Golden Axe 2

The original Golden Axe had become a classic title in both the arcades and on the Mega Drive not to mention all the ports to the multiple platforms. So a sequel was created for the Mega Drive in 1991 and bizarrely a totally different (and superior) sequel was released in the arcades.

The Mega Drive version, whilst a good game in its own right never surpassed the original in terms of popularity.

Graphically it was better and gameplay refined to be a little faster and more responsive, however, there were no other changes: no new characters and the magic was less magical.

The other sequel released in the arcades - Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder was what the audience wanted in their homes. If not a more simple port for the Mega Drive it would have made a great Saturn title later. Why this never happened is any bodies guess.

The Mega Drive did receive another sequel Golden Axe 3 which was only ever released in Japan.

Golden Axe II European Case
Golden Axe 2 European Case

"Battle your way through treacherous territory to return the Golden Axe to it's rightful place. Engage in hand-to-hand combat and destroy the creepy reptilian creatures that stand in your way!"


Golden Axe II

The Army

An evil lord by the name of Dark Guld who had been defeated in battle has arisen once again. He is driven by revenge and with his clan descends the land into chaos. He steals the Golden Axe, a symbol of peace of prosperity for his own purposes and his creepy, slimy army terrorise the towns they come down upon.

Once again the 3 warriors set out to engage these beasts and return the Golden Axe and finish off Dark Guld once and for all.


For Golden Axe 2, the main gameplay remains almost completely unchanged from the original. Again you progress from left to right killing enemies with raw muscle power and magical attacks.

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At the end of each round there will be a boss or several. When defeated you will play an intersection where you can collect food (health) and magical power before progression of the games story. Anyone whom having played the previous game will adapt quickly.

There have been some minor tweaks that include some different moves, new enemies and the return of the skeletons, different magical powers and increased difficulty. All this is at a slightly faster pace and the controls more responsive.

There are three playable characters: Ax Battler, Gillius and Tyris Flare all returning to do battle.

The game can be played as either a single player or 2 player co-op. Note that you are able to damage your partner in co-op.

The default controls are:

The D-Pad moves your characters around the screen. By pressing left or right twice your character will run in that direction.

Button A controls your magical attacks. More detail below.

Button B is ATTACK being a stab or slice. Press repeatedly for an attack sequence. The attack will vary depending on proximity to the enemy.

If an enemy is close then the sequence will end with a kick.

You can throw an enemy when they are close and you are attacking them by pressing forward as you attack. Throwing enemies is a useful tactic as they will knock down any others next to them.

If an enemy is a short distance it will end with a stab with your weapon handle.

Button C is jump.

Running and pressing Button B performs a barge attack.

Button B and C together perform a power move.
For Ax and Tyris, they will attack with their sword and then jump backwards to a safe distance.
For Gillius this makes him spin around his axe knocking all enemies down.

Jumping and attacking (C then B) performs a low jump attack. Useful for knocking over enemies but does little damage.

Running, jumping and pressing attack (forward, forwards, C, B) performs a high jump attack and does significant damage. This can be tricky to time because of the enemy attacks but well worth mastering.

Golden Axe II

In a single player game, the players current magical strength will be to the bottom-left of the screen with the energy bar roughly in the centre. In a 2-Player game, this is mirrored on the other side.

By default you will have 3 units of energy per life and 3 lives. It can take several hits to loose a unit of energy but enemy strength varies.

When you have no energy you die. Tyris in particular makes a very unladylike sound. Energy can be replenished by collecting the food that some of the wizards drop.

You have 3 lives and 3 continues. In a 2-player game you have 3 credits (by default) that are shared between both players.

Grey Wizard Pink Wizard

Magical Attacks

Units of magical power are collected by hitting the wizards that attack you and roam during the intersections. These can be green, pink or grey. Usually if there is more than one colour wizard on the screen then one will dispense magic and the other food. When they are hit they will release books. Beware that these little bastards can hit back, fire projectiles from their staffs and ride dragons unlike the little thieves in the previous game. They are rather weak and easily defeated.

In Golden Axe 2 you can now choose how many units you wish for a magical attack. Holding down Button A highlights the boxes in the magic meter. Releasing Button A uses the amount highlighted. This system can be changed to the 'all at once' method via a setting in the games options.

As before, the more magical units used the more powerful the attack.

Ax now controls the power of Wind. This has 4 attacks and 5 units are needed for a full power attack.

Gillius controls the power or Earth (or rocks) This has 3 attacks and 4 units are needed for a full power attack.

Tyris still has fire. This has 6 attacks and 8 units are needed for a full power attack.

Magical Attacks
Wind Maximum Attack Fire Maximum Attack Earth Maximum Attack

Wind (Ax) 4 attacks and 5 units for max

Fire (Tyris) 4 attacks and 8 units for Maximum Attack

Earth/Rocks (Gillius) = 3 types of attack and 4 units for max


As before, you can steel the enemies riding toys. They can attack and knock over enemies of all sizes.

Pressing Button B makes the dragon attack.

Running (pressing left or right twice) and then attacking makes the dragon perform a charge move.

There are 3 types of dragon you will encounter:

Green Dragon - These will kick an enemy with it's back leg.
Pink/Red Dragon - Will breathe a jet of fire from it's mouth.
Horned - This has a powerful swipe with it's tail.

