The world of games and music often tend to cross paths; for most of us they are both hobbies we enjoy. From the earliest days, the two just seemed to go together. Games like Guitar Hero and Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker have tried to mix game and music - to varying levels of success. But, these are examples of the music world entering the games world. What about the opposite? One of the earliest cases of games influencing music goes back to Altered Beast.
Altered Beast was a fairly successful arcade game. Older gamers will remember that the game served as the first foray into 16-bits for many, as the pack-in title for the Mega Drive / Genesis in many regions. While the game is short and simple, getting the power-ups to change form and see that bright, brilliant flash of colours really was an amazing sight way back when.
Altered Beast eventually got replaced with Sonic The Hedgehog. It was a brilliant marketing move, the opening salvo of the Console Wars, and honestly a much better game. After 1991, Altered Beast quickly became forgotten as newer and better games filled the shelves.
There was one person out there though who was a huge fan of Altered Beast - a singer/songwriter named Matthew Sweet. In 1993, Altered Beast (the album) hit music stores and singles from that album made their way to rock and alternative radio as well. While it had been a few years since Altered Beast (the game) was relevant, Sweet made it known in interviews that he loved the game and that the name was directly inspired by it. Sure, today you hear all sorts of celebrities talk about being gamers in their free time, but in 1993 it really stood out to hear such a thing.
Time moved on and since then, the Altered Beast story has become something of lore in both gaming and music circles. To see more about this crazy coincidence, as well as yet another blown Sega Forever marketing move, check out the video below.
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