View Full Version : Altered Beast (Genesis/Megadrive )

09-21-2016, 12:28 PM
Sega 16 Altered Beast High Scores
Normal/Default settings: 1 credit, 3 life bars, normal difficulty

High Scores:
1st: 1,315,900 points - 10/27/19 - SEGA-Jorge

Score: 871,000
Setting: default

High Scores Outside Sega-16
Twin Galaxies: https://www.twingalaxies.com/game/altered-beast/sega-genesis-sega-mega-drive/ntsc-points/
1st: CKW - 4,713,800
2nd: Lee Venteicher - 4,682,500
3rd: Estel J Goffinet - 1,293,400

- 1st encounter bonus (first encounter w/Neff per/level gets the 100,000 point bonus)
- Note: Genesis Altered Beast loops from Normal->Hard->Hardest then loops on Hardest difficulty indefinitely.
- Edit: Loop life regen seems to work differently than I thought. This doesn't seem to have anything to do with the encounter bonus, it seems like you get whatever life blocks you had when you started stage 5. So, if you start stage 5 with 2 blocks, take damage, but win, you will start the next loop with 2 blocks. Still testing this out, but it seems to be accurate.
- I've read that doing something during the credits will do some sort of bonus for the next loop. I haven't been able to activate anything of the sort.

Rise From Your Grave! (Edit: 10/23/2019)
Here are some additional notes. I've been playing this game again recently. Thought I'd share some notes.

General Strategy
Altered Beast is an arcade game, through and through. As such fast gameplay is rewarded handsomely (as coin-op devs focused on drop (How much money a cabinet made over time)) so the fastest path in each of the five levels rewards the player with the highest bonuses. That being said, getting the 3 orbs needed to transform is generally harder in the first section/path of each level, and maximizing score in the first path while grabbing all the orbs is generally the most challenging aspect of Altered Beast. Let's looks at what the level path breakdowns are, to help illustrate the high-scoring strategy:

Each level provides the player with 3 chances to fight Neff. Each opportunity is presented with a path or section of enemy patterns, some obstacles, and opportunities to gather orbs. If the player has transformed before meeting Neff, they can challenge Neff. Each path gets more challenging, and will provide more enemies, obstacles, and chances to transform, but the bonus the player gets is reduced at each encounter.

Level Example: Level 1 - Graveyard
|Start Path 1| --> Enemies (Slow Feet/Headless Horrors/Grave Masters/Skinny Orcuses/Wolves) -- Obstacles (Grave Stones) -- |1st Encounter (100,000 Bonus) else: Go to Path 2|
|Start Path 2| --> Enemies (Slow Feet/Headless Horrors/Grave Masters/Skinny Orcuses/Wolves) -- Obstacles (Grave Stones/Tall Walls) -- |2nd Encounter [If transformed: Fight Aggar](50,000 Bonus) else: Go to Path 3|
|Start Path 3| --> Enemies (Slow Feet/Headless Horrors/Grave Masters/Skinny Orcuses/Wolves) -- Obstacles (Grave Stones/Tall Walls/Half Walls) -- |3rd Encounter [Fight Aggar](20,000 Bonus)

As you can see, each path will provide more enemies and stuff to do, and another opportunity to fight Neff. Due to the nature of the bonus structure, and the number and value enemy points, it's always in your best interest to fight Neff at the first encounter. This means a few things:

A good loop (Finishing the game start to end) means getting first encounter bonuses on every level. That means, 5 levels @ 100,000 pts. should net you 500,000 pts in bonus alone. Then you toss on your Path 1 enemy values. As you improve, the focus will be on guaranteeing first encounter level finishes, mitigating damage, and then finally, maximizing Path 1 enemy clearing. That means, a perfect run of any level is getting every enemy in Path 1 of any level, getting encounter 1 bonus, and taking no damage.

So all this means, Path 1 mastery on Normal, Hard, and Hardest difficulty settings. The idea it so try to reduce [I]any damage taken, and mitigate any bad positions, which will result in being hit multiple times (enemy player juggling, I call bump juggling) so that you can get as many loops as possible. There is no way to regain health, or earn additional lives, so, outside the end of game bonus that refills your life after a loop (which is somewhat finicky, but more on that later) you only get the 3 lives and maybe a life regen after beating a loop. (and that's a loose maybe...)

