Appeared in 2002 Star Fox Adventures for Nintendo GameCube, but actually it was a completely different game before. We have known that for years. Development of the game began in 1997 under the name Dinosaur Planet at Rare. After a lot of planning, they worked on an open world adventure with two interwoven stories. The stories revolved around Krystal and Saber, who later became Fox. They were supported by their sidekicks Tricky, Kyte (both are also included in the final game) and Randorn.
It is rumored that Shigeru Miyamoto himself suggested that Dinosaur Planet become a Star Fox game. This was due to the similarities between Rare’s anthropomorphic design of Saber and Nintendo’s Fox McCloud. The game, which was supposed to be released for Nintendo 64, then became a Star Fox title and was planned as a launch game for GameCube.
Not all developers at Rare were happy about that, as ex-Rare developer Phil Tossell admitted in a later interview. This requirement was by no means “willingly” accepted, but on the other hand, one also saw the potential that the game would get through the Star Fox license. The rest is history.
Released later build of the original game
Also part of this story is now that a later build of the original game (still for Nintendo 64) was published online. The group Forest of Illusion has made it its business to preserve Nintendo’s history. This also often includes unpublished materials like this unfinished, early Dinosaur Planet.
According to the group, the disc with the build was bought from a private collector in Sweden. The files are marked with the date December 1, 2000, which would mean that it is a very late build, shortly before the “switch” to Star Fox Adventures. The game is still running on N64.
Digital Foundry has already taken an in-depth look at the build and released about 20 minutes of real-life gameplay on Dinosaur Planet. You see a piece of video game history. Have fun!
Images: Star Fox Adventures, Nintendo / Rare