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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 You have been transformed into a beast
Altered Beast Windows First boss
Altered Beast Atari ST The boss of level one
Altered Beast Arcade Stage 4: Neff's Palace

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
  • "Altered Beast Classic" -- iOS and Android release 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 (676)
Welcome to your doom Genesis Katakis | カタキス (39652)
An original story comes to life in this coin-op conversion. Genesis aaron pridemore (11)
A cult classic Genesis AaronGamer (45)
Decent platform beat 'em up with impressive werebeast, greek mythology theme Arcade Andrew Fisher (617)
Sloooow down SEGA Master System ETJB (450)
Slightly better than average arcade conversion. DOS gametrader (233)
A particularly good conversion of a particularly bad arcade game. DOS Tomer Gabel (4646)
Nice!!! Genesis Thiago Loureiro (3)

Critic Reviews

Joystick (French) TurboGrafx CD Apr, 1990 82 out of 100 82
All Game Guide Arcade 1998 3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars 70
Sinclair User ZX Spectrum Nov, 1989 70 out of 100 70
The DOS Spirit DOS Apr 09, 2009 4 out of 6 67 Genesis Aug 28, 2010 66 out of 100 66
ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) SEGA Master System Jun, 1989 661 out of 1000 66
IGN iPhone Dec 28, 2010 6 out of 10 60
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) TurboGrafx-16 Nov, 1989 6.2 out of 12 52
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) SEGA Master System Apr, 1989 5.4 out of 12 45 (UK) Xbox 360 Jun 17, 2009 3 out of 10 30


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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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