Altered Beast is an all time classic 1988 action game developed for the arcades by Sega and at the same years converted to almost all successful 8 and 16 bit home computers and consoles.
STORY / GAMEPLAY Altered Beast is side scrolling beat 'em up game that puts you in control of a Centurion who died in battle. The Centurion has been raised from his grave to rescue Athena (Zeus' daughter). You battle against hordes of undead and demonic creatures, controlling the shape-shifting hero through five different levels in order to save the kidnapped Greek goddess. The opponents on the first level are zombies and you must use your kicks and fists to smash their bodies into pieces! By collecting certain capsules coming out from their bodies, you transform into a huge and strong werewolf! You then enter level two as a flying dragon (!) firing electric bolts while using an energy shield to avoid damage. On the upcoming levels (the third, the fourth and the fifth) you again transform into a werewolf smashing everything on your way. At the end of each level the evil wizard transforms into a mighty creature with a customary magician's puff of smoke! Although 'Centurion' was a rank in the Roman Army, the game takes place in a setting that resembles Ancient Greece with gods, temples and ruins. Altered Beast features a co-op mode granting lots of fun and adding to the overall impression of the game.
GRAPHICS / SOUND The ZX Spectrum version runs only on the 128k machines and features a great in-game music and sound effects! The visuals. on the other hand, although colorful enough for a ZX Spectrum game, suffer from the "damn" color-clash problem! In addition, the screen scrolls badly, which makes the gameplay quite tough to handle. Either way, the backdrops and the sprites look detailed and quite impressive for a ZX Spectrum coin-op conversion.
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CPU: Z80 @ 3.5 MHz MEMORY: 16 KB / 48 KB / 128 KB GRAPHICS: Video output is through an RF modulator and was designed for use with contemporary portable television sets, for a simple colour graphic display. Features a palette of 15 shades: seven colours at two levels of brightness each, plus black. The image resolution is 256x192 with the same colour limitations. SOUND: Early models (48k) had sound output through a beeper on the machine itself. This is capable of producing one channel with 10 octaves. Late models (128k) fetured a three-channel audio via the AY-3-8912 chip, MIDI compatibility