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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 Genesis A small cut scene between levels
Altered Beast Genesis Boss battle
Altered Beast Genesis Mutation
Altered Beast Genesis Look at me, what a bulk

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. Majestic Lizard (676) 3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars
Welcome to your doom Katakis | カタキス (42140) 3.2 Stars3.2 Stars3.2 Stars3.2 Stars3.2 Stars
An original story comes to life in this coin-op conversion. aaron pridemore (11) 3.2 Stars3.2 Stars3.2 Stars3.2 Stars3.2 Stars
A cult classic AaronGamer (45) 4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars
Nice!!! Thiago Loureiro (3) unrated

Critic Reviews

The Games Machine (UK) Jun, 1989 87 out of 100 87
All Game Guide 1999 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80 Oct 05, 2004 7 out of 10 70
Oldies Rising Aug 05, 2008 14 out of 20 70
1UP! Jan 09, 2015 70 out of 100 70 / Aug 28, 2010 66 out of 100 66
TigerChainsaw 2020 6.1 out of 10 61
The Video Game Critic May 01, 2001 C+ 58
Power Play Jun, 1989 53 out of 100 53
Retro Game Reviews Feb 20, 2016 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars 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

Related Web Sites

PCGamer77 (3233) added Altered Beast (Genesis) on Jun 07, 2002
Other platforms contributed by Luiz Pacheco (1303), mars_rulez (43834), GTramp (72025), PCGamer77 (3233), Lain Crowley (6783), Guy Chapman (1997), Sciere (742051), Zovni (10629), Foxhack (31490), Martin Smith (76170), ZZip (829), Terok Nor (31252), The cranky hermit (2947), Scaryfun (17974), Ben K (23888), koffiepad (10510), Katakis | カタキス (42140) and Syed GJ (1578)