A team of soldiers from the clandestine Secret Operation Raid Team is sent to capture Doctor Kirk, a genius scientist who had allegedly died in a lab accident, but instead used it as a chance to defect. Kirk's work involved "Third Energy Theory'', which caused a rift in the Space-Time continuum, bringing dinosaurs into the present day. Players take the role of Regina, a S.O.R.T. member who is attempting to survive the island, whilst her squad mates debate on whether or not to pursue Kirk or abandon the mission and escape.
List of tropes in Dino Crisis:
Abandoned Laboratory: Most of the facility is an abandoned research outpost, with the rest being offices or living quarters for the staff. The B1, B2 and B3 levels are where the main laboratories are based.
Advancing Boss of Doom: Battles against the Tyrannosaurus almost always take this form. As it cannot actually be killed, your weapons are useful only in slowing it down.
Ambiguously Brown: Both Regina and Tom◊ can pass off as Asian Americans, though their ethnicities have not been confirmed (And may never be at this point).
Ambiguous Disorder: It is very easy to diagnose Dr. Edward Kirk with some form of Bipolar Disorder. Mood swings? Check. Aggressive Behavior? Check. Poor Judgement? It's in his bio that he can't tell the difference between right and wrong so check. Risky behavior? Check. Will to complete goals? BIG check. It is also, however, easy to diagnose him with Antisocial Personality Disorder. Kirk fits almost every symptom on the the list.
Subverted by Gail, who is very cold and pragmatic with regards to his teammates' lives but won't hesitate to help them out so long as he's able to, and totally averted by Dylan in the sequel, who's a straight-up good guy.
Body Horror: Lots of mutilated corpses lying around, including those of the dinosaurs.
Bragging Rights Reward: The grenade launcher with infinite ammo is fun for a New Game+, but by this point you have already proven that you can complete the game without it.
Cardboard Obstacle: The DDKs. You have to find two keys, the right door, and work out the code, and the code changes style as the game progresses, but you won't know how they've changed (or even that they've changed) unless you read the right manuals in the right rooms.
Casual Danger Dialogue: Regina sees a guy whose entrails are no longer inside him, and comments, "That's disgusting," like she's talking about the weather.
Comm Links: Used to keep in touch with Gail and Rick, complete with holding the hand up to the ear to hear.
Container Maze: The Underground crane room, which fortunately is uninhabited. There is another crane room in the B3 Armory, though this one 'is' inhabited, and a third one can be found in the room on your way to the Heliport.
Copy Protection: If you try to play this game on a modded PS1, you are likely to get a scare as the screen suddenly quick-switches to a prohibited sign with Japanese text that amounts to, "Software has been terminated. Console may have been modified."
Deadly Gas: There is a puzzle Regina has to solve in order to access a sealed room where a researcher has barricaded himself. For some reason, the room he's in is filled with a fair amount of poisonous gas. By using the helpful hint left in the previous room, you can combine the gases in such a way as to neutralize them in order to gain entry. He'll give you an important key card before expiring. Near him is a small key you can use in the Medical Room in order to obtain extra goodies.
However, if you mix the gases wrong, either accidentally or because you're feeling like a jerk, you'll end up killing him. You still get the important key card, but you don't find the small key.
Disconnected Side Area: The Underground lab cannot be accessed from the B1 Level because there is a security shutter blocking the way. Regina has to head back to the ground level and use the elevator to get down.
Downer Ending: Depending on which ending you get, and on how you interpret it.
Elevator Action Sequence: Subverted; the Large Elevator found outside the facility looks like it is inviting one, and it is where the Pteranodons are first encountered, yet no action sequence occurs when it is actually used. That's not to say it doesn't come in useful later, or that it isn't relevant to the plot.
Equivalent Exchange: How the Third Energy Generator's time-travel function works. This is revealed by Dr. Kirk after the first attempt to activate the generator fails.
Escape Sequence: The end of the game becomes this once Regina sets the Third Energy Generator to overload.
