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Video Game / Cadillacs and Dinosaurs

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Cadillacs and Dinosaurs (1993) is Capcom's arcade beat 'em up based on the comic series Xenozoic Tales (though it more leans toward its animated series, which shares the name). The game roughly follows the source material's plot: Taking place 500 years from the 20th century, an ensemble gang called the Black Marketeers begin hunting the dinosaurs to serve their unknown purpose. It's up to Jack Tenrec, Hannah Dundee, Mustapha Cairo, and Mess O'Bradovich to stand up against the evil deeds of the Black Marketeers.

It has nothing to do with Sega CD game Cadillacs and Dinosaurs: The Second Cataclysm, which was FMV-based shooting gallery game.

See also Dino Strike, an unofficial remake by Miniclip released some two decades later.

Cadillacs and Dinosaurs contains examples of:

  • Acrofatic: The Butcher may be obese, but he's definitely not sluggish: expect him to leap around the place, trying to squash you with his ample buttocks.
  • Adapted Out: There is no sign or mention of Wilhelmina Scharnhorst, the governors or Gorgostamos in the game's plot.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The Japanese dialogue of the arcade game actually contains extra monologue, as well as specific dialogues unique between each character and enemy boss as opposed to a large number of the recycled English dialogues.
  • Adaptational Ugliness: Downplayed. While Wrench Terhune definitely wasn't handsome by any means in Xenozoic Tales, he wasn't obese either. In this game, he's one of the fat mooks, besides Hammer (who was fat in the comics) and Black Elmer.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Dr. Simon Fessenden was only a minor character who engaged in mad science and was killed by his own experiment. In this game, he is a Big Bad Evilutionary Biologist.
  • All Bikers are Hells Angels: Hogg, the third boss. He fights by driving around and tossing grenades at you, but can also trample you if you don't quickly get out of his way.
  • Animalistic Abomination: The Bludge, Morgue and Tyrog mutants are all meshes of human and dinosaur DNA. Fessenden himself turns into one of these as a last resort.
  • Ascended Extra: Mess O'Bradovich, your choice of Mighty Glacier, was a fairly minor character in the comics.
  • Ax-Crazy:
    • The Butcher, who is referred to as "really nuts" by Vice Terhune, behaves the part when you meet him in person, gleefully carving up a dead Stegosaurus with his machettes.
    • Dr. Fessenden himself is also murderously violent when cornered.
  • Badass Boast: All four playable characters say some sort of blustery quote after defeating a level's boss.
  • Bald of Evil:
    • Dr. Simon Fessenden fits, despite not being completely bald, yet a very evil individual.
    • There is also the second boss, the Butcher, a sadist who takes pleasure in killing dinosaurs and is feared even the other bad guys.
    • Also, the regular enemies Black Elmer and Wrench Terhune.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Subverted. After Dr. Fessenden is defeated, he activates a self-destruct mechanism on his entire lab, forcing the heroes to hightail it out of there. Hannah unfortunately trips and Jack goes back to help her, in which Mustapha and Mess unknowingly leave them behind as they jump out of the exploding tunnel. The threat of Fessenden has been neutralized, but Mustapha and Mess seem to have lost their dear friends. The two sadly walk back to base as the credits roll. Fortunately, it turned out Jack and Hannah survived as they suddenly drive up next to them in a cadillac.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: The game seems to have been mostly riddled with typos in punctuation and spelling, due to the game being made in Japan. Even some item names are misspelled, like "grove" when it should be "glove", and "paffee" when it should be "parfait".
  • The Butcher: The boss of the second level is called this. He fights with two big butcher knives and is introduced slashing away at a dinosaur corpse.
  • Car Fu: The third stage allows the player to get into Jack's Cadillac and mow enemies down.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Like most games of the genre, the player can make use of bats and knives if dropped by the enemy. Unlike most games of the genre, guns, grenades and bazookas can be utilized as well.
  • Competitive Balance: The game gives you stats for the four characters in the select screen, making them:
    • Fragile Speedster: Hannah Dundee is the second fastest of the team with the best item usage, but has the lowest power.
