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Video Game: Carnivores

"2190AD. On a routine exploration , science vessel FMM UV discovered a planet with a suitable climate for humankind. During the initial scouting expedition this young planet, code-named FMM UV-22, was declared inhospitable for colony life due to its unstable terrain and immense population of prehistoric reptiles. News of this amazing planet spread and articles on the "Dinosaur Planet" lead an Earth corporation to purchase the rights to the planet, and create DinoHunt Corp. DinoHunt created the unique opportunity for paying customers to become dinosaur hunters for the first time in 50 million years.

You are the newest client of DinoHunt Corp."
The introduction to Carnivore's user's manual

Carnivores is a 1998 First-Person Shooter/Hunting Game where you, the player, get to be an Egomaniac Hunter on a quest to kill "prehistoric reptiles". However, the game is not a generic Deer Hunter clone. No, you are not an invincible god able to slaughter your foes in droves. You are being hunted as much as you are hunting, and your foe is bigger, faster, stronger, and, occasionally, smarter than you. Can you survive?

Carnivores spawned two sequels: Carnivores 2, and Carnivores: Ice Age. Carnivores 2 is generally considered the best of the series, although all three are good in their own right. They boast impressive (for The Nineties) graphics which include semi-realistic water effects and well-detailed environments, in addition to an incredible AI system for the dinosaurs, though it can be spoty at times. They were considered Abandonware for a long time, until in 2010 they ported the games onto iPod (or at least, Carnivores 2 and Ice Age) as well as the PSP. There was also a PS3 game, Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter HD, released in 2013.

If anyone asks, there was, in fact, a fourth game, entitled Carnivores: Cityscape. It turned the game into a full-out generic FPS based around a semi-recycled plot (from Jurassic Park: The Lost World; at least, the movie version). In it, DinoHunt Corp. is running out of clients; interest in the dinosaurs is waning, and most of the people who might have jumped at the chance to hunt prehistoric creatures are already dead because they tried and failed miserably. So they decide to bring the dinosaurs to the people as a kind of traveling zoo. As can be expected, the dinosaurs escape into the city that the spaceship carrying them crashes in, and it's up to you (as an "Agent") to kill them, or, if playing as a dinosaur (the campaign has five missions for each), to kill the agents... or something.

It's not brought up in polite conversation with fans of the original series, and is generally considered So Okay, It's Average, though it has it's share of fans. It was also the first (and, so far, only) game in the series with online capabilities.note 


This game provides examples of:

