Composed by You Takada
By the time development on Golden Axe started, fantasy stories were becoming popular. The Conan films were big, and Dragon Quest helped define the role playing game genre. Producer Makoto Uchida, who had also helped develop Sega's Altered Beast, wanted to combine his fascination with the Conan movies with a game he felt would be the arcade fantasy competitor to the console Dragon Quest game, with the beat em' up scroller type of gaming that had been popular with arcades at the time.
During his time with Sega, You Takada kept a very low profile. Barely anything was known about him. He only worked on a handful of Sega arcade games before leaving the company. The only composer with a known profile that has an attachment to Golden Axe is Jeroen Tel, otherwise known as WAVE, who worked on the Commodore 64 port of Golden Axe. It wasn't quite the same as the arcade soundtrack, but Tel's version helped solidify him as one of the best composers that worked on the Commodore 64. He was initially inspired by other C64 composers Ron Hubbard and Martin Galway, but he prefers composing in his own style, as opposed to trying to emulate someone he admires. Golden Axe was ported to other consoles, but the commonly used soundtrack was Takada's origial arcade score.
Altered Beast may have set a standard for beat em' up style of games. But it was Golden Axe that became their definitive beat em' up game at the arcades. With music to help enhance Uchida's love for fantasy, or music to support Commodore 64's potential for music played on its games, Golden Axe became a standard for the beat em' up genre, as well as the standard for fantasy music.