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Video Game / Nanosaur

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Nanosaur is a third person shooter developed by Pangea Software and released for the Apple Macintosh in 1998. In Nanosaur, you play a genetically engineered raptor from the year 4122 sent to the Cretaceous Period to retrieve the eggs of five dinosaur species to save the Nanosaur species in the future. You only have twenty minutes to complete your mission before the asteroid hits Earth. During the mission, your Nanosaur will have to blast its way through several dinosaurs while collecting weapons and powerups.

A modified version, titled Nanosaur: Extreme! was released in 2002 for the Macintosh and Windows PC. This version is exactly the same as the regular version, except more dinosaurs appear at a time as well as more powerups available.

A sequel was released in 2004 titled Nanosaur II: Hatchling. In this game, it is assumed that the first Nanosaur completed its mission successfully and returned to the future. But a group of rebel Nanosaurs stole the eggs and took them to distant planets, where they intend to use them to build an army to fight their battles against Earth. But one egg was left behind, which turns out to be a pterodactyl. This pterodactyl is sent on a mission to retrieve the stolen eggs and return them safely to Earth. The basic concept of Nanosaur II is similar to that of the first installment, in terms of collecting eggs and powerups, except that it contains three levels that take place on different planets, and you must kill hostile dinosaurs as well as turrets and other future defenses.


Nanosaur contains examples of:

  • All There in the Manual: The human race is extinct in 4122, thanks to a plague.
  • Artistic License – Paleontology:
    • Stegosaurus did not live during the Cretaceous Period, they lived during the Jurassic.
    • Dilophosaurus also lived in the Jurassic (only even earlier than Stegosaurus), and it did not have a frill or spit venom like in Jurassic Park.
    • Due to its weight, it's highly unlikely Tyrannosaurus could jump.
  • The Cretaceous Is Always Doomed: You were sent back twenty minutes before the asteroid hits.
  • Deflector Shields: One of the powerups.
  • Dumb Dinos: All of the dinosaurs besides the player character fall under this trope - they neither notice nor care that you're trying to help. Doubly Justified by the fact that the player is both an intelligent dinosaur whereas the ones encountered are just savage animals, and a raptor who came to take their eggs. Though it could arguably also apply to the intelligent dinosaurs from year 4122; whose genius idea was it to send their agent to retrieve eggs in the Cretaceous Period only 20 minutes before the asteroid hits ?
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  • Everything Trying to Kill You: If you thought dinosaurs were bad enough, you also have lava-balls, spore-shooting fungi, and rolling boulders to worry about!
  • Gotta Catch Them All: The point of the first game is to gather one of each of the five types of eggs.
  • Handguns: The Nanosaur's weapon, which has five different attacks: standard laser, heat-seeking missiles (which can lead to a Macross Missile Massacre if the player has plenty to spare), sonics, a dividing shot, and nuclear weapons.
  • Jet Pack: The Nanosaur has one.
  • Lethal Lava Land: The second environment after the green rainforest zone.
  • Made of Explodium: Dinosaurs, apparently. (Though they actually "shatter" when they die.)
  • Mighty Glacier: The Stegosaurus can only slowly lumber towards you, but require several shots to be brought down. It's easier to simply avoid them.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot
    • You are a raptor, armed with a jetpack and a laser cannon.
    • Or a pterosaur, with a jetpack, various weapons, and a sonic scream.
  • Ptero Soarer:
    • The Pteranodon from the first game carry rocks with their feet so they can drop them on you. Afterwards, they attack by swooping down on you with their feet.
    • The main player in the sequel is a Ludodactylus-esque pterosaur (although the intro portrays it as a Pteranodon) which grabs the eggs with its feet. There's also large Rhamphorhynchus (with pycnofibres) which serve as Airborne Mooks.
  • Raptor Attack:
    • Inspection of the game files will reveal a skeleton called "Deinon.skeleton", which hints that the Nanosaur is meant to be a Deinonychus and not the usual Velociraptor. However, the Nanosaur model doesn't even have the sickle claws on its feet, making it look more like a miniature Allosaurus.
    • The Velociraptor from the sequel are Jurassic Park-styled as usual, with feathers on their heads.
  • Temper-Ceratops: The Triceratops will charge if the player gets too close. Some even hide in bushes to ambush them.
  • Tough Armored Dinosaur: Out of all the game's enemies, the Stegosaurus take the most shots to bring down due to their thick skin.