Maximizing Path 1 Score vs End of Round Bonuses
The simple answer to this is always, always prioritize getting the first encounter bonus. There is no amount of enemies you can defeat that could make up for the loss of the first encounter bonus. You can't make up the 50,000 point loss with enemy scoring in path 1 & 2 combined. So if you have any doubts about a particular enemy sequence, or your ability to get a perfect path 1 score on any particular level, just skip it, and go for the first encounter bonus. You don't want to risk the loss in points, or risk taking damage. Again, there is no way to make up health points, so avoid exchanges unless you're sure you know that sequence and can get out unscathed. Many of the highest scores are achieved by avoiding the sketchiest enemy groupings. (Especially in stage 3).

A Couple Notes on Orbs
- enemies don't pause after you collect orbs unless you're transforming into a beast. You'll go through the whole power-up transformation and they will keep moving. Time your transformations, but try not to lose the orbs. Otherwise, this can lead to enemy juggling, etc.
- you can move after collection ONLY in air. If you collect the orb in the air from a low jump or high hump or neutral jump, you can move and attack in the air on your decent. Use this time to position yourself on the stage, and try to clear the area around your landing, to make time for the power up animation. (always collect in air if possible)
- High jump if applicable to cover landing/transformation. this will give you the most time to see your area and move and attack. That being said, you can't attack on the way up on a high jump, so there is a trade off. At the peak of your high jump, you can attack and continue to attack and move, on the way down.
- You can try to high jump onto a platform and complete the transformation above the stage surface. Most places don't allow this in Path one, but open up to more vertical stage layouts in paths 2 and 3 (stages 1, 3, 4, and all of 5)

Some Info on Damage
The damage system in Altered Beast can be a little confusing. Since there are very few ways to truly test every scenario, and get a complete idea of how health and damage works, I will just share what I've been able to gather:
The default system starts the player off with 3 blue health blocks. Each block can be depleted by getting hit by enemies. Each block of life can cycle through 4 stages, Blue, Yellow, Orange, and Red. Each enemy has various moves that cause a part of a block of damage, up to a whole block. Losing a block will cause a knockdown. Standing up from the knockdown you are vulnerable to more hits, and "Bumps".

Bumps happen when you touch an enemy, but they are not attacking. Walking into a wolf, walking into a non-attacking Headless Horror, Etc. Some enemies seem like they are almost always in an attack state, and will seemingly cause damage just by touching them. Bumps are problematic because you can't move while you are being bumped, it can shove you into other enemies, who will either hit you, or, due to proximity, bump you. If you are between two enemies, a bump will most certainly lead to damage, as you will simply be juggled ("Bump Juggling") between them till one or both enemies enter an attack state, at which point you'll take damage. You can be bumped out of the air as well, additionally, non-attacking air enemies will bump you, and the air bumps will leave you immobilized till you reach the ground. If you hit another enemy on the way down, they'll bump you, if you run into an enemy in their attack state and make contact with their hit box, you'll take damage. (You can totally be bumped from the air, into hits...)

Bumps are essentially what makes Altered Beast seem broken or "cheap" to novice players. Getting bumped will, in most cases, lead to bumps, and the pushback on bumps and general close proximity of enemy groupings make bump juggles and bump combos almost inevitable. Try not to get bumped, and keep the area around the player free of enemies, as getting bumped into them will just turn into guaranteed damage.

Enemy Attacks and Attack Combos
Enemies will attack often. They cycle through attack phases based on range, player position (standing/crouching like the Grave Master) and off of basic timers. Some enemies will cause knockdown after certain amounts of hits (Headless Horrors will knock you down after 3 punches) and some enemies will knockdown on hit (Slow Feet explosion move) Additionally, all hits just cause damage and a hit stun that is treated like a mini-bump. That means you can get absolutely mauled in groups of enemies, as you will can take damage in a bump, and that bumps you. A pack of Headless Horrors can theoretically wreck your life bar very quickly. All hit you take, you take damage from, unless you are in a falling/knockdown state, which happens from certain moves, or when an enemy hits you a certain amount of times. It's just a theory, but I also think that some enemy moves will randomly knock the player down.

Attack Timing
All attacks in Altered beast share a similar attack timing behavior, which slightly punishes mashing. The trick to faster attacks is cadence. All the moves have a cadence, and you can get the most out of all the attacks by finding all their particular rhythms. There is slight variance between all levels of centurion, for example, as well as well as for all specials for the Beasts. Experiment with each attack, and learn the timing to get the fastest attacks. Remember, if your next attack is too early, you drop the next input entirely, and you will get a really slow subsequent attack. Conversely, if you do it too late, you will have gaps between attacks. Just like a fighting game, you want to get the next attack just as the initial attack is finishing.

