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Primal Rage

Arcade Video game published 30 years ago by Atari Games Corp.

Listed in MAME

Primal Rage screenshot

Primal Rage © 1994 Atari Games Corp.

Seven ferocious dinosaurs gnaw, gore and bite each other until they become the winner's dinner. Eat cavemen to regain health! Feature digitized stop-motion animation. Each of the seven characters has an arsenal of nearly seventy moves, including special and finishing moves. Each character has its own ending.

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Atari GT hardware
Game ID : 136102
Main PCB Number : A051512
Graphics memory expansion PCB Number : A053602
CAGE Audio PCB : A053304

Main CPU : Motorola 68EC020 (@ 25 Mhz)
Sound CPU : TMS32031 (@ 33.8688 Mhz)
Sound Chips : (4x) DMA-driven (@ 33.8688 Mhz)

Players : 2
Control : 8-way joystick
Buttons : 4


Primal Rage was released in September 1994.

The concept of the game borrows heavily from Taito's 1992 arcade unit "Dino Rex".

Atari had intended to create another upgrade for PR 2.3 and was scheduled at this time for January 1995. This upgrade would allow the player to face a boss monster at the end of the game for total domination of the world. The final boss was supposed to be a horned dracolich (animate dragon skeleton) imprisoned in the moon, with three claws on each limb and 3 spines on the end of his tail. It was also supposed to have the powers of flight and the ability to drain the opponent's lifeforce. The final battle ground would be a moon scene with the skeletons of numerous dinosaurs laying around in decaying states. The ground would be covered with craters and giant, glowing cracks. A teleportation warp would exist overhead. Unfortunately, Atari scrapped the idea for this upgrade because Time Warner Interactive been too busy at this time to work on an upgrade and the boss was never came into existence... :(

The June 1996 issue of GamePro magazine confirms that Ellie Rovella of Gilbert, Arizona became enraged when her 11-year-old son bought Primal Rage for his Sega Genesis and played the game using GamePro's strategy guide to execute Chaos' golden shower fatality. Rovella was so outraged she not only returned the game, but also launched a grass-roots campaign. As part of this, the fatality was famously censored on the Super Nintendo version by placing a large 'censored' bar over the screen when it was performed.

Michael Todd holds the official record for version 1.7 of this game with 5881500 points.
Michael Todd holds the official record for version 2.3 of this game with 671500 points.

A line of toy action figures based on all seven characters of PR were made by Playmates in 1996.

Atari released a limited-edition soundtrack album for this game (All The Rage).

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Here is the big list of version 2.3 changes :
* 100% health bug from ver 1.7 fixed.
* 'fatality'/'no fatality' music added; other music enriched w/more percussion.
* A previous high score drops to 2nd when beaten.
* All Leaping Attacks can be blocked.
* All Stomps can be blocked and/or done in the air.
* Armadon can volley his victim after the Mega Charge.
* Armadon, Blizzard, Talon slowed down.
* Armadon's Spinning Death and Mega Charge don't go under projectiles any more.
* Blizzard's Freeze Breath inflicts damage; Freeze Breath & Ice Geyser don't last as long.
* Block-damage usually won't kill you.
* Chaos' Battering Ram makes an annoying new sound.
* Chaos' Cannonball finishing move can kill enemies on any stage.
* Combo names, Total Domination, Quick Kill features added.
* CPU's 'AI' patterns changed; many old tricks no longer work, but some new tricks do.
* Demo mode intro text has letters made of bones instead of black letters.
* Diablo, Sauron, most leaping attacks, most projectiles speed up.
* Diablo's Torch combos more easily.
* Diablo's Inferno Flash can be blocked.
* Eating humans adds much more energy to your health meter.
* Gameplay speed changed.
* Generally, damage to heart & brain meters decreased, but block-damage to heart increased.
* Gone are the faint 'blue shields' that used to appear when blocking attacks.
* Hop jumps can now be used vs the CPU.
* If you're on the ground, projectiles don't knock you down any more.
* In free play mode, the words 'DEMO ONLY' appear & CPU can't hurt you.
* Little SF2-style 'Christmas Lights' added; they flash with every strike, blocked or not.
* One new fatality for each character added.
* Simultaneous attack collisions tuned : 'sweet spots' removed, quick->fierce->power->quick 'round robin' priority system added.
* Sudden Death lasts for 30 seconds instead of 20.
* Talon can attack (or be attacked) as he rebounds from the Brain Basher.
* Talon's low 4 is cheesy to use twice in a combo.
* Talon's Pounce & Flip does no block-damage.
* Talon's Shredder fatality made gorier.
* Vertigo has a new teleport and can do both old & new teleports in the air.


