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Check Out Dinosaur Planet, Before it Was Invaded by Star Fox

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Anthropomorphic characters, but different

Star Fox Adventures was the last Rare developed game on a Nintendo system before the company was bought by Microsoft, and it was famously not what had initially been planned. It was going to be a new IP called Dinosaur Planet, with creatures called Sabre and Krystal, sidekicks Tricky and Kyte, as well as a wizard called Randorn, starring. It's said that Shigeru Miyamoto saw the work in progress and realised the potential for the title to be part of the Star Fox universe — it's full of talking animals, after all — and the re-design was set in motion.

Some changes were significant, but there was undoubtedly a fair bit of straight-up character model swapping, and this explains why Star Fox Adventures: Dinosaur Planet, as it was almost called, was so different from other entries in the series. Of course, with so much work completed on the original concept there is completed code out there, 60 minutes of which has made it onto YouTube, of course.

You can see the footage below, which includes the original first chapter for Krystal, about 18 minutes, and then assorted clips for the remainder. For those that have run around these environments as Fox, this may be a rather peculiar video to watch.

[via neogaf.com, rareminion.com]

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User Comments (47)

Stuffgamer1

#1

Stuffgamer1 said:

It's funny seeing tidbits about the game when looking through my old NPower collection, too...though I'm not a fan of the 64 period really, just 'cause the game got such a huge upgrade on the 'Cube.

@Happy_Mask: I think it's a generally good game, really. Never understood all the hate for it.

OorWullie

#2

OorWullie said:

So this was originally going to be a N64 game?I never knew that.I've never understood why this got a lot of hate either,thought it was a great game.Can't believe its 10 years since it came out though.

Sabrewing

#4

Sabrewing said:

Stupid Miyamoto opening his big mouth and seeing how similar DP looked to his own franchise. They should have allowed Rare to pursue their own vision. ;

ultraraichu

#5

ultraraichu said:

That's very interesting. A nice way to start the 10 year anniversary of the game.

I guess the hate come from the people who like the flying/shooting aspect of the Snes and N64 version, while this one only have a small part of that. I guess the best you can do is recreate and update to please some of them.

Stuffgamer1

#6

Stuffgamer1 said:

@Happy_Mask: With a screen name/avatar combo like that, I should think it safe to assume you LIKE Zelda? So what exactly is wrong with other games taking inspiration from it? The similarity is precisely why I DO like it...more than regular StarFox, actually. I will agree that the game probably wouldn't be as well remembered (positive or negative) now if it had released in its original form, though.

I can't say I blame Miyamoto for thinking that a game starring an anthropomorphic fox in space should simply merge into an existing IP with THE SAME BASIC PREMISE. It was a perfectly sensible idea that doubtless did help the marketing of the title.

AyeHaley

#7

AyeHaley said:

"Dinosaur Planet - so Rare that it's extinct!" Hahaha!
Love the final game though. :) Still play it every few months. Good old Gamecube how I love ya...

bahooney

#8

bahooney said:

@Happy_Mask Okay, Aquaman Battle for Atlantis is an awful, awful game. Adventured doesn't suffer from invisible walls and awful gameplay. What about the game is so terrible? You think it's awful because it's similar to Zelda? I don't feel like that's a reason, as a Zelda fan myself. Does that mean you hate Darksiders?

Samholy

#9

Samholy said:

should had been left like this rather than the starfox version.
it could have been a new franchise that would have sequels today. With magnificent, lush,tropical graphics

AcesHigh

#10

AcesHigh said:

I also don't see why this game was so hated. I played this game all the way through when it first came out and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a great adventure in the same genre as Zelda and very well made.

And yeah, why exactly does it suck because it's like Zelda? Like there aren't a gazillion games that have taken inspiration from Zelda, Mario, Metroid (didn't Castlevania take a HUGE queue from Metroid starting with the PS1 installment?), Castle Wolfenstein??? Yeah, you can thank Wolfenstein and Doom for pretty much EVERY FPS to date. Just as is with music, there is very little that is born without influence from something else.

AcesHigh

#11

AcesHigh said:

@ultraraichu
You're probably right. Unfortunately, it's because people can't take themselves out of their comfort zones to experience new things with their beloved characters that leads developers to keep cranking out the same stuff every year. This was a daring experament that I actually enjoyed. It was good to see Fox get out of the cockpit and walk around. It filled out his character more. I liked it. And besides, it was a very solid action adventure regardless of whos skin it was wearing.

BJQ1972

#12

BJQ1972 said:

I always believed the change was made because Nintendo knew the game was an absolute stinker and so realised that adding the Star fox branding was their only hope to recoup any of their investment.

