Altered Beast



Altered Beast

“Riiiiise from your graaaave…!”

Altered Beast for the Mega Drive is a home port of the 1988 arcade game of the same name. It was originally conceived and developed by Makoto Uchida who went on to create Golden Axe.

The story is set in a mythological past where you, as a Roman Centurion, have been summoned by Zeus to rescue his daughter, Athena, from the clutches of the devious and renowned troublemaker, Neff.

To save Athena you must battle through 5 push scrolling levels that take you through a graveyard, into the Underworld and then on to the City of Dis and a final showdown with Neff himself. This can be tackled either alone or simultaneously with a friend.

Throughout the levels the player can power up the Centurion by collecting Orbs which appear after giving some blue, twin headed wolves a good kicking. Power ups are incremental and culminate in the player morphing into a particular creature specific to each level; Wolf, Dragon, Bear, Tiger and Golden wolf. The change at this stage is accompanied by a neat little graphic and a higher tempo musical arrangement.

Although the game looks inferior to its arcade counterpart it does do a fairly good job of replicating it for the home. The graphics have less detail and an obviously limited colour palette but it does add parallax scrolling. The digitised speech samples are hilariously bad and have become quite synonymous with the game.

I suppose Altered Beast is a game that is very much of its time. It’s a precursor to the type of game that would become the scrolling beat ‘em up. It makes a great conversation topic as pretty much everyone has played it and all are aware of its quirky limitations. I think clouded memories would lead you to believe (or hope) that it is better than it actually was!

Writer Info
Author: joemusashi
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Parent Category: Sega