Golden Axe: The Duel (ゴールデンアックス・ザ・デュエル) is an entry in the Golden Axe series of games, and was initially released for Sega Titan Video arcade hardware in 1995. It later saw a port to the Sega Saturn.
Unlike other Golden Axe games, Golden Axe: The Duel is a 2D versus fighter. It would also be the last Golden Axe game to be released in arcades (and it would be fourteen years until another Golden Axe game would be released - Golden Axe: Beast Rider).
Many years have passed since the last war with Death Adder.
But as memories of those dark times begin to fade, another war is beginning. Out of the mists of time, a magical axe is discovered. The legend of the axe is well known throughout the land, for it is told that this axe is the very one which Gillius Thunderhead used to slay Death Adder.
Over time the powers of the axe have grown. It is said that the artifact can grant it's owner anything his or her heart desires. Young and old, good and evil, many are drawn towards the power of the weapon. Thus begins the war of the Golden Axe...
Ten fighters remain from thousands. Select one of them and begin battling your way to claim the axe. You'll need to beat the other nine characters before you can take the prize. Each one is a talented fighter, determined to go all the way and use the axe for his or her own purposes. Better be ready, the first fighter is waiting!
Orphaned by the war and found by a famous warrior, Kain Blade learned the art of swordsmanship from an early age. When his patron died attempting to save another child from fire, Kain could not accept the way his master died. Kain's whole life had been devoted to perfecting his combat skills; death by other than combat was unimaginable. Seen as a samaritan by some, a meddler by others, Kain has taken to wandering the various provinces to help those in need. He seeks the axe in the hopes to unite the provinces of the continent and end the diabolical planes of his enemies, Zoma and Keel. They will try to stop him, but Kain is determined to win.
Milan Flare is the princess of the kingdom of Winwood, and descendant of Tyris Flare (Tiris in the manual for some reason), who helped defeat Death Adder long ago. She is also the protector of the kingdom, and relies on wind magic to battle her adversaries. Though a bit young and brash, she takes her role of protector seriously and has won the confidence of her people. The kingdom of Winwood is the most scientifically advanced of all the provinces. It is a prized jewel for many would-be leaders who could use the power of the winds. Should Milan win, the Golden Axe would be used to ensure that Winwood does not fall to foreign invaders.
Like Milan Flare, Gillius Rockhead comes from a family of distinguished fighters. His great-grandfather, Gillius Thunderhead, is the legendary axeman who with the mystical Golden Axe helped slay Death Adder. It's not easy living in the shadow of such an ancestor, but Gillius, too, has perfected axe-battling and has become a renowned warrior. When news of Death Adder's reappearance reached the town of Gilliam, Gillius Rockhead was the first to prepare for war. The people of his town must not suffer again.
Only the brave or foolish enter the Southern Plateau, a wasteland where little grows but where evil is said to thrive. This is also the home of Zoma. It is said he uses the life energies of captured travelers to sustain himself in this bleak environment. Zoma served as an advisor to the king of Lustan, a kingdom which bordered the plateau in the ancient days. Zoma's lust for power finally forced the king to banish his former minister to the plateau. Through the centuries, Zoma has been content to live off of the energies of his prisoners. However, the announcement of the Golden Axe has stirred his lust for power once again. Zoma has stated that he will rule the continent "without mercy" when he wins.
The island of Miribar is a unique place: its ports stocked with goods and animals from distant lands, its college healers the best in the provinces. But when the man calling himself "Doc" resigned from his position at the school to seek the Golden Axe, the island folk were stunned. A healing man who fights? No one had ever quit the college before. Doc has promised to bring the Golden Axe back to the province. This, to say the least, has caused mixed feelings. Why welcome back a man who broke his vows, even if he returns with the legendary axe?
From the northern province of Crystal comes Keel, an elf warrior determined to destroy all who oppose him. He is known throughout the provinces by many names: "Keel the Mad," "The Lancer," and "Stinging Ice" are among them. Those who travel across the tundra do so only in large numbers, for it is said Keel haunts the roads looking for prey. His own clan has tried unsuccessfully to get rid of him, the last time by encasing him in ice. He should have perished, but after Death Adder's revival, Keel disappeared. Keel has always been ambitious, and several elves remember him vowing to one day become ruler of Crystal. Only now do they fear it's possible.
The northeastern part of the continent is a collection of small provinces that until recently battled one another. A baby girl, born in this region, was left behind when the villagers fled as enemy troops approached her hamlet. The wilderness spirit Degaas found this baby girl and named her Jamm. The spirit found shelter for Jamm and asked the beasts of the lands to welcome her as one of their own. Though still young and naive, Jamm has learned to survive in the wilderness, even to defend herself when necessary. She has learned a number of fighting styles from the animals, and hopes to keep what's left of the provinces for them.
When the people of the volcano province of Blo think of a guy with a good sense of humor, they think of Panchos. When they think of a guy able to learn anything, they think of Panchos. But when Panchos headed out of town last week dressed in bright armor and loaded with large metal bombs, nobody knew what to think. Panchos' father, an inventor, taught him from a young age the skills of his trade. But Panchos wasn't satisfied with his life, and longed for adventure. When he heard that the axe had resurfaced, he headed off. Finally, life seemed to be getting exciting.
Deep in the continent's forest lived a race of giants with awesome strength. This half-human, half-plant race was attacked by Death Adder's army and all but one were killed. The lone survivor is Green, who predicted the return of Death Adder and has been preparing for it for many years. When Green heard of the Golden Axe tale, he knew the chance to meet Death Adder face-to-face was near. Green has not forgotten the lovely Maria, who helped him escape Death Adder's clutches. Sadly, Maria disappeared after freeing Green, though he has heard she is still alive. This half-human giant hopes to defeat Death Adder in the coming battles, and through victory have his name spread far. Perhaps Maria can then find him once again...
To this day, little is known about Death Adder. He was believed dead after battle with Gillius Thunderhead, yet rose again to stalk the land. Twice since then he has "died" only to return again from the other side. It is widely believed now that he is not a man, but an evil spirit. Rumors that he will fight for the axe are causing panic throughout the lands. Should Death Adder gain the Golden Axe, the continent will face an age of horror and despair.
The final boss. A physical manifestation of the Golden Axe itself.
The other fighters are lining up to take you on. Battle them one at a time in your bid to reach the final fight and claim the Golden Axe!
Friend, or foe? It's you against the most lethal of enemies: another human player. Don't expect any mercy from your friend in this one-match-takes-all mode.
Change features of the game on the Option Mode Screen.
The music was slightly remixed for the Saturn release
Some animation frames are missing from the Saturn version