Dinosaur King is a CCG arcade game from Japan. The player pays for a starter deck and scans the cards into an arcade cabinet. Then they play a fighting game where dinosaurs (real ones ranging from obscure to well-known) with superpowers fight both each other using both a literal rock-paper-scissors and an Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors battle system. As the player progresses, the arcade cabinet dispenses newer and rarer cards for them to add to their deck.
Oh, and the superpowers? They're never really explained. We're just supposed to accept the fact that dinosaurs all had superpowers and the ability to breathe fire, electrify their bodies, and change in size. Rule of Cool, of course, applies.
A tie-in anime was eventually developed. It features the adventures of Max, Rex and Zoe, a trio of dinosaur-loving kids who search for dinosaur cards scattered all over the world before the Alpha Gang can retrieve them. The series has been brought to the U.S. by 4Kids and is considered to be one of their best dubs. You can watch it on Netflix or KidsClick as of February 2018, and Discotek Media acquired the home video license later that year. A Nintendo DS video game has been made that is based on the anime.
Tropes used in Dinosaur King:
- 100% Completion: Acquiring all 72 regular dinosaurs in the DS game rewards you with the Eoraptor lunensis, which can use move cards of all elements.
- Adaptational Badass: Though they still have some quirks, the Alpha Gang in this version is an actually dangerous threat that menaces the world, unlike in the anime, where Rod, Laura and Seth were the only competent members of the organization. Zander and Ed are perhaps the biggest examples. In the anime, they were a pair of bumbling fools that were Ursula's goons at worst, but the games portrays both of them as fairly skilfull evil geniuses, with Ed being a hacker able to inutilize the entire electrical system of a whole town and Zander being a chemist able to propagate sleeping sickness through the Asian zone of the game.
- Adaptational Wimp: Zoe, who, unlike her anime counterpart, is not playable in the game and is a side character as opposed as a protagonist. She doesn't has a Dino-Shooter either, and in the post-game, the Alpha Gang steals some personal stuff from her as a way to claim revenge for their defeat at the hands of Max/Rex.
- Alternative Foreign Theme Song: It's a 4Kids dub, so you should expect this to happen.
- Arbitrary Headcount Limit: The DS game, which uses real-life continents, but reduces them to a small town and three other areas at most.
- Awesome, but Impractical: In the DS game, most 10 MP moves, as well as most mystery elemental move cards.
- Bag of Sharing: Move cards are shared between dinosaurs in the DS game.
- Big Bad: Dr. Z is once again the main antagonist, commanding the other members of the Alpha Gang and the Alphabots. Also, though he retains some of his short tempered behaviour of the series, he remains as the Big Bad till the end, being more competent than his anime counterpart and not suffering any betrayal at the hands of Seth, who, in this version, is completely loyal to the Alpha Gang.
- Boss Rush: In the DS game, all members of the Alpha Gang are refought in their lab in Antarctica, with some droids thrown in for good measure.
- Capcom Sequel Stagnation: The games. Version 2 didn't introduce any new storylines, only new cards, slightly tweaked gameplay, and the ability to take on Dr. Z, who is the final boss.
- Captain Ersatz/ Shout-Out: Aladdin looks so damn much like Disney's Aladdin.
- Carnivore Confusion: Though they can't speak normally, the dinosaurs are established to be nearer human sentience than that of other animals. They also eat species-appropriate diets. It's implied carnivores would eat other dinosaurs/humans with no qualms, but in practice their diet tends to be fish.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Dr. Owen. He's so amazed to see a real live dinosaur that he doesn't even acknowledge the Alpha Gang's threats to have it eat him, he only chases after the Alpha Gang afterwards because he fell in love with Ursula, and he thinks he can convince Dr. Z to give back the relic he stole as a wedding present.Dr. Z: Good grief, man! What planet do you come from?!
- Demoted to Extra: Zoe in the DS game. She says she's still a part of the D-Team, but Max and Rex don't seem to agree as talking to her in the HQ has the player ask if she even knows what the D-Team is. She's also not playable, doesn't go on missions, and doesn't even get her own "Dino-Shooter" (what the game calls the Dino-Holders).
- Dinosaurs Are Dragons: Partly thanks to the Japanese word for dinosaur meaning "fear dragon" and partly due to the fact that Terry and many of the other large carnivorous dinosaurs are bonded to fire cards.
- Doppleganger Attack: Ace's Ninja Attack.
- Emotionless Girl: Reese seems to combine this with Only Sane Woman. Mind you, it's not hard for her to look sane next to the exciteable Dr. Taylor.
- Evil Is Petty: How does the Alpha Gang take revenge on Max/Rex after they defeat them in the Antarctic? By stealing Zoe's personal objects. It has to be seen to be believed.
- Gotta Catch 'Em All: Collecting all the dinosaur cards is a big part of the game. It's never really played up in the anime. The D-Team do spend the entire first season trying to catch 'em all, but it's less about being a master and more about keeping the Alpha Gang from abusing them.
- Luck-Based Mission: Finding a specific dinosaur in the DS game depends mostly on how lucky you get with the fossils.
- Notice This: Most things that can be interacted with outside of towns in the DS are marked with a sparkle.
- NPC Roadblock: All over the place in the DS game, where most areas outside of towns are blocked until something is completed in the previous one.
- Palette Swap: See You ALL Look Familiar below.
- Spin-Off: The game is actually a spin-off of an earlier game, Mushiking, which was more or less the same thing but with beetles in place of dinosaurs. Mushi King wasn't imported to America beyond its arcade version, as the bug collecting hobby is much more perennially popular in Japan than in the US, but everyone loves dinosaurs.
- Super Mode: The Japanese arcade game has various dinosaurs that can access this in the middle of a battle, changing their color and powering up their next attack for a single turn (not counting ties) at the cost of half of their current health, reverting back to normal after the attack. In the DS game, the aforementioned Hopeless Boss Fight with Seth leads to you getting your starter's Super Mode, the main difference being that it is simply a more powerful duplicate of your dinosaur and the color change is permanent.
- Toxic Dinosaur:
- The game has a class of dinosaurs called the Poison type which can poison an opponent and deal extra damage after an attack for three turns due to the effects of the venom.
- Venom Fang gives Piatnitzkysaurus a toxic bite to deal small amounts of damage as the fight goes on.
- You ALL Look Familiar: All dinosaurs of the same general group, such as the ceratopsids or sauropods, share the same model in the DS game. The model isn't even scaled to match the dinosaur's size, leading to an Opisthocoelicaudia (12 metres long) being the same size as an Isisaurus (18 metres long).