Dinosaur Planet (cancelled Nintendo 64 3D platform video game; 1999-2000)
Dinosaur Planet was planned to be Rare Software's last game for the Nintendo 64.
It was available in a mostly playable form in E3 1999 or 2000 (the exact date is unknown), which showed off huge levels and varied combat options.
From what was shown of the game, it was an action-based 3D platformer that took a more realistic route with its graphics, set in a world that appeared to be mostly inhabited by dinosaurs.
Gameplay focused on two separate characters: Saber and Crystal. Both were fully playable, appeared to have sidekicks or helpers, and specialized attacks.
In 2002, after the Nintendo GameCube was released and the game had to be ported over to the new console, it was changed to Star Fox Adventures, and suffered heavy changes in content.
Saber was changed to Fox McCloud, Crystal was heavily demoted (and infamously changed into a "damsel in distress" role), entire scenes were removed, and the final boss fight was also cut, but the information within the game's files reveal some of what was planned.
The final game was well-received by critics but received mixed reviews from fans of the Star Fox franchise; the game received praise for its detailed visuals and its Legend of Zelda-inspired gameplay, but there were common criticisms including the lack of the franchise's famed shoot'em up gameplay and its weak voice acting.
From what is known of the Nintendo 64 version, it had high-quality graphics for the time and decent sound effects (it's possible many heard are placeholders).
No known prototype of Dinosaur Planet has ever shown up, and it's likely that the original version is completely lost at this stage.
- The Unseen64 article, features piles of images and video. Retrieved 23 Mar '15
- Nintendo Life's article on the making of Star Fox Adventures, with a brief mention of Dinosaur Planet. Retrieved 05 Dec '18
- Metacritic's page on Star Fox Adventures. Retrieved 05 Dec '18