Canceled N64 Game Dinosaur Planet Leaks, Is Fully Playable
Rare's canceled game would be reworked into Star Fox Adventures for the GameCube.
Rare's canceled game Dinosaur Planet, which was actually later converted into a completely different game on GameCube, has leaked in its original state online. The game was planned for the Nintendo 64, and much of its DNA still exists in Star Fox Adventures--hence that game's major differences from the rest of the series. This version, however, has never been available to the public to play before.
Shared by the Nintendo historian Forest of Illusion on Twitter and spotted by VGC, Dinosaur Planet is fully playable via this leaked version, though the account said it won't run perfectly on emulators. The build appears to be from after Nintendo had already decided to mix in elements of Star Fox, as you can see Fox McCloud himself in one of the screenshots. The game was still called Dinosaur Planet at this point, however.
Today we have released Dinosaur Planet by Rare for Nintendo 64. The development was halted and moved to the GameCube, where it was then released as Star Fox Adventures. Enjoy! (More info in this thread).— Forest of Illusion (@forestillusion) February 20, 2021
Link to the dump:https://t.co/gQGGcU4vJK pic.twitter.com/Orub7RU3fa
It's peculiar to see how Fox had been seemingly shoehorned into the game at this point, wearing his usual outfit but with a sword on his back. He ended up using a staff as his main weapon in Star Fox Adventures but went back to his blaster and other sci-fi technology for Star Fox Assault a few years later.
Forest of Illusion went on to say in the Twitter thread that they purchased a disc containing this build from a collector in Sweden, and the build is from the very end of 2000. Star Fox Adventures would ultimately release in 2002, suggesting it was a relatively quick turnaround to shift it into a Star Fox game. There are still space combat sections in Star Fox Adventures, but the vast majority of the game is Zelda-esque exploration and dungeons. The space sections largely take place as bridges between the rest of the game.
Rare has been mostly developing games for Microsoft's systems ever since. In fact, Microsoft purchased the developer just a day after Star Fox Adventures released in North America. Though very different from the rest of the series, it's arguably one of the best Star Fox games. That bar may not be all that high to reach given the struggles Nintendo has faced with the series over the last 15 years or so, but it's still something.
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