Shadow of the Beast

From Sega Retro


SotB Title.png
Shadow of the Beast
System(s): Sega Mega Drive, Sega Master System
Sega Mega Drive
Electronic Arts (US/EU)
Sega Mega Drive
Victor Musical Industries (JP)
Sega Master System
Original system(s): Amiga
Publisher(s) of original games: Psygnosis
Developer(s) of original games: Reflections Interactive
Sound driver:
Sega Mega Drive
Sound Images v1.0
Genre: Action

Number of players: 1
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega Drive
¥8,800 T-60023
Sega Mega Drive
$59.00[1] 709101
Sega Mega Drive
£39.99[3] E195SMXI
Sega Mega Drive
Sega Mega Drive
Sega Mega Drive
?Ptas E195SMXI
Sega Mega Drive
$? ?
Sega Mega Drive
R$? ?

Sega Master System
£34.99[5] 27019-50
Sega Master System
?F 27019-50
Sega Master System
DM ? 27019-50
Sega Master System
?Ptas 27019-50
Sega Master System
$? ?
Sega Master System
R$? 025270

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Shadow of the Beast, called Shadow of the Beast: Mashou no Okite (シャドー・オブ・ザ・ビースト 魔性の掟) in Japan, is an action game developed by Reflections Interactive for the Commodore Amiga and published by Psygnosis. It was brought to a variety of systems including the Sega Mega Drive and Sega Master System in 1991 and 1992 respectively. It was followed by Shadow of the Beast II and the Amiga-exclusive Shadow of the Beast III.


You play as the Beast Messenger. Born a human child and kidnapped at a young age by mages who serve the Beast Lord, you were transformed into a monster and had all your memories wiped to enter a lifetime of servitude. However, suddenly, all your memories return to you and you seek revenge and escape.

A and C jump. B punches. B in midair kicks. The players has 12 hit points. Losing all of them (gradually or through instant kill attacks/traps) restarts the game as there are no lives. A bazooka-like weapon can be found later on. A short flying section also exists. Hit detection is very strict. Often the player will run into situations were damage is basically unavoidable, or it's more convenient to take a hit on purpose and use the resulting invincibility to avoid further damage by running away.

The game was a baby step into the realm of non-linear game design, as stages can be at least partially explored and re-explored without having all key items. A fixed set of objectives needs to be performed to play the full however.

After collecting the bazooka, the games graphics can glitch when dying or after leaving the castle. (TODO: Confirm this also happens in the Japanese version)


The Amiga version was considered impressive for it's time with atmospheric soundtrack and graphics, which had multiple scrolling planes, color usage and diverse graphics, however the Sega Mega Drive was scaled back, with some enemies missing or their position being altered.

The Mega Drive game was not optimised for North American NTSC-U machines, and so runs too fast. This was corrected in the Japanese release, which also makes adjustments to the graphics, adds a proper ending sequence and includes a much need additional healing item in a later stage. The changes were reportedly made at the request of Japanese publisher Victor Musical Industries.

Master Systen version is even more scaled back from the Mega Drive port. Most of the interior background art is removed and replaced with simplified dark or blue backgrounds. It has no cutscenes like the ones seen in 16bit ports and instead they are replaced with black and white text.

Developers of the Master System version somehow felt the need to introduce an inventory system to the game. In every other version, power ups and other items are instantly used while in the Master System port, they are added to the inventory, which is accessible by pressing 2 button. While this can be considered a benefical update, as it allows players to stock up and use items later, inventory can only carry 7 items and game gives no clue about the item in your possession. Not even the manual explains what these items do and only way to find out their effects is to use them, which may result in players wasting a precious quest item and potentially ruin the game. (Used quest items do not return) In the original game, all common and important items are used immidiately after picking up. Using button 2 as an inventory screen also forces players to use up in the direction pad to jump, not the best button configuration for a side scrolling platforming game. Why developers decided to make this baffling change is unknown.

Master System version is also announces the player every time a boss appears, making this the only port of the game in which names of the bosses can be seen.

Localised names

Also known as
Language Localised Name English Translation
English Shadow of the Beast Shadow of the Beast
English (US) Shadow of the Beast Shadow of the Beast
Japanese Shadow of the Beast: Mashou no Okite (シャドー・オブ・ザ・ビースト 魔性の掟) Shadow of the Beast: Magical Trap

Magazine articles

Main article: Shadow of the Beast/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

Main article: Shadow of the Beast/Promotional material.


