Dinosaur Planet is an unreleased Nintendo 64 game by Rare that ultimately evolved into Star Fox Adventures for GameCube. But thanks to the preservationists at Forest of Illusion, it’s now possible to play that unfinished, original title. A build of the game from December 1st, 2000 — well into its development cycle — was retrieved from a disc purchased from a private collector.
Screenshots of the game feature Fox McCloud; as noted by Eurogamer, Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto was reportedly influential in pushing the developers to shift the game into a Star Fox title. Digital Foundry’s John Linneman uploaded 20 minutes of gameplay, and here you can also see Fox replacing one of the original game’s intended protagonists, Sabre.
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
Forest of Illusion notes that “the game will currently not run 100 percent perfectly on any emulator. Expect many graphical issues with shadows and lighting, and some slowdown. It should however, work perfectly fine with flashcarts.” Flashcarts allow for games to run on original N64 console hardware
The influence of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is evident, but it’s very interesting to get a look at the moody atmosphere that Rare was working on before Dinosaur Planet became Star Fox Adventures on the GameCube. Forest of Illusion also uploaded the game to the Internet Archive.
February is proving to be a month of gems for Rare’s fans; earlier in February, the canceled Xbox 360 remake of GoldenEye 007 was leaked onto the web. Much like Dinosaur Planet, it’s very playable despite being unfinished.