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No Pooh Bear is going to steal my honey! It's a sad state of affairs when even the NES version has more frames of animation than me.
 Cave Needle 
You can run from the 8-bit past, but you cannot avoid the sting of time!   Those other three frame-and-graphic-deficient goofs are fakes, I'm the real deal!

Subterranean, bipedal, wasp-like enemies that can be found in Sega's 1988 Altered Beast [original Japanese title: Jyuuouki (Beast King's Chronicle)] arcade video game (it was also ported to many popular home systems soon afterwards, including the Genesis, Famicom, Master System, PC Engine, and several computer formats--more recently, it has also appeared as a selection on various Sega compilation discs and as a virtual download).

These arthropods can only be encountered in the third level, The Cavern of Souls. Cave Needles sprint through the rocky tunnels of said locale in large numbers, impaling unfortunate trespassers on their poison stingers. Their vestigial wings are too small to allow flight. A single punch or kick, regardless of how powered-up the player currently is, will destroy these chitinous critters, or, if you've collected enough orbs to morph into the Bear form, you can petrify them with an exhalation of your breath (after which you can opt to leave them as-is, frozen in stone forever, or shatter the insect statue to pieces).

Newsprint, tissue paper, white glue, hot glue, wire twist ties, plastic, gloss nail polish, and acrylic paint.

[NOTE: Due to the articulation, these values will vary depending on how the joints are positioned;
the numbers given assume a neutral standing pose.]

4.5 cm/1.8 in. x 6.0 cm/2.4 in. (widest point x highest point)

Twenty-three points: Antennae (4); mandibles (2); neck(2); wings (2); forelimbs (4); torso (2); stinger; hips (2); knees (2); and ankles (2).

Ten days; January 15-25, 2010--with no work performed on the 23rd.

Cave Needle photo collage.

For comparison/informational purposes, below are several images from various Altered Beast media (more information on mouse-over):

Graphic from the arcade version's ending depicting the player character, in Bear form, and several Cave Needles.   A Cave Needle petrified by the Bear form's stone breath attack.

Original Arcade version graphics.

Sega Genesis--not a perfect conversion, but fairly close to the Arcade.

The Cavern of Souls done in 8-bit graphics.  Note that the NES version has extra levels not found in the original, which is why the screen says Stage 4 instead of 3.

The Sega Master System version is missing the Cavern of Souls (Level 3), so, the Cave Needles are found in the next stage instead. To add injury to insult, their sprites are ridiculously small.

Artwork/description from the Sega Master System manual.


  •   Sega Genesis Collection Sony Playstation 2 video game and manual (contains both the Genesis and Arcade versions of Altered Beast.

  •   Altered Beast Nintendo Famicom video game.

  •   Altered Beast Sega Master System (SMS) video game and manual.

  •   Altered Beast Wikipedia entry.

  •   Hardcore Gaming 101 Altered Beast article.

  •   Various GameFAQs Altered Beast guides.

  • « Return To My SEGA Video Game Fan Art Gallery

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    Any and all copyrighted imagery, terminology, etc., depicted here belongs to its respective holders/owners.
    The background graphic is from the Sega Genesis version's alternate title screen.