8

I think I saw this reviewed in an issue of Video Games & Computer Entertainment on the early 90s. I think it was an adventure game. It was set in a Norse mythology setup, although I want to say the protagonist (male?) was not the heroic sort. The boy that stuck with me was an image in the review with someone with light hair (I want to say blonde, but they might have been more redheaded) who was trapped in something like stocks by virtue of multiple braids of hair clamped into it. My memory was it being a female trapped by the hair on the top of her head, but it might have been a guy with their beard. Whichever way, they had an agitated, maybe agonized, look on their face. That image had stuck with me for decades now, and I realized today that I might find an answer here.

It was probably on the PC, but I did occasionally read the video game reviews even though I couldn't play them.

7

This sounds like Heimdall. The scene with the woman in the stocks:

Girl in stocks, calmly awaiting the ax Girl in stocks, no longer as calm

was the first of the three skill tests at the start of the game, in which the player's performance would determine the maximum skill level of adventurers who would join the party. In that test, the player had to throw axes to cut the woman's braids. The other two skill tests were wrestling a pig and fighting on the deck of a longship.

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    Thank you! It's not exactly how I remember it, but everything matches up, and a mental image will suffer a lot of corruption over two decades. :) – FuzzyBoots Oct 4 at 9:12
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    Ah, and watching a playthrough on YouTube, said girl looks decidedly less calm as the axe is coming in, which would account for me remembering her so agitated. – FuzzyBoots Oct 4 at 11:31

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