When it comes to lost video games, the original version of Star Fox Adventures probably has to be up there as one of the most conveted. Designed as a standalone Zelda esque action adventure game for the N64 under the name Dinosaur Planet, the title was eventually retooled into a Star Fox for the GameCube after Miyamoto realised the main character looked a bit like Fox. It’s a situation that went down in infamy with both Star Fox and Rare fans, and one that made people want to check out the original game too.
Unfortunately, it seemed like that was never going to happen. After all, Nintendo doesn’t exactly release betas of their games, and nor does Rare. As a result, fans assumed the only thing they’d get from this game were screenshots, videos and whatever information was shared by ex developers online.
However, it seems that’s not the case! Why? Because the Forest of Illusion site owners have now bought and released an original beta of Dinosaur Planet for the N64, which can be found and downloaded at the link below:
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
It’s pretty insane really, especially given all the speculation we’ve had up until now. What’s more, it also clears up a few other development mysteries too!
For instance, people often wondered exactly when Fox was added to the game. Was Saber (the original player character)’s replacement a late in development thing? Did it happen on the N64, or the GameCube version?
Well as it turns out, it clearly happened in the N64 days. That’s because the screenshots above show Fox in the game as the main protagonist, and the version they’re taken is in from just before the switch to the GameCube.
So yeah, Star Fox Adventures was clearly going to be an N64 game in that form at one point. Mark one more mystery resolved here folks!
Still, if you’re interested in scrapped games, give it a look. It’s neat to see how games like this changed over the course of their development cycle, and it’s nice knowing that finally, the original Dinosaur Planet game can be played in its entirety.
Thanks for the release Forest of Illusion folks, here’s hoping for a few other amazing video game betas and prototypes in future too!