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Video Game / Dinosaurs For Hire

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Admit it, Contra would be a much better game if the playable characters are andromorphic dinosaurs.

Everything's Better with Dinosaurs - the Game.

Dinosaurs for Hire is a Run-and-Gun-platformer hybrid arcade game developed by Sega for the Sega Genesis, loosely based on the Tom Mason comic book series of the same name.

The titular dinosaurs, like in the comics, are a trio of dinosaur-like aliens from another planet, crashing on earth and working as mercenaries-for-hire. When giant monsters spawned from a bio-lab breaks loose, it's up to the trio to save the day.

Players can choose between the comic book's protagonists, Archie the Tyrannosaurus, Lorenzo the Triceratops and Reese the Stegosaurus, with Cyrano the Pterodactyl as their liaison for getting them various assignments.


Whoa! Slight problem with your Genesis Blast Processing Unit... PSYCH! — Cyrano

  • An Arm and a Leg: Bosses tend to suffer these upon their defeat:
    • Mega Minotaur, which you battle on the Empire State Building, spends the whole fight pulling a "King Kong" Climb on the building's tip while trying to swat you off. You retaliate by shooting both his hands, amputating Mega Minotaur's arms into stumps by the wrists before shooting his face causing him to fall (now that he's unable to cling on the Building).
    • The dinosaur-abomination clinging to the Hoover Dam is defeated by having it's front paws shot into bits, preventing it from climbing up any further. Finish it off by shooting the head.
    • The clown mecha boss from the toy factory attacks using fists (an Extendable Arm on its right and an Arm Cannon that shoots bouncing projectiles for it's left), but as it takes damage it's arms are the first to go (first the right, then left).
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  • Animal Mecha: The boss of the Hollywood stage is a robotic Triceratops carrying a turret on it's back while it repeatedly tries ramming with a Horn Attack.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Parodied in the "Hollywood" level; you're in a Hollywood film set and attacked by remote-controlled helicopters, tanks, vehicles and the like, and given that you're an andromorphic dinosaur the whole thing plays off as a spoof of the kaiju genre.
  • Auto-Scrolling Level: The jet ski levels which moves you forward automatically as you jump to avoid obstacles and shoots at all enemies right ahead of you.
  • Be the Ball: The (hilarious) ending screen, where after completing the game, you then get the three dinosaur protagonists Archie, Lorenzo and Reese in the streets, while above them Cyrano drops a mook. Cue the three of them playing street soccer using the mook until Lorenzo sends it flying out of the screen, and Cyrano then flies off to collect another mook to drop. While the end credits keep on rolling.
  • Big Dam Plot: There's a boss battle on the Hoover Dam, where you need to prevent a dinosaurian-abomination climbing on it's side from tearing down the entire structure (by leaping on platforms alongside said dam while shooting at the monster).
  • Blowing a Raspberry: Archie's winning pose have him doing this with his left hand while holding his gun in his right. Presumably directed at defeated bosses which are too dead to respond to his taunts.
  • Boss-Arena Idiocy: Mega Lizard is a dinosaur immune to all your attacks, and the only way it can be stopped is by releasing nitrogen gases on it. How convenient then, considering there's a single button capable of releasing the gas behind Mega Lizard - you defeat the monster by tricking it to lower it's head, and shoot the button a few times until it releases enough nitrogen to freeze Mega Lizard back to hibernation. Though it's justified since the monster is fought it's own containment facility.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Cyrano the pterodactyl have his moments.
    Cyrano: Next time, fly - it's faster! [says the member of the cast who's the only flying dinosaur around]
  • Epic Flail: Mega Minotaur swings a massive spiked ball on a chain during his boss battle, which he'll swing at you while clinging on the Empire State Building's tip. He'll alternate between using this attack and his Eye Beams.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: This is an arcade-style action game set in what's supposed to be a human world, where your characters are humanoid alien-dinosaur mercenaries just... because. Of this trope.
  • Fat Flex: Reese the chubby stegosaurus, upon completing a level, will pose by sucking in his guts to form a set of abs on him... only for his belly to give way, much to his embarrassment.
  • Fake-Out Fade-Out: This bit in what appears to be the game's final stage, only for Cyrano to pop up in the subsequent cutscene and reveal it as the second-to-last.
