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Altered Beast

Altered Beast Genesis BoxAltered Beast is an action beat ‘em up arcade video game developed by Sega R&D1 and published by Sega in 1988 for the System 16 arcade hardware. It is the first game in the Altered Beast series and was quickly ported to the Sega Genesis by Sega’s R&D2 team. Sega wanted to boost sales for their new home console and strengthen their market share in order to get a head start in the 16-bit home console race over Nintendo. They did this by offering arcade ports that were extremely close in graphical quality as the arcade version of the game. Sega decided to use Altered Beast to showcase the power of their new home console the Sega Genesis and bundled it as a pack-in game in North America.

Designed by Makoto Uchida the game was the first project that he took on as the lead developer. Uchida was inspired by the 1981 horror film “The Howling” and Michael Jackson’s 1983 music video “Thriller”. The game is set in Ancient Greece and begins when Zeus resurrects the game’s protagonist to rescue his daughter Athena from the ruler of the underworld, Neff. Players have the ability to collect power-ups which will transform their character into different magical beast.

Sega Genesis Altered BeastWhen the game initially released in Japanese arcades in June 1988 it saw little success however was vastly popular when released in North America. As a result of its popularity in the west, Sega ported the game and bundled it with the Sega Genesis system in North America and the Sega Mega Drive in Europe. In addition to the Genesis / Mega Drive port, Sega also ported the game to the Master System and allowed other publishers and developers to port the game to various systems ranging from the Family Computer to the PC Engine.

Altered Beast Logo
Developer(s)Sega R&D1 (Arcade)
Sega R&D2 (Genesis)
SeriesAltered Beast
SuccessorAltered Beast: Guardian of the Realms
Media TypeArcade Cabinet
WW: June, 1988

Sega Genesis
JP: November 27, 1988
NA: August 14, 1989
EU: September 14, 1990
Beat ’em up
Sales2.72 Million
RatingESRB: E
Rereleased Platform(s)Ports
Sega Master System -1989
PC Engine -1989
PC Engine CD-ROM²  -1989
Amiga -1989
Amstrad CPC -1989
Atari ST -1989
Commodore 64 -1989
MSX -1989
ZX Spectrum -1989
DOS -1990
Famicom -1990

Virtual Console
Wii -2006
Xbox 360 -2009
Windows -2010
iOS -2010
PlayStation 3 -2011
Nintendo 3DS -2013
Android -2017
Linux -2018
Macintosh -2018

Game Screenshots:

Altered Beast - The Complete History


Slopes Game Room

Slopes Game Room is a YouTube channel hosted by Daniel Ibbertson, a.k.a. DJ Slope.  The channel aims provide a complete history of gaming through documentaries and fact shows.

Makoto UchidaMakoto UchidaDesigner
Rieko KodamaRieko KodamaDesigner
Profile PlaceholderTatsuo MatsudaProgrammer
Profile PlaceholderHiroshi MomotaProgrammer
Kazuhiko NagaiKazuhiko NagaiSound Designer
Profile PlaceholderTōru NakabayashiMusic Composer


Arcade Cabinet Release

Genesis (North American Release)

Mega Drive (Japanese Release)

PC Engine (Japanese Release)

Sega Master System (North American Release)

Commodore 64 (European Release)

Famicom (Japanese Release)

Media & Promotional Material