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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 SEGA Master System Jump - Powered up form
Altered Beast DOS Introduction - The Oracle Eyes
Altered Beast Windows Now, I'm a dragon.
Altered Beast MSX Title screen

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 | カタキス (38336)
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

Commodore User Amiga Oct, 1989 87 out of 100 87
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Commodore 64 Nov, 1989 73 out of 100 73
Commodore User Arcade Sep, 1988 7 out of 10 70
1UP! Genesis Jan 09, 2015 70 out of 100 70
The Games Machine (UK) Commodore 64 Dec, 1989 64 out of 100 64
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) Amiga Oct, 1989 7.2 out of 12 60
IGN iPhone Dec 28, 2010 6 out of 10 60
The Video Game Critic Genesis May 01, 2001 C+ 58
The Virtual Console Archive Wii 2007 2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars 40 SEGA Master System Oct 21, 2016 2 out of 10 20


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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), mars_rulez (12780), GTramp (54551), PCGamer77 (3001), Lain Crowley (5869), Guy Chapman (1738), Sciere (443354), Zovni (9305), Foxhack (14582), Martin Smith (62891), ZZip (795), Terok Nor (24116), The cranky hermit (530), Scaryfun (14830), Ben K (23038), koffiepad (9938), Katakis | カタキス (38336) and Syed GJ (1526)