Escort Mission: A convoluted one involves saving the undercover operative Tom, and getting him to a medical room to cure his wounds. Fortunately, Rick is there to take care of Tom, so your job is largely to remove the inanimate obstacles. Even better, they will sit and wait patiently until you have finished, and since Rick has a rifle with him, they're not helpless.
Evil Brit: Dr. Edward Kirk, which is made apparent when Regina and Gail find him.
Fetch Quest: Once or twice you have to fetch items, usually keys, for specific purposes (such as for restoring the power). Taken to an extreme with DDKs.
First Name Basis: S.O.R.T. seems to be pretty chill about this one, judging by how every agent we see except Cooper (assuming that wasn't his first name) goes by their given name.
Fixed Camera: You have no control over the camera, which varies from being perfectly still to following Regina down a corridor. Some reviews criticized the system, pointing out that it often meant taking a corner blind. Rule of Scary was probably applied.
Four Is Death: Four team members land on the island. Only three make it out of the opening cutscene alive.
Friend or Idol Decision: Regina must choose between assisting a severely wounded Gail, her commanding officer, in completing their mission objective of capturing renegade scientist Dr. Kirk, causing Gail to die in the process; or force Gail to give up to the chase and leave the island with her and Rick, allowing Dr. Kirk to escape, thus ending the mission in failure. However, Regina can also Take a Third Option by leaving Gail with Rick and going after Dr. Kirk by herself, allowing her to complete the mission without Gail dying. Or just by finding the heliport before following Gail to Kirk. Either works.
For Science!: Dr. Kirk's motives for his experiments were only for the results it could produce, the lives of others be damned. The sequel didn't fare much better.
Giant Flyer / Airborne Mooks - The Pteranodons are Death from Above, swooping down on their victims to knock them over, before carrying them away in their talons. It is possible to struggle out of their grip, but the more devious ones do more than simply drop you from a great height.
Hotter and Sexier: Regina's character model in CG artwork was modified. In the Japanese version, she had small lips and big anime-style eyes. In the western version, she was given smaller eyes and fuller lips.
Hyperspace Arsenal: Regina has three guns; a handgun, a shotgun, and a larger grenade launcher for firing incendiary bullets. It's hard to see where she keeps the last two.
Incredibly Durable Enemies: Even on Normal mode, the raptors are damage sponges when shot with handgun bullets, and they're the weakest enemies in the game besides the Compsognathus.
To a lesser extent, the poison darts for the shotgun. Sure, it costs Resuscitation Packs to make them, but seeing a Therizinosaur convulse in its death spasms from only one shot is an absolutely beautiful sight to behold.
Instant 180 Degree Turn: Regina can do this to evade enemies. It was deliberately introduced to prevent the faster dinosaurs from having an advantage.
Instant Sedation: The tranquilizer darts except for the "S" versions, which require multiple shots and don't tranquilize the enemy for long.
Inventory Management Puzzle: You'll have to ration between ammo stocks and medical items often, though the emergency supplies can be stored in green, red, and yellow boxes around the facility, and the boxes are interconnected according to colour code. So, for example, if you have opened two yellow boxes and a green box with the right plugs, with one yellow box on the ground floor and another in the Underground, you can access both boxes' contents whichever box you go to, but you cannot access the green box's contents from either of them.
Item Crafting: You can combine items already procured into new, more powerful items, such as stronger tranquilizer darts or more efficient Med Packs. There are even customized components whose only purpose is to be combined in this way.
It's Up to You: Regina is the only one who collects key items and kills (most of the) dinosaurs, despite having two teammates with her.
Jerk Ass: Doctor Kirk. This is made very evident when Regina catches up with him in the B1 Warehouse, and his response is to act snotty and complain that he doesn't want to leave.
Jerkass Has a Point : In the second game ending, it's revealed that the government wanted the disk specifications for Third Energy, so that they can use it as a weapon. Kirk, who clearly hates the government and holds the "government agents" in contempt, rubs it in Regina's face when Gail reveals this secret.
