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Amiga game from 1990
Composer: David Whittaker

European Amiga & C64 European Mega Drive American Genesis

Golden Axe was a game I played quite frequently. Entertaining side-scrolling hack and slash game with amazing exalting music - the perfect combination. Golden Axe was one of the most popular games from Sega which was first released in 1989 for the Arcades and later released to several other platforms. Amiga was amongst one of them, released in the following next year and was one of the few games i actually managed to finish, mostly because it was fairly short.
The creator Makoto Uchida was inspired by the maim character in the movie Conan the Barbarian starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and the gameplay mechanics from the Double Dragon. A fun detail is that the digital screams were also from Conan and the movie Rambo. The sequels were released 1991 and 1993, together with a pair of spinoffs, but was excluded for the Amiga and the arcades. Personally I think the sequals lost its original touch.

You can compare the various plattforms in the video playlist below. Especially the music.


The music was first composed by Tohru Nakabayashi for the Sega plattforms and was then composed by David Whittaker for the Amiga, and Jeroen Tel for theCommodore 64. Although the Amiga and C64 versions sounded completely different from each other, they fit well into their respective gaming platform. The arcade machines certainly have better graphics but thanks to the popular sound chips on the Amiga (Paula) and the Commodore 64 (SID), I think the music sounds much better, cleaner and more pleasant to listen to than compared to the Arcade and Mega Drive.

The Amiga version have only three soundtracks during the game - Wilderness and Path of the Fiend played on every other level, and Death Adder on the last level. They are all shortened which makes them a little repetitive to listen to. There were another two good songs that did not make it on Amiga, Battle Field, which was played last on every level as boss theme and Turtle Village 1 played on level 2.
It was a bit unfortunate because David could also have done them much better. Perhaps because of not having the game size exceed more than one disk. Well, I should not complain when the C64 had only one soundtrack during the whole game play, Battle Field. Wilderness soundtrack is instead played at the beginning in the title.
Amiga's weakness was that both soundtrack and the sound effects was sharing the same four audio channels. Which means some sound effects took over the soundtrack, which can be clearly heard in the video. But Golden Axe on the C64 was forced to choose either soundtrack or sound effects.

* Update October 2016
Just recently discovered an entertaining podcast with two guys talking about retro music from video games. The very first episode which was released in 2014 they talked about Golden Axe. Unfortunately they did not include the soundtrack from Amiga, nor C64, but it is still worthwile listening to.

  • Pixelated Audio

Selected original soundtracks

Enjoy my selected favorite remixes below, mixed with electronic trance-style, electric guitar and even orchestral
Remixes on more arcade soundtracks are wanted.

- Remixes

I may say that it was à fortunate that David Whittaker was chosen to compose the soundtrack for the Amiga version, because in the era of the late 80's, it was a hectic time with lots of demanding projects. David has composed more songs than most known composers together. He even forwarded the projects he did not have time with to other game composers, including even some of his own friends. One of his friends were Rob Hubbard who is another composer with great game soundtracks behind him such as Goldrunner, Human Race, the International Karate and Monty On The Run. You will find all these listed on my site in the near future.

More about all Golden Axe series can be read here - Hardcoregaming

Which remix do you like the best?
Do not forget that you can vote on almost all remixes by clicking the green arrow visible during playback. (Registration required, free of course)