Windows. The instructions on getting the game running are detailed below. MAME is available for multiple platforms.

STORY

Death Adder has been resurrected and is out for revenge.

It seems his ego is bigger than before as the population has been enslaved to create statues of himself.

Our four heroes travel across the land to slay this evil swine once and for all.

GAMEPLAY

Veterans of the Golden Axe games can simply pick this up and play though there is plenty of new gimmicks to use. The goal is the same: to proceed in a general left-to-right direction killing anything that attacks first with either your weapons or magical attacks.

alt : Golden Axe II: The Revenge of Death Adder gameplay video

Video is shamelessly embedded from Youtube. All credit to the video owner. No infringement intended.

There are now four playable characters each with an impressive set of moves. There are plenty of new enemies from the classic barbarians, tribal men and metal soldiers. There will also be much more action occurring in the background.

The list of enhancements and changes is extensive and makes for a superb experience. They are summarised below.

Enemies, including the bosses, can be stunned when they have taken sufficient beatings giving valuable time to inflict your characters most powerful move. Some will stagger before they die. Enemies of different colours usually are more powerful versions. Some will be idle such as sitting around camp fires or having a laugh with each other allowing you to get a valuable first-attack in.

When all enemies in a section have been defeated "Go" will appear and progress can be resumed. However, delaying a few seconds will bring additional tougher undead enemies onto the screen.

In addition to enemies there will be gaps in the floor resulting in instant death not only to our heroes but enemies too so worth noting where they are even if they go just off screen. There is even a section with a giant octopus that will instantly devour our heroes or enemies should they stray too close.

When a character is hit they take damage until they die. Different enemies inflict different amount of damage. They begin with 3 lives (1 credit) and when they die they will pop out of a tomb stone and damage nearby enemies. When needing to use another credit, a different character can be selected which is a useful tweak as some characters will be better suited to some sections.

Onscreen

Golden Axe II: The Revenge of Death Adder

Onscreen at all times will be character icon, health represented as three blocks, no of lives and magical potions collected. This would be replicated for the number of players there are.

Magical Attacks

In addition to physical combat is the magical attacks. In this game, the system is different. Instead of different attacks at different levels, there is now just one super attack that will use a set number of potions. The number on the status bar indicates how many is needed for the full attack. When enough has been collected the word “MAGIC” will flash. More than the number needed can be collected.

Potions are found not only from beating the blue thieves but also breaking open barrels, chests and from rescuing villages as they are imprisoned and whipped by DA’s soldiers, and presumably the women used as sex slaves too. To collect the potions, simply walk over them and press attack button.

When initiated, the game shows close-ups of the enemies faces as they are destroyed by one way or another.

Magical Attacks
Stern's Magic Attack

The Magic of Fire

Dora's Magic Attack

The Magic of Earth

Goah's Magic Attack

The Magic of Entrophy

Trix's Magic Attack

The Magic of Growth

Thieves and Support Items

These little critters remain a source of valuable upgrades. The blue ones will drop magic potions and the green will drop food used to recover health by one block on the health bar.

Thieves

Thieves

They will appear at certain points within a scene and at intermissions between the scenes. They will move around very quickly. And sometimes can catch on fire ha ha.

Collecting items such as gold, jewels (some may need breaking out of chests etc), meat, fruit (some may need to be cut down), will also restore one block on the health bar.

Gold Fruit (Food)

Support Items

Characters and Controls

Character Select Character Select

There are four playable characters in the game and their relative abilities can be summarised as below:

Characters Comparison

Strength

Speed

Magic Strength

Stern

Medium

Medium

9

Dora

Medium

Medium

4

Goah

High

Low

13

Trix

Low

High

0

Note: The controls are described using Arcade Stick/D-pad and buttons #1,#2 and #3 configuration. Your gamepad might use ABC etc instead so some translation maybe required. MAME allows the remapping of buttons. Also, there is not official list so I’ve documented all that I have found based on play and the control system from previous GA games. The names for the moves I have fabricated.

General Character Controls

D-Pad/Arcade Stick moves the character in the direction pushed. Pushed twice makes them run left or right only.

Button#1 is attack. Several combinations are possible depending on how close the enemy is, how quick the button is pressed and if they are already stunned or not. It is possible to attack more than one enemy if they are in close proximity.

