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Today in Gaming History: Primal Rage

The Sega Saturn did not have many games released on the west coast. But, it did have a port of the infamous Midway Arcade game Primal Rage. A popular game at arcades in the 90’s Primal Rage allowed the player to fight as deities who took on the form of gigantic apes and dinosaurs. The game was profitable enough to green light a sequel, but Primal Rage 2 never came to fruition. However, the real draw of this game was being able to play as a gigantic farting, vomiting, and urinating gorilla of doom who wanted to save mankind.

As with many fighting games in the 90’s Primal Rage had backstories for each of the characters you could choose. From Blizzard and Diablo which were respective representations of good and evil (though by no means were they nice characters). All the way to Chaos and Sauron (yes, like the floating eye in the sky) who could have both been considered neutrals in spite of their goals (one wished to take humanity towards a golden age, the other wanted to eat all humans). Each of these deities also had a stack of followers which would walk on screen to cheer on their god (often with bloody hilarious results).

You see in Primal Rage  humans are considered cattle and are meant to be devoured. Yes, the developers included the option to eat people and it was awesome. If the player managed to eat a follower of an opposite deity they would also regain more health than if they ate their own. Humanity was actively sacrificing itself to see their god win and in the end it was all meaningless (almost like in real life). At the end of the day though this was simply a very fun mechanic and it played well into the game. Primal Rage also had a solid combat system which forbade players from cheesing others by preventing attack spam. If the player performed the same move too many times they would have all damage removed and also be insulted by the game.


However, these weren’t the only secrets kept by Primal Rage. The arcade cabinet had a very special code developed in order to prevent pirating which to this day has not been broken. The people who helped develop the system refuse to help crack it and it is so elaborate that the closest we can get to a perfect copy of this game is still filled with wonky hit-detection and strange animations. Even the recent re-release that came in the Midway Arcade hits is still not a perfect emulation of the arcade cabinet and to this day the only true way to enjoy Primal Rage is to play at an actual arcade. While it was never released Primal Rage 2 can still be played, but only in a single location on earth. The sequel contained more characters and was intended to become a much better game than the original.


One more aspect of this game that requires special mention is that a comic book exists for Primal Rage. The comic book elaborates further upon the personalities of each of the deities and can be rather enjoyable. If you’re a fan of the game try finding the comics, trust me you won’t regret it. The 90’s was a weird time for fighting games, but Primal Rage was an enjoyable romp through a future which was also the past. For a full experience though, you’ll have to find an ancient arcade cabinet and play the full game as it was intended.


Dash The Bomber

Dash The Bomber is a sailor is his 20’s with a penchant for goofy, yet deep thoughts. An avid gamer for generations he has played everything from the Atari 2600 to the PC in which he writes his work on. He currently lives in the middle of the ocean and appreciates donations in order to buy goodies from Amazon while deployed (makes his life slightly better). You can help the guy out by donating here:

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