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You are a hero raised from the dead by the god Zeus to rescue his daughter Athena. With scenery inspired by Ancient Greece, you have to fight hordes of undead and demons, with a boss at the end of each level until you meet the god Neff, who holds the girl captive.

The Altered Beast title refers to your shapeshifting abilities. In this platformer, you can collect spirit balls by defeating two-headed wolves, allowing you to mutate into different beasts such as a werewolf, a dragon, a tiger, a bear and others depending on the version. Each form, tied to a level, comes with special abilities such as flight and powerful attacks, easily superseding the basic set of punches and kicks in your human form.

The game can be played in single player mode, or in same-screen multiplayer co-op mode.


Altered Beast Atari ST Level one complete
Altered Beast ZX Spectrum The weird ant creatures live in the cave
Altered Beast Commodore 64 Title
Altered Beast Atari ST You have been transformed into a beast

Promo Images

Altered Beast Screenshot
Altered Beast Screenshot
Altered Beast Screenshot
Altered Beast Screenshot

Alternate Titles

  • "獣王記" -- Japanese spelling
  • "兽王记" -- Chinese spelling (simplified)
  • "Jūōki" -- Japanese title
  • "3D Altered Beast" -- Nintendo 3DS title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Great conversion of the arcade hit, underestimated due to overexposure. Genesis Majestic Lizard (655)
Welcome to your doom Genesis *Katakis* (38320)
An original story comes to life in this coin-op conversion. Genesis aaron pridemore (11)
A cult classic Genesis AaronGamer (42)
Sloooow down SEGA Master System ETJB (447)
Slightly better than average arcade conversion. DOS gametrader (229)
A particularly good conversion of a particularly bad arcade game. DOS Tomer Gabel (4351)
Nice!!! Genesis Thiago Loureiro (3)

Critic Reviews

ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) Amiga Nov, 1989 825 out of 1000 82
Joystick (French) TurboGrafx CD Apr, 1990 82 out of 100 82
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Commodore 64 Nov, 1989 73 out of 100 73
Zzap! Amiga Dec, 1989 68 out of 100 68
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Atari ST Nov, 1989 68 out of 100 68 Genesis Aug 28, 2010 66 out of 100 66
The Games Machine (UK) Commodore 64 Dec, 1989 64 out of 100 64 Genesis May, 2004 6 out of 10 60
Retro Gamer Xbox 360 Aug, 2009 44 out of 100 44
Gamers' Temple, The iPhone Dec 19, 2010 40 out of 100 40


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A version of Altered Beast is included in Sega's Smash Pack compilation CD.

Genesis pack-in game

This game was the first pack-in game to come with the Genesis when it first came out in 1989.


The Brazilian Heavy metal band Megadriver, specialized in SEGA MegaDrive music, did a cover of the first level theme, complete with one of the band members saying "Rise from your grave".


The ride-able lizard-birds from Golden Axe make a cameo appearance in the second stage. Bizarrian, a hybrid between an amphibious and a parrot, is also present in Golden Axe.

Version differences

The NES version adds 3 new stages and 2 unique transformations: a shark, an a bird. On the other hand, the SMS version removes the tiger level. The Zodiac release is an emulation of the Genesis version, but for one player only.


  • Power Play
    • Issue 01/1990 - Biggest Failure of 1989
Information also contributed by Mad_Griffith, Matthew Melbourne, Robbb and Zovni

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Contributed to by Luiz Pacheco (1257), GTramp (52716), PCGamer77 (3001), Lain Crowley (5425), Guy Chapman (1741), Sciere (415170), Zovni (9307), Foxhack (12855), Martin Smith (62866), ZZip (795), Terok Nor (23839), The cranky hermit (493), Scaryfun (14589), Ben K (23047), koffiepad (9943), *Katakis* (38320) and Syed GJ (1525)