For example, x3 quick attacks standing very close to an enemy will be two hacks and a throw. Do this again and moving towards the enemy may complete with a powerful jab. These sequences vary between characters.

Button#2 is jump. Press again in mid-air for a jumping attack. Combine with running to perform a much higher jumping attack.

Buttons #1+#2 is power move. It is powerful but will consume health so use sparingly. When health is low, it is not available. The move performed differs between the characters.

Button#3 is magical attack.

Stern Blade

Essentially a clone of Ax Battler complete with sword. He is the better character for a single player game.

His magical attack is with fire and is the strongest. When an enemy has been killed by it, they are simply swept off the screen.

Special Attacks

Flying Kick: Running + attack.

Missile Kick: Running, jump then attack+forwards performs a downwards kick attack.

Impaler: Running, jump, attack+down drives the sword into the ground or any enemies in the way. This is a most powerful move.

Loaded Sword: Attack+Jump performs a single heavy blow.

Dora

A female centaur armed with a pugil stick. She is the most rounded character. She manages to grown human legs when she mounts beasts, turrets and pulling switches. Thankfully, Dora herself cannot be mounted by enemies. I'm sure she is pleased about that too.

She has Earth magic and attacks with lightening and rocks which has the lowest cost out of the four.

Special Attacks

Knee Charge: Running + attack.

Hoof Drive: Running, jump then attack+forwards performs a downward-diagonal drive.

Pugil Drill: Running, jump, attack+down drives the tripod into the ground directly below or any enemies in the way. This is a most powerful move.

Hind-Leg Kick: Attack+Jump kicks any enemies behind.

Goah

A giant who is mounted by Gillius Thunderhead who presumably is too old to battle now. He is the strongest.

Gillius uses the magic of death and entropy. Enemies are hardened by gas which then shatters them.

Special Attacks

Elbow Charge: Running + attack.

Flying Kick: Running, jump then attack+forwards performs a downward-diagonal kick.

Splash: Running, jump, attack+down drives his butt into the ground directly below or any enemies in the way. This is a most powerful move.

Tumble Drive: Attack+Jump rolls forwards over enemies.

Trix

An imp sporting a funky hair style and armed with a tripod. He has a powerful throw that will send enemies to the other side of the screen.

His magic does no damage to enemies as it is essentially rejuvenation. He makes tree grow that drops apples onto the playfield that will restore one block on the health bar. He is useful for co-op games.

Special Attacks

Flying Fork: Running + attack.

Driving Fork: Running, jump then attack+forwards performs a downward-diagonal drive.

Tripod Drill: Running, jump, attack+down drives the tripod into the ground directly below or any enemies in the way. This is a most powerful move.

Super Kick: Attack+Jump performs a single heavy kick.

Beasts

Beasts appear at several points in the game and will greatly aid the vanquishing of foes. To obtain one, simply attack the enemy riding it. Using running/flying attacks is recommended. It will then rest on the ground. Simply walk up to it and press attack button to mount. Your character can be knocked off the same way allowing them to regain the beast. Depending on the beast, this will only happen a few times before it runs off the screen. They can also be taken into the next scene after a boss.

Additionally, the catapults and spear launchers that enemies drop can be picked up by the beasts to enhance firepower for a few shots and incoming projectiles such as spears can be blocked by running/charging at them.

General Beast Controls

The controls for the beasts are the same as character controls.

D-Pad/Arcade stick moves them in the direction pushed. They can run by double-pushing a direction of left or right.

Beasts attack by pressing Button#1 and can jump by pressing Button#2.

Combine running with Button#1 for a charge and Button#2 for a high jump. When doing a high jump press Button#2 again mid-jump to perform a missile drop kick.

Pressing Button#1+#2 whilst riding a beast will dismount it.

Praying Mantis: Light Green

Breathe Fire: Attack.

Charge: Running then Attack.

Air Pince: Jump then attack whist mid-air.

Air Kick: Jump then jump whilst mid-air.

Diagonal Kick: Running, then jump, then attack+forwards whilst in mid-air.

Power Drop: Running, then jump, then attack+down whilst mid-air.

Praying Mantis: Dark Green

Overhead throw: Attack.

Charge: Running then attack.

Air kick: Jump then jump whilst mid-air.

