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Prehistoria is the trope for Video Game Settings taking place in the Lost World or Hollywood Prehistory. Cavemen abound chasing Nubile Savages, while dinosaurs will live in volcanoes or breathe fire and eat anyone who comes too close. Expect a blend of Jungle Japes and Lethal Lava Land.

A rarer variant may mix in Slippy-Slidey Ice World for an Ice Age setting - replacing the dinosaurs with prehistoric mammals like mammoths and saber-toothed tigers.

Typically features a mix of different prehistoric creatures — like mastodons and triceratops living side by side and Everything Trying to Kill You. Expect to kill a lot of dinosaurs and/or cavemen. Please ignore the palaeontologists sobbing softly in the corner.

Named after the cave area of Secret of Evermore.

Compare Lost World and Hollywood Prehistory, the non-video game versions of this trope.

For the new book series of the same name, see Prehistoria.


  • This is the entire setting of many Video Games:
  • The original Age of Empires game has a downplayed example- the first 2 Ages are Stone and Tool, while the latter 2 are Bronze and Iron (sadly, the Copper Age hasn't been added ingame). Basically for the first half of the game, the player will be playing as a caveman living in a hut decorated with bones and wielding a club before starting properly a ancient civilization.
  • Empire Earth like Age of Empires begins the player as humble prehistoric humans who could potentially give rise to mighty civilizations... or chose to stay behind and remain primitive cavemen. Realistically, other players who play better are more technologically advanced (having access to nuclear bombs) will decimate them in combat.
  • Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped: The Bone Yard and Dino Might! levels as well as the secret Eggipus Rex. In the former two levels, Crash is chased by a large, scarlet-colored triceratops that aims to crush him, thus serving as the game's equivalent of the boulders and the polar bears from the first two games respectively. In the second level, Crash can also ride a friendly baby dinosaur.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Dinosaur Jungle in Sonic and the Secret Rings. The game is based on the Arabian Nights, which made a lot of people wonder why there were dinosaurs... it's actually a reference to the story of Sinbad, although very exaggerated.
    • Sonic Rush Adventure has Plant Kingdom. While it's not set in prehistoric times, it does have the feel of its setting with giant plant life and the enemies being prehistoric beings such as dinosaurs, including the stage's boss.
    • Paleo Tarpits from Sonic Boom: Fire and Ice.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
  • Humankind simular to Age of Empires above, starts with a Neolithic hunter-gatherer nomadic tribe which hunts mammoths before making enough progress to develop into a proper ancient civilization, though simular to Empire Earth it can go beyond the period of Antiquity into modern times.
  • 65,000,000 B.C.,note  in Chrono Trigger, with the added touch of humanity fighting against reptilian humanoids called Reptites — essentially dinosaurs with human forms and intelligence. On the party's second visit, they witness Lavos crashing into the earth, causing the mass extinction of dinosaurs and Reptites alike. Hilariously, one of the early player's guides for the game called that age "Prehistoria" which led a fan or two to calling it that until the DS version gave them something better.
  • The Prehistoric Turtlesaurus level from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time.
  • The premise of the game E.V.O.: Search for Eden is to evolve your character from tiny fish to mighty land mammal. The whole game is set in a relatively scientifically accurate version of this (except for the aliens meddling with evolution and the dinosaurs living in secluded areas).
  • World 6 (the Cliff) of Donkey Kong Country Returns. It's a primeval canyon where brown mud flows in many levels, greatly reducing Donkey's and Diddy's motion when they're soaked in it. There are also dinosaur ribs they can step onto, crumbling rocky platforms, and spiky boulders. Besides the dinosaur ribs, another prehistoric motif is fossils reminiscent of the Leviathan infants from Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (both games were developed by Retro Studios).
  • Banjo-Tooie has Terrydactyland, which serves as the game's fifth action stage. It is a scorched canyon inhabited by three families of cavemen and several dinosaur mooks, and has some areas with quicksand. At the very top of the stage lies Terry, a large pterodactyl who mourns the theft of his eggs (and erroneously accuses Banjo and Kazooie for it, forcing a boss battle), though things get better for him afterwards as the duo agrees to help him find them.
  • Planet Sargasso in Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction.
  • A few levels of Ecco the Dolphin were a cross of this and Under the Sea. The enemies included a prehistoric version of the common jellyfish enemy, dinicthys fish standing in for the sharks, giant seahorses, and inexplicably vicious trilobites. Seriously.
  • The Lost Underworld segment of EarthBound (1994). The place (and the monsters in it) are so huge that your party is only a few pixels high by comparison.
  • Tyrannia in the virtual pets game Neopets.
  • One of the video game levels in which the Scooby-Doo gang are trapped in the animated movie, Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase. And it does have a T. rex and woolly mammoths co-existing. And the characters lampshade it.
  • The first world of the first Lost Vikings game. Its only pretense at actually being a prehistoric world was its dinosaur and human enemies, however, as the stages featured the usual assortment of keys, bombs, and drawbridges found in the other levels. It is called "Prehistoria".
  • Pogo's prehistoric chapter in Live A Live.
  • The "Uga Buga" chapter in Conker's Bad Fur Day takes Conker to a Lethal Lava Land cavern inhabited by the Uga Bugas (not to be confused with the Unga Bungas from Banjo-Tooie, though both games were developed by Rare, so they're likely related), as well as sentient boulders that hang around the Rock Solid nightclub. There is also a T. rex marching down a walkway suspended over lava, eating cavemen as it goes. The game lampshades this trope by having Conker complain about how he can't even visit a "dinosaur-themed world" without being mugged by a bunch of cavemen.
