Running Dinosaur Planet on an EverDrive-64

I recently picked up an EverDrive-64 X7 to tinker with (the version with a USB port that allows connection to a PC for homebrew). While I’m sure there will be plenty for me to say about it in the future, I haven’t had too much of a chance to dig into it yet. But nonetheless, I wanted to drop a quick note here on one *really cool* thing I have managed to do with it: play the leaked N64 version of Dinosaur Planet!

I assume most people are aware of this by now, but if not, a ROM was released a little over a week ago. For the unaware, Dinosaur Planet is an N64 game by Rare that was cancelled and later re-worked into Star Fox Adventures for the GameCube. More info on the release is here:

The best part is, if you have a flash cart, the game runs on original hardware! There’s just one trick to make it work. If you don’t do this, then your game will boot, but the game select screen won’t appear. Instead, you’ll get a black screen after the “Rareware” splash screen. Thankfully, it’s an easy fix:

  1. On your computer, edit the “save_db.txt” in the ED64 directory of your SD card.
  2. Add the following line to the bottom of the file:
DP=5        Dinosaur Planet

So, it should look something like this:

save_db.txt with additional line for Dinosaur Planet

And that’s it! Save your changes, put the SD card back in your EverDrive, and boot it up! It should now take you to the game save selection screen after the splash screens.

With that out of the way, what do I make of the game? Well, it’s quite possibly the best looking N64 game ever made, plus a ton of fully voiced dialogue. But it’s rough. Yeah, it looks great – when you’re standing still. But in motion, it chugs even more than the usual N64 fare. It’s also clearly unfinished with a number of bugs and crashes. Even so, I see the potential here. Had it not been moved over to the GameCube, I think it would have ended up being a top-tier N64 title, though it’s probably pushing the hardware past its limits. Either way, it’s a fascinating bit of history to experience, and I’m thankful I’ve had the chance!