Many years after the last war with Death Adder, the magical axe which Gillius Thunderhead used to slay Death Adder is rediscovered. Over time, the powers of the axe have grown. Numerous warriors fight to obtain the powerful axe.
Kain Blade - Orphaned by war and found by a famous warrior, Kain Blade learned the art of swordsmanship from an early age. Kain has taken to wandering the various provinces to help those in need. He seeks the axe in hope of uniting the provinces of the continent and ending the diabolical plans of his enemies, Zoma and Keel.
Milan Flare - Princess of the kingdom of Winwood and descendant of Tyris Flare, who helped defeat Death Adder long ago, Milan Flare is the protector of the kingdom and relies on wind magic to battle her adversaries. If Milan wins, the Golden Axe will be used to ensure that Winwood does not fall to foreign invaders.
Gillius Rockhead - Coming from a family of distinguished fighters, Gillius Rockhead's great-grandfather, Gillius Thunderhead, is the legendary axeman who helped slay Death Adder. When news of Death Adder's reappearance reached the town of Gilliam, Gillius Rockehead was the first to prepare for war.
Zoma - Zoma served as an adviser to the king of Lustan, a kingdom which bordered the Southern Plateau in the ancient days. Zoma's lust for power became too much for the king, who banished him to the Plateau. He uses the life energies of captured travelers to sustain himself in this bleak environment. The announcement of the Golden Axe stirs his lust for power once again.
Doc - Doc is from the Island of Miribar, a unique place with ports stocked with goods and animals from distant lands, and a college of healers that is the best in the provinces. Doc resigns his position from the school to seek the Golden Axe. He has promised to bring the axe back to the province.
Keel - An elf warrior from the northern province of Crystal. Those who travel across the tundra do so only in large numbers, for Keel haunts the roads looking for prey. Keel has always been ambitious and has vowed that he would one day become ruler of Crystal.
Jamm - A girl born in the northeastern part of the continent, a collection of small provinces that until recently battled one another. She was abandoned as a baby and raised by the wilderness spirit Degaas. Though still young and naive, Jamm has learned a number of fighting styles from the animals and hopes to keep what's left of the provinces for them.
Panchos - Pancho's father, an inventor, taught him from a young age the skills of this trade. But Panchos wasn't satisfied with his life and longed for adventure. When he hears that the axe has resurfaced, he heads off, dressed in bright armor and loaded with large metal balls.
Green - Lone survivor of a half-human, half-plant race of giants that lived deep in the forests of the continent until being wiped out by Death Adder's army. Green has been preparing for the return of Death Adder for many years. When Green hears of the Golden Axe tale, he realizes that the chance to meet Death Adder face-to-face is near.
Death Adder - Believed dead after the battle with Gillius Thunderhead, yet rose to stalk the land. Since them, he has "died" twice more, yet somehow managed to come back from the other side. If Death Adder gains the Golden Axe, the continent will face an age of horror and despair.
Golden Axe - A physical representation of the powers of the Golden Axe, this giant and golden armoured warrior serves as an ultimate challenge to anyone who claims the Golden Axe as their own. A non-playable character, he is the final boss of the game.
Sega Saturn Magazine gave the Saturn version an 85%. They praised the "arcade exact" conversion, the potion-dropping imp mechanic, the impressive graphics, and the music, but felt that the game was "outclassed" by the imminent ports of Virtua Fighter 2 and X-Men: Children of the Atom.Electronic Gaming Monthly gave the Saturn version a 6.125 out of 10. They also praised the potion-dropping imp mechanic, but felt that the game simply did not stand out from previous 2D fighters, and that in particular its visuals were overly similar to Samurai Shodown.