|The Legendary Axe|
|Developer(s)||Victor Interactive Software|
|Publisher(s)||Victor Interactive Software (JP), NEC (US)|
|Twitch||The Legendary Axe Channel|
The Legendary Axe, released in Japan as Makyou Densetsu (魔境伝説? lit. demon region legend), is a horizontal platform game for the PC Engine and TurboGrafx-16. It was developed by Victor Interactive Software and was published by Victor in Japan and by NEC in North America. It was released in Japan for the PC Engine on September 23, 1988 and in North America alongside the TurboGrafx-16 on August 29, 1989 as one of its launch titles. The player controls Gogan, a barbarian whose childhood friend, Flare, was kidnapped by the cult of Jagu. The player must navigate though six levels, armed with a legendary axe named "Sting" to defeat Jagu and his minions and rescue Flare. The game features a rechargeable "strength meter" that determines how much damage is dealt from the axe to enemies.
The Legendary Axe received high praise and accolades among video game reviewers, and it received positive preview coverage in anticipation with the TurboGrafx-16's launch, showcasing the new console's capabilities. Reviews from gaming magazines such as Electronic Gaming Monthly called it one of the best adventure games seen at the time. It was highly praised for its detailed graphics and animation, diverse music and gameplay, difficulty level, and execution. It won the "Best TurboGrafx-16 Game of the Year" and "Video Game of the Year" (for all consoles) awards from Electronic Gaming Monthly and VideoGames & Computer Entertainment respectively for 1989. The game continued to receive praise from reviewers 20 years after its release for its simple gameplay and game design that showed the performance and capabilities of the TurboGrafx-16.
The Legendary Axe takes place in a faraway land, where its inhabitants have been under the control of the cult of Jagu. The cult, who has regularly pillaged the countryside, is led by a half-man half-beast named Jagu. The game's protagonist, Gogan, lives in the village of Minofu, who must hand over one person as a human sacrifice to the Jagu every year. Gogan was away in a remote village studying warfare when he finds out that his childhood friend, Flare, has been selected by the Jagu as their annual sacrifice. Rushing back to Minofu, he finds that she has already been taken by the Jagu to the "Evil Place" located in the mountains. The village elders hand Gogan the Legendary Axe named "Sting" which gives him great strength to fight the evil cult. Armed with this axe, he sets off to the Evil Place to defeat Jagu and his cult and rescue Flare.