Kleptomaniac Hero: Not that anyone's in a position to complain as you rummage around the guard's locker rooms or the chief's office.
Knight of Cerebus: Somewhat; the Therizinosaurs in the underground late in the game. They are much harder to kill than raptors. And don't comically fall over when they hit the laser gates. Cutting the time they are stunned short. They are also more likely to burst through doors to chase after you.
Knockback: Pteranodon attacks can knock Regina over, leaving her vulnerable if the pterosaurs then attempt to carry her away. Therizinosaurs can also knock Regina onto her back with a punch to the stomach.
Let's Split Up, Gang: Regina is always working alone while Gail and Rick go off to do less dangerous work.
Justified, however. Rick is the team's technical expert, and often spends his time trying to crack/fix the base's electronic security. Gail, meanwhile has his own secret mission, separate from the recovery mission. Poor Cooper got separated during the parachute jump of the infiltration and turned into a midnight snack for a T-Rex. This leaves Regina the only one available who can do the more dangerous work the team needs done to find Dr. Kirk/escape.
Lightning Bruiser: The raptors are not particularly good sprinters and can be outrun, but they're dangerously agile up close and can dish out a lot of pain when they've got you between their jaws.
If the raptor corpse in the medical area's hallway is any indication; each other.
Multiple Endings: Depending on the choice you make in the last choice menu, the first game can end one of three ways:
If you choose to let Gail go after Doctor Kirk, Gail ends up succumbing to his wounds after cornering the doctor. Regina and Doctor Kirk then meet up with Rick and escape.
If you choose to stop Gail and follow Rick to the boat, the three of you escape after a couple run-ins with the T. Rex. Gail survives and Doctor Kirk is presumed to have found another means of escape.
You can choose to stop Gail again and then go after Kirk yourself. Doing this causes the best ending where Gail survives and Doctor Kirk is recaptured. Alternatively, let Gail go after Kirk, but take a detour to the heliport first. This will also secure the best ending.
New Game+: Starting a new game from the old one allows you to carry over costumes.
Nothing Is Scarier: One of the complaints fired at the first game was that, when they finally appeared, the dinosaurs were nowhere near as terrifying as the zombies of Capcom's more famous horror title, Resident Evil. When they weren't around, however, the game could be terrifying enough.
Preexisting Encounters: There are many in each game, some of which would be iconic of the series (for instance, the aforementioned scene where the T. rex pokes its head through the office window).
Press X to Not Die: The first game has many of these scenarios, in which a raptor would pin Regina down and start to maul her. The player has to mash the buttons as quickly as possible to kick it off or else Regina gets mauled to death.
The Radio Dies First: The radio man, Cooper, gets hunted down by the T. rex in the opening cutscene.
Raptor Attack: The raptors that appear in the game are lifted straight out of Jurassic Park: featherless, oversized and excessively aggressive, they seem to roam alone or in packs as the game demands and are apparently smart enough to work their way through elevator shafts.
Shout-Out: A small one in a bit of dialogue between Rick and Regina.
Rick: "So, you saw the beast, right?" Regina: "Yeah. Pteranodon, wasn't it?" Rick: "I meant, you saw that it was a real dinosaur? It's unbelievable." Regina: "Didn't I tell you?" Rick: *faintly* "This is just like that movie."
And also when Regina calls Rick about Gail being attacked by a dinosaur, he quips "Oh-hooo! Now that's a good one! So, who was it? Barney?".
Also slightly subtler, the shotgun is a Franchi SPAS-12 when fully upgraded, as was used in Jurassic Park.
Shows Damage: Regina will limp, clutch her arm, stoop and bleed when injured. The worse the injury, the more exaggerated this effect becomes.
Lock and Key Puzzle: The DDKs are the most obvious examples, but smaller keys are sometimes needed. This often ends up leading into The Password Is Always Swordfish, because the passwords on the DDK keys ended up to be painfully obvious and usually pertained to the room it was locking you out of. For example, the password to the passageway to the Training Room was "Newcomer".
