YMMV: Golden Axe

  • Awesome Music: "Wilderness", the main theme of the game, no matter which version you are playing, is great.
  • Contested Sequel: III was this, especially when The Revenge of Death Adder was taken to be the "second game" of the series.
  • Demonic Spiders: The skeletons. They inflict twice the damage of normal mooks, tend to come in duos along with other enemies, are common in the last 3 levels, are fast, have to be comboed at least 3 times to kill, and like all enemies have the annoying tendency to flank you whenever possible. They also have a jumping attack that does almost as much damage in one hit than their whole ground combo combined, which by the way is 1.5 bars of health.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Chronos Lait is one of the few characters from Golden Axe III who has some cult following or fanarts, mainly due to his Game Breaker skill, his original design (as opposed to being based on a previous character), or the fact that in the cover, he was riding a Bizarrian and about to rip it to two.
    • Gilius seems to be turning into one thanks to Sumo Digital's inclusion of him in the Sega Superstars games.
  • Even Better Sequel: The third Mega Drive game is a noticeable improvement over the first two, boasting a Fighting Game style special attack system, branching paths and less ambiguous health gauges. Some fans regret it, preferring the simple, frantic action of the first two games. It's also not as pretty as the first two arcade games, being a Genesis game.
  • First Installment Wins: Most of the fanart in the series usually are about the main trio (Ax, Tyris and Gillius), and mostly in their original design. Good luck finding art of any of the characters from the arcade and Mega Drive sequels.
    • Averted with Death Adder. His cameos in other games tend to use his design from Revenge of Death Adder, rather than his original incarnation.
  • Fridge Brilliance: The skeletons in the third game don't look like human skeletons, and some even have tails. They might be remains of lizardmen from the second game.
  • Game Breaker: Chronos' Forward-Back-Forward + Attack + Jump in Golden Axe III. Easy input, huge damage, wide range, makes him invincible while doing the move, unblockable.
    • The red dragon in the first game. Spam the attack button and the fireballs will knock enemies down with no chance of them of retaliate.
  • Narm Charm: As usual with really old hack-and-slash games. The sound effects are hilarious and one of the heroes is named Ax Battler. Who doesn't even use an ax.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The skeleton in the character select screen.
  • Polished Port: The Genesis version of the first game added a new level, a new final boss, Easy Mode, Duel Mode, and more palette swaps.
    • The PC version had all that and more colorful graphics, though at the expense of sound quality.
  • Sequelitis: Golden Axe II for the Mega Drive/Genesis just screams "quick, by-the-numbers cash-in". While not a horrible game, it had the exact same characters, (reskinned) magic spells, and plot, and generally scored mid-to-low ratings.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks:
    • Golden Axe: The Duel, the third arcade game in the series, changed the format from a belt-scrolling action game to a one-on-one fighting game.
    • Golden Axe: Beast Rider, a 3D action game, wasn't much better received. Play, a now defunct gaming magazine, gave a much more favorable review than pretty much any other critics. Interestingly, the reviewer nearly outright accused other critics of being incredibly biased with this trope in mind, reasoning that certain "online reviewers" wouldn't have enough time to thouroughly test the game for a decent review. This is contrasted with many other games that reviewers spend a great deal of time playing before reviewing.
  • They Just Didn't Care: The Sega Ages remake of the original game. Sub-par PS1 graphics on the PS2 was just one of the many issues the remake had.
  • Unwinnable by Mistake: Sometimes, if you're not in a good position when being hit by an aggressive mook (usually Elite Mooks), you will be hit repeatedly with an infinite combo like the one in this video. If you're not playing co-op mode and having your friend to help you, the only way to escape is much likely to reset the game since not only that infinite combo has its end but also your character cannot die somehow.
  • What Could Have Been: Boris Vallejo created cover art for III which went unused.