    • Jack of All Stats: Jack Tenrec is better at power, but has good speed and skill, making him this.
    • Lightning Bruiser: Mustapha Cairo is the fastest and hits well with long reach, being able to dish good damage quickly.
    • Mighty Glacier: Mess O' Bradovich is the slowest character and has the highest power level, being able to kill enemies faster.
  • Continue Countdown: Dying shows you a first-person perspective as Vice Terhune aims a gun at you, taunting you as the timer runs down. Continuing has you sock the goon in the jaw. No prizes for guessing what happens if the timer hits 0...
    "Eat lead... baby!"
  • Degraded Boss: Vice Terhune becomes a recurring enemy called Walther in later stages. Also, the sixth boss, Tyrog, returns as an enemy in the beginning of the final stage and is called Tyrog 2.
  • Depraved Dwarf: Morgan, the fifth boss. He is a short, ruthless gang leader who can mutate into a large humanoid dinosaur when needed.
  • Dual Boss: The first boss, Vice Terhune, fights with a Rock Hopper on his side.
    • The Slisaurs in the seventh stage, two human-lizard hybrids with Slice's moveset. If you play in co-op, you'll be facing three.
  • Dual Wielding: The Butcher fights with his two Butcher Knives, that you can knock out of his hands and wield.
  • Dub Name Change: A number of enemies have different names in the Japanese version compared to the English version. Examples include Black Elmers being named as James, Gniess being called Risk, Butcher being named Atomic, Hogg being named Gaspar, etc.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The second stage's boss, the Butcher, is considered to be a loathsome nutjob even by Vice Terhune.
  • Evil Gloating: Dr. Fessenden's crazed monologue as he morphs into his final form is filled to the brim with this.
    Fessenden: Pathetic fools! Now, witness the power of my serum as it takes effect! (transforms) I've finally done it! All the strength of the mighty dinosaur and my extreme intelligence, all together in one body! The world is mine to control! Ha ha ha!
  • Evil Laugh: The Butcher does this before using certain attacks. So do the regular Fat Bastard mooks.
  • Evil Poacher: Regular enemies first fought in the second stage. They are: Joe, Skinner and Gutter. Then there's the sadistic Butcher.
  • Evil Redhead: Slice, the fourth boss, sports a red mohawk. He seizes Jack's garage and tries to have Jack and company killed.
  • Evilutionary Biologist: Dr. Fessenden has this as his M.O. He thinks that a fusion of human and dinosaur DNA is the next step in our evolution, and plans to create a world full of dino-human hybrids after he's done destroying mankind.
  • Expy:
    • Recurring enemy Bludge AKA Phantom looks very similar to Blanka.
    • The Butcher himself has a similar choice of weaponry as Sodom, the second boss of Final Fight.
    • Vice Terhune wields a pistol in combat, not unlike Edi E. from the same game. Likewise, he and his clones use a rather familiar looking jump kick animation...
    • Slice and Hogg take some obvious cues from Rolento: the multiplication and the grenades, respectively.
    • Knife fighting characters Blade and Razor take inspiration from Holly Wood and El Gado.
    • Fat Bastard mooks Black Elmer, Wrench Terhune and Hammer Terhune are clearly inspired by Bill Bull, G. Oriber and Wong Who, both in terms of design and combat style.
  • Fat Bastard:
    • A certain type of enemy, known for charging at you and jumping onto you. They are: Black Elmer, Hammer Terhune and Wrench Terhune, who will sneer at you with an Evil Laugh if they get the jump on you.
    • The second boss, the Butcher, is a bald, obese man who shares a similar set of tactics as the above, and is introduced carving up a dead Stegosaurus with sadistic glee.
  • Game-Over Man: Vice Terhune points a gun at you from a first-person perspective during the continue screen. Continuing allows you to punch him in the face. Failure to do so results in you getting shot point blank.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Dr. Simon Fessenden plots to destroy mankind so he can create a world inhabited by dino-human mutants. He's even unleashed some already, such as Bludge, Morgan (who starts as a human but later mutates into a humanoid Pachycephalosaurus called Morgue), the Slisaurs (reptilian clones of Slice) and a strange parasitic organism called Tyrog, which mutates people into reptilian monsters by latching onto their heads.
  • His Name Is...: An elder villager in episode 5 uses this line to tell you who is behind the dinosaur attacks, but is gunned down by the stage boss, Morgan, before he can finish his sentence.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: In some stages, the enemies will wake up Shivats (Tyrannosauruses) to attack you. Unfortunately for them, the Shivats are just as happy to attack the bad guys as well as the good ones.
