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Golden Axe Warrior

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Console: Sega Master System

The populist Master System never had the bandwagon-driving clout of the NES, but Sega was hurting for neither big-name IPs nor ideas about what 8-bit players might enjoy – even if the company had sometimes to cast a cheeky gaze over the pages of Nintendo Power for research. That’s how SMS players got their own RPG-flavored spin on arcade hit Golden Axe, with a top-down viewpoint and item-collecting structure curiously reminiscent of a certain Hylian legend.

It may not have spawned the same legion of really rad memes, but if you were a Master System player or an action RPG completist, this was how you spent a weekend or two.

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