A fully playable version of Rare’s canceled Dinosaur Planet N64 game has been leaked online.
The action-adventure title – which was eventually used for the GameCube as Star Fox Adventures – was obtained and shared online by game conservation experts Forest of Illusion, the same group that received a Zelda 64 beta last month.
The leak represents the first time anyone outside Rare has been able to play the N64 version of Dinosaur Planet, outside fairs in the late 90s and early 2000s.
According to Forest of Illusion, the leaky building was bought from a private game collector in Sweden. “The file date shows the construction from December 1, 2000,”
Dinosaur Planet was announced in 1999 and was to be Rare’s Swan Song for Nintendo 64, with large environments and a pronounced dialogue that requires the use of the RAM expansion pack and a unique 512 MB cassette – which would have been the biggest release for the console.
However, with developments that took longer than expected, Nintendo eventually ordered the project to be moved to the new GameCube console, along with a switch to the Star Fox series.
According to popular legend, Shigeru Miyamoto had been shown footage of Dinosaur Planet and suggested that the game be re-tooled to incorporate Fox McCloud.
Lead programmer Phil Tossell told Nintendo Life in 2012 that the sudden change was not “willingly accepted by everyone” by the game’s development team, as the action had to be rewritten in places to accommodate the Star Fox cannon, while significant changes were made. to the structure of the game.
“I do not know exactly where the idea originally came from, but I definitely heard it mentioned that Miyamoto-san had suggested it. Of course, we were a little disappointed to have to change Dinosaur Planet since we had all become so attached to it, but we could also see the potential in using the Star Fox license. “
He added: “We had a first trip to Nintendo’s headquarters in Kyoto for about a week where we discussed the changes that would be necessary to make the game fit well into the Star Fox universe. Sitting in a room and discussing game ideas with Miyamoto-san is definitely one of the highlights of my career, and I still have his business card carefully stored. “
Interestingly, the leaky N64 building features Fox McCloud instead of the original protagonist Saber, suggesting that Rare had already started switching to Star Fox before moving the game to GameCube.
This is the first time Fox has ever been seen inside the N64 version. However, other assets and dialogue – which still refers to Saber – suggest that this was a very early change. VGC has contacted the original members of the development to get a clarification.
The side character Krystal was meant to play a much bigger role in the N64 game as a fully playable character, with players having to switch between Saber and Krystal throughout the adventure.
Tossell claimed in the 2012 Nintendo Life interview that the move to a disk-based medium, in particular, had caused headaches for the development team, since the N64’s cartridges made a load-free world much easier to implement. “In addition, we had space transitions that we had never imagined in the beginning, when we switched to Star Fox branding,” he explained.
Fox’s sidekick Tricky also caused headaches. “It was a lot of work to keep the little-built little dinosaur in check!” In Tossell. “There was a lot of setup involved to make sure Tricky always lived with Fox and didn’t get lost or caught.”
Dinosaur Planet is the second canceled rare title to leak this month, following the emergence of a fully playable GoldenEye Xbox Live Arcade building.