Sega Sunday #2 – 8bit Altered Beast

I love Altered Beast, I grew up playing it on the Sega Mega Drive. Once I started collecting video games I found out it was originally an arcade game and there were ports to several home consoles. Most people know about the Sega Mega Drive Altered Beast, but it was also released for the Sega Master System, the NEC PC Engine (both on HU-card and on CD-ROM) and finally I have also found a port of the Altered Beast (Jūōki) game for the Famicom! There’s probably  more that I don’t know about..
Altered Beast Famicom, back and front box

This Famicom version surprised me though since Sega and Nintendo were such big competitors and Altered Beast were one of Sega’s pearls. But it actually says copyright Sega really tiny in the bottom of the cartridge.
Jyuuouki (Altered Beast)

Here’s all the Altered Beast games I have and know about:
Altered Beast games

Tonight I’ve been playing the 8-bit versions on Famicom and Sega Master System to compare the two. The Famicom version has been totally re-done by Asmik, and compared to all the other ports of Altered Beast this one really stands out. It’s faster, the character isn’t as stiff as he is in the other Altered Beast games and the sprites have gotten a cute and more rounded makeover, compared to the masculine muscular macho-style of the original ^^ You also have 3 continues which makes the game a bit easier. Here’s a comparison of screenshots from the Famicom version and the Sega Master System version:
Altered Beast - start screen
Altered Beast - Stage 1
Altered Beast - werewolfAltered Beast - Stage 3 vs 2

What’s really interesting though is that in the Famicom version they’ve put in a whole new stage as a second stage, the regular stage that I’m used to where you transform into a dragon is the third stage of the Famicom version. In this stage you transform into a lion and the stage boss is a pig ^^ I think you will be able to transform into a shark in later stages as well (based on the box cover art)
Altered Beast Famicom stage 2
Altered BEast Famicom Stage 2 boss

On the Famicom version I managed to get to the stage where you transform into a bear, which in this version is stage 4. On the Master System version I didn’t even manage to get to the first boss before getting a game over >_< This version is if possible even stiffer than the Mega Drive one. I have beaten the Mega Drive Altered Beast a few years ago after I figured out you could change settings and increase your amount of health and lives, but this Master System version is really really hard and I haven’t found any way to get continues or an easier setting..
Altered Beast - Game Over
The game over text is much cuter in the Famicom version ^_^

I managed to record my efforts on Jūōki for the Famicom, but I was too lazy to bring out the DVD burner to record my failures in the Sega Master System version.. Anyway, here’s the video of my gameplay from Altered Beast on the Famicom, check it out since it’s got some pretty sweet 8-bit Altered Beast tunes! :D

Sega Sunday #1 – Shiten Myooh

Sega Sunday has a nice ring to it! I will try to post something Sega related on sundays hereafter ^_^ Just based on the amount of Sega games I own I would be able to make a new Sega Sunday for 7,5 years!! :D haha

The Sega game I will cover today was released in Japan and it’s called Shiten Myooh! I bought it only because of the name, it made me giggle ^^ It turned out to be a pretty cool game though!
shiten-myooh startscreen

Shiten Myooh is a Sega Mega Drive game, and it’s got some pretty cool artwork!
shiten myooh boxed

I was so happy when I tried it and found out it was an action platformer where you can play co-op with a friend! :D There’s 4 characters to choose from, if you’re playing solo these 4 characters basically mean you have 4 lives before you’re game over. However if your playing 2 players you only have 2 lives each since there’s still only 4 characters to choose from.
shiten-myooh character select
If a characters dies you won’t be able to use them again:
shiten-myooh character select death

Here are the character profiles (in japanese), scanned from the manual:
Shiten Myooh manual 1
Shiten Myooh manual 2

There’s 6 main stages, and before each stage you can choose which character you wanna play, they all have different abilities and special powers that can be useful in various situations, so there is probably strategic choices you can make depending on the stage.
shiten-myooh level select
shiten-myooh character special attach

During the stages you can pick up powerups. Not until at the very end we realized that depending on the color of the item it belonged to certain characters, and picking them up with the wrong character would just make it disappear. We also figured out that you can change characters during the stages to enable you to pick up the right powerup.
Shiten Myooh manual 3

After each stage there’s a boss, some where really difficult, even on the first couple of stages! It was easier when you were 2 players, but if one died and had no characters left you were left alone to finish it. You have unlimited with continues though, so as long as you beat a boss that stage would be cleared.
shiten myooh boss

So I tried this out with my friend Annett first, and we almost beat the game (so we thought)! We just couldn’t get past the forest stage that required simultaneous precision jumping, if one fell both would fail.. However I tried the game a few weeks later with my friend NinjaBrite and we managed to beat that damn Forest stage! That’s when we found out there was also a 7th stage.. and an 8th stage.. and a final boss! Here’s a scan of the manual showing the final stages:
Shiten Myooh manual 5

Now after beating the 8th stage we thought we had beat the game since there was this awfully long cutscene, looking like some dude thanking us for our effort. And also after beating the first 6 stages there’s no indication of what’s to come…
shiten myooh before final boss
The text was all in japanese so we didn’t quite know what was going on, but I started filming the ending, still holding the controller, and BAM! There’s a final boss fight!

shiten myooh final boss

So here’s the movie of my reaction to the SURPRISE BOSS FIGHT! :D (excuse the Swedish gibberish) ;D

shiten myoh end