* Alternate Costumes (vers. 2.3 only) : Highlight a fighter at the character selection screen, then press 1+2, 1+3, or 1+4.

* Bowling : Both players must choose Armadon. Do the Spinning Death move and collide in mid-spin three times in a row. A bowling game will pop up.

* Volleyball : One player should do a multi-hit combo a worshipper will enter the area, hit him and they will fly in the air. The other player needs to hit the player before he hits the ground--toward player 1, if you keep this up for ten hits, the ref will bring out a volleyball net. Play for 3 pts.

* PR version : To check what version of Primal Rage your arcade has, push Up on player1 joystick and pull Down on the player2 joystick simultaneously, during the title screen.

* Raining Cows : Play as Chaos in his stage (the Ruins). Arrange for a 'Sudden Death' round to take place (If the third round ends without a clear winner [both characters have zero wins, or one win each], you both get knocked down and go immediately into a 'Sudden Death' round).
If you do a 'Fart of Fury' so that the green cloud is in the air as the Sudden Death begins, the sky will rain cows instead of meteors.
If you don't do a 'Fart of Fury' on Chaos' stage, the sky will rain bricks.
If Sudden Death occurs on Blizzard's stage, the sky will rain ice balls.


1. Primal Rage (1994)
2. Primal Rage II (1996)


Producer: Dennis Harper
Designer: Frank Kuan
Programmers: Dennis Harper, Frank Kuan
Art director / Surgeon: Jason Leong
Design / Assoc. producer: Cameron Petty
Composer / Sounds: Jeanne Parson
Hardware engineer: Don Paauw
Stop motion animation: Pete Kleinow
Executive producer: Mark Stephen Pierce


usa Nintendo SNES (aug.1995) "Primal Rage [Model SNS-AR9E-USA]"
europe Nintendo SNES (1995) "Primal Rage [Model SNSP-AR9P-EUR]"
usa Sega 32X (1995) "Primal Rage [Model 84705]"
usa Sega Game Gear (1995) "Primal Rage [Model T-48218]"
europe Sega Game Gear (1995) "Primal Rage [Model T-48218-50]"
usa Sega Genesis (1995) "Primal Rage [Model T-48426]"
europe Sega Mega Drive (1995)
usa Nintendo Game Boy (jul.1995) "Primal Rage [Model DMG-AR9E-USA]"
europe Nintendo Game Boy (1995) "Primal Rage [Model DMG-AR9E-EUR]"
usa Sony Playstation (1995) "Primal Rage [Model SLUS-00126]"
usa Sega Saturn (1995) "Primal Rage [Model T-4802H]"
usa Atari Jaguar CD (dec.1995) "Primal Rage [Model 301108-0182]"
usa Panasonic 3DO (1995)
europe Sega 32X (1996) "Primal Rage [Model MK84705-50]"
europe Sony Playstation (1996) "Primal Rage [Model SLES-00140]"
japan Sony Playstation (dec.13, 1996) "Primal Rage [Model SLPS-00543]"
europe Sega Saturn (1998) "Primal Rage [Model T-4802H-50]"
japan Sega Saturn (mar.26, 1998) "Primal Rage [Model T-18614G]"
australia Sony PlayStation 2 (2004) "Midway Arcade Treasures 2"
usa Microsoft XBOX (oct.11, 2004) "Midway Arcade Treasures 2 [Model MWO-3201W]"
usa Nintendo GameCube (oct.11, 2004) "Midway Arcade Treasures 2 [Model DOL-GAYE-USA]"
usa Sony PS2 (oct.11, 2004) "Midway Arcade Treasure 2 [Model SLUS-20997]"
europe Microsoft XBOX (oct.29, 2004) "Midway Arcadee Treasures 2"
europe Sony PS2 (oct.29, 2004) "Midway Arcade Treasure 2 [Model SLES-52844]"

europe Commodore Amiga (1995)
usa PC [MS-DOS, CD-ROM] (1995)
usa PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] (feb.17, 2006) "Midway Arcade Treasures Deluxe Edition"
europe PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] (mar.17, 2006) "Midway Arcade Treasures Deluxe Edition" by Zoo Digital Publishing

Tiger R-Zone (1996)


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