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  • Results from Game Design Challenge: Inappropriate Title

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  • Vladimir Villanueva, Artist, Golden Axe

    In the days of high adventure, the warlord Death Adder had crushed the forces of Yuria, oversaw the broken armies driven before him, and heard the lamentation of the king's daughter echo throughout the conquered kingdom. Amidst burning thatched roofs, a handful of heroes dared to resist the warlord, wielding with fisted grips the instrumental symbol of their people: the Golden Axe.

    Combining two child-corrupting genres, first person rail shooters and rhythm games, players take up their guitar peripherals once more for 'Golden Axe,' the Sega classic reintroduced as a rail rock opera. Armed with the Golden Axe, players must drop their foes with killer riffs and piercing solos or die in obscurity as just another victim to Death Adder's empire.

    Riding atop bizzarian beasts trained to travel predetermined paths, players must focus on clearing the road from raider factions, eager to prevent progress and cut quests short. To break these blockades, players are guided by the Golden Axe with visions of colorful notes displayed beneath each visible enemy. While holding down the corresponding fret buttons located on the neck of the guitar, players can tap down on the strumming bar to discharge blaring chords to blast the foe away.

    Battered by blockades, strained warriors can extend chords to siphon strength from their foes. By holding down the same fret buttons after tapping the strumming bar, players can vigorously vibrate the whammy bar, causing hit foes to slow down their assault as their health and magic is sapped and transferred to the warrior. Whammy bars must be used with caution as a successful strike from foes will abruptly break the vibrations off.

    Fighting with barbaric proficiency, enemies telegraph each of their attacks with loud roars and wide, obvious swings. By quickly lifting the guitar vertically while foes are in mid-swing, warriors will interrupt melee attacks with an Axe bash, stopping the assault and slamming foes prone onto the floor. As the body of the Axe is as strong as the peoples' will, warriors can use the Axe as shield by lifting and keeping their guitar peripheral vertically positioned.

    When the screen fills with foes and warriors are cornered to stay behind their Axe, players can call upon primal magic to break the assault. While the Axe is vertically upright, players can fretlessly strum up to eight beats, each beat expending the warrior's magic. When the guitar is finally lowered, a crackling bolt stops time and replace the background music with the booming acoustics, mimicing the timing of the fretless strumming. As the world halts to hear the Axe, players can discharge chords at frozen enemies as long as each chord is played to the beat of the acoustics. Successfully playing to all beats will grant additional benefits, from knocking remaining foes down to lighting the forces afire. Miss a single beat, and time immediately resumes.

    Now is the time to rise, for in 'Golden Axe,' one rocks their way to Death Adder.


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