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Prehistoria is the trope for Video Game Settings taking place in the Lost World or 1 Million B.C.. 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 Stock 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 1 Million B.C., the non-video game versions of this trope.



  • This is the entire setting of many Video Games:
    • Star Fox Adventures
    • Joe & Mac: Caveman Ninja and its sequels (including Congo's Caper)
    • Bonk's Adventure and its sequels
    • Dino City
    • Worlds of Ultima: The Savage Empire
    • Carnivores hand waves it, since it's set on a different world that happens to have convergent evolution. Past this weak justification, it's basically the trope, although it at least separates the dinosaurs and ice age mammals (the mammals going in the more polar regions, the dinosaurs in the more temperate, equatorial islands).
    • Roc'n Rope
    • Adventures of Dino Riki
    • The Chuck Rock series
    • The Prehistorik series
    • Bignose the Caveman
    • Ugh!
    • Any games based on The Flintstones.
    • Saurusland, a primitive game that was one of the first releases for the MSX and Tomy Pyuuta.
    • Trog
    • Far Cry Primal, set in a relatively realistic depiction of the Pleistocene. No dinosaurs, but plenty of mammoths, smilodons, and others
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    • Wild from Michel Ancel
  • 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.
    • Paleo Tarpits from Sonic Boom: Fire and Ice.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
  • 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. Needless to say, 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).
  • Terrydactyland in Banjo-Tooie has three different tribes of cavemen and several kinds of dinosaurs and other extinct reptiles.
  • 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. 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 the hell out of 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 literally 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.
  • Joe & Mac takes the most cartoonish version and runs (and jumps) with it. Big stone wheels, Nubile Savage babes and Ptero Soarer rides are all included.
  • In World of Warcraft, while there are dinosaurs throughout Azeroth (raptors, thunder lizards [aka kodos], and plesiosaurs, and the first two are even bred as mounts), it's the Un'Goro Crater where you can also find tyrannosaurs, Dimetrodons, and pterosaurs, which are nowhere else in the world. The Crater, with its dinosaur population, offbeat quests, and pop culture references, is popular for questing in the 40-50 range as well as the easiest place for Beast Master-specced Hunters to tame tyrannosaurs as pets. As for humanoids, Un'Goro is actually the only zone in the game without a permanent settlement, just a small camp to the north composed of a politically neutral mishmash of races. 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"), as well as pylons that one can use power crystals of various colors in. Also, since the Shattering patch there is an explanation if you finish every quest line in the crater: a Titan is using the area for experiments, and it was specifically created for this purpose when they forged 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, of course, 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, of course, 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. Note that 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.


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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Main / Prehistoria