Movement & Gameplay Strategy
Altered Beast seems really straightforward and easy to play. It is incredibly simple on the surface, and although it's not a complex game, as far as its requirements for difficult timing or technique execution, there are some things to keep in mind. First, the player has a range of moves at their disposal in Centurion mode. Keep in mind that Centurion mode is broken into 3 levels, and as you play, you actually spend almost all your time in one of those 3 levels, then transform into a Beast form. (all of which have their own quirks)

So a good mastery of all the moves available in centurion mode is essential to expediting Beast mode, and thereby beating levels quickly. That requires learning the mid-level and advanced stuff you can do in centurion mode. We'll break it down into the following techniques I believe are important to know. I made up names for most this stuff, so you may already do some of these things, as a result of coming across them as you play, but I think giving them a name, and explaining what they are and where you can use them will be helpful.

Centurion Levels
The Centurion levels up twice before transforming into a beast mode. The default mode, or centurion, is the level you start off each stage at, with no orbs. This I just centurion or centurion level 1. As you collect orbs you can get to centurion level 2 (Giant Man), and Centurion Level 3 (Super Man). Each level increases the size of the centurion, making him a bigger target. Speed stays generally the same, but range increases. Levels 2 and 3 introduce the blue fire or plasma effect on the all the attacks the centurion performs, and this effect I call power wave. This is a really important aspect of centurion level 2 and 3 to pay attention to, because it allows for some crazy techniques to be used. Additionally, the power wave causes more damage. You'll notice that 3-hit enemies will take 2 or 1 hit, based on your level, and for example, Slow Feet (basic zombies) will just explode on 1 hit, rather than take 2 or three hits to kill. Each enemy is different, and sometimes the damage can be inconsistent, or will not result in a kill, but for the most part, you will do way more damage. (In the arcade version of Altered Beast, this was even more apparent, as the base enemies had variants, so a normal Slow Feet took 2-3 hits with a level 1 centurion, but a brown Slow Feet in stage 4 could take up to 5 at times. Note: Enemies don't seem to have levels/variants in the Genesis port of Altered Beast, unfortunately.)

Centurion Level I (Centurion)
- No power wave
- smallest hit box

Centurion Level II (Giant Man)
- Power Wave
- Medium hit box
- Cause more damage

Centurion Level III (Super Man)
- Power Wave
- Large Hit box
- Longer Range attacks
- Cause even more damage
- Is slightly slower, as some attack sequences and techniques like Creeping Wave are far less viable. Windows for timed sequences, (faster attacks) feel shorter, as such, sequences just feel more porous. (lots of time between moves)

Movement Key
Standard Genesis A-B-C
P - Punch
K - Kick
J - Jump
st. - Standing
cr. - Crouching
j. - Jumping
hj. - High Jumping
sj. - Short/low Jumping (light taps!)

Movement Techniques - Centurion Mode
Low Jumping: Low Jumping is exactly what it sounds like. Low height jumps. They allow the centurion to move around the screen faster, while having options. When the centurion is walking, he only has access to his neutral attacks, (standing punch/kick crouching punch kick) but when he is jumping he has access to movement and fast attacks. Low jumping is accomplished by just tapping the jump button. The lighter the better. Low jumping is the first thing you need to learn to get better at Altered Beast. It opens up the game quite a bit, speeds up the action, and presents more options for movement, attacking, and power wave positioning.

High Jumping

Neutral Ranging
High-Jump Rapid Fire Attacks
Low-Jump Rapid Fire Attacks

Power Wave Shenanigans
The power wave appears as a blue aura around all the centurions attacks. They cause more damage, and the power wave dissipates over time. This is a very powerful aspect of the move, because the centurion can move around a bit while the power wave dissipates. This allows for a lot of offensive and defensive techniques that can be utilized by taking advantage of the window of time after an attack finishes and when a power wave completely disappears.

Movement During Dissipation
All moves j./st./cr.p/k power waves dissipate with recovery frames, and with most of them, you still have time to move.