  • Husky Russkie: Mess O'Bradovich, judging by his last name and being the Mighty Glacier of the game.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Picking up food both restores health and gives score (although only if your health bar is full). To quote: "That's good!/Delicious!"
  • Inexplicably Preserved Dungeon Meat: You can find food in the most unlikely places, even if it's in wooden barrels at the bottom of a subterranean cave.
  • Lean and Mean:
    • Recurring enemies Blade and Razor are drawn with rather lanky builds compared to the rest of their allies.
    • The fourth boss Slice and his dinosaur-hybrid counterparts, the Slisaurs. They carry an endless supply of razor-sharp boomerangs, which can either be thrown or used as knives. Slice and the Slisaurs are also extremely fast, leaving behind Speed Echoes as they charge or dodge.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: Any Mook unfortunate enough to be killed by an explosive attack can suffer from this. Even eyeballs are shown flying from the explosive mess!
  • Mad Bomber: Hogg, the third boss, fights primarily by tossing grenades at you.
  • Mad Scientist: Dr. Fessenden, the Big Bad.
  • Mysterious Past: Mess' profile in the attract mode says that he has an "elusive past".
  • Mythology Gag: Mess frequently uses wrestling moves and is the largest and strongest playable character, not unlike Mike Haggar.
  • One-Winged Angel:
    • Morgan, the fifth boss in the game. He starts as human guy with an Uzi and morphs into a humanoid Pachycephalosaurus for the second part of the battle.
    • After initially mutating into a slightly stronger Palette Swap of Morgan, Dr. Fessenden turns into a three-headed, six-limbed monstrosity with both human and dinosaur parts that breathes fire.
  • Palette Swap: As traditional in this sort of game, you see a lot of reused, color-swapped sprites for the more powerful enemies.
  • Precision F-Strike: When you call out the second boss, the Butcher, on his gruesome actions, he responds with a classy "XXXX you!"
  • Psycho Knife Nut: The Razor and Blade Mooks specialize in knife-throwing, the Butcher wields a pair of machetes, and Slice, the boss of the fourth level, primarily uses boomerang-shaped knives, as do his successors, the Slisaurs. On the player side, Hannah has better control over knife weapons than the others.
  • Puppeteer Parasite: Tyrog, the sixth boss. Its true body consists of a vaguely reptilian head with several tentacles, so it defends itself by latching onto humans, mutating their bodies to match its own DNA and taking control. The stronger the human host is, the stronger Tyrog becomes. Killing the host doesn't necessarily kill Tyrog, which can simply abandon the dead host and bond with another. Interestingly, a dead host reverts to their normal human form if abandoned.
  • Skippable Boss: During the fight with Tyrog, it's possible to kill the flying organism part after it detaches from a dead host, avoiding the second and/or third stage of the fight. This is rather difficult though.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Exaggerated. Hannah is the only female character in the entire game, let alone the crew of playable characters.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Mess was killed off early in the original comics; it seems that he was added to the game just to give the player the Mighty Glacier option.
  • Super Special Move: Each character has an extremely powerful special move such as Hannah Dundee's where she rolls a long distance into the enemy and the roll hits multiple times then she attacks with an automated combo.
  • Throw-Away Guns: Guns that have run out of ammunition as the Uzi or the shotgun can be thrown away against enemies as projectiles, or (the rifle and the M-16) can be used as a club.
  • Token Black Friend: Mustapha is stated as being Jack's best friend.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: The third stage has you driving a car and mowing down the sort of enemies you'd normally fight mano-a-mano.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Fessenden spends his defeat raving madly about his mutation and being in denial about his defeat. So much so that he tries to use a self-destruct button on the lab to kill off our heroes.
  • Was Once a Man: Many of Dr. Fessenden's experiments involve this. Fessenden himself as the Final Boss.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Mess O'Bradovich's move set consists of clotheslines, a scoop slam and even a suplex. Oddly enough, he lacks a jump and slam move.