April 10th, 2007 | Feature
The Game Center CX Episode Guide
The front-to-back tribute to the Japanese TV show that flies in the face of Nintendo's epilepsy warnings.


Game Center CX Season 11 – Back to Contents

Fight! For the "Golden Axe!!"


For the first time since Final Fight, Arino is given another beat-em-up to play: Sega’s Golden Axe for the Mega Drive/Genesis. Taking control of either Gilius the dwarf, Tyris the amazon or Ax Battler thebarbarian, Arino must get through all eight stages and defeat Death Adder.

Arino begins, and desides to start playing as Tyris, mostly because she’s scantily-clad. The game starts with a dialogue window (in English) that sets up the story, and Arino tries reading it, but it goes too fast. Once the level properly starts, the first thing Arino does is use up a magic attack, performed by pressing the A button. After wasting the magic energy for that, he continues to get a feel for the game by pressing buttons and subsequenty pummeling goblins.

Soon, he kicks an enemy warrior riding an animal, steals the animal, but then gets kicked off himself, to the amusement of the staff. He tries to get it back for a few seconds, and does. So, it’s ont rhough the rest of the level atop a pink bird-thing. But then the sky turns orange, and it’s time to meet the boss… or bosses: the mallet-wielding Bad Brothers. Arino is repeatedly killed win just mere seconds, and soon loses all his lives, Luckily, he can continue right at the same spot, but the Brothers still prove to be a challenge. Finally, Arino unleashes some dashing jump kicks to keep the Brothers down.

After defeating them and getting some extra magic in an intermission scene, Arino continues to Stage 2… and immediately dies from walking off a cliff. He’s then kicked off of it again by an enemy, but he soon learns his lesson and retaliates by kicking the enemy off… but then he’s checked by another goblin and falls to his death yet again.

Eventually he gets past that tricky beginning and moves on to the next section, but is killed by a dragon-riding warrior. That was the last of his continues, so he gets an absolute Game Over. Forced to start over, Arino decides to play as Ax Battler instead. He makes his way back to stage 2, all the way to where he died last. He briefly gets his own dragon to ride, but soon loses it and is forced to beat up warrior women on foot. Just as the dragon rider that killed him reappears, Arino unleashes a magic attack, and kills all the onscreen enemies. And that, believe it or not, is the end of the second stage.

Stage 3 starts on the back of a giant turtle, and Arino nabs another dragon to ride. However, he has to jump a small gap to get off the turtle and continue the stage, and the dragon’s jump sucks — Arino falls right through the gap, and unfortunately gets another Game Over.

Arino uses the opportunity to try Gilius on his next attempt. At any rate, he’s good at getting rid of the Bad Brothers. Fast forward to stage 3, where, for some reason, the camera view has moved a little too low. Arino makes it across that gap, though, but then is killed by two Bad Brother clones.

On his last life, he makes it to the last section, and after beating enough small enemies, he meets the boss, Lt. Bitter. He wields a long sword, and he’s good at using it too, whacking Arino easily from a distance. However, Arino lucks into a pattern of hitting Bitter with headbutt dashes, which keep the knight from countering too often. He gets about one hit in, but soon, Arino kills him, and it’s on to the next stage.

Stage 4 starts out well, but Arino soon gets a Game Over from being overwhelmed by the boss, a Dark Longmoan. Arino goes back to Tyris — again, mostly because she’s hot — and hacks his way back to stage 4. He spams magic attacks to clear out the bosses, but relies on jump kicks for the stage 4 gauntlet. It works!

Stage 5 begins, but Arino gets another Game Over after being killed by a dragon. We’re spared the journey back, though, and soon, Arino meets two pink knights in the middle of stage 5. Again, he just keeps jump kicking, but that only works for so long before he’s grazed by a sword.

After enough jump kicking, though, Arino is immediately taken to stage 6, which is basically one room full of enemies that ends in another boss fight against… Death Adder! Adder is menacing, but perhaps not defeatable… but if only Arino wasn’t on his last life before another Game Over.

Arino gets back to stage 6, and soon uses a full-powered magic attack to blast away Adder’s minions and give Arino a clear window to jump kick. Once again, he keeps Adder down with a flurry of kicks, and though it gets a little boring, Arino wins!

The king and princess are saved! So is this the end? Well, considering we have about 20 more minutes of show… no! The king tells Arino that Death Adder occasionally went into the big double doors behind them. Arino tries reading the English dialogue ("ai, habu, a, feelingu, zat, he–") Perhaps more evil awaits? Well, yeah.

Stage 7 begins: a dank dungeon with a broken-up path. Arino tries to jump kick a goblin that won’t go away, but instead he flies right off the side and down a gap. And then he can’t time a regular running jump right, so he falls again, and gets a Game Over. And then two more before he even gets past stage 6 again.

