Altered Beast


Beat ’em up




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Altered Beast

Altered Beast[a] is a 1988 beat ’em up arcade video game developed and manufactured by Sega. The game is set in Ancient Greece and follows a player character chosen by Zeus to rescue his daughter Athena from the demonic ruler of the underworld, Neff. Through the use of power-ups, the player character can assume the form of different magical beasts (wolf, dragon, bear, tiger, and golden wolf). It was ported to several home video game consoles and home computers. It was the pack-in game for the Mega Drive when that system launched in 1988.

The game was developed by Makoto Uchida, who developed the game as his first project as a lead developer. Uchida and his team used the System 16 arcade system board for its graphical capabilities with spritesAltered Beast was ported numerous times in addition to its Genesis conversion, including for the Master System by Sega and to several computer systems and video game consoles by various third parties.

Altered Beast‘s arcade release and its various ports have all received mixed reviews, mainly targeting the game’s gameplay and graphics. The game has been re-released several times for various consoles and as part of video game compilations, and two sequels to the game have been developed.


Altered Beast is a side scrolling beat ’em up game with light platform elements. It has five levels and can be played by up to two players simultaneously. Combat takes place across five levels set in Ancient Greece and populated by aggressive undead creatures and monsters resembling those from Greek mythology. The demonic god Neff waits at the end of each level. Between each level are small animations giving the player glimpses of Athena’s peril.[4][5] Players can punch, kick and jump.[6]


AmigaArcadeAtari STMaster SystemSega GenesisTurboGrafx-16
GameRankings51% (4 reviews)[22]
AmigaArcadeAtari STMaster SystemSega GenesisTurboGrafx-16
Computer and Video Games69%[25]68%[25]60%[27]87%[26]
The Games Machine (UK)69%[32]Positive[29]70%[32]43%[31]87%[30]60%[32]
Commodore User7/10[33]
GamesPreview (DK)43%[34]
PowerPlay (DE)17%[35]53%[35]
Sega Power[36][36]
Sega Pro68%[37]
S: The Sega Magazine53%[38]
VideoGame (BR)[39]

In Japan, Altered Beast was the second highest-grossing arcade game of the month in July 1988.[40]

Upon its initial arcade release, Altered Beast received mixed reviews. Commodore User called it “a clever game, and well worth a few tens of anybody’s money.”[33] Computer and Video Games criticized the game’s plot as being unoriginal and the graphics as “large and clumsily drawn”.[2] Your Sinclair stated the game was “not recommended to those that are still living”.[41] By contrast, Crash called the graphics “nifty” and suggested that despite the repetitive plot, the gameplay is compelling.[42] The Games Machine offered a positive review, stating that while the game is not highly visual like Out Run or Space Harrier, the gameplay makes the game worth a play.[29]

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