Haywired

#15

Haywired said:

I really enjoyed Star Fox Adventures. I seem to remember when it came out it was pretty well received. I think the backlash was mainly because it became Rare's last game as part of Nintendo before they went off to Microsoft, so people were looking for a reason to say "well I'm glad they've gone because they suck now anyway" and SFA bore the brunt of that.

NImH

#16

NImH said:

@Samholy
Yep. I was about to write this same thought.
I love anthropomorphic animal heroes, but always resented the strange, bo-staff-skill-having version of Fox McCloud.

sketchturner

#17

sketchturner said:

The final version was a beautiful game, but the long animation every time you pick up an item got absolutely RIDICULOUS!!

MrWalkieTalkie

#18

MrWalkieTalkie said:

Miyamoto just changed the game with Starfox characters because he loves starfox! Its just that Starfox has had a tougher time getting on its feet especially bacause after Assault there wasnt much else of Starfox to be released, but Miyamoto still doesnt want to give up, in fact he stated that he wants to bring the series back on Wii U one day in the future. And I believe it may turn out great under his watch, I mean just look at Pikmin 3! So Im pretty sure when Pikmin 3 releases, He will begin overseeing production of a new Starfox... hopefully...

ThreadShadow

#19

ThreadShadow said:

They should have left Sabre in as an unlockable skin for Fox, and also let Sabre be a part of the whole StarFox/Dinosaur Planet mythos.

Moshugan

#21

Moshugan said:

I actually did enjoy Starfox Adventures quite a bit. It had some very pretty graphics also. The strange grass was almost next gen! ;)
This video shows some good animation for a N64 game.

Firejonie

#23

Firejonie said:

I think most of the hate from SFA comes from it not being a on rail shooting game. If the game was released as Dinosaur Planet, it would get less hate because Star Fox would have never been a part of it.

Skinnyflip

#24

Skinnyflip said:

Star Fox Adventures is sooo good, though it would have been better as "Dinosaur Planet" I think. I would definitely buy a new "Dinosaur Planet" game.

AcesHigh

#25

AcesHigh said:

@Happy_Mask
Can you imagine a Mario game that plays like an RPG? Whoops! I can! They've made a very successful and beloved franchise out of it. Can you imagine a Mario game that is taken into the 3rd dimension? Did that too with SMB 64. Can you imagine a Mario game that is played on spherical worlds vs. contiguous worlds? Yup, did that with the Galaxy series. Can you imagine Metroid that plays like an FPS? Did that with Prime. Can you imagine your precious Zelda series played in 3D? Taken outside of it's 2D boundaries of the SNES? Or how about Mario riding Go Karts instead of jumping and hitting blocks all the time. I could go on.

You, of course are entitled to your own opinions, as are the rest of us. But from a personal perspective, you might want to consider dropping the "rules" you put on what you love. You might find that something new is actually cool. Just because Nintendo tries something different doesn't mean that they have abandoned what make the IP great the first time. so don't worry. and open yourself up to something new. Don't hate something because it's not like this or like that was in the other game. Go ahead and hate it - but for what it is supposed to be - ie., if they did a poor job. But not for what it's not even trying to be - it wasn't trying to be an on-rails shooter.

BTW, 3rd parties have been handling Nintendo IP for a long time; Rare was a 2nd party at the time so that doesn't even count - they were internal. Capcom, Namco, Intelligent Systems, Square and even Sega have all published Mario and Zelda IPs in the past.

Shadow_Chad6982

#26

Shadow_Chad6982 said:

why i didn't like star fox adventures was beacuse seeing the star fox name i think of an awesome on rails space shooter not some adventure game where you hardly get to fly, and i didn't like the voice acting. the game play was ok, but the more you play it gets a bit repetitive.

MeWario

#27

MeWario said:

Man I love this game, it just breaks my heart that the combat wasn't better because then it would be remembered as a classic. Still it remains one of the most beautifully realized worlds I have ever played in.

accc

#29

accc said:

Star Fox Adventures was a masterpiece. I loved every second of it! I guess the fact tha I have no attachment to the previous Star Fox flight shooting games allowed me to enjoy the game that was presented rather than hating on it blindly like some people.

DestinyMan

#30

DestinyMan said:

I enjoyed Star Fox Adventures, although I admit that I had never played any Star Fox game beforehand. I still think that on its own it's a fine game. And while the possibility of it being a new IP as Dinosaur Planet is interesting, I imagine that people would've had feelings that it should've been related to Star Fox, espeically with Sabre being so like Fox.

Morphbug

#31

Morphbug said:

I guess that if nintendo tried to release a new metroid-like game starring captain falcon, you would hate that too, right?

I mean, all captain falcon should be allowed to do is racing. How dare they explore other parts of his life as a bounty hunter.

