User review spotlight: Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar (DOS)

Altered Beast

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Description

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.

Screenshots

Altered Beast Arcade Title screen (English, "Altered Beast")
Altered Beast ZX Spectrum Loading Screen
Altered Beast MSX The characters
Altered Beast NES Stage 2

Alternate Titles

  • "獣王記" -- Japanese spelling
  • "兽王记" -- Chinese spelling (simplified)
  • "Jūōki" -- Japanese 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* (37840)
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 (4380)
Nice!!! Genesis Thiago Loureiro (3)

The Press Says

ST Format Atari ST Nov, 1989 82 out of 100 82
Zzap! Commodore 64 Dec, 1989 73 out of 100 73
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Commodore 64 Nov, 1989 73 out of 100 73
All Game Guide Arcade 1998 3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars 70
VicioJuegos.com Wii Feb 19, 2007 69 out of 100 69
Pixel-Heroes.de Genesis May, 2004 6 out of 10 60
Defunct Games SEGA Master System Aug 28, 2005 55 out of 100 55
Power Play Genesis Jun, 1989 53 out of 100 53
IGN Xbox 360 Jun 10, 2009 5.3 out of 10 53
HonestGamers SEGA Master System Jan 12, 2004 3 out of 10 30

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Trivia

Compilation

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.

Megadriver

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".

References

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.

Awards

  • 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 (37757), PCGamer77 (3026), Lain Crowley (5405), Guy Chapman (1744), Sciere (267653), Zovni (9351), Foxhack (12467), Martin Smith (63134), ZZip (795), Terok Nor (19005), The cranky hermit (491), Scaryfun (12022), Ben K (23101), koffiepad (10010), *Katakis* (37840) and Syed GJ (1536)