  • "Cave Cat 3,000,000 BC" in Garfield: Caught in the Act (arguably inspired by the book/TV special Garfield: His 9 Lives, one of which is a cave cat).
  • The Cavelem tribe in Lemmings 2.
  • Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg has Dino Mountain. With dinosaur skulls that vomit lava.
  • Planet Sauria in The Adventures of Rad Gravity.
  • Prehistoric Plaza in Power Pete.
  • Primal Rage combines this with After the End. A meteor crashes into Earth, reverting mankind to cavemen, rearranging the continents, and reawakening the gods. What does this lead to? Dinosaurs and giant apes beating the crap out of each other and eating each other's followers.
  • Level 2 of Dragon's Lair II: Time Warp. In this prehistoric era Dirk, Mordroc, and Daphne land in, our hero fights off dinosaurs and centaurs!
  • Time Soldiers has a level set in "The Primitive Age."
  • This is quite an odd setting in Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time. Set in Gungathal Valley in 10,000 BC, it's home to the standard mix of Stone/Ice Age woolly mammoths, sabretooth tigers, dodo birds, anklyosaurs that act as catapults, pterodactyls (which make even less sense due to the cold), the ancestor of all Coopers, and a jive-talking, garishly dressed painting black bear. The strange disappearance of the local pterodactyl eggs seems to be causing problems, though.
  • The Journeyman Project briefly has you go back 200 million years into the past for a few minutes to obtain a disc containing the entire history of the world, which was placed far enough back in time that the likelyhood of someone tampering with it would be minimal. It is after this task that you begin your real mission.
  • Jitsu Squad has a stage set in a planet where dinosaurs still exists and runs rampant. It was named "Primal Rage" as a blatant reference to an older classic dinosaur game.
  • Joe & Mac takes the most cartoonish version and runs (and jumps) with it. Big stone wheels, Nubile Savage babes and pterodactyl rides are all included.
  • In World of Warcraft, while there are dinosaurs throughout Azeroth (raptors, stegosaurus-like thunder lizards, and plesiosaurs), it's in Un'Goro Crater that you can also find tyrannosaurs, dimetrodons and pterosaurs, which are found nowhere else in the world. The Crater was a popular questing area as well as a place to tame unusual animals as pets. Its "lost world" feel was reinforced by being the only zone in classic game with no proper town, only a small camp. The entire area is a Shout-Out to Land Of The Lost, including the names of the characters and the camp itself ("Marshall's Refuge"). Cataclysm revamped the zone, but made it barely more settled, and explained why it so wild and unsettled: the Titans isolated the area from the world to experiment with lifeforms as they shaped the world.
  • Slash Man's stage in Mega Man 7, although all of the dinosaurs are robots.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has aspects of this; in many ways a standard fantasy setting with a specifically Scandinavian flavour, but nonetheless inhabitant by caveman-like giants, woolly mammoths, and sabre-toothed cats. And there are lots of caves, and Dinosaurs Are Dragons.
  • The Lost Kingdom park in Theme Park World, the world of ancient Africa slash South America slash the Middle East.
  • Cratermaze begins its adventure through time in the primitive world. Each time period has two types of enemies; here, it's cavemen and dinosaurs.
  • The Simpsons games:
    • Virtual Bart has a level where Bart is a dinosaur in Prehistoric times. Enemies in this level include dinosaurs and Flintstones-esque versions of The Simpsons' cast, some of which give you corn dogs to restore your health after you defeat them. The first and third acts take place outside a volcanic cave, the second and fourth acts take place inside the volcanic cave, and the fifth and final act takes place in the Ice Age.
    • The Itchy and Scratchy Game has "Juracid Bath", which serves as the first level of the game. The stage features miniature cavemen-like robots of Scratchy as enemies and a sound-alike of The Flintstones' theme song as the background music. The boss of the stage is Scratchy, driving a turtle-like car.
  • The second zone of the Famicom Platform Game Time Zone is a prehistoric world the Status Line calls "9999 BC," with the usual dinosaurs and volcanoes.
  • Stage 4 in Strider (Arcade) brings this to the Amazon forest, and has Hiryu fending off Nubile Savages and a number of dinosaurs.
  • In Gunman Clive 2, South America has dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures as both enemies and platforms. The game supposedly takes place in the year "18XX".
  • In Sesame Street: Countdown, the seventh level takes place in a prehistoric jungle, complete with dinosaurs.
  • Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly has Jurassic Jungle, which is this mixed with Lethal Lava Land.
  • In Goofy's Hysterical History Tour, the first stage takes place in a prehistoric museum exhibit. The boss of the stage is Pete disguised as a caveman.
  • In Gem Smashers, Egg Island takes place in a canyon filled with dinosaur eggs. The boss of the stage is a baby pterodactyl who wears eggshells as a hat and overalls.
  • Caveman Warriors: Most of the levels in the game are set in this.
  • Golf Story: Lurker Valley has shades of this. Features tar pits as hazards, dino skulls and mammoth tusks as set dressing, and the NPCs are all cavepeople who speak in You No Take Candle.
  • In Home Improvement: Power Tool Pursuit!, the first world takes place on the set of a prehistoric forest. Animatronic dinosaurs serve as enemies.
  • Jurassic Marsh in Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time. The zombies in this world are themed around cavemen, and the world's gimmick are invincible dinosaurs that helps the zombies in various ways (Velociraptors kick zombies past your defenses, T-Rex makes them faster, etc).


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Prehistoric Level


Skelos Badlands

Skelos Badlands is a large desert-like world in Autumn Plains, a realm in Avalar, dominated by friendly cavemen (known as Bone Builders in the epilogue). It appeared in Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage! and Spyro: Shadow Legacy. The world also has numerous lava pits and, like any self-respecting desert, cacti. Watch out for the flying Catbats and the Fire Wizards. This stage is the sister stage to Crystal Glacier, as evidenced by their similar inhabitants and prehistoric settings.

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