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Video Game: Primal Rage

Before there were humans, gods walked the Earth. They embodied the essence of Hunger, Survival, Life, Death, Insanity, Decay, Good, and Evil. They fought countless battles up through the Mesozoic Wars. Then Balsafas, an archmage from a parallel dimension, anticipated the threat that Earth's gods posed. He was not powerful enough to kill the gods, so instead he banished one to a rocky tomb within the Moon. This disrupted the fragile balance between the gods; pandemonium ensued, and a great explosion threw clouds of volcanic dust into the atmosphere. The dinosaurs died out, and the surviving gods went into suspended animation.

Now, the impact of a huge meteor strikes the Earth. Its destructive force wipes out civilization, rearranges the continents, and frees the imprisoned gods. Get ready to rumble...

Playable characters:

This Fighting Game is a little unusual in that there's no boss character to smack around. There was a planned upgrade that would've given the game a boss to defeat to beat the game but that went unreleased by Atari Games. There was also a planned sequel, simply called Primal Rage II, that too went unreleased due to being too many Fighting Games at the time. However, a single prototype of it has been obtained by the Galloping Ghost Arcade in Brookfield, Illinois (sadly, this means that this is the only place in the world where you can actually play the game.) Footage can be found here.

There was also a novel based on the game, Primal Rage: The Avatars. Although not literature of exceptional quality, it is noteworthy in that it expanded the backstories of the Gods, and introduced two characters that would have been in the sequel; Slashfang the sabertooth tiger, and Necronus/Necrosan, the aforementioned boss.

This game contains examples of:

