Many people never got the chance to play Golden Axe: The Revenge
of Death Adder. The game made fewer appearances than did its predecessor,
though it is a better game in nearly all respects. Death Adder is at it
again. This time constructing a large castle outside "the
town." Once again it is up to our heroes to fight their way to the
castle, avoid enemy ambushes, kill Death Adder, and save all the towns and villages in between.
We are introduced to new heroes in this game. Gilius
makes an odd return, riding on the back of Goah, an axe-wielding giant (much
like C3PO on the back of Chewbacca in The Empire Strikes Back). They are
joined by Dora, a female Centaur, Sternblade (who looks oddly similar to Ax
Battler), and Little Trix, a fiery, pitch-fork-wielding boy.
As far as game play is concerned, little changed in this
version. Still three buttons, still scrolling from left to right (aside
from a few scenes that scroll bottom to top), still relying on the
"kindness" of the blue trolls to drop their magic pots. GA:TRODA is a four player game, allowing each of the heroes to join in the fight
and cooperate in joint attacks on enemies--a swirling tornado of destruction
that needs to be seen to believed.
Unlike the original GA, where a spell's power reflected in how
many potion bottles were used, the RODA spells all have set limits. For
instance, for Goah to use his spell, he needs to collect 13 potions. Dora
needs only four. The effect of their spell is reflected in these
numbers. Dora is the weakest, Sternblade second, and Goah at the most
powerful. Goah's "spell" is especially odd since it is not Goah
who casts it, but Gilius from on top of Goah's back. Little Trix is
blessed with an apple-tree growing spell. One bunch of apples appears
from the ground for each player in the game. The apples can be eaten for
heath replenishment--making Trix the favorite for single and group play.
The graphics are vastly improved over the original. The
upgrades allowed for more types of enemies (though the repetition is still
painfully obvious), including Yeti-like monsters and giant scorpions.
Players can take control of skeletal dragons, flaming catapults, giant
crossbows, and crab-like monsters with crushing claws. Before they are
attacked, the enemies sleep, snore, laugh, and whip the townspeople. Their
attacks vary from fists to swords to clubs to arrows to spears to cannon balls
An important difference to note in this game is the comedic
aspect. Players can swing down from hung laundry to strike at their
enemies. The chicken-legs make a brief return to trample over the bad
guys. The octopus arms that reach for you from below the ship's deck can
be consumed for replenished heath. There are also several
"mini-games" that occur, usually at the end of levels. Players
strike at a bouncing hunk of meat during a outdoor barbeque for
power-ups. Trolls steal your magic pots while you are hung by your wrists
from the ceiling. First you need to get free, than you need to strike at
the trolls to reclaim your potions.
GA:TRODA is easily beaten with three friends, sixty minutes, and
about five dollars worth of quarters. At the end, your wrists will ache,
but the Death Adder will be beaten and peace will resume . . . for a while.
Not a historical note really, but important none-the-less:
GA:TRODA is the only upright game I actually own--and probably will hold
that distinction so long as my wife is still alive.
Death Adder needs to be killed three times before the end of
the game. Once to destroy his fire-breathing shield, another time to
"apparently" kill him for good, and a final time on a flying
Not nearly as exciting as in Golden Axe, but the ending for
GA:TRODA is still memorable. Death Adder appears defeated, but rises
up one last time, conjuring a spell above his head. Gilius jumps up
from some mysterious location and strikes Death Adder in the head with the Golden
Axe. They both fall from the Giant Eagle on which they flew, and
explode about half way down. The scene changes to one inside the
town. The music becomes festive. All the characters pop onto the
screen one-by-one, including the enemies. Everyone is dancing to the
music. The Death Adder himself show up for the party. The game
ends with the message, "See you next game." Does this mean
that The Death Adder and Gilius didn't really die?
A "secret" attack exists in the game, one not
explained in either the owner's manual or with the instructions. If
you let the machine play early on, Sternblade makes a leaping, stabbing,
falling attack. After many practice sessions I discovered the
move: First run, then jump, then press down and attack. The final
result is a stabbing attack that freezes the player into the ground, as they
try and remove their weapon. The move is devastating but nearly
impossible to hit.
Two different villagers have the only spoken dialog in the
game (aside from the screams and grunts). Upon releasing them from
locked cells, they each drop a Magic Pot and exclaim, "Thanks."
At the end of the
game, you are given a letter ranking
based on your game play. Having
played it a lot, but never gotten top
score, Chuck wrote in with the
I'm not 100% sure, but I
believe these four steps are what is needed to achieve "Best of the Universe" in
Golden Axe: Revenge of Death Adder.
1) You must maximize your
number of points per enemy. Use the moves that do the most points relative to their damage.
2) You must not use magic at ALL.
3) you must not let any enemies fall off
4) You may not die.
For movies of all the action, jump to
the Game movies
to the pictures