Crouching Up Kick
- cr.k (up kick) allows fast recovery, so you can set power wave shield that can protect you from above (stop Skinny Orcuses or maybe the stage 4 Hammer Demons as Level 3 centurion)

Crouching Punch
- cr.p is the fastest grounded move. It's also the shortest range, and fastest start-up.
- cr.p allows for "Creeping Wave". Crouch, punch, stand, walk, crouch, punch. Really fast. It's an advancing low-height wave that recovers really fast.

Standing Kick
- one of the slowest recovery moves, but allows for a really far range power wave, and you can still move a little bit after. Time it right, and some enemies can walk into it. (Slow Feet, Grave Masters, Etc.)
- st.k allows for "far power wall" scenarios if you can get the walk away or immediately jump away from the move. Some enemies will just stop. (Headless Horrors, some Grave Masters) and this allows you to move, especially if you low jump away from the move.

Low Jump Kick
- n.sj.k(power wave) -> fade (jumping away): If you do a neutral low/short jump, immediately kick, then pull away from the target, you'll effectively fade away from them, leaving the power wave floating in air. You can still attack while you fade, it's a powerful set up for when you are surrounded.
- n.sj.p(power wave) -> high fade (jumping away): Same as above, but for enemies in the air, or who will be descending into the power wave.

Helpful Attack Sequences
Some moves complement one another, either by hiding their start up frames behind power waves, or allowing you to control ranges with the power waves. Experiment with sequences to find some simple waves to put as much plasma on the screen as possible.
- s.k -> cr.p : This covers the recovery of the standing kick while moving the next power wave just a bit back. covers a lot of the lower area in directly in front of the centurion.
- cr.k -> cr.p : Mentioned above. Timing is tight, but you can cr.k (up kick) and cover the area above your head and immediately go into cr.p. This puts plasma up above, and directly in front.
- st.p (repeated)
- cr.p (repeated)
- st.p -> st.k
- st.k -> st.p

Enemy Point Values (From the Instruction Manual)
Round 1:
Slow Feet: 100 pts
Headless Horrors: 100 pts
Skinny Orcuses: 500 pts
Grave Masters: 300 pts
Three-Headed Wolves: 1000 pts

Aggar (Boss): Based on encounter timing
1st encounter: 100,000 pts
2nd encounter: 50,000 pts
3rd encounter: 20,000 pts

Round 2:
Round Leeches: 100 pts
Chicken Stingers: 300 pts
Rattle Tail: 500 pts (same value for tail kill & head kill?)
Three-Headed Wolves: 1000 pts

Octeyes (Boss): Based on encounter timing
1st encounter: 100,000 pts
2nd encounter: 50,000 pts
3rd encounter: 20,000 pts

Round 3:
Cave Needles: 100 pts
Chicken Stingers: 300 pts
Rock Turtles: 500 pts
Grave Masters: 300 pts
Fossils: 0 pts
Three-Headed Wolves: 1000 pts

Moldy Snail (Boss): Based on encounter timing
1st encounter: 100,000 pts
2nd encounter: 50,000 pts
3rd encounter: 20,000 pts

Round 4:
Slow Feet: 100 pts
Headless Horrors: 100 pts
Chicken Stingers: 300 pts
Grave Masters: 300 pts
Three-Headed Wolves: 1000 pts
Hammer Demons: 500 pts

Crocodile Worm (Boss): Based on encounter timing
1st encounter: 100,000 pts
2nd encounter: 50,000 pts
3rd encounter: 20,000 pts

Round 5:
Saw Fishes: 100 pts
Gory Goats: 200 pts
Rad Boars: 500 pts
Dark Unicorn: 300 pts
Skinny Orcuses: 500 pts
Three-Headed Wolves: 1000 pts

Neff (Boss): Based on encounter timing
1st encounter: 100,000 pts
2nd encounter: 50,000 pts
3rd encounter: 20,000 pts


10-27-2019, 04:43 PM
Trying to build up again after not playing for a long time. Still having a hard time looping passed the first round of Hardest runs. I get through loop 1 (Normal) and loop 2 (Hard), but once loop three starts, which is the first loop on hardest difficulty, any error can cause you to lose hit points. Most, if not all of my strats are working, as far as boss strats are concerned. But it's certainly a matter of simply not getting hit. I will be updating the first post with my current high score, and if anyone ever starts playing from this forum, post your scores up, and I will add them to the list.

Difficulty: Normal/Hard/Hardest - 2.60 loops (5 levels, so I died in stage 3)
1,315,900 points