Physical scans

Mega Drive version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
42 [6]
58 [7]
56 [8]
51 [9]
84 [10]
90 №31, p34
84 №3, p23
78 [11]
60 №1992-04, p85
90 [12]
84 №4
83 [13]
62 №5, p94
48 №9, p21
50 [14]
82 [15]
73 [16]
70 [17]
34 №2/92, p167
66 [18]
79 [19]
68 №18, p67
54 [20]
80 [21]
37 [22]
Sega Mega Drive
Based on
25 reviews

Mega Drive, US
SotB MD US Box.jpg
SotB MD US Cart.jpg
Shadow Of The Beast MD US Manual.pdf
Shadow Of The Beast MD US Poster.pdf
Mega Drive, EU
SotB MD EU Box.jpg
SotB MD US Cart.jpg
Shadow of the Beast MD FR Manual.pdf
Mega Drive, JP
SotB MD JP Box.jpg
ShadowoftheBeast MD JP CartTop.jpg
SotB MD JP Cart.jpg
Shadow of the Beast MD JP Manual.pdf
Mega Drive, BR
SotB MD BR Box.jpg
SotB MD BR Cart.jpg

Master System version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
92 [23]
82 [24]
80 [25]
86 [26]
90 №44
90 №3, p21-22
90 [12]
94 №2, p104-106
92 [27]
90 [28]
80 №53, p85
80 [29]
80 [30]
79 [31]
90 [32]
90 [21]
92 [33]
66 [34]
Sega Master System
Based on
18 reviews

Master System, EU
SotB SMS EU Box.jpg
SotB SMS EU Cart.jpg
Master System, AU

SotB SMS AU Cart.jpg
Master System, BR
SotB SMS BR Box.jpg
Sotb sms br cart.jpg
Sotb sms br manual.pdf

Technical information

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
Sega Master System
CRC32 1575581D
MD5 ABC8A9E43C588C7D0535CC8305BDBF94
SHA-1 45943B021CBAEE80A149B80DDB6F3FB5EB8B9E43
256kB Cartridge (EU)


  1. GamePro, "November 1991" (US; 1991-xx-xx), page 52
  2. 2.0 2.1 Sega Pro, "November 1991" (UK; 1991-xx-xx), page 9
  3. Sega Power, "February 1992" (UK; 1992-01-02), page 33
  4. Sega Power, "December 1991" (UK; 1991-10-30), page 11
  5. Computer & Video Games, "December 1991" (UK; 1991-11-15), page 100
  6. Aktueller Software Markt, "Februar 1992" (DE; 1992-01-10), page 128 (124)
  7. Beep! MegaDrive, "April 1992" (JP; 1992-03-07), page 35 (37)
  8. Sega Saturn Magazine, "September 1995" (JP; 1995-08-08), page 87
  9. Mean Machines: The Essential Sega Guide, "" (UK; 1993-11-18), page 87
  10. GamePro, "November 1991" (US; 1991-xx-xx), page 48 (52)
  11. Génération 4, "Janvier 1992" (FR; 199x-xx-xx), page 138
  12. 12.0 12.1 Hobby Consolas, "Febrero 1992" (ES; 1992-xx-xx), page 40-41 (40)
  13. Joystick, "Décembre 1991" (FR; 1991-xx-xx), page 182
  14. MegaTech, "Xmas 1991" (UK; 1991-12-06), page 50-52 (50)
  15. Mean Machines, "December 1991" (UK; 1991-11-28), page 120-122 (122)
  16. Player One, "Décembre 1991" (FR; 1991-xx-xx), page 62-63 (62)
  17. Play Time, "3/92" (DE; 199x-xx-xx), page 87
  18. Sega Power, "February 1992" (UK; 1992-01-02), page 32-33 (32)
  19. Sega Pro, "Christmas 1991" (UK; 1991-12-12), page 71
  20. Sega Force Mega, "August 1993" (UK; 1993-06-24), page 89
  21. 21.0 21.1 Sega Force, "January 1992" (UK; 1991-12-12), page 32-34 (32)
  22. Video Games, "1/92" (DE; 1992-02-03), page 30
  23. Consoles +, "Octobre 1991" (FR; 1991-xx-xx), page 114-115 (106)
  24. Computer & Video Games, "December 1991" (UK; 1991-11-15), page 100-101 (100)
  25. Mean Machines: The Essential Sega Guide, "" (UK; 1993-11-18), page 154
  26. Game Power, "Gennaio 1992" (IT; 199x-xx-xx), page 38-39 (40)
  27. Joystick, "Novembre 1991" (FR; 1991-xx-xx), page 148
  28. Mega Force, "Mayo 1992" (ES; 1992-xx-xx), page 74-75 (74)
  29. Mean Machines, "November 1991" (UK; 1991-10-29), page 74-76 (74)
  30. Player One, "Avril 1992" (FR; 1992-04-10), page 93
  31. Sega Power, "January 1992" (UK; 1991-12-05), page 48
  32. Sega Pro, "November 1991" (UK; 1991-xx-xx), page 48-49 (48)
  33. Supersonic, "Mai/Juin 1992" (FR; 1992-xx-xx), page 24 (20)
  34. Video Games, "4/91" (DE; 1991-12-06), page 39
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Shadow of the Beast
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