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Dinosaur Planet N64 Rom

Dinosaur Planet: The Lost N64 Game by Rare

Dinosaur Planet was a cancelled Nintendo 64 game developed by Rare Ltd, the studio behind classics such as Banjo-Kazooie, GoldenEye 007, and Donkey Kong 64. The game was a 3D action-adventure game inspired by The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, featuring two anthropomorphic animal protagonists, Krystal and Sabre, who explore a world inhabited by dinosaurs and other creatures. The game was set to release in early 2001, but was later moved to the GameCube and reworked as Star Fox Adventures, a spin-off of the popular Star Fox series. However, thanks to a recent leak of a prototype ROM, fans can now experience Dinosaur Planet as it was originally intended.

What is Dinosaur Planet?

Dinosaur Planet was conceived as a spiritual successor to Rare's previous game, Jet Force Gemini, which also featured sci-fi elements and animal characters. The game's story revolved around the titular planet, which was created by an ancient race of beings called the Krazoa. The Krazoa left behind six powerful relics called SpellStones, which maintained the planet's stability and harmony. However, an evil tyrant named General Scales invaded the planet with his army of SharpClaw, a tribe of reptilian warriors, and stole the SpellStones, causing the planet to break apart into floating islands. Krystal and Sabre, two young adventurers from different worlds, are drawn to Dinosaur Planet by a mysterious force and must work together to restore the SpellStones and stop General Scales.

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The game's gameplay was similar to that of Ocarina of Time, with a third-person perspective, a lock-on combat system, and puzzle-solving elements. The player could switch between Krystal and Sabre at any time, each with their own abilities and weapons. Krystal could use her staff to perform magic attacks and communicate with animals, while Sabre could use his sword and shield to fight enemies and interact with machines. The game also featured several supporting characters that would assist the player in various ways, such as Tricky, a young Triceratops that could dig up items and breathe fire; Randorn, an old wizard that taught magic spells; and Peppy Hare, a member of the Star Fox team that provided guidance and transportation.

What happened to Dinosaur Planet?

Dinosaur Planet was first announced in 1999 and was showcased at E3 2000, where it received positive feedback from critics and fans alike. The game was praised for its impressive graphics, which pushed the limits of the Nintendo 64 hardware and required the use of the Expansion Pak accessory. The game was also notable for its voice acting and orchestral soundtrack, which were rare features for Nintendo 64 games at the time. However, despite being near completion, the game never saw the light of day on the Nintendo 64.

The reason for this was that Nintendo's president at the time, Hiroshi Yamauchi, suggested that Rare should merge Dinosaur Planet with the Star Fox franchise, which was in need of a new direction after the mixed reception of Star Fox 64's sequel, Star Fox Adventures: Dinosaur Planet. Rare agreed to this idea and began to rework the game for the GameCube, Nintendo's next-generation console. As a result, many changes were made to the game's story, characters, and gameplay. Krystal was replaced by Fox McCloud as the main protagonist, while Sabre was reduced to a minor role as Fox's ancestor. General Scales was also demoted to a secondary villain, while Andross from Star Fox became the true final boss. The game's tone became more lighthearted and humorous, with more references to Star Fox lore and characters. The game's gameplay also became more linear and simplified, with less exploration and puzzle-solving elements.

Star Fox Adventures was released in 2002 as Rare's last game for Nintendo before they were acquired by Microsoft. The game received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised its graphics, sound, and presentation. However, some fans of both Dinosaur Planet and Star Fox were disappointed by the game's departure from their original visions and expectations.

How can I play Dinosaur Planet?

In February 2021, a group of video game preservationists called Forest of Illusion announced that they had obtained a prototype ROM of Dinosaur Planet from a private collector. The ROM was dated December 1, 2000, and was one of the latest builds of the game before it was moved to the GameCube. The ROM featured Fox McCloud as a playable character, but also retained many elements from the original Dinosaur Planet, such as Krystal's role, General Scales' prominence, and the game's darker tone. The ROM also contained many unfinished and unused content, such as cutscenes, levels, and characters.

The group released the ROM to the public on the Internet Archive, where anyone can download it and play it on an emulator or a flash cart. However, the ROM is not fully playable, as it contains many bugs, glitches, and crashes that prevent the player from completing the game. The group also warned that the ROM is protected by a copy protection system that checks for a specific cartridge ID, and that modifying the ROM could cause it to stop working. Therefore, they advised players to use the cracked version of the ROM that they provided, which bypasses the copy protection.

Since then, many fans have been working on patching and fixing the ROM to make it more playable and accessible. Some of these patches include performance and stability improvements, restored content, bug fixes, and graphical enhancements. You can find the latest patches and updates on the Dinosaur Planet Community Discord, where you can also chat with other fans and share your experiences with the game.


Dinosaur Planet is a fascinating piece of video game history that shows what could have been one of Rare's most ambitious and innovative games for the Nintendo 64. Thanks to the efforts of video game preservationists and enthusiasts, we can now enjoy this lost gem and appreciate its original vision. Whether you are a fan of Rare, Star Fox, or just curious about cancelled games, Dinosaur Planet is worth checking out.

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