News Article

The Game Boy Color’s Only First-Person Shooter Comes Back From The Dead

Posted by Damien McFerran

Unreleased Tyrannosaurus Tex emerges from exitinction

2001 was supposed to see the release of UK-based Slitherine Software's Tyrannosaurus Tex, a first person shooter for the Game Boy Color which boasted smooth 3D action and a compelling deathmatch mode.

However, prospective publisher Eidos — now part of Square Enix — decided not to release the game. Slitherine couldn't find another publisher and the project foundered, with the lead programmer having a nervous breakdown and running away to Australia with the source code — his whereabouts remain unknown. Unsurprisingly, the game has been considered lost since then.

Until now, that is.

An early prototype of Tyrannosaurus Tex was auctioned in January, and the data contained on it has been preserved, documented, and publicly released by Nintendo Player.

The site has an in-depth feature on the history and development of the game, as well as screenshots taken directly from the prototype cartridge. It's a fascinating story, and well worth a read.

[via nintendoplayer.com]

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User Comments (39)

Kafei2006

#3

Kafei2006 said:

I remember it from the magazines back then, being hinted as using the super secret 2000 simultaneous colours mode of the console, using surround sound through headphones, and blah blah blah...

Einherjar

#5

Einherjar said:

With a bit of work, this xould end up playable just like "Star Fox 2" on the SNES.

Manfred

#6

Manfred said:

We got asked to do the music on this game back in November 1999. Funny the game sees now the day of light.

Now i want to see Turrican for GBC. We did the soundtrack but the game got canned. We never saw our money from THQ. Guess it's a bit late to take legal actions...

JJtheTexan

#7

JJtheTexan said:

I realize it's just an incomplete prototype, but it looks like Eidos made the right call.

JonWahlgrenAdmin

#12

JonWahlgren said:

I was so hyped for this at the time and am super excited to see this emerge. Crazy to think it's been 12 years since it got canned.

JayceJa

#13

JayceJa said:

boasted smooth 3D action? what part of that was smooth or 3d? haha

woulda been cool to have a doom like game on the gameboy color though

spamineggs

#15

spamineggs said:

so we aren't including Faceball 2000 as a FPS for the GBC, or is this the only GBC exclusive FPS? Also, I want Faceball 2000 on the VC with download play. make it happen NINTENDO!

ouroborous

#16

ouroborous said:

hm, cool that someone found the code for it but since its kind of unfinished and glitchy its probably not really worth bothering. interesting that there was supposed to be an fps for GBC but then, its an fps for GBC, so i doubt we missed anything with it's lack of release.

Manfred

#17

Manfred said:

@Five-seveN We thought about FAST 3DS but technically very challenging to get at 60fps. Kudos to Mario Kart 7. Together with Mario Kart DS simply one of the most awesome technical achievements in games programming.

Bucho

#18

Bucho said:

had a nervous breakdown and fled to australia to hide and is probably dead? sounds like a character from Lost.

C-Olimar

#20

C-Olimar said:

@Manfred #6 Lol :D
This game looks terrible to play. I guess back in the day it might have been OK, but these sort of FPSs haven't aged well imo.

Einherjar

#24

Einherjar said:

I dont think that something "official" will happen with that title. Like i said, it sure could be completed, but the "magic" is kinda lost. Its like "Retro City"s ROM City part. Sure, its sound amazing that it could run on the actual NES console...But guess what people would have thought if something like that would have been announced back in the day ? The technical aspect would have been that much more impressive. Or like Manfred said: I never heard anyone say what a technical masterpiece any of the portable Mario Karts are.
Or take Xenoblade as an example. Sure, it looked nice...for a Wii game. We knew how games can look on PS360. Now, if those two didnt exist, the technical impact of Xenoblade would have been so much more obvious. But like that, it got compared to HD games. Its like comparing apples and bananas, but we are simply used to that ;)
@Manfred Kudos to YOU guys, since each and every of your titles is a technical wonder by itself :D But i wish you could teach me how to play Nanostray...these games kick my behind so damn hard, its not funny anymore :P

SteveW

#25

SteveW said:

why is it that people put so much of the story in their videos? it's boring enough in the game, get to the gameplay!

MeWario

#26

MeWario said:

I remember drooling over this game in the magazines as a kid, then it just disappeared :(

Ras

#28

Ras said:

That is the actual music from the prototype? I didn't know the GBC was so capable. That's a great rendition of Streets of Laredo. I heard Buffalo Gals and Pecos Bill, but I've skipped around/haven't watched it all yet.

FluttershyGuy

#29

FluttershyGuy said:

I never heard of it. Glad, since it didn't make it. Looks pretty darn sweet for a GBC game. I'd have seriously considered getting it. Said at the site that it would've been a 20-40 HOUR campaign? Whoa.

And the stuff with the programmer heading to Australia, and the dad to Thailand sounds like some crazy shtuff that you'd see in a Law & Order episode! WTF?

rayword45

#30

rayword45 said:

@Manfred Maybe you could release those soundtracks?

Also, any chance of a Nano Assault EX patch or any news on Jett Rocket?

ecco6t9

#34

ecco6t9 said:

Excellent work, I always loved it when talented teams did things that were not supposed to be possible on the GB,GBC, and GBA.

Makes one wonder why some developers complain about 40MB?

Lin1876

#35

Lin1876 said:

I remember reading about this in Retro Gamer years ago, so it's good to see it back. Apparently it was inspired by 3D Monster Maze for the Sinclair ZX 81, which is pretty cool.

Dpullam

#37

Dpullam said:

I wonder if this game would actually turn out to be worth playing. Who knows if it will ever be officially released though. Maybe on the eshop?

Cirno

#38

Cirno said:

Looks like it pushes the GBC to its limits. Good job.

Even if the gamplay in this state looks meh.

Foot77

#39

Foot77 said:

I have a GBC, this would have been a cool addition to my collection, ah well...

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