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Video Game / Big Al Game

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Big Al Game is a defunct online video game based on The Ballad of Big Al from Walking with Dinosaurs. It was created with the help of Alex Freeman.

The objective of the game is to survive as an Allosaurus (called "Big Al") in Late Jurassic North America. There are four levels that Al has: hatchling, juvenile, subadult, and adult. The game takes place on a 17x10 square map and is a text-based game.

The player has three statistics: score, weight (progress), and fitness (health). Losing all energy or fitness kills you. The player needs to constantly eat as even moving on the game's map loses weight. The older Al becomes the more energy he uses and needs to replenish. Fitness is also lost from an animal attacking Al or from a counterattack against Al.


Big Al Game has since been taken down and replaced with the 'Planet Dinosaur' Game. An unofficial remake has since been created. Subsequently, a recreation of the actual game using the original assets and source code was released.

The game later received a Walking with Beasts counterpart in which you control an evolving primate from shortly after the Cretaceous extinction to the Ice Ages.

Big Al Game provides examples of:

  • Anachronism Stew: The pterosaur in the game is illustrated using the Cretaceous genus Ornithocheirus, though it is not specifically identified as such.
  • Bullying a Dragon: It can easily happen if you engage in a fight with a creature who is too large and has far too much energy for you to bring down on your own.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Though numerous non-dinosaurs like crocodiles and frogs are featured.
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  • Fragile Speedster: The pterosaur isn’t much of a threat and provides a good meal, but good luck actually catching it - it's too fast for an adult or subadult Al to catch, and is only found in regions you’re supposed to visit as either of those age ranges.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Encouraged, as if you arrive in an area where something dangerous is that you have no chance of beating, you need to beat it or you’ll quickly have a Game Over screen.
  • Licensed Game: For Walking with Dinosaurs.
  • Mama Bear: The presence of Al’s mother in the first level is enough to ward off dangerous predators you would stand no chance against.
  • No Ending: After Al reaches adulthood, your only objective is to survive and rack up as many points as possible.
  • Seldom-Seen Species: Dryosaurus, Ornitholestes, and Othnielia.
  • Simulation Game: You play as a dinosaur from birth to adulthood.
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  • Spared by the Adaptation: Al never reached adulthood, but the game reaches its conclusion (see No Ending) when the Al you control does.
  • Xenofiction: You play as an Allosaurus dubbed Big Al.