  • Adjustable Censorship: You can turn gore on or off.
  • After the End: The story is set in a future in which modern civilization is wiped out by a meteor and everyone who has survived is sent back to the Stone Age.
  • An Ice Ape: Blizzard.
  • And I Must Scream: The entire human race suffers this when Vertigo takes over.
  • Anti-Hero: The four Virtuous Beasts. Note that the separating of the dino gods into the "Virtuous Beasts" and "Destructive Dinos" was created purely for the toyline and novel and has no bearing to the video game storyline, which explains both Sauron's and Talon's douchebaggery. It should also be noted that these are essentially Kaiju. The "heroic" ones (save for Blizzard, who is actually interested in teaching his followers... in the novel) are more concerned with protecting their territory and facing off against earth-destroying evils than they are with something that is little more than food to them.
  • Anti-Villain: Chaos is by far the least unpleasant of the Destructive Beasts (besides the fact he's disgusting and stinks to high heaven, according to the novel). In his ending, he regains his human form and leads the human tribes in rebuilding the world. He's also actually handsome.
    • According to the novel, while both Talon and Sauron do horrible things to their followers (Keeping them as Cattle/Eating them respectively) they are still more or less decent gods that will reward those the serve them faithfully.
  • Baleful Polymorph: One of Vertigo's three fatalities.
    • Also Chaos' fate; he was trying to turn into Blizzard, but ended up becoming something gross.
  • Black and Gray Morality: The Virtuous Beasts are very dark Anti-Heroes, but they're still the lighter shade compared to the wicked Diablo and Vertigo. After all, the worst the Virtuous Beasts can do is kill and eat you - and canonically, the only ones who do so are Talon and Sauron. Blizzard is more interested in reading and teaching his followers, and Armadon prefers dozing off.
  • Boss Rush: This takes place instead of a Final Boss battle, which was planned, but cut.
  • Bowdlerise: At the last minute, Chaos' Urine Trouble Finishing Move was taken out of the Super Nintendo port of the game. Performing it in that version will result in Chaos merely performing his victory pose while a red circle with a line through it flashes.
    • In some versions of the game, one human victim (whose brains have spilled out) is blurred in Sauron's ending screen.
  • Breath Weapon: Diablo's Torch, Chaos' Power Puke, Sauron's Sonic Roar and Primal Scream, Blizzard's Freeze Breath, and Vertigo's Voodoo Spit.
  • Crapsack World: It's a bad time to be a human in Urth. Blizzard and Armadon are the only Dino Gods who have even the slightest consideration for humans, and Blizzard's attempts to get the Gods to stop being dickbags is ignored in the novels, while Armadon wants to sleep.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory: Unlike in most other fighters, the special moves are instead performed by holding down the buttons and then inputting the directions, instead of the other way around. You can still perform them the normal way in some versions of the game, but seeing that all of them require you to hit at least 2 attack buttons at the same time, it's not really worth the trouble. Try doing this with the fighters in M.U.G.E.N, where you now need to input the commands at the same time, Street Fighter-style.
  • Darker and Edgier - Ironically averted in the novel, which has everyone teaming up to wail on an undead dragon.
  • Dem Bones: Necrosan, the bosss in the cancelled sequel, was a skeletal dragon/dinosaur thing.
  • Digitized Sprites - Made from Claymation figures.
  • Dinosaurs Are Dragons - Gods, more accurately. In the book (and the canceled sequel), though, there is an undead dragon that shows up to annoy everyone.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything? - Ancient, horrible deities sleeping finally awaken and wreak havoc upon the world and then start slapping the shit out of each other. It's like the Cthulhu Mythos meets Jurassic Park meets Mortal Kombat.
    • Speaking of Mortal Kombat, the designers probably had a certain blue-garbed Ninja in mind when they designed Blizzard. If anything, the projectile attack he uses is almost identical.
    • When selecting Sauron, you can choose a purple skin tone for him.
  • Everything's Better With Cows:
    • There is a hidden trick in which raining cows can occur when a match goes into Sudden Death.
    • Vertigo's third fatality is called "La Vache Qui Rit" ("The Laughing Cow"), in which she transforms her opponent into a cow.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: Blizzard and Chaos are both giant apes. (Chaos was supposed to be an even more disgusting thing than a regular ape, but yay creator laziness.)
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies: In the novel, humans eaten by Necrosan immediately became zombies. Even Diablo and Vertigo found this horrifying.
  • Excrement Statement: In the form of a golden shower.
  • Fantasy World Map: The meteor rearranged the continents to look like a Tyrannosaurus skull.
  • Fartillery: Trope picture. One of Chaos' moves is the "Fart of Fury."
  • Fragile Speedster: Talon.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: Armadon, who is waken up by the constant movement and destruction caused by the other Gods.
  • Gorn: As if the gameplay hadn't had enough of this, the energy bars are veins connected to a heart at the end, and the special bar below is a nerve linked to a brain. Winning a match causes the loser's heart to explode and the brain to melt into ashes. There's also the fatalities.
    • In the intro screens, Talon is being interrupted by Vertigo while feeding on Chaos' carcass, complete with torn-open chest and visible ribs.
    • Speaking of Talon, his Shredder Fatality became even gorier with updates. In prior versions, the victim did the stock animation collapse in a fountain of blood. Version 2.3 left the victim standing, but lifeless, skinned and with lots of skeleton exposed.
  • Home Run Hitter: Blizzard's Too Da Moon Fatality, where he knocks his foe airborne with a mighty punch.
  • Horror Hunger: Sauron. Being the "God Of Hunger", he must have a constant supply of flesh to sustain himself. Luckily for him, there's plenty of humans to devour.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Aside from the thing about Sauron, this is actually a gameplay mechanic. Eating the humans that wander haplessly into the battlefield allows you to recover a bit of health. The novel also mentions that follows of Diablo file down their teeth to fangs and eat the flesh of other gods' followers.
  • Jerkass Gods: All of them to some degree.
  • Kaiju - Uhm, the dinosaurs are pretty goddamn big?
  • Lightning Bruiser: Chaos.
  • Mighty Glacier: Sauron and Armadon. Armadon, at least, can fire projectiles, and Sauron has AOE attacks.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Vertigo (part raptor and part cobra) and Armadon (a bipedal Monoclonius/Ankylosaurus/Stegosaurus hybrid).
  • Naked People Are Funny: Perform enough hits and damage with a single combo, and your followers will celebrate by streaking.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: The main characters are named Diablo, Talon, Vertigo, Sauron, Blizzard, Armadon, and Chaos.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot
  • No Animals Were Harmed: This actual disclaimer appears on the demo screens, although it is very doubtful that the ASPCA would be suspicious of a video game.
  • Nominal Hero: Talon and Sauron may be among the Virtuous Beasts, but they respectively want to enslave all humans and eat all humans.
    • It's also worth noting that in the novel, Talon (and Slashfang) were noted to be Neutral rather than Virtuous.
  • Now That's Using Your Teeth: A lot of moves, especially from Sauron, Diablo, and Talon, involve biting the enemy, how would have guessed?
  • Palette Swap: Chaos and Diablo are smaller, redder versions of Blizzard and Sauron, respectively.
  • People Farms: Sauron and Talon's goal.
  • Playing with Fire: Most of Diablo's special moves.
  • Please Wake Up: On the continue screens after losing, you can see the humans trying to revive their respective god, with one of them pleading to the player to continue.
  • Prehistoria: It's more like Posthistoria, but they were fighting Prehistoria.
  • Puny Humans: We have no civilization, no weapons shown, and there's a half dozen gods running around.
  • Remember the New Guy: Slashfang got the treatment in the novel. He was always there, but he stayed in the Savannas he called home until the other dino gods discovered and invaded them, causing him to join the war.
    • Talon occasionally does this to his chosen avatar.
  • The Right of a Superior Species: Talon is a Virtuous Beast and a loyal defender of raptorkind. Humans are not his people; even his human followers are nothing more than cattle.
  • Rule of Cool: Almost everything in this game would be insanely stupid if it wasn't also insanely awesome.
  • Rules Of The Road: The game has a "No Cheese" sign (a wedge of Swiss cheese with a red bar through it) which flashes whenever a player tries a "cheesy" fighting tactic, such as throwing another while they're stunned from blocking, or using two stun techniques in the same combo.
  • Shock and Awe: one of Armadon's finishers.
  • Shrink Ray: One of Vertigo's fatalities involves her shrinking the opponent and eating them.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Vertigo. Averted in the novel, as Vertigo and Talon both have female avatars.
  • Stock Dinosaurs: Talon is a Deinonychus (complete with feathers, but on his head), Diablo and Sauron are tyrannosaurs, and Armadon is a mix-and-match dino with a ceratopsian's head, an ankylosaur's armour, and stegosaur's thagomizer.
  • Taken for Granite: Vertigo can turn the opponent to stone and shatter them for one of her fatalities.
  • To Serve Man: The gods eat their worshippers. And yes, you can do this when you're playing as them. It's worth noting that you restore more health from eating your enemy's followers.
  • Tyrannosaurus rex: Sauron and Diablo
  • Unscrupulous Hero: Blizzard and Armadon are the "goodest" characters in the series, but they're both not above chowing down on their own followers in an emergency, or other Gods' followers just because.
  • Urine Trouble: Chaos' "Golden Shower" fatality. This move was so disgusting that it was removed in an upgrade.
  • What Measure Is A Human: Even Blizzard, the nicest of the Virtuous Beasts, isn't above chowing down on his followers, and Talon, as mentioned, considers humans to be cattle.
  • Whip It Good: Vertigo uses her tail as a whip-like weapon.
  • World of Badass: You'll probably end up dying, especially if you're a human. On the plus side, it may well be the coolest death imaginable!

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