"Altered Beast" is a side-scrolling beat 'em up game developed and published by Sega. Originally released as an arcade game in 1988, it was later ported to various home consoles, including the Sega Genesis (Mega Drive), where it gained significant popularity.
The game is set in ancient Greece and follows a centurion who is resurrected by Zeus to rescue Athena, the daughter of Zeus, from the clutches of the god of the underworld, Neff. The centurion is bestowed with the ability to transform into powerful mythical beasts as he progresses through the game.
The gameplay of "Altered Beast" consists of navigating through a series of horizontally-scrolling levels, defeating enemies and bosses along the way. The centurion starts the game in a human form and can punch and kick enemies to eliminate them. As players collect spirit balls dropped by defeated enemies, the centurion's strength increases, eventually allowing him to transform into a variety of beasts.
Each beast form grants the centurion enhanced abilities and attacks. These transformations include a werewolf with increased speed and powerful melee attacks, a dragon with the ability to shoot fireballs, a bear with enhanced strength, a tiger with swift movements, and a golden werewolf form that combines the powers of all previous forms.
The levels in "Altered Beast" are filled with various enemies, ranging from skeletons and zombies to mythical creatures. Players must defeat these adversaries while avoiding their attacks to progress further. At the end of each level, a powerful boss awaits, posing a greater challenge to overcome.
"Altered Beast" is known for its memorable voice samples, including the famous line, "Rise from your grave!" The game features atmospheric and detailed graphics, with dark and moody environments that suit the ancient Greek theme. The beast transformations are visually striking, showcasing the power and ferocity of these mythical creatures.
The soundtrack of "Altered Beast" features intense and catchy tunes that enhance the game's action-packed gameplay. The sound effects, such as the roars and growls of the beasts, contribute to the overall immersive experience.
"Altered Beast" is considered a classic title in the beat 'em up genre and is often associated with the Sega Genesis console. It is appreciated for its unique beast transformation mechanic, challenging gameplay, and nostalgic appeal. The game's iconic status and memorable gameplay elements have cemented its place in gaming history.