Primal Rage II (found build of unreleased arcade fighting game; 1995)
Date found: 08 Mar '17
Found by: Gruntzilla94
Primal Rage II was the planned sequel to the 1994 arcade game Primal Rage.
Development began in 1995 and was set to be released the same year. The game was to have introduced human characters dubbed the “Avatars”, which were human forms of the beasts from the first game, along with a new beast named Slash Fang who resembled a Smilodon. The characters from the first game were also meant to make an appearance as unlockable playable characters.
Primal Rage II would also have included an antagonist named Necrosan, a living dragon skeleton that imprisoned the original seven beasts from the first game.
However, the game was cancelled during development due to Atari not feeling that it would generate enough sales. Primal Rage's popularity died soon afterward.
The game’s plot revolved around the meteor that destroyed civilization in the first game. The meteor that struck earth was actually an egg. Out of it hatched a being known as Necrosan. The seven beasts fought the new beast but failed in defeating it. Necrosan then imprisoned them in a state of semi-suspended animation and set out to wreak havoc on earth with its new minions.
The gods manage to choose new Avatars to represent themselves to fight Necrosan’s minions, free themselves from their prisons, and take on Necrosan. The eight Avatars were Xiao Ming (Slash Fang), Malyssa (Vertigo), Arik (Sauron), Keena (Talon), Shank (Chaos), Sinjin (Diablo), Kaze (Blizzard) and Tor (Armadon).
The game was tested at the Golf Land arcade in Sunnyvale, California and a supposed complete version was said to have made an appearance at the California Extreme 2001 show. A photograph shows a Primal Rage II arcade cabinet at the California Extreme 2003 show, complete with side art, a marquee, and a bezel, albeit from the first Primal Rage. This cabinet was possibly the same one displayed at the show two years prior, but this is unconfirmed. Since then, several screenshots of the game in action have been uploaded online, depicting the title screen, in-game fighting, as well as a bio.
A ROM of the game was leaked to the internet but is only partially playable. Only the attract screen, test menu, and character select screen are able to be accessed. The game freezes soon after a fighter is chosen.
Primal Rage II was said to be complete and the original characters were indeed selectable (several videos online have proved this).
As of March 8, 2017, it is now playable, albeit only using a special build of MAME developed by Gruntzilla94.
Cracking the Data
In December 2012, a YouTube user named raydude uploaded a video showcasing gameplay from the game. According to a Digital Trends article, the man discovered a copy of the Primal Rage II game data that had been left in storage for the past fourteen years. The four-and-a-half minute video shows the uploader testing the game on an arcade cabinet that had only two buttons. This hampers his gameplay quite a bit due to the lack of four extra buttons. The uploader has yet to respond to any questions regarding the game.
On March 8th, 2017, YouTube user Gruntzilla94 created a version of MAME specifically for the game itself, this made it nearly playable, almost without any glitches or bugs, as well as making the game itself found. Despite its freezing in the middle of the game, it is still playable.
- 2013 Digital Trends article on raydude's discovery and subsequent video upload. Retrieved 03 Sep '13