Beast Busters

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Beast Busters
North American flyer
Developer(s)Hamachi, Papa and team, Images Design
Publisher(s)SNK, U.S. Gold, Activision
Designer(s)Mitsuzo.I, Ken, Muromoto, Sakai, Mioshi, Maeda, Fujiwara
Platform(s)Arcade, Commodore Amiga, Atari ST
Release1989 (arcade), 1990 (Commodore Amiga, Atari ST)
Genre(s)Rail shooter
Mode(s)Single player, Up to 3 players simultaneously
SoundSound CPU: Z80; Sound chips: YM2610
DisplayRaster, 256 x 224 pixels, 2048 colors

Beast Busters is a rail shooter arcade game released by SNK in 1989 and ported to the Commodore Amiga and the Atari ST in 1990.


In the game, players control one of three militiamen named Johnny Justice, Paul Patriot and Sammy Stately, who must shoot their way out of a city that has been invaded by the undead. The original arcade machine allows for up to three players to play the game at the same time. Guns are mounted to the machine and look like machine guns. Players can earn a number of power-ups through the course of each stage to aid them in battle such as rockets, grenades, armor, health packs, and ammo.[1]

The game has seven sections for players to shoot their way through. In between stages players are shown cutscenes explaining the events of the zombie infestation that has overtaken the city. Each stage has a sub boss as well as an end boss to defeat, all of which have 2 forms to defeat. The game was known for having unusual bosses, such as a zombie punk who mutates into a dog, or a jeep which starts coming to life. One stage ends with the militiamen having to rescue a female CIA agent from that stage's boss.

Spinoffs and sequels[edit]

A sequel entitled Beast Busters: Second Nightmare was released in 1999 on the Hyper Neo Geo 64.

A handheld spin-off called Dark Arms: Beast Buster was released in 1999 for the Neo Geo Pocket Color in the form of an Action RPG.


The game drew comparisons to Operation Thunderbolt, Line of Fire and SNK's own Mechanized Attack. Advanced Computer Entertainment reacted positively to the game's horror theme and story, calling it Operation Wolf meets Splatterhouse.[2]

According to Paul Theroux, Michael Jackson owned a Beast Busters arcade machine and frequently took it with him on tour via cargo plane.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Beast Busters". Crash. May 1990.
  2. ^ "Beast Busters". Advanced Computer Entertainment. April 1990: 102.
  3. ^ Theroux, Paul (5 January 2010). "American writer Paul Theroux about Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor and the biblical Judas". Archived from the original on 17 July 2011.