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- "The mantle has been passed. You've become Protector of the Earth. You are now Turok: Dinosaur Hunter.
Make dinosaurs extinct. Again!"
- —Box description
Turok: Dinosaur Hunter (時空戦士テュロック, Space-Time Warrior Turok in Japan), also simply known as Turok, is an action-adventure first person shooter video game developed by Iguana Entertainment and published by Acclaim Entertainment for the Nintendo 64 console and, later, for Microsoft Windows. It is the first entry in Turok game series. The game was first released on March 4, 1997.
Developed as an adaptation to Acclaim Comics' successful comic book series of the same name, Dinosaur Hunter follows Tal'Set, also known by his title of "Turok," as he battles an evil warlord known as the Campaigner. Throughout the game, the player, who takes control of Tal'Set, encounters various different enemies, ranging from the Campaigner's own personal army to prehistoric animals such as dinosaurs.
After several delays, Dinosaur Hunter was released to a highly positive critical reception, becoming one of the Nintendo 64's most successful titles, boosting sales for the console. Critics generally praised the game for its then-groundbreaking graphics, world design, and gameplay. Criticism was directed by several reviewers towards the game's glitches and controls. The game's success spawned a series of sequels, starting with 1998's Turok 2: Seeds of Evil.
On August 26, 2015, it was confirmed that Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, alongside its sequel, Turok 2: Seeds of Evil, would be getting remasters for the PC. The company responsible for the project, Night Dive Studios, stated that they were aiming for the end of 2015 as its release date. The remaster was released on December 17, 2015, on Steam, GOG, and the Humble Store.
The story revolves around Tal'Set (Turok), a warrior of Saquin descent, on his quest to stop the Campaigner, an evil warlord who seeks an ancient device known as the Chronoscepter, a weapon so powerful that it was broken into eight separate pieces and scattered across the Lost Land in order to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands.
The Campaigner plans on using a focusing array to magnify the Chronoscepter's power, destroying the barriers that separate the Lost Land from the rest of the universe. Turok vows to find the Chronoscepter's eight pieces and prevent the Campaigner's schemes.
After Tal'Set defeats the Campaigner, he decides that he is responsible for the fate of the Chronoscepter, though he does not know what he will do with it. Tal'Set decides to enter a dream state and talks to numerous Turoks that have lived throughout time. Ultimately, they conclude that the Chronoscepter must be destroyed. Tal'Set agrees, believing that such power should never fall into the wrong hands again. He travels to an active volcano and throws the Chronoscepter into it, causing a massive earth-shattering quake. As a result, the Primagen awakens from his slumber in his Lightship, and now Joshua Fireseed must undo Tal'Set's mistake by defeating the Primagen and his army in Turok 2: Seeds of Evil.
The campaign of Turok: Dinosaur Hunter consists of 8 levels overall, with multiple secret levels present within each level.
|3||The Ancient City|
|6||The Treetop Village|
|7||The Lost Land|
|8||The Final Confrontation|
List of appearances
|Items||Locations||Organizations and groups||Vehicles||Miscellanea|
Turok: Dinosaur Hunter is a shooter game in which gameplay takes place from a first-person perspective. The three-dimensional (3D) computer graphics and style of play combine the run-and-gun elements of the computer game Doom with the exploration mechanics of Tomb Raider. Players begin the game in a central hub level which contains portals to seven other stages. Tal'Set must find keys scattered across the stages. When enough keys have been inserted into the lock mechanisms of a hub portal, that level is unlocked. Turok explores the large, typically jungle-based levels by jumping, swimming, climbing, crawling, and running.
Turok's main objective is to find pieces of a relic known as the Chronoscepter; there is one piece on each level. In exploring the levels, Turok must fight various enemies such as poachers, gunmen, indigenous warriors, dinosaurs, demons, and insects. Turok: Dinosaur Hunter features 13 weapons plus the Chronoscepter, ranging from a knife and bow to high tech weaponry. All weapons except the knife require ammunition, which is dropped by dead enemies or picked up in the levels. Enemies and boss characters have multiple death animations depending on what body region the player shot. Items dropped by fallen enemies rapidly disappear, players must engage foes from close range.
