Metamorphic Force is an arcade game released by Konami in August 1993. It is one of Konami’s last side-scrolling Beat ’em up games to appear in the arcades along Violent Storm. The game mechanics are similar to those of Konami’s earlier arcade hit, X-Men, and runs on the same hardware as their ninja-themed game, Mystic Warriors.
The Evil King Death Shadow, ruler of the Empire of Horror, has arisen from the dead to rule the world once more. The Greek goddess Athena has summoned the souls of four ancient guardians and bestowed their power upon four heroes to stop the evil once again. These guardians wield the ability to morph into anthropomorphic beasts to fight their enemies.
Ban (蛮), a martial artist. His guardian soul is a Fighting Bull, hence his beast form is a Minotaur.
Claude, a swordsman who wields a rapier. His guardian soul is a White Wolf, and he transforms into a White Werewolf.
Max, a fighter with a boxing style. His guardian soul is a Black Panther, and so his beast form is a Werepanther.
Ivan (Иван), a hunter and wrestler who fights with a small log. His guardian soul is a Bear, so he transforms into a Werebear.
The game’s four main characters are able to morph into anthropomorphic “beasts” (referred to as Beast Mode) by collecting a Golden Statue power-up which drops from either a random chest that falls from the sky, or through an anthropomorphic rodent appearing at random times and supplying the player with either a Health Item, Score Item, or Gold Statue. The rodent will drop power-ups after a certain period of time, or if the player attacks him, similar to the elves in Golden Axe. When the players collect a Statue when already in Beast Mode, the character performs a “Screen Attack” destroying all on-screen enemies (if the Statue is collected during a boss fight, the boss is hit hard and usually twice).
The enemies are also anthropomorphic creatures such as frogmen, elephant men, lizardmen, hedgehog men, boar men, and others; and include bosses such as Cabrios the Ram-Man (similar to the pagan god Baphomet) armed with a Scythe, a Flaming Chicken-Man who wields a Sword, an Amazon Demoness, and the Dark Dragon. At the end of Stages 2 and 4, players enter a bonus stage (destroy a statue or a string of regular enemies) which awards them extra points and health.