The characters in Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder (RODA) vary in what attacks they can do, what targets those attacks can hit, how much damage an attack does, and their appearance (all characters have the same amount of health and take the same amount of damage). Their attacks deal damage differently, but magic attacks all do the same amount of damage (except for Trix's, which deals no damage). Keep in mind that spell and attack names are not mentioned in-game or in any documentation so they are all conjectural.
Of all the characters, the best for beginners is Dora the Centauress and Trix the farmer. Dora has the cheapest magic (4 potions per use) and starts with enough magic potions (12 potions) to cast her magic 3 times. On the other hand, Trix has slightly more expensive magic (6 potions per use) that has the power to spawn a pile of apples for each player (a very useful non-offensive power that makes him an instant favourite for teamplay).
Goah is a more difficult character to use due to his slow speed, which makes him more vulnerable than the other playable characters when facing multiple enemies. Goah begins the game with 13 magic potions, but is only able to cast his magic once. Therefore, Dora is a better recommended character for beginners as she is a better balanced and more efficient character to use, and starts with only 1 less magic potion.
Trix and Dora are the two easiest characters to beat the game without using a continue.
- Weapon: Broadsword
- Special: Spinning Slash
- Initial magic pots: 9/9
Sternblade has a similar appearance as Ax Battler from past games, but Sternblade plays differently. Sternblade has the best dashing attack in the game, compared with Ax Battler who had one of the worst dashing attacks in the series, which allows Stern to be a much more technical character. Stern can use his excellent dashing attack (which happens to do the most damage among all dashing attacks) to easily knock back enemies and to corner (infinite combo) certain bosses and defeat them without taking any damage. Stern is the only character that is unable to hit downed enemies with his diving attack; however, his running-jumping-downward-attack (which hits both standing and downed enemies) deals the most damage in the game (tied with Goah). Overall, Stern is a balanced character who can rely on his superior dashing attack to deal with most situations.
Sternblade's magic attack is Firestorm, which uses 9 pots (4.33 damage per potion). All enemies are burned up, bodies and all. If one of its victims is a soldier there is a closeup of his face as he burns!
- Weapon: Really Big Axe
- Special: Cannonball
- Initial magic pots: 13/13
Gilius rides on his back in a sack and can be somewhat controlled at a certain point. Goah is the slowest-moving character, but deals the most damage with his combos. He is arguably the most difficult character to beat the game without a continue due to his inability to efficiently take on multiple enemies.
Goah casts the "cloud-fog being" spell, which is the most powerful of all RODA spells. It costs 13 pots (4.92 damage per potion). A giant hairy skull appears and breathes a cloud of deadly smoke; human foes turn to stone before smashing to pieces.
- Weapon: (? sort of a padded club thing)
- Special: (Hind Kick)
- Initial magic pots: 12/4
Dora is a Centaur, but her legs shapeshift into a normal human to ride Bizaarians. She has the second fastest walking speed (after Trix), but has the fastest running speed. Her biggest advantage are her very damaging and useful jumping attacks (although she has a weak running-jumping-downward-attack). Her diving attack, in particular, is very useful against normal enemies and bosses alike. If Stern's distinguishing feature is his dashing attack, then Dora's is her diving attack (performed by jumping, holding left/right, and pressing attack after the peak of the jump); the advantage of the diving attack is that it can hit multiple enemies (including downed enemies), while the advantage of the dashing attack is that it is faster and safer. Unfortunately, Dora possesses the absolute worst dashing attack in the game (lowest damage, pitiful reach, and the sole inability to double-hit cornered bosses), and also has a tall hitbox, making her a big target for enemies' jumping attacks. Overall, Dora is an excellent character when her high mobility and powerful crowd-clearing diving kick are utilized well to dispatch enemies.
Her magic is Earth's Fury: chunks of earth fly up, interspersed with lightning. She has the most useful offensive magic in the game due to her ability to cast it the most (4.75 damage per potion). Don't expect to kill many enemies with her magic (i.e. do not use it as a "finishing attack"); instead, use it to get out of sticky situations (i.e. when cornered by enemies) in order to gain a more advantageous position on the screen (to perform diving attacks, her main source of damage). Note that when using her magic she turns to face the other direction, so you want to keep holding the direction you are facing, using the classic Chicken Leg Strategy. Just hold the direction you want to go while doing this attack, in similar style to the Chicken Leg Strategy of previous games.
- Weapon: Pitchfork
- Special: "Ninja" Kick
- Initial magic pots: 6/6
The most unique of all characters, Trix has the fastest walking speed and the fastest attack. Despite appearing frail, Trix actually has the best ability to survive thanks to his very small hitbox and fast movement. His combination of fast movement and extremely quick attacks (fastest in both attack and recovery) is highly efficient, and his dashing attack (while not as damaging as Sternblade's) is safer and just as useful to take out dangerous enemies from a distance. Trix is the only character able to push back and corner every single boss in the game (including Death Adder) with repeated dashing attacks (compared to Stern who is unable to corner the deadly scythe-wielding bosses and Death Adder himself; or Dora who is unable to corner any boss at all with her dashing attack). Despite being the least damaging character, Trix's quickness, versatility, and healing magic make him the best character in the game.
One hidden advantage is that Trix picks up items (potions and food) twice as fast as the other characters.
His restoring magic makes him a popular choice for both group and single play. RODA is unfortunately his only appearance in the saga.
Trix's Apple Tree spell grows one tree per player (max. 4). Each tree disappears leaving a pile of apples. Each pile restores 100% HP regardless of the difficulty setting.