As before you can be knocked off your dragon and if this happens three times it will run off. Likewise with enemies but they will also run off if left unattended for a short while.

The Duel

Duel Mode returns and is an option to select after choosing whether to start a 1 or 2 player game.

In a single player game you will be pitched against enemies of increasing strength, numbers and sizes with only a limited amount of energy to last you.

The duel is over whether you die or defeat all of the enemies. In any outcome you will be given your strength and a ranking.

In a 2-Player game selecting Dual pitches you against your team mate creating a VS match.


The game has several options that can tweak the gameplay. They are:

Difficulty - Easy, Normal or Hard.

Life Meter - Have 3,4 or 5 units of energy.

Magic - Special or Normal. Normal turns off the ability to select how many units of magical power you want to devote to an attack.

Control - Reassign the controls.

BGM and SE - Listen to the tunes and effects of the game.


There are a total of 7 stages in the game. The last stage is a boss fight.

Golden Axe II
Golden Axe 2: Stage 1 Golden Axe 2: Stage 2

Stage 1

Stage 2

Golden Axe 2: Stage 3 Golden Axe 2: Stage 4

Stage 3

Stage 4

Golden Axe 2: Stage 5 Golden Axe 2: Stage 6

Stage 5

Stage 6

Golden Axe 2: Stage 7 Golden Axe 2: Duel Mode

Stage 7

Duel Mode


Reduce Damage

Do not attack enemies at the extreme left and right edges of the screen. Your hits will not register but their hits on you will.

If an enemy is charging a dragon at you then the only way not to take damage is to avoid it. Even if you are charging with a dragon of your own you will still take the hit.

You can use the many drops, such as the one at the end of stage 1, to your advantage to swiftly defeat enemies. Sometimes the drop maybe just of the screen but you can still knock them down it. When enemies are at a certain distance they will charge at you. Be ready to move out of the way for them to plummet to their doom.

Problem with 6 Button pad

To be able to use a 6 button controller with this game hold down the mode button and turn the system on. Keep it held and start the game. When you reach the character select screen let go.

Get 200(ish) magic units

When fighting the boss on the first stage, press and hold down Button A for the duration of the fight. Continue to hold. In the night scene (intersection) where you can get some magic books do nothing. At the start of the second stage your character will automatically do a magic attack. When it's finished you will have plenty of magical unit across the bottom of the screen.

It's not unlimited, but it should be enough to last the whole game.


Unlike the first game, this version of Golden Axe 2 was not ported to any other consoles or computers at the time though it can now be bought on the Nintendo Wii Virtual Console and has been included on the SEGA Mega Drive Ultimate Collection on the Xbox 360 and PS3.

There was, however, a completely different version of Golden Axe 2 for the arcades. More detail below.

For a low down on the other games in the series, check out the Golden Axe Feature.

Arcade Version (SEGA System32)

Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder was released on the System32 Arcade board in 1992. This version was not released on any consoles. Though it does not have a number two in the title it is implied it is a sequel.

Death Adder is back and has built himself a huge castle. It's up to our heroes to fight their way into it and kill him whilst saving the towns and villages en route.

The gameplay remains similar and there are new characters. Gilius makes an odd return, riding on the back of Goah, an axe-wielding giant. They are joined by Dora, a female Centaur, Sternblade (our Ax Battler replacement it seems), and Little Trix, a fiery, pitch-fork-wielding boy.

It features such goodies like 4-Player co-op play and some nice graphical effects.

Golden Axe: Revenge of Death Adder (Arcade)
Golden Axe 2: Revenge of Death Adder (Arcade) Golden Axe 2: Revenge of Death Adder (Arcade)
Golden Axe 2: Revenge of Death Adder (Arcade) Golden Axe 2: Revenge of Death Adder (Arcade)
Golden Axe 2: Revenge of Death Adder (Arcade) Golden Axe 2: Revenge of Death Adder (Arcade)

Check out the full feature Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder Feature.

It is playable using the current version of MAME and the Modeler emulator.

Golden Axe: The Duel

This was released on the Saturn in 1996. This was basically a 2D 1-on-1 beat 'em up. It failed to make an impact.

Golden Axe: The Duel (Saturn)
Golden Axe: The Duel (Saturn)
Golden Axe: The Duel (Saturn)

Golden Axe III

Golden Axe III

This sequel was released in 1994 for the Mega Drive and only in Japan.

Continuing with the same formula, your team battle across the kingdom using their might, weapons and magical attacks that utilise the powers of earth, wind and water.

Golden Axe III (Mega Drive)
Golden Axe III (Mega Drive) Golden Axe III (Mega Drive)
Golden Axe III (Mega Drive) Golden Axe III (Mega Drive)

The game is technically one of the better Mega Drive games and has several improvements with gameplay. Overall it is expanded with the stages much larger that branch off into different routes. The difficulty of the game has gone up and there are other goals such as villagers and team mates needing to be rescued.


Perfect! Play this with KEGA Fusion, Gens and Gens32 Emulators. You can download these from the SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis Emulators page.


Golden Axe 2: Revenge of Death Adder Games of the Month Archive (April 2005)

Golden Axe III Games of the Month Archive (June 2003)

Golden Axe Feature


History of Golden Axe

Brilliant website detailing the whole Golden Axe franchise.


A brief overview of the game and the option to download.

A showcase for the game
Mega Drive/Genesis SEGA!

SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis Feature

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