Video Game: Jurassic Park: Trespasser
"Let's make this clear: Jurassic Park: Trespasser
Trespasser is not a good game. It could have been a good game. It had the potential to be a good game, but what was released in late 1998 and sold to the public was simply not a good game...You can liken it to babysitting a big, lovable and slightly retarded child. You know he means well, but that doesn't stop him from dropping trou and shitting in the middle of the aisle in Costco from time to time."
is an infamous First-Person Shooter
game released in 1998 for PCs by Dreamworks Interactive, developed as a tie-in to the film The Lost World: Jurassic Park
. The game stars Anne, a plane crash survivor who finds herself on the shores of Isla Sorna, also known as Site B, two years after the events of The Lost World
, and desperately needs to find a way off the island, armed with nothing but her wits and one lone (surprisingly strong) noodly arm for her to pull boxes and throw rocks around with.Trespasser
was an extremely ambitious project, flaunting a skilled development team (with the occasional contribution from Steven Spielberg
himself), a fully three-dimensional game engine with incredible draw distances, massive, sprawling outdoor environments, a full physics engine to simulate objects realistically, and artificially intelligent dinosaurs that would react accordingly to the player's actions...or that was the plan anyway. In practice, Trespasser
was much less impressive: The developers were strapped for time and had to delay the game again and again, until they were forced to cut back on features and quality assurance just to get the game to ship on time,
and the game that was released in 1998 was a glitchy, broken mess that was nearly impossible to play on most computers at the time.
Initially considered a massive disappointment, most consumers eventually forgot about the game when, within a few years, their attention was drawn to the spectacular Half-Life
and the even-more-awful Daikatana
. The game's legacy lives on, though, because Trespasser
still has an active mod community, dedicated to ironing out the game's problems, and the game essentially laid the groundwork for later developers in terms of game engines and interactive physics: Valve Software
in particular considered Trespasser
a major source of inspiration for Half-Life 2
and its physics engine
. If you'd like to try it out for yourself, good luck: The game sold only 50,000 copies at its time of release, and even if you find a copy, don't even bother running it on an "old games" box. What it did in 1998 made it unplayable, far moreso than what Crysis
did to late 2007 computers.A fan remake is currently in development
- A.K.A.-47: The AG47 isn't fooling anyone.
- Apocalyptic Log: A surprisingly well-written and acted Dr. John Hammond narrates your journey.
- Artificial Stupidity:
- You can easily trick dinosaurs by running a round a rock. Raptors occasionally jump off of cliffs. One raptor tribe's attack is literally to just charge at you.
- In development, dinos had many different emotions, but this resulted in them becoming paralyzed with indecision. In order to fix this, all emotion meters were set to zero, except for anger and hunger.
- Artistic License – Physics: Bet you didn't know you could knock over stone columns with long-range machine gun fire.
- Awesome but Impractical: The Barrett .50 deals ridiculous damage, but...
- It cannot be carried,
- You cannot move while using it,
- You cannot use the scope and/or sights, and
- It carries 10 shots. Tops.
- Bag of Spilling: New level? All your guns are gone. For some reason, they thought this was a good idea.
- Though some levels have weapons right next to the start, they're typically just a pair of .44 Desert Eagles.
- Batter Up: Bats are the most common melee weapon. They also do nothing except kill you if you accidentally smack yourself in the face with one.
- Beating A Dead Player: Your body will be eaten!
- Continuity Nod: Loads. Various locations and objects from the films can be found at various points in the game, such as the remains of some of the hunters from the second film.
- Crate Expectations: Used for every jumping puzzle.
- Cue the Flying Pigs: The Jurassic Park Dark Secrets mod has been in development since 2004, with the creator telling people it would likely be available to test and/or release within the year multiple times. Now, in March 2011, beta testers are finally getting copies of the levels, and the whole package is expected to be distributed sometime within the next few months.
- Damage-Sponge Boss: The Tyrannosaurs aren't immune to damage, but they have such a ridiculous amount of health that trying to kill one with conventional weapons is an excercise in frustration.
- The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: If the player tries to walk into the ocean at the start of the game, Ann makes some sarcastic comments about not really wanting to swim.
- Die, Chair! Die!: Certain objects, notable chairs and some statues, are "breakable" in the sense that they're composed of little piles of their constituent parts. The engine doesn't have any coding for friction, so the parts are all frozen in place (often visibly levitating) on spawning, but a little nudge will cause them to fall apart.
- Diegetic Interface: You have no HUD whatsoever. Your Life Meter is a heart tattoo on your left breast that fills with red as you take damage. Aiming your weapons requires you to line up their iron sights. Anne verbally keeps track of how much ammo guns have remaining. Almost every interaction in the world requires you to reach out with your arm.
- Drop the Hammer: Don't even bother to pick it up, it does nothing.
