Those familiar with Star Fox Adventures for the GameCube should be well aware that this was not your traditional Star Fox game. In fact, it was much more akin to a Zelda game than a series revolving around animal pilots flying about in the vacuum of space. Well, that’s because Star Fox Adventures was never originally meant to be a Star Fox game until someone at Nintendo thought that changing the character Sabre into Star Fox would increase sales. Had such meddling not taken place, we would have gotten a game called Dinosaur Planet, whose canceled N64 beta has recently been discovered!
This is truly an amazing find, and though the game is unfinished, with much of it inaccessible in its current form, I watched a playthrough of the first section of the game, and boy, is it interesting. Like the completed Star Fox Adventures, the game opens with Krystal (who now looks more like some sort of feline rather than a fox) riding a Cloudrunner in the direction of General Scales’ flying ship in order to rescue Princess Kyte. One interesting thing is that this game has full voice acting, which is pretty amazing for a Nintendo 64 game!
The game eventually swaps to Sabre…scratch that, in this version of the game, Sabre has already been replaced by Star Fox, though his icon in the upper left corner of the screen still appears to resemble Sabre, who might have been a grey wolf? The first thing Fox does is rescue Prince Tricky, who also serves as his sidekick in the finished game. Unlike the finished game, it also appears that you get to switch between Krystal and Fox/Sabre, with the Cloudrunner Princess Kyte serving as Krystal’s sidekick in much the same manner as Tricky.
Dinosaur Planet looks really interesting from what I’ve seen thus far, and I look forward to seeing more content as it’s discovered in the future. While I did really enjoy Star Fox Adventures, I do wish the Star Fox element hadn’t been shoehorned in, plus I wish the final game had allowed us to swap between both main characters instead of having Krystal only be playable at the start, after which she needs to be rescued by Fox in the end.
If you’re interested, you can find videos of this game online, or you could play it for yourself, though I have no idea how one would go about that. Again, the game is unfinished, and though people are hard at work making the game more usable, much of it remains unplayable at this time. Nevertheless, this is a really awesome discovery for any fan of Rareware history!