Turok's health is shown as a number at the bottom of the screen. When he is at full health, the meter reads 100, while dropping to 0 subtracts one life. Gathering "life points" scattered across the levels increases the player's life count by one for every 100 points accumulated.
Production and development
In 1995, Acclaim Entertainment and Iguana Entertainment both acquired the Turok license. They wished to take the franchise in a more action-oriented direction, and it was originally conceived as a third-person adventure game like Super Mario 64, Crash Bandicoot, or Tomb Raider. The game’s primary development platform was the N64, as it was stronger than most computers at the time, but it was later ported to the PC as well. The game slipped past its estimated holiday 1996 release, and Acclaim announced the sequel Turok 2: Seeds of Evil before it was even released (although then it had the tentative title Turok: Dinosaur Hunter 2).
Turok was the first video game for Nintendo's Nintendo 64 to be developed by a third party company. Critics found that the controller's analog stick took time to get used to but functioned well.
Turok originally appeared in comics from Western Publishing and Dell Comics in December 1954. Valiant Comics revived the series and published the first issue of their Turok series in 1993. Video game publisher Acclaim Entertainment bought Valiant for $65 million in 1994 and acquired developer Iguana Entertainment for $5 million plus stock a year later, part of a strategy to develop games in-house and make money licensing characters in different entertainment media. Turok was announced in August 1994 as an exclusive title for Nintendo's planned "Ultra 64" console, eventually called the Nintendo 64.
Development of Turok commenced in 1996. While loosely based on the comic book, Iguana made the game more action-oriented. In early discussions about the project, the developers decided that the typical side-scrolling game presentation had become tired. Iguana considered a third-person perspective similar to Super Mario 64 and Tomb Raider, but decided to make the game a first-person shooter instead. According to project manager David Dienstbier, the first-person perspective was a natural way to showcase the 3D power of the Nintendo 64. While the development team benefited from Acclaim's clout as a longtime Nintendo supporter, getting earlier feedback from the publisher and more face-to-face time during production, most of the developers at Iguana were new and inexperienced; Turok was Dienstbier's first title. Due to the game's action and violent content, Dienstbier believed they were pushing the limits of what Nintendo would allow on their console, but Nintendo never asked to see or approve anything in the game.
The Nintendo 64 platform had superior processing capabilities compared to most personal computers available at the time, but also came with challenges. "The Nintendo 64 is capable of doing a lot of stuff," Dienstbier said. "If you want to handle fancy particle lighting, and transparency effects, and you want to throw around huge amounts of math;... or geometry onscreen, it's got the processing power to do that, and yes it's a fantastic machine. However, calling it a developer's dream kinda gives you the impression that it's easy to crank out a game like Turok, and it's definitely not." While Nintendo was supportive, Iguana had to produce all its game development tools internally. Fitting the game on its 8 megabyte cartridge was difficult; ultimately, Iguana had to compress everything and reduce the quality of the music to meet size requirements. Despite system constraints, the developers were interested in producing the best-looking video game for the system: the game used real-time lighting effects and particle systems for added realism. Iguana was able to use Acclaim's state-of-the-art motion capture studio, allowing humanoid characters to move smoothly and in a convincing manner. Motion capture helped alleviate the problems of Iguana's limited resources and tight schedule. A stuntman recorded movements for the human characters, while the developers tried to use emus and ostriches for the dinosaurs. However, these results were only used as reference material.