  • Absurd Altitude: Possible to achieve, but only when using debug mode. Comes in two flavors: Hulk-style jumping and an actual "fly mode" where gravity is removed from the game, and if you stop moving in the air, you just float there.
  • AFGNCAAP: Your character has no name past the one you give him, and you never see him unless you die.
  • A.K.A.-47: The Dragunov SVD in the first game is just called "Sniper Rifle." In the later games, the model is changed to a normal rifle with a scope.
  • Anachronism Stew: The game's animals are taken from many different periods and real life landmasses. Justified (read: Hand Waved) in that this is merely convergent evolution, and none of these dinosaurs are really dinosaurs. Also, a Dragunov SVD in the year 2190, although this is at least kind of plausible, since it could be an antique (though why you'd use an antique to hunt the most dangerous animals ever seen by man is kind of troubling).
  • All There in the Manual: The entire plot is literally in the manual. See the page quote? That's basically it.
  • Bullet Time: Debug mode's "slow" feature.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Averted in a Nintendo Hard kind of way. You get a life bar if you go underwater or near lava. If any dinosaur so much as touches you, you die. No retries, no health kits, nothing. It adds to the experience.
  • Convection Schmonvection: Averted, but in a half-hearted manner. If get too close to lava, you get a health bar. Unfortunately, your character will not set on fire, though. Played straight in debug mode, where you can stand on (and yes, it is on; the lava is just a texture, not an actual liquid like the water) the lava without a care in the world.
  • Death World: The planet in Carnivores is described as this when looked at from the prospect of colonization, but in practice it really isn't that bad. It seems that most of the land mass is island-based, and although it is very rough terrain, it's not entirely unworkable. The dinosaurs wouldn't be that big a deal, either, although it could be Gameplay and Story Segregation and there are in fact intended to be a lot more than the game could feasibly handle, engine-wise. As for deterring development, you'd think that they could just exterminate the dinosaurs like any other animal; then again, they're making a killing on it.
  • Dummied Out: Many things, like the Brachiosaurus being a hunted animal (it is invincible without cheating), a "poacher" in Ice Age who could have shot at the player (taken out because it was deemed too difficult to fight), etc. Most of these things can be brought back into the game, but often not entirely; for example, the poacher still retains the model, but the AI is lost. One can replace the AI with one of the animals', but then it will just act like said animal, without firing at the player as was originally intended.
  • Easter Egg: A rather literal example. In the iPhone version there is a level with a cave system. If one explores this cave system enough, you encounter a chamber full of large, leathery eggs, some of which are splayed open in four segments at the top, revealing the hollow, ribbed inside.
    • Cityscape also has a statue of Serious Sam in one of it's levels.
  • Egomaniac Hunter: You, more or less. Of course, you get to decide whether you kill one dinosaur on each map or clear the whole island, but, in the end, you are a guy who paid who knows how much to hunt dinosaurs because apparently you had nothing better to do.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Well, not everything, but anything that can feasibly kill you will do so if it is given the chance. So, that Velociraptor? It's going to gore you before it eats you. How about that Ceratosaurus? Him too. How about Tyrannosaurus rex? He throws you around like a ragdoll instead of actually eating you.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Duh.
  • Evil Poacher: Would have been an enemy in Ice Age, but was scrapped because it was deemed too difficult.
  • Excuse Plot: Lasts about as long as it takes to go from picking a character to your first hunt. Then it's all about the dinos. In a way, it's actually subverted... indecisively... because there are little mini stories within the maps, sometimes explicitly, and sometimes only seen when you go exploring. Subverted by Cityscape, however.
  • Fake Difficulty: Results from Fridge Logic. Yes, the dinosaurs (and later, mammals) hunt you, too, but they don't hunt each other. At all. It's actually kind of noticeable after awhile.
  • Game Mod: The Carnivores fan community created several of these over the years. Perhaps the most popular example is Carnivores Triassic, which expands upon the canon of the official series, introducing an entirely new region of the planet with its own unique animals and challenges.
  • Ghost Town: The abandoned settlement, Fort Ciskin, is this. It was abandoned after an angry Tyrannosaurus rex went on a rampage and destroyed its so-called "Dinosaur Wall." You can go in to find a few buildings and a huge gate, hanging on its hinges. It's rather eerie when thought about too much.
  • Hell Is That Noise: A few of the carnivore calls are so scary they'll even send other dinosaurs running when you use them.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: Played With. It's the AI animals doing it to you, but since you are human, it more or less still qualifies.
  • Immune to Bullets: The Tyrannosaurus rex is, in a practical sense. It's an instant kill if you hit it in the eye, but otherwise it has a stupidly large amount of health which can't even begin to be chipped off unless you enter debug mode (it has somewhere around 1000 health; compare to most of the other dinosaurs, which peak at about 30, and the rifle's damage score, 4). Even in debug mode, it still takes a long time to kill, and if you're too low when it reaches you, it can still kill you.
  • Implacable Man: The Tyrannosaurus rex, but only in debug mode. You die too fast to put up a chase, outside of debug mode.
  • Kill All Humans: Your main goal in the fourth game if you play the dinosaur campaign.
  • Mega Corp.: DinoHunt Corp. is a fairly mundane example. They just act like a normal African safari company, albeit one that charges absurd rates (presumably; the narrative implies it), and with good reason. Unless one takes the fourth game into account, but most players like to act like that game is a different series altogether. However, if one does do so, they start to look a bit like InGen, though leaning more towards the incompetence rather than outright malice.
  • Mighty Whitey: The Player Character avatar is white and, via the game's backstory, implicitly insanely rich and out hunting for the sake of it. It's like how rich people were in the early 1900s... but in space...