- Dummied Out: The discovery of an internal beta (which was subsequently dumped and uploaded the internet) shows what kind of a game Trespasser could have been if it hadn't been subject to a bunch of quick fixes to get it out the door - before its release, most of the cut content could only be accessed through the game's internal code. The beta runs twice as fast as the retail version, additional parts of levels, the fabled "Pine Valley" level (that was inaccessible in the final version), longer voiceovers, more dinosaurs, etc. There's also various cut weapons, both left in the game but never spawned (an M1911, a cattle prod) and actually removed (a silenced version of the MAC-10, an M16).
- Exploding Barrels: There are barrels of fuel scattered about the island. Go ahead, shoot them. They don't do anything. One can guess they were meant to explode, considering most of them show up near an Albertosaurus you're supposed to fight.
- Fan Remake: One fan has been working on a complete remake of the game since 2011, and in the style of Far Cry 3, with an added open-world emphasis. The results so far look absolutely amazing.
- First-Person Ghost: Anne has an arm and visible cleavage, the latter of which bear the Life Meter in tattoo form. A fan-made third person mode make this even more absurd, revealing that she has nothing but an arm and boobs.
- Also, any weapon you happen to be carrying will be floating vaguely in the area where a holster would be, if you had a waist.
- Flunky Boss: The Alpha raptor has minions.
- Game-Breaking Bug: Too many to count without the patches.
- Game Mod: A surprising amount for a game that only sold 50,000 copies. The fan-base is devoted. They've actually made the game playable, and still release graphics updates 12 years after the game was released.
- The fanbase also got a recently-discovered beta version up and running (as it was incompatible with most new systems) and discovered that it ran twice as fast as the retail version of the game. Makes you wonder what the dev team could have pulled off with some more prep time.
- Gangsta Style: You can fire this way. Just don't expect to hit anything.
- Guns Are Worthless: Inverted. Melee weapons (save for one) either do nothing, or kill you when you put them away.
- Hand Cannon: Parodied with the ridiculously overpowered .38 snub nose. Otherwise played straight; the most common weapon is a .44 Desert Eagle. Possibly justified, given what you're shooting with them.
- HUD: None. And there is no crosshair, and the mouse combined with four modifier keys control your arm. Aiming is difficult, especially if you don't bother to align a gun's iron sights.
- I Can't Use These Things Together: Since there's no way to visually check your ammunition, Anne will dictate either the exact count of bullets in a gun ("Looks like twelve," etc.) or will estimate magazine-fed firearms by weight ("Feels about half full", etc.). This trope is also followed out of necessity, since Anne is the only living human on the island.
- High-Pressure Blood: Shooting a dino will more often than not result in a several-foot long arc of blood spraying out of the body. Taken Up to Eleven if you use the neurotoxin dart rifle on the T-rex, with a single shot resulting in comically huge torrents of blood shooting out like a giant punctured beer can (and, as per usual, slowing the game to a crawl).
- Immune to Bullets: T-rex and Brachiosaurus. The only easy way to kill a T-rex is three headshots from a unique weapon that only appears in one level. The T-rex is near the end of the level, the gun at the beginning. The gun carries 3 shots and there are no reloads in this game. Still, it is satisfying to kill one of the bastards. They have such ridiculously high health that you'd otherwise have to find half of the guns on the level and unload them all into one in order to kill it.note Also, the very first T-Rex you meet can be killed by dropping a jeep on its head.
- Improvised Weapon: Throwing a skull at a raptor deals a surprising amount of damage.
- Infinity+1 Sword: The poison dart gun. It kills most enemies in 1 shot and is the only weapon that can practically kill a T-Rex. It is also one of only 2 weapons that is easy to aim, due to having a reflex sight. You only get 3 shots, but given all of the above, that's plenty.
- Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: Anne cannot go up most slopes. Possibly unintentional, as she is a rolling hitbox.
- You'd think that Anne could strong-arm herself over any fence, considering that she can lug around huge metal girders with her single arm...but no such luck.
- Intimate Marks: Anne's breast tattoo that doubles as the Life Meter component of the Diegetic Interface.
- King Mook: The Alpha raptor is a palette-swapped Tribe C raptor (which was a palette-swapped Tribe B raptor, which...). He has more health, but he is also much bigger than other raptors, and therefore easier to hit.
- Lethal Joke Item: Two of them:
- Nedry's Mace, the only functioning melee weapon that won't kill you when stored, and
- Hammond's Ladies Model .38 snub nose. In a game with the .44 Desert Eagle being the most common weapon, it deals more damage then anything but the Barrett .50 and the poison dart rifle.
- Let's Play: A very popular video LP by Something Awful goon 'Research Indicates', who braves the buggy and often-tedious gameplay to bring viewers the game's excellent story in video form.
- Life Meter: Nonstandard, as it is a tattoo on the character's breast.