Air pince: Jump then attack whist mid-air.

Air Diagonal Kick: Running, then jump, then attack+forwards whilst in mid-air.

Pincer Drop: Running, then jump, then attack+down whilst mid-air.

Has a combo finishing with tossing enemies behind.

Blue Scorpian

Electric Shock: Attack.

Charge: Running then attack.

Jump then jump whilst mid-air.

Jump then attack whist mid-air.

Power Claw Drive: Running, then jump, then attack+forwards whilst in mid-air.

Claw Drill: Running, then jump, then attack+down whilst mid-air.

Yellow Scorpian

Claw Stab: Attack.

Charge: Running then attack.

Claw Drive: Jump then jump whilst mid-air.

Claw Bash: Jump then attack whist mid-air.

Power Claw Drive: Running, then jump, then attack+forwards whilst in mid-air.

Claw Drill: Running, then jump, then attack+down whilst mid-air.

Skeleton Dragon

Fireball: Attack. This is at a short distance infront.

Charge: Running then attack.

Head Butt: Jump then jump whilst mid-air.

Air Kick: Jump then attack whist mid-air.

Running, then jump, then attack+forwards whilst in mid-air.

Fireball Drop: Running, then jump, then attack+down whilst mid-air.

As an aside, the Chicken Leg beast can be seen in cut scenes but cannot be rode.

Chicken Leg

THE SCENES (STAGES) (SCREENSHOTS)

There are 6 scenes (stages) in the game with two of them having branching paths. A nice touch is them having day/night time transition.

Branch Point

A scene is completed when the final boss (distinguished by having their own energy bar) is killed. Between each scene is an opportunity to gather magic potions and health from thieves or other means and the story detailed.

Story and Map

When the game is completed or Game Over, there are points rewarded for Destroy (kills), Items (collected) and then Death (character) is subtracted. The remaining figure is used for a ranking between F to A+++.

Golden Axe II: The Revenge of Death Adder Screenshots

Scene 1: Rescue the villagers!

Scene 1 Scene 1
Scene 1 Scene 1

Scene 2: The Trail to the enemies' town...

Route 1 (Forwards)

Scene 2 Route 1 Scene 2 Route 1
Scene 2 Route 1 Scene 2 Route 1

Route 2 (Upwards)

Scene 2 Route 2 Scene 2 Route 2
Scene 2 Route 2 Scene 2 Route 2

Scene 3: Sneak into the town...

Scene 3 Scene 3
Scene 3 Scene 3

Scene 4: March fourth unto the castle of Death-Adder

Route 1 (Forwards)

Scene 4 Route 1 Scene 4 Route 1
Scene 4 Route 1 Scene 4 Route 1

Scene 4 Route 2 (Upwards)

Scene 4 Route 2 Scene 4 Route 2
Scene 4 Route 2 Scene 4 Route 2

Scene 5: Defeat the Death-Adder!

Scene 5 Scene 5
Scene 5 Scene 5
Scene 5 Scene 5

Final Scene! Death-Adders Final Attack

Final Scene Final Scene

Version Differences

There are two versions of the game – World (US, Europe) and Japanese. There are some minor differences the major being the World version requires the player to complete the paths than would have been branched over.

RUNNING/PLAYING THE GAME (WITH MAME)

Thankfully the game was emulated with MAME a good while ago. Whilst there is a warning about graphical anomalies they were never encountered during several playthroughs. It is also possible to play the game with another emulator called Modeler, however, that is no longer updated whereas MAME continues to including this arcade board being emulated.

A few simple instructions are needed to get the game running. Any USB gamepad or arcade stick with 3 buttons will do as they simply plug and play with the emulator. I recommend licensed USB controllers for both the Mega Drive/Genesis and Saturn from RetroBit but a Microsoft Xbox or Sidewinder controller will do.

Mega Drive/Genesis USB Controller from RetroBit Saturn USB Controller from RetroBit

In order to play, you will have to obtain a copy of the ROMs. The can be found quite easily at various emulation sites under arcade categories and should come as two zip files: ga2.zip and ga2u.zip.

Once downloaded, download the latest copy of MAME from http://www.mamdev.net.

Extract/Install MAME. It's default location is the mame64 folder. Move the ROMs (two zip files) to the roms folder inside the mame64 folder.