  • Misplaced Wildlife: Par for the course, considering the game's subject matter.
  • Nintendo Hard: The dinosaurs have an annoying habit of detecting you long before you have a chance to spot them. You, at least until you become stupidly rich in-game, cannot have all the dinosaurs at once for a hunt, which means they won't all be on radar. That means they can sneak up on you. This is even more pronounced in the iPod version, where accessing the map for the radar is only possible when relocating, which has a 30 second cooldown.
    • Actually, you can also bring up the map by tapping the compass.
  • Ninja Pirate Robot Zombie: Results from Fridge Logic; all of these dinosaurs are not only dinosaurs, they're all aliens, too!
  • Noisy Nature: Subverted in an intriguing fashion. Almost all of the hunted animals (the ones that give points) are almost silent, only calling back if you use the dinosaur call. Some of the critter dinosaurs make noises (specifically, the flying ones) but not all that often—meaning that it's rather jarring and creepy when they do. Ultimately, the islands are disconcertingly quiet—often, the noise you make from walking are about all you hear.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The abandoned settlement in the second area of Carnivores 2. It becomes quite creepy when you think about what once happened in the very spot you're standing. Also, the ruins look fairly recent, so who's to say that T.rex isn't still around somewhere, lurking in the shadows, waiting for round two?
    • Hell, the T.rex in general; it has absurd senses, high speed and it can only be killed outside of cheats with a shot to a very small eye.
  • One Nation Under Copyright: DinoHunt Corp. owns the rights to the planet, and can basically do whatever they like on it. In the second game it's shown that they even tried to put down a colonial settlement—even after they said the planet was "inhospitable for colony life"—though it doesn't end particularly well.
  • Phlebotinum Killed the Dinosaurs: It depends on how successful DinoHunt Corp's business gets. It certainly wouldn't be the first time we humans hunted an entire species into extinction.
  • Precursors: A loose, generally unconnected plot thread goes through some of the maps, talking about how there used to be a race of sentient beings on the planet who built pyramids in one map and a temple in another, as well as a reproduction of Stonehenge in the Fort Ciskin map. The game, with what little information it gives, says that they worshiped the Velociraptor, although little more is said past the ruins' strategic resource to the hunter.
  • Prehistoric Monster: Averted for the most part. Since this is a hunting game, most of the dinosaurs behave like simple Expies of animals hunted in Real Life. But as you will learn below, the T-Rex is the exception.
  • Raptor Attack: The first two games feature Velociraptor, and the iOS and Android versions added Utahraptor and Troodon. Unfortunately, none are especially accurate. The Velociraptor might as well have leapt out of Jurassic Park: an oversized, naked, bendy-tailed excuse for a dromaeosaurid. The Utahraptor is slightly better, with non-pronated hands and a small crest of feathers on its head, but that's about the only place it has feathers (no one seems to understand that raptors were completely cloaked in feathers from head to toe, they weren't just lizards with a mohawk). The Troodon is probably the worst: scaly, much bigger than the real animal, and as if this weren't bad enough it is flat-footed (everyone seems to know that raptors had an enlarged foot claw, but the fact that troodontids also had it is a somewhat lesser-known fact). These inaccuracies may be justified if, as the game's manual states, the game is set on a distant planet instead of on prehistoric Earth, in which case any resemblances of the inhabitants to Earth's dinosaurs would be purely superficial.
  • Roar Before Beating: The T.rex does this; it's basically a grace period for you to get a shot in before it hits you like a freight train. It will be subverted if you're lucky enough to get a shot off before the T.rex notices you, because if you hit it but do not land the killing blow, it skips to the running-you-down bit. You have to hope you have the luck of a card shark and hit it in the eye at that point. The only way to survive a Tyrannosaurus that's noticed you outside of card-shark luck is to either evac the situation before that bastard can kill you or hope there's ground nearby that the thing can't climb, but you can.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: Played With. Most things will stop chasing you after awhile (if you're lucky enough to get away, anyhow), and sometimes the carnivores will even run away instead of coming after you, assuming you hit them from far enough away. But good old Mr. T.rex? Oh no. He's on your ass the moment he detects you, and unless you go into debug mode, you better hope you can bring him down before he reaches you. If you do go into debug mode, he will continually chase you across the map until either you kill him or he kills you.
  • Standard FPS Guns: Pistol, Shotgun, Double-Barreled Shotgun, X-Bow (a crossbow that automatically pulls back after shooting), Rifle (which is both full- and semi-auto), and Sniper Rifle.
  • Stock Dinosaurs: They are present, but the trope is subverted anyhow by the presence of many non-stock dinosaurs (and many non-dinosaurs). Also, Allosaurus is more similar to this game's Velociraptor than to the T-Rex, while Spinosaurus has been demoted to being a slightly-larger version of said Allosaurus. A full list can be found at the wiki.
    • Note, however, that if we are discussing the first Carnivores game, then yeah. All the dinosaurs in the first game with the possible exception of Moschops would be pretty familiar to most players.
  • This Loser Is You: The Player Character is slow as a sloth when walking, compared to the dinosaurs, can barely climb a hill, and "runs" at an elderly person's pace. It's hard to tell sometimes if it's that you're really that bad, or if it's just that the dinosaurs are overpowered, though.
  • Twenty Minutes into the Future: Happens a bit farther into the future than most examples.
  • Tyrannosaurus rex: And an incredibly terrifying one at that. His only weak spot is his eye, and you have only one chance to aim your shot just right. If you miss that one shot, then pray that the gods will have mercy on your soul!!

Board Game ClassicsCreator/Sunstorm InteractiveDuke Nukem: Manhattan Project
    Creator/Wizard Works SoftwareExpansion Pack
Dino CrisisDinosaur MediaCarnivores Triassic
Call of Juarez: GunslingerFirst-Person ShooterCarnivores Triassic

alternative title(s): Carnivores
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