The Golden Axe Resource, Death Adder's Castle

The History of Death Adder's Castle

So how did all this get started?

The year is 1994.  I'm a college student at Mankato State University in Mankato, Minnesota.  At the bottom of the Student Union is a bowling alley, billiards room, and an arcade.  Placed between X-Men and a series of pinball machines is Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder.  It's a game I've never heard of before.  I mean, I had heard about Golden Axe, who hadn't but never the sequel.  There were other games in that arcade, sure, but none that really called to me like RODA.  There was something about the bright graphics, the simplicity of game play, and the kick-butt nature of what you're doing that called to me.  Compare that to the other big games at the time (which all had crowds around them) like Killer Instinct, Mortal Kombat, and the like.  I'm not the best at combo memorization, and I'd rather work with somebody rather than against them in games, so RODA was the only real choice.

So I start to play a little RODA, then I start to play a lot of it.  It's not too long before I figure out that Trix is the king of the game.  His ability to spawn apple trees to regain health is a lifesaver.  With one quarter I could march all the way to the Death Adder by myself, which took about 30 or so minutes.  When I hit the Adder, then things went bad.  He was a cheap-hit master, so then it would take maybe 4-5 more quarters to beat the game.  Forty-five minutes of entertainment for $1.50 wasn't too bad.

But then I graduated, moved away, got married, and bought a house.  But I never forgot.  Then one year at the Minnesota State Fair, they had a RODA machine in the arcade.  Though my skills were really lacking, I played it enough to realize at that point I needed to own one.  But where?  This was a little over a year before RODA was successfully emulated, so I started by calling actual arcade machine dealers, who could get copies, but I was being quoted prices like $1250.00 or more.  It was a price that I was willing to pay, but I couldn't pay that much AND keep my wife, so I passed.  Then I turned to eBay and before too long found one being auctioned out of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  With about ten minutes left in the auction I was outbid beyond my upper limit of what I wanted to spend, but with some gentle persuasion from my wife, I was allowed to spend a bit more and won.  I think I paid right around $400 for it.  Shipping cost about the same.  And within a few weeks, the machine was mine.

Needless to say I played it a lot.  Then a little less, then a little less.  Then once i got the emulated version, even less.  It's still a great game, but really how many times can you storm the same castle?  Maybe I started to feel sorry for the Death Adder, who knows.

But for fun, I put up a web page celebrating my ownership of the upright cabinet.  I also collected a few screenshots from the game and posted them as well.  Then I started collecting little bits and pieces about Golden Axe and adding new pages.  After about year or so, with next to no hits at all (it didn't matter, it was more about the fun for me) I was approached by and was offered to have the site hosted by their servers.  I jumped at the chance because it gave me a lot more server space and a much wider audience.  From there it's just been a madhouse of new stuff people send in, new features I've created, and just keeping the whole thing organized and running.  But keeping it it organized and running is the hard part.  There are many a times when I took long, long layoffs, because there was nothing new to report.  Sega never invested in a new Golden Axe, just the same old same old.  But with the new version on the horizon, hopefully something new and exciting awaits.

And for those of you interested in this sort of thing, here is the progression of the website through the years:

Page 1.  This was the original Death Adder's Castle, started just after I bought Golden Axe: Revenge of Death Adder.  One page, one photo, oh, how times changed!

Page 2.  This was from when Death Adder's Castle was in its "pastel" phase.  This was a dark time for the Death Adder.

Page 3.  This is from the Black-Background-Gold-Text phase that probably hung around the longest until it was phased out by the current form.  It hurts me to look at it now.

Page 4.  This was the look before this one.  I liked it a lot, but it was time for a change.  It took forever to download, and it will always be known to me as the "hot dog stand" because that's what the the first person who saw it said it looked like.