Launch a command prompt and enter the mame64 folder with commands such as those in the screenshot.

Launching the game

Type mame64 ga2 and press ENTER to launch the game. Alternatively, to run the game in a window type mame64 ga2 -window.

The game should launch. Any errors regarding missing files means the ROMs (set) you downloaded are incomplete so try another source.

When the game executes, acknowledge the warning about imperfect graphics by hitting any key. There will be no sound until the demo starts or a coin is inserted.

Press 5 to insert coins (credits) and 1 to start the game. Use this to also continue upon dying.

Press TAB key for additional controls for the machine.

CHEATS AND TIPS

As will all GA games, never get caught between two skeleton warriors as they are unrelenting in their attacks.

Destroy the DA statutes etc as they can increase the final ranking.

Enemies will charge at you if there is a large gap between you and them.

Enemies can hit each other with their projectiles from either themselves or turrets so good manoeuvring can score you some free hits.

A safer method of getting across gaps in the floor is to use a charge attack.

Do not let support items get too near the edge of the screen as they cannot be picked up. The game is rather unforgiving in this respect.

When a boss is stunned, this is the moment to use your characters high air and drop attack as it inflicts a large amount of damage.

Beware: Throwing smaller enemies does not knock over other nearby enemies (something we have come to rely on in similar games) but it can be done with bosses.

Do not touch DA when he is flashing during the final scene.

MISC INFO

Related

Golden Axe Feature

Golden Axe II Feature

SEGA Classic Tunes

Every Official Golden Axe Game Thus Far

This is a list of every Golden Axe game thus far and the platform they were originally released on. Some have been included in compilations for other consoles much later on.

Official Golden Axe Games

Golden Axe (Arcade ported to Mega Drive/Genesis, Master System, Multiple home computers)

Golden Axe (Arcade)

Golden Axe II: The Revenge of Death Adder (Arcade)

Golden Axe II: The Revenge of Death Adder (Arcade)

Golden Axe II (Mega Drive/Genesis)

Golden Axe II (Mega Drive/Genesis)

Golden Axe III (Mega Drive/Genesis)

Golden Axe III (Mega Drive/Genesis)

Ax Battler: A Legend of Golden Axe (Game Gear)

Ax Battler: A Legend of Golden Axe (Game Gear)

Golden Axe Warrior (Master System)

Golden Axe Warrior (Master System)

Golden Axe: The Duel (Arcade ported to Saturn)

Golden Axe: The Duel (Saturn)

Golden Axe: Beast Rider (Xbox 360 and PS3)

Golden Axe: Beast Rider (Xbox 360)

Golden Axe LCD Game

Golden Axe LCD Handheld (Tiger)

About the System 32 Arcade Board

The board was designed for the best of 2D/sprite-based gaming. Technically, no games were ported from the System 32 hardware directly to consoles. There were some conversions but the games were very different from their arcade originals. System 32 was the last of SEGA's Super Scaler series and was home to other titles such as SEGASonic The Hedgehog and Arabian Fight. Some of the abilities were imported in the design of the Saturn console.

SEGASonic Arcade

SEGASonic Arcade. Click for the feature.

These are very basic specification of the System 32 arcade board.

Main CPU: NEC V60 @ 16 MHz

Sound CPU: Zilog Z80 @ 8 MHz

Sound Chips:

FM synthesis chips: 2× Yamaha YM3438 (based on Yamaha YM2612) @ 8 MHz (12 FM channels)

PCM sampling chip: Ricoh RF5c68 @ 12.5 MHz (8 PCM channels)

GPU: SEGA Super Scaler 317-5964 chipset

Display resolution: 320×224 to 416×262 pixels, progressive scan

Colour palette: 2,097,152

Colours on screen: 49,152 (16,384 with shadow & highlight) to 786,432 (with luminosity and 8 levels of alpha blending)

RAM: 1684.125 KB

V60 main RAM: 584 KB

V60 video RAM: 320.125 KB

Framebuffer DP VRAM: 768 KB

Z80 sound RAM: 12 KB

LINKS

A review.

http://www.honestgamers.com/2593/arcade/golden-axe-the-revenge-of-death-adder/review.html

Another review with links to reviews with the other games in the series.

http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/golden-axe-revenge-of-death-adder/


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