- Limited Loadout: You can only carry two items at a time, of any size. One on your back/waist (depending on size), one in your hand. Normally, you would just carry two guns, but key cards also take up one of those spaces, halving your already limited firepower.
- Locked Door: Some require key cards. Others can be blown open with a shotgun blast.
- Look on My Works, Ye Mighty, and Despair!: The secret alternate ending has the Trope Namer poem being read by Hammond. Appropriate, for the ruins of an experiment Gone Horribly Right.
- Magnet Hands: Not in this game; sometimes you will lose whatever it is you're holding. Notably any time you walk up a slight slope. This results in a major part of the gameplay coming from flinging the item you're carrying as far as you can up the slope and then running up and grabbing it before it slides all the way down again.
- Mini-Boss: Albertosaurus. Unlike T-Rex, he can always be killed. There are less of them than T-rexes, oddly. Then again, this is Trespasser...
- More Dakka: The 100 round M960 and drum-fed AK-47. Of course, with the game's lack of crosshairs and thus total reliance on iron sights, you will use it up very quickly.
- Musical Gameplay: The music is rather nice, so much so that most of it was reused for Clive Barker's Undying.
- Obvious Beta: Nearly half the tropes on the page are willing to attest to it.
- Palette Swap: Played straight for the seven T-Rex's, subverted for the three raptor tribes.
- Personal Space Invader: The Raptors' main form of attack is to make contact with the player's hitbox with the "damage strip" inside their mouths. This more often than not results in you backpedalling away madly with a Raptor's mouth trying to latch onto your face.
- Ragdoll Physics: The original. In some cases, it was actually more advanced than modern games; for instance, every dinosaur is actually a ragdoll constantly animated via inverse kinematics, instead of using fixed keyframe animations.
- Regenerating Health: As ResearchIndicates' Let's Play put it, Trespasser was ahead of the curve in many respects. This was one of them.
- Revolvers Are Just Better: Played straight with the Redhawk and Hammond's snub-nose. The .357, however, is nearly useless; a few fans have pointed out that the gun might be loaded with the much weaker .38 Special round.
- Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: The Raptor tribes were supposed to be hostile to each other, but this was not implemented. They will attack other dinosaur species, however.
- Short-Range Shotgun: Averted. It works just like any other ranged weapon. While, this being Trespasser, it may be unintentional, or, the dev team has heard of slugs.
- Shout-Out: One of the levels contains The Monolith, complete with spooky music that plays when you approach it. This being Trespasser, this easter egg is located in a section of the level inaccessible without the use of cheats.
- Soft Water: At one point, the player is required to dive off a 5 or 6 story cliff into a pond that's 8 feet deep at the most. As the trope is fully in effect, Anne can still land on the edge of the pond flat on her feet and take extremely little damage.
- Standard FPS Guns: Pistols, Shotguns, SMGs, Machine Pistols, Assault rifles...
- But no explosive weapons.
- Sticks to the Back: All items are stored on the player character's back (except keys and smaller guns, which instead go on the belt), which in the case of melee weapons has the unfortunate effect of occasionally clipping with the character model and causing damage. The developers fixed this by removing almost all mass from every melee item... which fixed the problem of them doing damage to the player, but introduced the problem of them doing no damage to enemies. The sole exception is Nedry's mace, which, naturally, appears at a point in a level where you have maybe one dinosaur to bash to death with it.
- Stock Dinosaurs: Played straight, then all of a sudden...Albertosaurus!
- Super Strength: Unintentional example. The protagonist can lift absurdly large items with her right hand and arm alone because that's all she has.
- Third-Person Shooter: They planned to implement this, but it was scrapped. With fan-made patches, the only thing you see when you enter third person is a pair of floating breasts and your noodle arm.
- Throwaway Guns: The guns are useless once you run out of ammo, and you can't restock your ammo supplies. Once the weapon has run dry, you might as well throw it away.
- Troubled Production: As noted in a Gamasutra feature published in 1999, the development team went up against incredibly serious challenges trying to get the game to even run properly. Aside from going into production with only a vague pie-in-the-sky idea of what they wanted, the developers faced serious problems with the AI coding (which necessitated dropping in quick fixes a short time before the release date), physics system (all the melee weapons hurt the player when they were holstered, so all mass was removed from most of them), music clearance problems (the team couldn't license any of John Williams' iconic score!) and total ignorance and mismanagement within the development company. The final product was nowhere near finished.
- Viewer-Friendly Interface: Number pads and various other buttons that the player has to manually operate with the infamous arm are all conspicuously large, as is any handwriting that presents important information.
- Wreaking Havok: Trespasser was one of the first games to simulate a realistic physics engine in 3D, but the way it was created made it nearly impossible to stack objects on top of one another, meaning several puzzles and one entire level had to be scrapped.