Whenever beat ‘em up games are discussed, my mind always jumps to the 1989 classic for the Sega Genesis, Golden Axe. With an endearing aesthetic and a catchy, nostalgic soundtrack, this side-scrolling hack & slash can compete with the best, and the Golden Axe characters add to the magic.
But which character is the best? Is there a difference in the character you choose apart from the magic animations? Well, here is an attempt at ranking the 3 original Golden Axe characters from worst to best. Let us know if you agree in the comment section below.
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3. Ax Battler
Ax is definitely the character that I’ve used the most in Golden Axe, but he’s probably my least favorite. His balanced strength and magic ability make him the most likely of the three for players to gravitate towards, particularly for beginners.
Ax is seeking revenge on the Death Adder after the villain killed his mother. Ax’s special attack is a spinning sword attack that allows you to hit the enemies directly behind you. His running shoulder barge attack is iconic, and he has a slightly superior weapon reach to Tyris. Ax’s magic ability unleashes earth attacks on all enemies, with varying damage depending on the level (maximum level is 4 bars).
Overall, Ax is a good character who’s well-balanced stats might make others choose him as the pick of all the Golden Axe characters. For me, though, Ax lacks the panache to make him stand out as the best.
2. Tyris Flare
Tyris is a scantily clad Amazonian warrior whose aim is to kill Death Adder as vengeance for the murder of both of her parents. Tyris has the worst weapon reach of all the characters, but has the most powerful magic.
Tyris’s dash attack is a flying kick that is very fun to execute, and an array of magic attacks that is unique at each level (of which the maximum is 6 bars). The most powerful of her magical powers involves a dragon, who is summoned to devastating effect. Anyone who has played Golden Axe knows how satisfying it can be to save up those magic pots in order to unleash the dragon.
Despite Tyris being the worst warrior (at least in terms of weapon reach), her magic attacks more than make up for that, which is why I rate her higher than Ax. Plus, 9-year old me definitely had a crush on her (is that weird? Probably…).
1. Gilius Thunderhead
Of all the Golden Axe characters, Gilius is the best in my opinion. He was also the cause of much frustration and turmoil when I was younger as my brothers and I would fight to see who would play as him in the multiplayer mode.
Gilius’s reasons for roaming the land of Yuria is to avenge the death of his brother by taking out the evil Death Adder. Gilius has the worst magic ability (maximum level is 3 bars) but the best weapon reach. The latter is far more important once you get further in the game.
As the strongest warrior, Gilius is able to perform a running headbutt and has a rolling stab attack as his special move, which also renders him invincible for the duration of the attack.
As the name implies, Gilius magic attacks involve the use of thunder and, despite the magic being weakest of all the characters, it has some pretty cool animations.
For me, Gilius is the strongest of the Golden Axe characters, and the battle axe-wielding dwarf is always a blast to play as.
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Do you have a favorite Golden Axe character? What do you think is the best Sega Genesis beat ‘em up game? Let us know in the comment section below!
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To see a complete playthrough of Golden Axe on the Sega Genesis, watch the great YouTube video below by NintendoComplete.