Finally, he returns to stage 7, only to fly right off the ledge again. He gets a little farther, but then a trio of shadowy enemies put him off-guard, and he ends up falling once more. It’s now been over an hour just trying to get back to and through stage 7. On the next try, Arino just takes it very slowly, not jump kicking unless he sees solid ground ahead, and just walks past the waves of enemies. He still slips off the edge, but at least he doesn’t get a Game Over this time. In a moment of desperation, he also unleashes magic.

But then, just when he reaches the last section of the stage, he’s killed again and gets a Game Over. Fast forward to the next attempt, where he meets the bosses: a pair of knights again, but yellow ones this time. Needless to say, he’s killed again. And, yes, Game Over.

Eventually he engages the yellow knights again, and even manages to kick one off the edge easily. After a tense moment, he gets behind the second knight and kicks him off the edge, too! That clinches stage 7, then, and it’s on to the final one.

But stage 8 starts right off the bat with a boss battle against Death Bringer, Adder’s master! Death Bringer starts walking towards Arino, but Arino has to get rid of his skeleton minions, too. Arino goes nuts with jump kicks, barely letting any of the enemies get up. Just as Arino is about to fly into Bringer, he’s the one who unleashes a magic attack! Arino is obliterated.

Bringer keeps spamming magic on subsequent attempts until Arino gets another Game Over. He’s somewhat speechless — how can he possibly get through this game now?

Arino plods through the entire game again and makes it back to stage 8. Death Bringer isn’t any less of a jerk, though. Arino quickly lets loose with fully-powered magic, but it’s not enough to kill Death Bringer. Arino’s still at a loss as he’s repeatedly toasted by Bringer’s spells, and then hey, guess what — he gets a Game Over.

Finally, help arrives in the form of the ADs, though they’re here more to expedite the process of getting back to the final stage. They’re joined by a third person: camera assistant Ban. AD Emoto says that the game could go a little faster if Arino plays co-op with one of them. Each them chose characters, according to height, apparently: AD Emoto as Ax, Ito as Tyris, and Ban as Gilius. Arino picks Tyris, then has CA Ban join him as Gilius.

Ban is zealous, plowing through enemies with little remorse, and helping Arino get all the way to stage 4, but then Arino gets a Game Over, leaving Ban alone. The plan didn’t work too well, so Arino goes back to getting to stage 8 all by himself.

Once again he engages Death Bringer and tries to match the boss’s magic output while keeping him down with jump kicks. Still the Game Overs come. Out of desperation, Arino looks for something in the instruction manual. And finds it! Specifically, how to perform a High Jump attack, where the character jumps straight up, then comes down with their weapon. Arino tries it in stage 1 after he restarts, and gets the hang of it.

Fast forward to stage 8. Arino first needs an opportunity to do a high jump (damn skeletons), but eventually lands one on Death Bringer. He’s still killed, but has one last chance. He attempts a high jump, but misses, and… yeah.

Arino reaches stage 8 for the seventh time. Luck is on his side: he gets a few tries to both jump kick and jump-attack Death Bringer, and still has one more continue left. With three lives to go, he tries his best to keep the skeletons at bay. Finally, he jump kicks Death Bringer, and plunges his sword while Bringer is still on his knees.

Success! Death Bringer is finally destroyed after an incredibly demoralizing 13 hours and 40 minutes. Hopefully the 24-hour special won’t be quite so dramatic. Ah, of course we hope it will.


Arino is in lovely Ohta-ku to check out the game center at Tokyu Plaza.
Specifically, it’s an open-air rooftop area, with multiple games and
rides of all sizes.

The first game Arino tries is a Dragon Ball Z "Data Carddass" machine, which mixes a card reader with a regular action video game. As it’s meant for little kids, it’s pretty simplistic, so Arino deftly blasts Frieza and Cell with Kamehameha blasts. After the action section, thigns shift to a janken (rock-paper-scissors) battle, with all the excitement DBZ can provide. This time, Arino is quickly defeated by Cell, but then Goku turns Super Saiyan and somehow Arino does much better.

In the end, Arino clears the game, and powers up his Goku card. AFter that, it’s time for a less exciting crane game, with a cartoon crab serving as the crane in this case. Arino gets a handful of candies, and lays them out on top of te machine to give to the staff. One for cameraman Abe, one for AD Emoto … and three for AD Watanabe. He sure enjoys picking on the big girl.

Arino caps off the trip by getting in the Waku-Waku Sonic Patrol Car, a tiny police car with Sonic on the front. Arino gets both Watanabe and engineer Suda in with him, and has a nice shaky, awkward ride with the two of them.

Everything I Need to Know I Learned From Strategy Guides

Even performing a jump feint in front of a ghost in Ninja Hattori-kun
can be related to life, especially if you’re trying to get something
you want.

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