Altered Beast[a] is a 1988 beat 'em up arcade game developed and
manufactured by Sega. The game is set in Ancient Greece, and
follows a centurion who is resurrected by
Zeus to rescue his daughter
Athena. In order to save his daughter,
Zeus transforms the centurion
into beasts with the use of power-ups. After its initial arcade
release, it was ported to several home video game consoles and home
computers, including the Mega Drive/Genesis, for which it was a
3 Home versions
5.1 In popular culture
5.2 In other media
8 External links
Player 1 fighting against the undead in the first level of the arcade
Altered Beast is a side scrolling beat 'em up game with light platform
elements. The player can punch, kick and jump. Up to two players can
play at once. Each player controls a centurion, fighting undead
creatures and monsters in a setting resembling Ancient Greece, with
originally five levels, in a graveyard, the Underworld, a cavern,
Neff's palace and base at the city of Dis. One of the enemies, a white
two-headed wolf (blue in the Mega Drive version, and a blue ox in the
DOS version) upon defeat releases a Spirit Ball, a power-up orb which
increase the strength and size of the player character. Three orbs
turn the centurion into a beast, which in the original version were a
werewolf, a thunder weredragon, a werebear, a weretiger, and the more
powerful golden werewolf. Each beast has its own abilities, such as
the dragon's flight and lightning, and the bear's petrification.
After becoming the beast, the character can face the end-level boss,
though the boss will also appear regardless of whether or not the
character is transformed if the player takes too long to complete the
level. Upon the boss's defeat, Neff appears and removes the
A Greek Warrior who had died in battle is resurrected by Zeus. The
Warrior is ordered by
Zeus to save his daughter
Athena from a Demon
God called Neff in the Underworld. To become able to withstand the
perils, the warrior gets the ability to collect three spirit balls on
each level, the last of which transforms him into a human/beast hybrid
of formidable power.
After a series of battles in a journey that ends in Dis, the centurion
finally defeats Neff and rescues Athena. In the original arcade game,
the end credits are interspersed with images of actors in costumes for
the different characters and monsters of the game, implying the whole
game was a film production.
Altered Beast was ported to several platforms after its original
release in 1988. It was released for Master System, PC Engine (in
HuCard and CD-ROM² formats), Family Computer, Atari ST, ZX Spectrum,
MSX, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC,
Amiga and MS-DOS. The Mega
Drive/Genesis version was the original pack-in game for that system in
North America, Europe, and Brazil, before being replaced by Sonic the
Hedgehog. A hand-held version of the game, made by
was released in 1988.
Certain differences are seen between the several versions of the game.
Some of them, like the
Master System version, were only single-player,
and had only four levels. Others provided different beasts to mutate
into, such as a humanoid lion, or a shark form seen in the Famicom
The Mega Drive version is included in the compilations
Sega Genesis Collection and Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection,
with the latter two also including the arcade version as an unlockable
game. The Wii's
Virtual Console service offers emulated versions of
both the arcade and the Mega Drive port, while the Xbox 360's Xbox
Live Arcade and the PlayStation 3's
PlayStation Network have a
re-worked arcade version with HD support, online leaderboards and
Sega released an official iOS port of the Mega Drive
version in late 2010, The 2010
IOS Conversion of
Altered Beast was
taken down in 2015. In 2017,
Altered Beast was rereleased on iOS and
Android it is part of the
Sega Forever Collection.
The game has also seen a 3D port for the
Nintendo 3DS as a digital
download on the Nintendo eShop. It retains the original game and local
multiplayer, and also features a new mode with random transformations.
It is based on the Mega Drive/Genesis port, not the arcade version.
In its initial arcade release,
Altered Beast was a well-received game.
Its conversion to the Mega Drive/Genesis was considered inferior to
the arcade in terms of sprite quality. However, the Genesis version
was more advanced than the arcade version in one regard: its
utilization of parallax scrolling. Mega placed the game at #10 in
their list of the 10 Worst Mega Drive Games of All Time. Its
re-release for the Wii's
Virtual Console was given a lukewarm
GameSpot and IGN, describing the game as merely decent
with some nostalgic value. The
Xbox Live Arcade
Xbox Live Arcade re-release was
even described by
IGN as "relic of the arcade heyday that just doesn't
hold up today".
Altered Beast: Guardian of the Realms, developed by the now defunct
3d6 Games and published by THQ, is a 2002 sequel for Game Boy Advance
in the style of the original arcade game. It adds new features like
power-ups, new beast forms and destructible environments.
PlayStation 2 title was released by
Sega in 2005, known as Jūōki:
Altered Beast in
Japan and simply
Altered Beast in Europe.
Rather than serving as a sequel to the original game, the newer title
features a more modern setting that is unconnected to the original
In Project X Zone 2, Ulala from
Space Channel 5
Space Channel 5 summons centurion in
his werewolf form as part of her Solo Unit attack.
In popular culture
Matthew Sweet named his album
Altered Beast after the
The Australian psyche-rock band King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
released a 9 part song titled "Altered Beast" off of their album
Murder of the Universe.
Neff's Rhinoceros-Man form makes a cameo in the Walt Disney Pictures
film Wreck-It Ralph.
In 2009, the alternative rock band
Breaking Benjamin released a promo
flash game "Altered Benjamin" based on "Altered Beast". It featured
Benjamin Burnley as a main character.
Death Metal band Alterbeast, renamed themselves from Gary
Busey Amber Alert in 2013.
In other media
Sega has formed the production company Stories International and
teaming up with Evan Cholfin for film and TV projects based on theirs
Altered Beast as an animated project.
^ Jūōki (獣王記, lit. "Beast King's Chronicle")
^ "Art Lessons, Auto Racing, and Arcade Action Multiply the
Downloadable Fun". Nintendo of America. 28 September 2009. Archived
from the original on 2 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-28.
^ "Altered Beast". The International Arcade Museum. Retrieved
^ "Ending for Altered Beast(Arcade)".
^ "SEGA Vintage Collection 2 is out!". Sega. 2009-06-10. Archived from
the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2009-08-26.
^ Mega magazine issue 1, page 85, Future Publishing, Oct 1992
^ Kasavin, Greg (2006-11-19). "
Altered Beast for
GameSpot. Retrieved 2007-01-14.
^ Thomas, Lucas M. (2006-11-19). "
Altered Beast for
Wii Review". IGN.
^ Hatfield, Daemon (2009-10-09). "
Altered Beast for
Xbox 360 Review".
IGN. Retrieved 2007-01-16.
^ "Altered Beast: Guardian of the Realms". GameRankings.
^ Kelly, Christian: King of Pop, Spin, September 1995.
^ "Image: original.jpg, (1366 × 768 px)". img.gawkerassets.com.
Wreck-It Ralph Trailer Goes On An 8-Bit Adventure".
Breaking Benjamin release Altered Benjamin flash game
TheyWillRockYou.com - For the love of music! Serving Boston and
Greater New England". theywillrockyou.com. Retrieved 2015-09-04.
^ Marc Graser (December 11, 2014). "
Sega Taps Evan Cholfin to Adapt
its Videogames for Films, TV, Digital Platforms (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety.
^ Dave McNary (December 5, 2016). "Sega's 'Altered Beast,' 'Streets of
Rage' Games to Be Adapted for Film, TV". Variety. Retrieved
Altered Beast at the Killer List of Videogames
Altered Beast at MobyGames
Altered Beast at SpectrumComputing.co.uk
The arcade version of
Altered Beast can be played for free in the
browser at th