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Golden Axe (Arcade)

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Title Screen

Golden Axe

Developer: Sega AM1
Publisher: Sega
Platform: Arcade (Sega System 16B)
Released in JP: January 27, 1989
Released in US: May 1989

GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
TextIcon.png This game has unused text.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.

Conan, Red Sonja, and a dwarf team up to kill the evil lord Death Equals Adder. Along the way, they commit murder, robbery, and grand theft dragon.

Unused Graphics

What is best?
This is how life bars are stored in the character graphics ROM. The palette used in the final game assigns the same color to both the text and background of the bar, effectively erasing the "LIFE" text.

You don't say
A simpler game logo that uses the same font as the copyright graphic. This was probably replaced by the fancier, flashing Golden Axe logo seen in attract mode.

This is what happens when you forget to return a book
Unlike a lot of other brawlers at the time, this game doesn't operate on a timer, though this graphic suggests that wasn't always the case.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Unused Text

Starting at 0x2CA8 (Set 6 address) in the main CPU is a table that has area names and even the dates that the stages take place! Unfortunately, there are only entries for the first three stages, with the slots for Stages 4 & 5 just pointing to the Stage 3 text.

Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3
(Source: Original TCRF research)

Regional Differences

  • The Japanese version has an extra sequence in the attract mode: it shows Ax Battler decapitating an enemy, sending his head flying towards the screen.
Japan International
Put some gauze on that thing, geeze I want to know more about that skeleton
  • The text on the character select screen drips blood in the Japanese version.
Japan International
What do I do here? Always more power, always Coca-Cola
  • There's no bonus stage text in the Japanese version.
  • The Japanese game doesn't display the current stage number in the upper-left corner.
Japan International
  • "Hensachi", a Japanese term for an educational ranking system (that's too complex to be explained here), was replaced by the easier to understand "Your Strength".
  • The international versions inflate the total number of stages by counting the bonus rounds alongside the regular stages, bringing the total number from five to nine. The game's actual length is otherwise the same.