Shadow of the Beast

a game by Psygnosis, and Reflections Interactive Limited

Platforms: Sega GenesisGenesisSega Master SystemSega Master System

Genres: Action, Platformer

See also: Shadow of the Beast Games

Shadow of the Beast

A creature born in the Chambers of Creation seeks revenge against his masters... you would too if they made you look like you're half man, half goat! Now, you can guide this mutant warrior through one of the toughest action/adventure games ever programmed to eventual victory or failure. Either way you'll be in... the Shadow of the Beast.

The Shadow Knows

Electronic Arts has converted Psygnosis's Amiga version of this popular game for the Genesis and virtually nothing has been lost in the process. That means you get far-out graphics and thumb-busting challenge. This one-player game is fairly straightforward. You fight your way through each level and in the process, hopefully, find the items you need to beat the stage boss.

Creature Features

You cross some pretty weird territory, but it looks great. The perspective is side-view, multi-scrolling. What's unusual and spectacular about the graphics is that the horizontal scrolls include parallax scrolling, that is, the foreground moves at a different rate of speed than the backgrounds!

Roast Beast

There are five stages total. Most of the action takes place either above or below the ground, but you'll also do battle inside a castle and fight your way through space. Part of what makes this game such a hard nut to crack is the horde of creatures you fight -- approximately 132 different types of foes such as a flock of flying, bloodshot eyeballs, bright orange dragons who spit napalm, and headless hunchbacks with gore where their heads used to be.


  • Shoot the Blue Globe in the statue's hand several times to get a lightning shot.
  • Touch the "Don't Touch" switch once to clear the force field around the power punch.
  • In Stage 3, get the wrench first, then get the Plasma Rifle. Other factors contribute to this game's toughness factor. It's an extremely linear adventure; miss one key item and you're dead, and, you only have one life. And two key areas border on insane: the upper end of the castle in level three and most of level four.
  • In Stage 4, the strength potions are in green blobs at the fool of the screen.
  • In Stage 5, there are two areas with groups of three strength potions, but the center one actually makes you LOSE strength.

Not for the Faint of Heart

This handsome beast will drive you wild. It showcases some of the best Genesis artwork ever. The music is fantastic even though it should have been in stereo. For better or for worse, Shadow is very, very hard. Your frustration level must be low and your talent level high to beat this game. Shadow of the Beast is a real animal.

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Shadow of the Beast Downloads

Sega Genesis Shadow of the Beast download
  • Manufacturer: PSYGNOSIS
  • Machine: Amiga/Atari St/Commodore 64

  • Sound/Music 8

  • Graphics 8
  • Playability 6
  • Overall 7

Shadow of the Beast, Psygnosis' latest arcade-style game, employs the same scrolling playfield found in many of their titles but with easily the best implementation so far. The design and programming is by Martin Edmundson and Paul Howarth of Reflections, the same British group which did Ballistix, another Psygnosis title.

The objective of the game echoes many other software entertainments: to exact revenge on some unseen force for wrongs done to the player-character. In this case, the gamer's goatlike character is searching a faraway planet, attempting to find his former masters, the Beast-Mages. He seeks revenge for their forcing him to kill his father. The course of this pursuit takes the gamer across and underneath the surface of the planet, gaining artifacts along the way to aid him. Of course, the Beast-Mages have left guards and traps to impede the player's progress.

While the storyline of Beast is a little thin, the breathtaking graphics make up for this deficiency. The backgrounds scroll on several levels, with objects passing behind one another, accurately conveying the sense of three-dimensional space. When running along the plain, for example, the horizon scrolls at a slower rate than the objects in the foreground. The characters are all well drawn and animated, adding to the sense of reality.

The music in Beast is equally impressive. The score was composed by David Whittaker on a Korg M1, a professional music workstation. The sounds were then converted to a digitized format for use in the game. The score is reminiscent of a good science fiction/adventure soundtrack, with various themes and subthemes emerging at different points throughout the game. The sound effects are just as good, drawing the player further into the game, enhancing the overall effect.