    Cyrano: Well done! Game's over. Thanks for playing...
    This Final Boss is a mystery, no one has ever made it this far before... [cue the real Final Boss battle]
  • Furry Confusion: The three playable characters are sentient, human-sized andromorphic dinosaurs, and yet somehow the game have non-sentient, kaiju-sized dinosaur enemies and bosses. Then again, the protagonist dinosaurs are aliens, so that one's partially justified (At least, that's what the comic books states, but not within gameplay itself).
  • "King Kong" Climb: The boss fight set atop the Empire State Building have you fighting Mega Minotaur, a kaiju-sized robot minotaur that clings on the tower's tip.
  • Living Statue: The boss of the Japan stage, where you made it to the last area in a Japanese garden containing a scary-looking statue of a monster. Which then comes to life.
  • Man-Eating Plant: Giant pitcher-plant heads on stalks rooted to the ground are minor enemies in the underground caverns.
  • Mini-Boss:
    • The Japan stage have samurai sorcerors (!!!), all with the ability to float around and has assorted Elemental Powers, encountered before the stage's actual boss. In order, their members can blast fireballs, launch tornado attacks and drop thunderbolts, all three fought in different areas before the stage's exit.
    • Before the Final Boss, you fight a deformed, skinless aquatic dinosaur mutant in a single room that puts up quite a fight before going down. The game makes it seem like the last obstacle, only for Cyrano to pull a Fake-Out Fade-Out one scene later, followed by the actual Final Boss.
  • Mission Control: Cyrano the pterodactyl, the only dinosaur protagonist from the comics that isn't a playable character, serves this role during cutscenes.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Mega Lizard, the escaped prehistoric monster who resembles a T. Rexpy at first, but also have dorsal plates of a stegosaurus on it's back. And the ability to breath fire, because Dinosaurs Are Dragons, why not.
  • Monster in the Ice: Mega Lizard, a giant prehistoric monster fought in a lab, introduced frozen in a block of ice and suddenly breaking out. And the entire battle involves trying to put it back to it's original state by aiming at buttons to release nitrogen blasts and re-freeze the monster.
  • The Morlocks: The underground prehistoric cavern stage, again, where you face feral, brown-skinned troglodyte-like humans who walks in a hunched position and designed based off the classic Morlocks.
  • Oculothorax: The game's mysterious Final Boss turns out to be a gigantic eyeball monster, residing in a pool of acid where it attacks by shooting a pillar of electrical energy from below.
  • Robot Clown: A giant mecha clown serves as a Mini-Boss in the toy factory level.
  • Samurai: The stage in Japan have you inexplicably fighting samurai-themed enemies, despite the game being set in the modern-day. Samurai who can shoot Eye Beams, to be precise...
  • Sinister Subway: The game's second stage, and it is literally falling apart with obstacles constantly collapsing on your characters besides being infested with giant insects.
  • Spread Shot: The first power-up the dinosaurs can collect turns their blaster's shots into spreads of three at a time. And can be upgraded to a wider arc.
  • Stationary Boss:
    • Mega Minotaur couldn't move around for his fight, since he's clinging on the Empire State Building's tip, relying on ranged attacks like swinging his spiked-ball-on-a-chain and Eye Beams. You still need to jump from platform-to-platform to avoid his attacks however.
    • Same goes to the dinosaur-like abomination fought in the Hoover Dam stage, since it's clinging on the dam's side. But it can still launch ranged projectile attacks, necessitating you to leap around platforms to dodge.
    • The statue monster fought in Japan is rooted to it's pedestal. This one has Eye Beams too, but with the added ability to chase you as well as multiple projectile launchers on it's back.
    • Mega Lizard, despite being a dinosaur capable of moving about, prefers to stand on the spot it broke out from it's icy prison and attempt breathing fire at your direction.
  • Traintop Battle: Blue Line Train is set atop the titular train, where you face enemies while leaping from the tops of one carriage to another.
  • Unique Enemy: The Base contains a lone Ptero Soarer that attacks by crashing through a set of glass walls as you hop on a descending platform. It's a rather weak enemy however (despite it's size), getting killed by concentrated fire in seconds.
  • Weak Turret Gun: Small turrets are an occasional enemy which you can destroy in just a scant handful of shots, even with your weakest gun.
  • Your Head Asplode: So many of the bosses have this happening to them when defeated: the Mega-Minotaur, Robot Clown, giant dinosaur-abomination on the Hoover Dam, animated statue monster in Japan...