Golden Axe Warrior is an action-adventure game released on the Sega Master System in 1991 and a spin-off of the popular Golden Axe video game series. The game follows a young warrior who tries to avenge the death of his parents by exploring ten labyrinths, collecting nine missing crystals and battling with the evil tyrant Death Adder. Players must cross a large world, fight enemies, seek mysterious labyrinths, fight bosses, and obtain the crystals that are guarded by many monsters. All the playable characters from the original Golden Axe make cameo appearances.
Golden Axe Warrior received mostly negative reviews on release, with critics remarking that it had little to do with the arcade original. The game has instead drawn comparisons to The Legend of Zelda for the NES, with which it shares several key gameplay elements.
The evil giant, Death Adder, has invaded the countries of Firewood, Nendoria and Altorulia and killed the royal families. A young hero from Firewood sets out on a quest to destroy the giant. To counter Adder's evil magic he needs to find the nine crystals of the royal family from Firewood. These crystals warded off Death Adder until the king was betrayed by a minister who sold the crystals to Adder. Death Adder has hidden the crystals in nine labyrinths. On his quest the hero visits numerous villages and discovers numerous people hiding from Death Adder. He can learn the Thunder, Earth, Fire and Water magics. He learns that the princess of Firewood is still alive and that he is the son of the king of Altorulia. After finding all nine crystals the hero is able to enter the tenth and final labyrinth where he must find the mythical Golden Axe, the only weapon that can harm Death Adder, before facing the giant himself.
Players take control of the game's hero, who can be named at the start of a new quest. The game features a large overworld with over 200 unique screens and many enemies. Players must retrieve each of the game's nine crystals by locating hidden labyrinths. Each labyrinth is guarded by monsters and full of puzzles that must be solved in order to reach the boss and retrieve the crystal. Throughout the game, players collect various items and abilities that allow access to previously unreachable areas. The tenth labyrinth is only accessible after collecting the nine crystals. Players must then find the Golden Axe and use it to defeat Death Adder.
Weapons and armor can be upgraded and several magic abilities can be learned. Using magic requires the use of pots which are depleted after every use. The game's currency is horns collected from enemies; these horns can be spent in towns throughout the game. Hidden areas can be uncovered by chopping down trees with an axe or clearing rocks using Earth magic.
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