Battle Monsters is a 2D fantasy-horror platformer-fighting game developed by Scarab and published by Naxat Soft for the Sega Saturn in Japan on June 2, 1995. It was later released by Acclaim in both North America and Europe in 1996.
Set in the Dark Kingdom of the underworld, Battle Monsters pits 12 combatants (from undead warriors to freakish monsters) against each-other to determine the Dark Kingdom's new ruler. Similar to the early Mortal Kombat games, the game features digitized actors and objects for the game's characters and backgrounds. It is also one of the few 2D fighting games of the era to have varied stages with different layouts of platforms (which can be reached through a dedicated "Jump" button).
Naxat Soft later revisited the concept of a fighting game with archetypal monsters with the 3D PS1 game Killing Zone. While it was released a year after Battle Monsters in Japan, it was released at a similar timeframe elsewhere.
The game includes 12 playable characters and four unplayable bosses. After defeating the 12 playable characters, players fight a final battle against "The Big Four", shifting to a best-of-7 match where the player must win a round against each boss (while avoiding four rounds of defeat).