Classic SEGA Music: Theme of the Death=Adder


Golden Axe is the influential 1989 arcade ‘beat em’ up’ game that invented the ‘hack and slash’ genre along with bringing new concepts and gameplay ideals to the entire medium. The game is considered by many as a classic, and it’s soundtrack is no different. Today we will take a look at the theme of Death=Adder, the main villain of the Golden Axe franchise.

Hit the jump to continue reading and to listen to different versions of the song, including fan remixes.

Where it is heard:

Located at the end of the arcade version, once you have crossed all of the land of Yuria and reached the castle at the end of the game the song begins to play. While you fight more waves of his minions, snakes from all corners of the screen will slither into armor at the front gates, a bolt of thunder hits it and transforms into the Death=Adder who wields the legendary Golden Axe.

His theme fits the barbarian setting chosen for the design of Golden Axe while also adding in a new sinister feel to the mix. It is darker than the rest of the songs found in the arcade release, but not so much so that it would feel out of place. Something extremely unusual, but also highly impressive for the time was also the fact as to how in most cases Death=Adder will not change into his human-like form until the song picks up speed at 0:40 in the video above.

In the Genesis/Mega Drive and PlayStation 2 SEGA AGES 2500 releases of Golden Axe, beating Death=Adder does not conclude the game. Instead this time you go inside the castle and fight Death Bringer, an entity who was controlling Death=Adder the whole time. This conclusion is not seen as canon to the main series, however.

Other versions: classicsegamusic

Genesis/Mega Drive:

The Genesis/Mega Drive hardware has a lower quality chipset than that of the arcade version of Golden Axe. This was also a very early release for the console, so the developers were still new to the hardware.

PC-Engine CD:

Regarded as one of the weakest releases of the game, the only major difference this release had was animated cutscenes. This was only released in Japan.

PlayStation 2:

Released in Japan under the SEGA AGES 2500 series for PlayStation 2. This version of the game was a complete remake, but done on a very poor budget. This was released in other territories along with many other SEGA AGES 2500 series games in SEGA Classics Collection for the PlayStation 2.

Fan covers:

Made by the YouTube member LiveAus

Made by the YouTube member bluephoenixmedia

While many releases in the Golden Axe series do not have this song, this and the entirety of the first game’s soundtrack are still widely praised as the best in the series and are sure to continue to be loved forever.


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