Also, there's already a zelda on-rails shooter game.

kyuubikid213

#32

kyuubikid213 said:

I kinda like the game. I got rid of it a while back because Tricky was annoying as hell and I got a little stuck, but I've got it back now and I'm trying to make it to the end.

rjejr

#33

rjejr said:

My favorite Gamecube game. I played it a few times and each of my sons has played it. Calling it Starfox Adventures killed it. And Tricky is the video game equivalent of Jar Jar Binks. Almost certainly the best looking game of it's generation, even if every fight turned into a slideshow. And I really liked the voice acting. I wish Skyward Sword would have been done in this game engine with this voice acting. It's really too bad Rare didn't follow-up with a Wii game, as a sequel to this on the Wii U would be awesome. Minus Starfox of course. Heck they could just put out a game called "Dinosaur Planet", nobody under 20 would know.

Chuie

#34

Chuie said:

i always loved starfox adventure its my favorite starfox game it was so diffrent from the others in a good way at least it didnt turn out like starofox ds

MixMasterMudkip

#36

MixMasterMudkip said:

Star fox adventures isn't a bad game its just not a good game on starfox level sortable like link's adventure

Silverbullet89

#37

Silverbullet89 said:

I don't care what you guys say, Star Fox adventures is my favorite Star Fox game. Great story and game play and was a revolution for Star Fox. Hopefully they'll build on it and make a perfect mature-ish Star Fox games that mixes elements from Adventures and 64. Almost like Star Fox, Mass Effect Style. I personally think that will be pretty cool if they took that direction.

Mike1

#38

Mike1 said:

I thought it was a pretty good game. I've beaten it a couple of times, but haven't played it in years.

Zombie_Barioth

#39

Zombie_Barioth said:

The moment I saw the warp pad in this video I though of how it reminds me of Zelda. SFA on the other hand I don't see the resemblance outside of the adventure game basics like z-targeting, puzzles, and giant bosses with glaring weaknesses. The closest is the way Fox moves but thats partly due to the z-targeting system.

I really liked SFA because it wasn't an on-rails shooter like the others and allowed an extended look at the Star Fox universe. I enjoyed it for what it was rather than what it wasn't which I'm certain is why the game got so much hate.

Kirk

#40

Kirk said:

I have always thought that they should have kept it as the original Dinosaur Planet idea to be honest.

Chunky_Droid

#42

Chunky_Droid said:

I personally liked this game myself, I think the only hate came from the fact that it didn't feel like a Star Fox game.

It should have been a Falco game, after he left the team in Star Fox 64!

MeloMan

#44

MeloMan said:

I remember all of this. Just like how Kameo was originally a Gamecube project before it jumped to Xbox. I still like the concept of DP as would've been another adventure game to play, but I think I coulda did without the Starfox merger. But in the end, I still welcome it to the canon of StarFox, glad Krystal is canon, and glad the SF team got to go to planets besides the typical ones in the Lylat system.

AcesHigh

#45

AcesHigh said:

@Happy_Mask
Trust me, Jr. I don't need a history lesson. I also never said Mario would make a good FPS. But who knows till you try it? They put Mario into racing, the 3rd dimension, RPGs and even the olympics for Chris'sake. And look what happened to Kid Icarus. He went from a sidescroller to a 3rd person shooter. LOL! Love it or hate it, they tried something new in the same space as other Nintendo IP.

What I DID say is that Nintendo characters HAVE been put into other genras successfully and gave you plenty of valid examples. Are you high? Mario Kart is EXACTLY like F-Zero in it's core design concept. LOL! How about Donkey Kong Country and Mario? How about Mario 64 and DK 64? How about Mario Kart 64 or Diddy Kong Racing? I'd even argue that, from a core game concept perspective, Kirby is actually very similar to Mario, DK Country and even legend of Zelda II! They are side scrolling (parts of Zelda II), have powerups that allow your main character to have new abilities and have a goal from point A to point B.

To argue otherwise is just grasping for straws and nit-picking - which is what you're doing. You can totally see it even in your response to morphtroid! You have so many rules about what you need to have to like a game that it's hard to even keep them straight or even keep them from contradicting each other. It's exactly what Nintendo continues to try to do with new and existing IP to change things up that brings fresh life into their products. To put handcuffs on Starfox, keeping it on rails for all of it's life is to spell it's doom. there's only so much on-rails with the same characters that people can take. Look at hat's happening to Mario

Save the "education" lession son. I've been there and done that. Just trying to get you to open your eyes to new things.

BTW, I have trouble believing someone who hates this game so much as you played it to the end credits. Your "rules" would have checked you out on the experience within the first hour. Doubtful...

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