Unfortunately, although the graphics and sound are first-rate, the actual game play of Beast is rather stale. The game emphasizes repetitive hacking and slashing over creative puzzle solving. After you've beaten a creature once, you can beat all others of the same type with the same method. Similarly, many of the guards look different, but they all employ the same attack method and may be defeated easily.

One major complaint is that the game has no scoring function. The only way to measure progress is by how much of the game the player can survive, not how many points are racked up. Another problem is that the character starts the game with 12 life points to last throughout the contest. There are potions that replenish the player's life points, but the total figure can never be more than 12.

Shadow of the Beast is a visually and aurally impressive game. Although it doesn't break any new ground where actual game play is concerned, many gamers will be won over by the breathtaking graphics. It's a fantastic demo of the art and sound capabilities of the Amiga and Atari ST computers.

reggie posted a review
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Available: 1992
  • Theme: Action

Beast it back!

Now we're talking about action and graphics to the max! The guys at Atari have got a sure-fire winner for the Lynx system. Shadow of the Beast is faithful to the original (yes, the one long ago for the Amiga). The graphics are incredible! With 16-Bit capability, Atari has been able to create an almost 3-D image. When you walk, the background will move independently and the effect is quite impressive.

You should remember the story: the Beast Lord turned you into the creature you are, and forced you to do his evil bidding. You always felt he was wrong and you hated him,

He finally pushed too far when he sacrificed your father at the altar. Now you're on a rampage, out to kill any creature that stands in the way between you and your final battle with the Beast Lord.

Atari can be proud of this winner for the hand-held crowd. With its superior graphics and good sound, it will entertain for hours. So, when things start to heat up this summer, cool off in the Shadow of the Beast!

reggie posted a review

Introducing Shadow of the Beast. Previously available for personal computers and the Genesis, IGS is proudly bringing this action title to the Super NES.

Many years ago, a small child was stolen from his parents and carried to a sacred temple. Once there, the child was changed into a beast by mystic chants and rare animal bloods. However, he has learned his true past and seeks his revenge against the masters that did this to him.

Shadow of the Beast features excellent animation and an eerie soundtrack that will send chills up your spine!

reggie posted a review

The evil Beast Lord has taken over the land and it's your job to restore peace. Giant bosses await you in the caves and in the trees!

reggie posted a review

The popular computer game is coming to the Genesis. Battle with huge beasts as you progress through your quest. One of the best computer conversions to date!

reggie posted a review

While very young, Aarbron was kidnapped and enslaved by the Priests of the Beast Lord. He grew up on drugs made to destroy his own will and turn him into the Beast Messenger, a powerful creature serving Maletoth, The Beast Lord himself. He did his job, until one day he noticed a man about to be sacrificed in a ritual, his face triggering ancient memories... and as the sacrificial knife descended into the man's body, Aarbron recognizes the face. Of his father. As his father dies in the altar, memories of his childhood and tormented past at the hands of the Beast Lord emerged, and as feelings of hate over his captors took over him, he swore revenge and fled the temple, knowing the road to avenge his father and redemption would be hard.

Shadow of the Beast, one of Psygnosis most popular titles during the 16-bit computer era is a side-scrolling platformer best known for the use of parallax scrolling along lush graphics, a musical score by David Whittaker, a iconic cover by Roger Dean and what many consider to be unforgiving gameplay, balancing between the "very challenging" and the "impossible". The player has to navigate through several areas filled with enemies and traps, collecting keys and activating triggers than open new areas or give Aarbron the means to overcome a sub-boss. The number of moves the player has at disposal is limited: duck, jump and only two attacks: punch and a flying kick. While most enemies die with just one hit, the player must time each attack accurately. However, there are also traps of objects that cannot be destroyed, and these require the player to jump, duck or move according the sequence. The player has only one life with 12 hit points that can be replenished by collecting some objects hidden in the level (like an off-route location or a under a megalith), which also contributes to the difficulty level.

Shadow of the Beast features:

  • 132 monsters
  • 13 levels
  • One-player action
andrei posted a review
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