Jurassic Park (Sega video game)
European cover art
|Artist(s)||Douglas TenNapel (lead artist)
Dana Christianson (art director)
Jurassic Park is a video game for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis published by Sega and developed by BlueSky Software. It was released as part of the tie-in merchandise to the movie of the same name from Universal Pictures.
While all of the five video games released named 'Jurassic Park' were released to tie into Steven Spielberg's motion picture nearly all of them borrow elements from the Jurassic Park novel by Michael Crichton on which the film was based. In the case of the Sega Mega Drive's Jurassic Park the use of Procompsognathus and the Jungle River attraction and its pump house, as well as the abundance of park staff.
The team, which included Earthworm Jim creator Doug TenNapel, spent over 15 months making the title, a long time for a game in 1993. The 3D models for the dinosaurs were created using Stop Motion Photography while a team member was filmed acting out Grant's movements and was then digitized. Sega claimed the game features ADI (Artificial Dinosaur Intelligence) causing the dinosaur enemies to react differently every time a player plays the level making no two games the same.
Due to the game's critical success, a sequel of the Genesis game was also released, called Jurassic Park: Rampage Edition, which relies more on action and more on-screen enemies.
Jurassic Park is a standard action video game, its level design seemingly putting it in the platform genre, with the end objective being to reach the end of each level, traveling from left to right using items placed at fixed locations. However, the game features a then-uncommon variation in action games, giving players the option of using two characters that played independently to one another. The game was playable as either Dr Alan Grant, or one of the film's versions of a Velociraptor. Grant is the default character and can be switched to the Raptor using the 'Player' option on the game's main menu. The game has three selectable difficulty levels: "Medium" is the default neutral setting while "Hard" means more damage taken from enemies (who move faster and attack frequently) and "Easy" mode makes for less troublesome foes from which relatively little damage is taken.
Each player is given three lives, and when one is lost, the player restarts at the beginning of the level. A game over will reset the game entirely, though passwords to certain stages are displayed prior to entry for the purpose of the player merely starting from that level onwards rather than from the beginning. A Password option is displayed in the game's main menu.
When playing as Dr. Grant, his objective is to navigate through seven areas of Isla Nublar and make it safely to the Visitors Center to escape via helicopter. However he must contend with the various dinosaurs that roam the island, now free of their enclosures. Grant has seven weapons: two kinds of tranquilizer darts: blue (weak) and red (strong); three types of grenades (gas, flash and exploding, with the latter required to beat the game); a short-range taser and a rocket launcher. All of these items require ammunition refills which are scattered throughout the island, sometimes in hard-to-reach places. Grant's recovery item is a first-aid kit, a few of which occur in each level.
The Velociraptor player character can run much faster and jump higher than Grant, though it can only attack from close-range using its teeth and claws. The Raptor's goal is to elude (or eliminate) the Jurassic Park security guards and corner Dr Grant at the Visitors Center. The Raptor plays for only five levels, however. Along the way stray dinosaurs can be bothersome for the Raptor, who can knock them out. The enemy guards wield grenades and missiles but can be easily overpowered by the Raptor, though the final level increases the guards' presence and temperament. The Raptor's health item is generic "meat", although it has the ability to eat a "compy" to refill its health as well.
The Jungle - A lush forest/jungle level with vine swinging. A good deal of both the Jurassic Park novel and film are set in this location, which acts as a "beginner" level, referring to both players and where the story opens. Resident dinosaurs include Procompsognathus and Dilophosaurus; when playing as Grant Triceratops and Brachiosaurus can be seen as well. Pteranodon appear occasionally to attack the player from above.
The Power Station - Features ladders and boxes, making it quite similar to both its novel and film depictions. When playing as Grant, Velociraptor first appears in this level, as does the Tyrannosaurus rex, who acts as the level's final obstacle.
The River - Closely resembling the Jurassic Park River Adventure ride and a scene in the novel, Grant is required to use a motorized raft to navigate down the jungle river. The level has several waterfalls; the larger ones are particularly hazardous and can cause the raft to crash. The player must collect various fuel tanks to keep the raft moving while avoiding the dinosaurs, who are more aggressive in this level. This level is omitted when playing as the Raptor.
The Pump House - This level is similar to a key scene in Crichton's novel, where Grant and the children face the Tyrannosaurus in the Jungle River's pump house behind a waterfall. The player must avoid falling into the sewage and (as Grant) shut off the steam vents to navigate. Procompsognathus appear to nest here, with the occasional raptor and T-rex to hinder Grant's progress.
The Canyon - The Canyon is a dry, desert-like area. No such area is mentioned in either the Jurassic Park film, or novel. Pteranodon and "compys" run rampant in the canyon and raptors appear frequently and almost instantaneously in this level.
The Volcano - The Volcano is another area exclusive to this game and can be considered an underground extension of the canyon. Raptors here are abundant and often appear at most inconvenient sections. This level is skipped when playing as the Raptor.
The Visitors Center - The final level is based very much on the design of the Visitors Center set from the film, and features the game's final boss battle in the lobby, where there are mounted dinosaur skeletons. The player must then use rocket grenades to destroy the skeletons and send them crashing onto the raptors below (as Grant), or destroying the platform and causing Grant to flee (as Raptor).
All the dinosaurs appearing in the game are based on their portrayals in the Jurassic Park novels and films and do not reflect the true natures of the real dinosaurs.
- Brachiosaurus - gentle herbivores despite their size, but due to that they are obstacles. Brachiosaurs only appear when playing the game as Grant and are typically unaffected by his weapons with the exception of his grenades, which merely cause them to move off-screen.
- Dilophosaurus - also called "Spitters", medium-sized theropods who spit venom at player characters within range. They can be easily knocked out by any weapon.
- Procompsognathus - (also known as "Compys") chicken-sized theropods who can drain the player characters' health. The Raptor may eat compys to refill their health meter, and Grant's weapons can neutralize them.
- Triceratops - passive-aggressive herbivores also known as "Trikes" that inhabit only Grant's levels. Though most Trikes are docile, their horned heads are dangerous and should be avoided. Trikes sometimes charge at Grant, often with disastrous results.
- Tyrannosaurus - known as "T.rex", is the island's biggest predator. T. rex appears only when playing as Grant; though it cannot be harmed, Grant's weapons can at least stop T. rex from attacking momentarily for Grant to pass safely. Falling prey to its enormous jaws will cause Grant to lose one life.
- Velociraptor - Also known as "raptors", are the primary antagonists (when playing the game as Grant), or protagonist (when playing as the Raptor character). When playing as Grant, the raptors' A.I. is higher than the other dinosaurs in the game, referring to the raptors' high intelligence. As the game progresses the raptors become increasingly smarter, being able to kick doors open and even resisting certain weapons.
Though not a dinosaur, Pteranodon appear in some levels, swooping down from above to attack the player characters, who can dispatch them with any weapon.
- Boba Faqq's Walkthrough of the game at Gamefaqs.com
- The Making of Jurassic Park feature from the Universal Studio's 2001 DVD Boxset Jurassic Park: The Ultimate Collection.