When I first discovered this website in mid-2006 I immediately went for the runs of the games that I was had grown up with. Like many, I was thrilled by Spezzafer's 16 star Super Mario 64, confused by Guanobowl's Ocarina of Time and dazzled by Quietust's Sonic the Hedgehog 2, but one of my favorite runs of all was Trazz's Golden Axe run. As I watched it I was amazed at the fantastic strategies to lure all enemies unwittingly into flurries of iron and dark chasms. When I started making TASes of my own I knew that I would want to take it on, but I was far too inexperienced back then. Trazz's run was, and still is, very well played and very well optimised.
This is, by far, my longest and most difficult project to date. I began recording in November 2008 and have been working on this consistently ever since. Back then I felt that I had the experience to cross over into a type of TASing that I had long relished, but was wary of becoming heavily involved in. I had a few publications of games with no original publications and I had obsoleted a few dated runs with large known improvements, but that really is quite a different discipline to trying to improve a run that had no known improvements, a run that was known to have a very high standard of play, a string of previous iterations and one that was well respected throughout the community. I feel privileged to contribute something to the knowledge and optimisation of a game that I love.
In total, this run improves upon the currently published
run by 386 frames (6.43 seconds).
| Level|| Frames Gained|| Total|
| 1|| 54|| 54|
| 2|| 64|| 118|
| 3|| 37|| 155|
| 4|| 80|| 233|
| 5|| 2|| 235|
| 6|| 53|| 288|
| 7|| 94|| 382|
| 8|| 4|| 386|
I will replace this section with in depth, screen-by-screen, comments when I have organised my notes, but this should give an overview
- Most of the basic tricks in this game are already explained in Trazz's submission text.
- The largest singular improvement comes from a change in route. When the thief takes your magic pots at the start of a bonus round you have to hit him to win back your pots in addition to the pots he is carrying. I deliberately avoid picking up pots before the Level 4 bonus so that I can end it two hits earlier saving 62 frames. Thanks to Trazz for pointing this out. This is the only place I was able to find a use for this as magic rations are very tight throughout the run.
- I enjoyed making this run, but I am also very glad to be done with it. I tried to squeeze every frame out of this game, however I think it is good to know when you have given your best. Many levels in this run haven't been improved in months and I got caught up trying to improve parts further that I was unable to improve. I'm creatively burnt out on this game and so this is as good as I can give. This may be improvable by a few more frames and I may come back and shave them off in a year or two once I am rested.
- Much improvement comes from different strategies. Having one character optimally dispose of up to four enemies is very difficult to optimise and the possibilities are almost endless. The interesting thing is that a strat can be wildly different with very little time gained. I tried to vary the gameplay as much as possible from the previous run.
- Large improvements come from a new trick I found to manipulate enemies. Swinging your sword in mid air can manipulate enemies to move closer to you. For example, if Tyris jumps on frame 200 and lands on frame 300, moving right the entire time, and the downward stab fails to connect I thought that this meant I would then have to test jumping from frame 201 to see if I was then close enough. However, if while in the air the sword can be swung left and right before settling in the downward stab and this may manipulate the enemy AI into moving into range. This is very difficult to optimise and accounts for most of the rerecords used making this run as even one swing out of place causes it to fail. It is difficult to know when you have maxed out the pixels that you can manipulate the enemy.
- The screen scrolling has been optimsed in places to allow some enemies to spawn in more advantageous positions.
- Certain tall enemies (e.g. Death Adder, Big Bud) can be hit with a Downward stab while Tyris is ascending, therefore you don't have to wait until the top of the jump. This has limited use, but is used against the end of level 1 Big Bud and the Level 6 Death Adder. I was unable to get it to work against Level 8 Death Bringer, but I may try again.
- If Tyris has a ravine one pixel below her you can press diagonally down away from her to drop into the ravine and then double tap in the opposite direction while falling to regain the ability to jump while falling into the ravine. This looks cool but doesn't save any time. It should have saved 26 frames in Level 5 but I lost it all due to screen scrolling.
- I'd like to thank Trazz for his amazing run. He was right in that it certainly wasn't easy to beat and I hope he enjoys my take on this game. Since I was such a fan of his movie I didn't want to ruin some of the great stylistic choices where I felt that I couldn't do better. Some of the stylistic choices are inspired by his run and serve as testament to it, but I've also tried to mix this in with some style of my own.
: Accepting as an improvement to the published movie.