The password always begins with the letter of the lock e.g DDK D's password is DOCTORKIRK. It makes it easy to know which password to use without consulting the logs on subsequent playthroughs.
Set Piece Puzzle: A lot of these are found wherever there is a computer interface Regina can interact with, such as the ones in the Underground lab. One of them involves Regina trying to access a secret stash in the electronic library.
"Simon Says" Mini-Game: During the Underground lab fiasco, Rick will send you a code that enables you to escape. You have to re-enter the code into the computer as it is presented, from memory.
Two-Keyed Lock: How Gail and Regina access the secret lab. It isn't a puzzle the player has to coordinate directly, but you will need to find both keys and to answer a prompt to call Gail.
Super-Persistent Predator: The T. rex, to the point where you wonder if it has some personal vendetta against Regina. If the raptors are standing in for the zombies, the T. rex must be standing in for Nemesis of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. It even swims after Regina and Co. at one point.
Take a Third Option: In the end of the first Dino Crisis, Regina must choose between helping a mortally wounded Gail (Regina's commanding officer) apprehend the renegade scientist Dr. Kirk, causing Gail to die in the process; or knock Gail out, forcing him to escape the island without capturing Dr. Kirk. The third option comes when the player chooses to knock out Gail, only to go after Dr. Kirk alone.
Techno Wreckage: Areas of the facility have lost power, most likely because there's no longer a maintenance crew around to fix it, and some rooms have actually been attacked (in a B3 Armory, a military vehicle has been smashed against a shutter hard enough to dent it). Sometimes, the scenery is trashed as the game progresses. Regina often has to restore the power before she can proceed.
Time Travel: How did the dinosaurs get here? Kirk explains this near the end of the first game: it is what happens when a Third Energy Reactor overloads while converting air into pure energy, the result coming about when two pockets of space-time are exchanged in the reaction. In other words, a fancy way of saying "Hand Wave", since by a happy coincidence, the Late Cretaceous seems to be the space-time era of choice. Hence we have the premise of the game.
Unblockable Attack: The Tyrannosaurus has attacks like these but only at the Heliport. Elsewhere, a shotgun blast will usually interrupt its strikes, though it gets notably tougher as the game progresses, and eventually only the Grenade Launcher will work against it.
With This Herring: Dino Crisis begins with cutscenes and an introductory area featuring Regina and her fellow soldiers. The others have large automatic rifles, but Regina is carrying only a pistol. Some cheat codes actually allowed you to begin the game with different weapons, so you could give her a riot gun just so she'd look suitably badass in those scenes.
Would Hit a Girl: Kirk, which is made evident when He shoots and kills a dying female researcher and later threatens to kill Regina.
Dino Crisis 2
A Third Energy research outpost disappears and is replaced by Prehistoric Jungle. Regina and new character Dylan Morton are sent to investigate, running afoul of both the dinosaurs, and a mysterious group of teenagers wearing futuristic gear. The game is notable for having a more action-oriented focus than the original (which was primarily Survival Horror), to the point of including a combo meter and a ingame currency system based on kills (similar to Devil May Cry).
Actionized Sequel - The first game was very much focused on bare-bones survival, giving you very limited ammo to carry around, and relatively weak weapons.note For example, one item-slot only let you hold 34 handgun bullets. If you were lucky, this was enough to bring down three raptors. This game tosses all this out the window: You build up combos by slaughtering dinos by the dozen, and you can buy ever larger weapons and ammo to do it with.
Convection Schmonvection - Dylan takes a trip through the center of an active volcano without so much as getting heatstroke.
Critical Hit - Interrupting an attack scores you one of these.
Deadly Gas - There's a sequence where you have to pass through a few areas populated by fungi emitting poisonous spores. The first two are dealt with by incinerating the fungi using a flamethrower. The last one can only be navigated by obtaining a gas mask.
