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Video Game / Prehistoric Isle

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A pair of arcade Shoot 'em Up games by SNK. It's basically your usual side scroller shooter but with Dinosaurs!

The first game, Prehistoric Isle in 1930 was released in 1989 and is set on an island in The Bermuda Triangle. The player controls a biplane, blasting hordes of prehistoric creatures, while aquiring power-ups in the form of a device that rotates around his craft blocking enemy shots and providing different modes of fire.

The 1999 sequel, Prehistoric Isle 2 is set in modern times when even more dinos and prehistoric beasties invade a city, this time the player controls a helicopter and it also includes the mechanic of rescuing civilians.

Unrelated to Prehistorik, another game of the period.


Tropes present in this game:

  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: In the sequel's first level, so spacious that helicopters can fly through with space to spare.
  • Animals Not to Scale: Most of the bosses in the first game are ridiculously oversized in contrast to their real-life counterparts. Special mention goes for the Rhamphorhynchus, which makes the Pteranodon enemies look like flies, and the Ammonite, which can grab a tiny submarine with its tentacles, even though the largest known ammonite species, Parapuzosia seppenradensis (which appears in the first game as well), would have measured roughly about 2.55 m (8.4 ft) or even 3.5 m (11 ft) in diameter, and especially the final boss, a Tyrannosaurus rex that would not be out of place at all in a Godzilla movie. The sequel is no better in this regard, featuring a monstrous-sized Pachycephalosaurus as its first boss and a gargantuan-sized Pteranodon as another.
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  • Artifact Title: Unlike the first game, the sequel is definitely not set on an island. The penultimate level does seem to be some kind of island however.
  • Artistic License – Paleontology: Where to begin? Most of them can spit fireballs, then the second boss of the second game sure looks more like Rhydon than any known dinosaur. Most of the dinosaurs in the second game exhibit Amazing Technicolor Population as well.
  • A Winner Is You: While the first game ends with Shoot the Shaggy Dog as explained below, the sequel ends with the words ALL STAGES CLEARED. The epic final boss fight makes up for it, though.
  • The Bermuda Triangle: In the first game, the place is home to an island full of surviving dinosaurs and prehistoric animals, and they have been causing all the major dissappeareances the triangle is known for.
  • Bee Afraid: Giant prehistoric bees and wasps appear as enemies in the sequel, which also features a monstrous Queen Bee as one of the bosses.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Both games feature giant invertebrates as enemies, the first game has even one acting as a boss: "Ancient Coleoptera", while the sequel has a monstrous Queen Bee as a boss.
  • Breath Weapon: Pretty much every single creature in both games can expel some type of energy or fire from its mouth. Even the Protoceratops from the second game will shoot tiny fireballs at you. How cute.
  • Derelict Graveyard: The second part of stage 4 in the first game.
  • Dem Bones: One mini-boss in the sequel is a reanimated dinosaur skeleton, the first game also features zombie pteranodons.
  • Dinosaurs Are Dragons: What's a T. rex doing at the bottom of a volcano? And why it breathes fire? Heck, pretty much all the dinosaur and pterosaur foes have fire breath.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: And how!
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: In the first game, the first boss of level 3: "Unknown Dinosaur", in the second game the final boss, a giant sea creature... thing.
  • Giant Flyer: In the first game, an oversized Rhamphorhynchus acts a the second stage boss. A gigantic Pteranodon is another boss in the sequel.
  • In Name Only: The (nonexistent apart from the narration-free premise of hordes of dinosaurs attacking a city nearby an island filled with prehistoric creatures) plot of second game has very little to do with the first, other than shooting dinosaurs.
  • Jungle Japes
  • Living Ship: The final boss of the sequel, which is a living squid-shaped-spaceship. No, not like that one.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: The ending of the first game, after defeating the final boss the 2 player controlled biplanes fly off from the isle and dock with a larger plane, the pilots report their story and say that they must report their findings to their country, immediately after, the plane is swarmed by pteranodons and explodes. The final coda says the the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle continues...
  • Stock Dinosaurs:
    • Brachiosaurus, Allosaurus, Rhamphorhynchus, Archelon, Ammonite, Stegosaurus and Tyrannosaurus rex serve as boss encounters in the first game, while Ankylosaurus, Pteranodon, Coelophysis and Ichthyosaurus are among the smaller enemies.
    • Ankylosaurus, T. rex, Stegosaurus, Allosaurus, Pteranodon, Coelophysis and Rhamphorhynchus return as enemies for the sequel. We are also introduced to Carcharodontosaurus, Velociraptor, Brontosaurus, Triceratops, Parasaurolophus, Protoceratops, Pterodactylus, Dimorphodon, and Pachycephalosaurus.
  • Turtle Power: In the first game, an Archelon acts as the first boss of level 4.
  • Unique Enemy:
    • A gigantic theropod, probably a Carcharodontosaurus, only shows up for the first part of the final stage from the sequel, and is never encountered again. Fittingly enough, it is a wee-bit challenging to defeat.
    • Even more jarring is the Ankylosaurus. While in the first game they were particularly common enemies in the first stage, a single Ankylo only shows up near the end of the last stage and it's so small and weak, you may not even notice you just killed it.