Gamer Flashback: Altered Beast

Most of you are too young to remember Altered Beast, actually even I’m too young to remember it, which is a shame because it’s a video game that stars a werewolf! It came out way back in 1988 as an arcade game by Sega, and was eventually ported to a few home consoles and computers. An updated arcade version was even released for Xbox 360’s Xbox Live Arcade, with online leaderboards and everything.

Altered Beast is a classic side scrolling, platform, beat ’em up game that puts the player in control of a centurion (a Roman soldier) who died in battle. The centurion is raised from the dead to rescue Athena, Zeus’ daughter, from the Underworld after she is kidnapped by a demon god known as Neff.

Playing as a shapeshifter, the player battles hordes of undead and demonic creatures throughout the various levels. Along the way, the player has to obtain “Spirit Balls” by defeating white two-headed wolves (it’s a blue oxen in the DOS version). These spirit balls are power-up orbs that increase his strength and size and enable the player to turn into a superhuman (stage one: “giant man”, stage two: “superman”…). When three balls are collected, the hero transforms into a beast with kickass powers.

The game contains many levels which the player must battle through, however the player is required to reach the beast form in order to complete the level. The enemies the player encounters are different depending on the level as does the beast the hero transforms into. These beasts include a werewolf, a thunder dragon, a tiger man, a bear, and the more powerful golden werewolf (there are other beasts in the Japanese Famicom version and the Game Boy Advance version). Each beast has its own special abilities, as seen below:

  • Werewolf: While in this form, the player can throw balls of rock and fire and can also perform a flaming Dash attack which goes straight through enemies.
  • Weredragon: In this form, the player can fly, breathe lightning, and use powerful Laser Barriers to fry incoming enemies.
  • Werebear: In this form, the player can turn monsters to stone with Petri-Breath and also has a powerful body-spin attack that goes through enemies and shatters petrified ones instantly.
  • Weretiger: In this form, the player can throw fireballs that move in a wave pattern, and can dash straight up and down in a Vertical Flaming Dash attack.
  • Golden Werewolf: This form is a much more powerful version of the standard werewolf form, allowing the player to throw blazing balls of golden fire, and crush enemies with waves of golden fire in a dash attack.

What do you guys think? Have any of you played it? I think it sounds pretty badass, I may have to try and find a version of it to play.

– Moonlight

By moonlight

One of the writers for, as well as


  1. Heck yes I remember this game!! Me and my brother used to play it all the time when we were kids. I still have our original copy, in fact, but sadly our sega console had a minor accident. Anyway, it was a cool game, but we could never beat it, the Werebear level was just to hardcore. And we were nine :)

  2. That was one of my all time favorite games, it was always remembered from the “Rise from your grave!” line but the werewolf (which got 2 stages) was always why I liked it ^..^

    I remember buying a Sega Genesis just so I could play that game, which was easy because this was a pack in game with the original release lol

    There was also a sequel or remake of sorts for the Sony Playstation 2 but Sega didn’t think it sold well enough so we never saw it here in the states, but it was released in Japan and Europe :(

  3. I was’nt even 4 when it came out,so I never heard of it, and I don’t think I would play it either, I don’t play video games.

  4. I lost many a quarter to this game in the Arcades when it was out… then my cousin had rented a copy for his Sega Genesis, we played it.

    If you’ve got a Gameboy Advanced… or the Nintendo DS which will be backwards compatible… you can get ahold of the Alter Beast game for your little hand-held.

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