Escort Mission - Dylan has to protect Paula from being killed by dinosaurs while they make their way to the complex from the future.
Eye Scream - In the opening cutscene, David fires a missile at the attacking T. rex, hitting it in the eye. However, instead of killing it (as it would in real life), this just pisses it off even more.
Hyperspace Arsenal - While the amount of items they can carry is limited, neither Regina nor Dylan appear to have any sort of pack that would accommodate the amount of weapons, healing items, and ammo they carry.
Let's Split Up, Gang - Regina (and later Dylan). Partially justified in that Dylan and Regina are cut off from any surviving members of their team for the first part of the game. It later turns out that only David survived. Everyone else got eaten.
Load-Bearing Boss - After defeating the Giganotosaurus and stopping the missile countdown, said dinosaur gets back up and knocks over the missile, causing a massive explosion that all but destroys the missile complex. It comes back as the final boss.
Mass Teleportation - Edward City when its Third Energy reactor overloads. What the Noah's Ark Plan is purposefully trying to do.
Minigame - Several in-game, such as a Rail Shooter fighting off the Triceratops and defending David from raptors with a turret as he opens a valve. After beating the game once, there's also "Dino Colosseum" and "Dino Duel."
Mook Promotion: In the underwater section, a plesiosaur, normally a mook at the level of a raptor when on the level's surface areas, shows up as a much tougher boss.
More Predators Than Prey - This is particularly egregious in this game, in which thousands of dinosaurs, plesiosaurs, pterosaurs, therapsids and mosasaurs infest the place and there are only three dinosaurs which are not carnivores.
New Game+ - Starting a new game from the old one allows you to carry over nifty unlockables.
Nigh Invulnerable - The Tyrannosaurus. No matter how matter how much you shoot it, it will never die, even with the arsenal you acquire over the course of the game. Same deal with the Giganotosaurus, the most you can do is momentarily stun it, which in a cutscene also shrugs off the Tyrannosaurus biting it in the leg. Getting caught in an exploding missile silo doesn't scratch it.
Orphan's Plot Trinket - Paula Morton is carrying one of these. It turns out to be inverted: said trinket is Dylan's dead sister's necklace. Towards the end of the game, Dylan watches a holographic message from his future self and learns that Paula is his daughter.
Redshirt Army - The opening scene shows all the members of TRAT getting killed and eaten by raptors.
Respawning Enemies - Running so that the camera angle changes allows for continuously respawning enemies. If you have enough ammo and are able to avoid getting hit, racking up Combos is a good way to earn tons of Extinction Points in order to buy better guns.
You can rack up massive amounts of points by doing this with the Plesiosaurs at the 3rd Energy Facility. They are easy to kill quickly with Regina's submachine guns, which makes possible for massive combo kills. It's great for saving up points to buy the MissilePod, if you don't have it yet. After you kill enough of them, though, they'll stop showing up in that room for a while.
The Reveal: Dino Crisis 2 has a rather convoluted one, so it is spoilered here and left to the reader to muddle through if he/she/it/pronoun-of-choice so wishes. After the events of the first game, some scientists got together and decided it would be a good idea to study the dinosaurs. After several groups brought dinosaurs into our time, with predictably disastrous results, the military got a team (which Dylan's older self was a part of) together and decided to send the dinosaurs home. However, the "Timegates" (powered by Third Energy) were defective so the military sent all of the dinosaurs 3 million years into the future until the Timegates could be perfected at which point the dinosaurs were to be brought back to their proper time in a plan called "The Noah's Ark Plan". When they brought the dinosaurs into the future, their Timegate overloaded, stranding the military teams along with the dinosaurs. Before all of the survivors were killed by the dinosaurs, their children were put into life-support pods to protect them as they grew. While they were in the pods, they were taught through some Applied Phlebotinum how to live with the dinosaurs, with one side-effect being that they would also protect the dinosaurs. Paula was one of those children and since she's Dylan's daughter, she cooperates with him. It's hinted that the Third Energy experiments Edward City was conducting caused a synchronicity between the two groups, causing both overloads, and pulling Edward City into the future.