At the time, Acclaim Entertainment was in financial jeopardy. The company was a major publisher in the 16-bit era of games, but the company's sales suffered as it was slow to migrate from older game systems like the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo Entertainment System to next-generation platforms. The company lost $222 million in the 1996 fiscal year due to sales falling to $162 million compared to $567 million the previous year; in the first quarter of fiscal 1997, the company lost a further $19 million. The company laid off 100 of its 950 workers since March 1996 and its stock had dropped from a high of $13.875 a share to as low as $3. Turok, Acclaim's first Nintendo 64 title, became the company's best hope of a turnaround, as there were only ten Nintendo 64 games on the market, and Turok was the only shooter. Alex. Brown Inc analysts figured that selling one million copies of Turok could bring Acclaim as much as $45 million. Due to cash flow issues, much of the money planned for marketing Turok was contingent on strong sales of Magic: The Gathering: BattleMage. Endangering Turok's sales was its high price — $79.99 in the US, £70 in the UK, and $129.95 in Australia — and Entertainment Software Rating Board's "Mature" rating, which suggested lower sales as parents would not buy the game for their children.
Originally slated for a September 30, 1996 release in North America, the game was initially delayed to January 1997. Acclaim explained that the game had not reached the desired quality level; Nintendo maintained that the delay was to "add more depth to the gameplay". According to The New York Times, the delay stemmed from computer bugs in the program. Acclaim heavily marketed Turok on the covers of video-gaming magazines and in television commercials for the Nintendo 64. Acclaim gave media outlets such as The Mirror customized Turok-branded game consoles to give away in sweepstakes. Responding to positive pre-orders and advance sales of Turok, Acclaim announced on January 2, 1997 that a sequel, tentatively titled Turok: Dinosaur Hunter 2, would be released in late 1997. Acclaim dubbed the March 4 release date of the game "Turok Tuesday", reporting that pre-sales at Toys "R" Us had exceeded expectations. Acclaim's stock increased in anticipation before the game's release, up $0.62 to $5.94.
The game is generally highly regarded among critics and fans. Released before GoldenEye 007 in August, it is often considered one of the best (and first) implementations of FPS controls on the N64, and also one of the first first-person shooters to use detailed 3D graphics (beating the PC's Quake 2 by several months). It currently has an 85 out of 100 average on (from 13 reviews) and an 87% average on  Game Rankings (from 13 reviews).
- Main article: Cheat codes
Turok: Dinosaur Hunter has a total of 36 cheats spread out across the Nintendo 64 version and two separate PC releases, the standard retail edition and a 3dfx-exclusive version bundled with certain graphics cards.
Notes and references
- Staff. "Turok: Dinosaur Hunter - Nintendo 64". IGN. Accessed August 17, 2016.
- "Acclaim Entertainment Names Golden Books Entertainment Group As Turok® Licensing Agent". Acclaim Nation. June 25, 1997. Archived from the original on February 1, 1998. Accessed March 6, 2017.
- "Acclaim's Turok: Dinosaur Hunter for PC Thrashes into Retail Outlets Nationwide". Acclaim Nation. November 26, 1997. Archived from the original on February 1, 1998. Accessed February 27, 2017.
- Nightdive Studios (December 17, 2015). "Nightdive Studios". Facebook. Accessed August 17, 2016.
- "Turok: Dinosaur Hunter". Microsoft Store. Accessed February 18, 2018.
- "Turok for Nintendo Switch". Nintendo Store. Accessed March 5, 2019.
- "Turok". PlayStation Store. Accessed March 13, 2021.
- Chalk, Andy (August 26, 2015). "Turok: Dinosaur Hunter remasters are in the works". PC Gamer. Accessed August 17, 2016.
- Porter, Matt (August 26, 2015). "Turok: Dinosaur Hunter and Turok 2: Seeds of Evil to Get Digital Re-Releases". IGN. Accessed August 17, 2016.
- Wikipedia contributors (July 15, 2016). "Turok: Dinosaur Hunter". Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Accessed August 17, 2016.
- Staff. "Turok: Dinosaur Hunter for Nintendo 64". GameRankings. Accessed August 17, 2016.
|List of Turok Games|