Roaring Rampage of Revenge - The Triceratops battle is caused by this. Regina and Dylan find a dead baby Triceratops, but then one of the adults shows up, and immediately thinks that they killed the baby. Cue rail shooter sequence in which you defend your jeep from two understandably pissed Triceratops.
Set Right What Once Went Wrong - The military eventually realizes that dinosaurs and humans weren't meant to co-exist so they enact a plan that would eventually get the dinosaurs back to their proper time. At least, that was the plan before their Timegate overloaded...
Shows Damage - Regina and Dylan will limp, clutch their shoulders, and bleed depending on how much damage they take. The worse the damage, the slower they move.
Somewhere, a Paleontologist Is Crying - The Allosaurus, which look like downsized version of the Tyrannosaurus, and the Giganotosaurus that much larger than it was in real life. Also, Allosaurus, Giganotosaurus and Tyrannosaurus didn't live in the same time period, and Giganotosaurus lived in a completely different region. Then again, given the absurd resilience they display, that's the least of the heroes' problems.
Tears were likely shed for the venom-spitting ninja Oviraptors as well.
Which became outright sobbing at the sight of plesiosaurs bending their necks.
Time Travel - Naturally. Not only does Edward City have an overload which causes it to warp to another point in time, but the ship that Regina and TRAT are on has a "Timegate", a device that utilizes Third Energy to travel in time. To make no mention of what Future!Dylan's group tries to do.
Underwater Ruins - After reaching Edward City proper, Regina has to don a diving suit and go down into an underwater reactor cooling system, complete with the suit-clad bodies of the unfortunate workers and the Mosasaurs who killed them.
The Worf Effect - The Giganotosaurus introduces himself by crashing through a wall, grabbing the T. rex in its jaws, holding it in the air, throwing it against a wall and then eating it.
Also known as Gun Survivor 3: Dino Crisis. A first-person shooter starring Mike Wired, a World War II pilot who becomes stranded in the dinosaur-ridden future thanks to the timeline meddling that occurred in the earlier games.
Our Hero Is Dead - The reason Mike was selected by Paula to restore the unstable time stream; only someone about to perish in real life can do it without causing a paradox, since they'll be restored to the point in time they left after being returned. Of course, Paula helpfully erases the bullets that were about to kill him, so...
Robo Speak - The "Single Shot!", "Special Weapon!", and "Reload!" prompts in Dino Stalker.
Taking place in the Twenty-Sixth Century. Players take the role of Patrick Tyler as he investigates the U.N. Ozymandias, a spaceship that had disappeared centuries earlier. Along with Sonya Hart and Jacob Ranshaw, he fights mutants based on Dinosaur genetic codes.
Patrick: "Hey, genetic freak! You're not on the boarding list so get off the boat!"
Recycled IN SPACE - This game is a literal example of this, and whether it was due to this or to other problems, reviewers scored it significantly lower than its predecessors. In fact, the only thing Dino Crisis 3 had in common with the previous two games was the fact that they shared a name.
Redshirt - McCoy, the fourth person to survive the destruction of the Seyfert gets killed by an Australis during the first few minutes of the game.
Redshirt Army - The probe ship Seyfert, containing the other members of the SOAR team sent to the U.N. Ozymandias is destroyed by cannon in the opening scene.
Send In The Search Team - The reason why SOAR is sent to the U.N. Ozymandias. is because it reappears near Jupiter nearly 300 years after contact with it was lost.
Senseless Sacrifice - Jacob dies in an attempt to use a grenade explosion to kill the Regulus. It survives and attacks the others mere minutes after his death.
Space Is Noisy - The opening scene with the cannons and the final boss fight which takes place on the hull of the escape shuttle.. The whole game is rife with this, as even the parts that take place on the outside of ships sound the same as the parts that take place in areas with atmosphere.
"This isn't a joke, you idiot! I was just attacked by a big-ass lizard!"