This week, we found out that everyone’s favorite three-horned dinosaur, Triceratops, was really the similar-looking Torosaurus at an earlier stage of growth. The Triceratops, like the former “planet” known as Pluto, puts our years of education into question. It’s unclear if scientists will go with the name of the adult-sized Torosaurus over the juvenile Triceratops. But, here’s to hoping Paleontologists are able to please the public more than the astronomy branch of the scientific field and that the Triceratops doesn’t become extinct a second time.
In the meantime, this controversy leads us to reflect on some of the video games containing the dino species, with the developers being so yesterday (literally) and thinking it was the one-and-only Triceratops.
The idea behind the critically acclaimed Scribblenauts was both fun and educational. Puzzle solving involves spelling out the name of almost anything in the dictionary and harnessing the object’s power to make it through levels. This includes typing in the names of ride-able dinos: Tyrannosaurus Rex, Velociraptor, Pterodactyl and Triceratops. The last one, according to the new hypothesis out there, may not be as educational as it was last week. Patching this Nintendo DS game isn’t going to happen, so we’ll just have to hope that the sequel, Super Scribblenauts, makes the switch to the Torosaurus... if that name sticks for the consolidated species.
Every Land Before Time video game… sorry Cera
Littlefoot, the long-necked Apatosaurus; Ducky the crest-domed Saurolophus; Petri, the timidly flying Pteranodon; Spike, the always-hungry Stegosaurus; and Cera, the conceited Torosaurus?
The gang may have more on its hands than avoiding Sharptooth and searching for “The Great Valley.” Cera may be going through a bit of an identity crisis, and not just because Michael Cera is the bigger box office Cera nowadays. Sure, The Land Before Time produced a whopping thirteen movies in its day, but the series has been direct-to-VHS/DVD ever since its 1988 theatrical debut.
It also spawned a handful of forgettable video games for the PC, original PlayStation and Game Boy Advance. Unlike Scribblenauts, we insist that the parties involved recall all of these games, not because of the Triceratops controversy, but because they were incredibly terrible.
Tricky from Diddy Kong Racing and Star Fox
Tricky the Triceratops certainly is tricky, having lived under the made-up moniker since 1997. That’s when the character debuted as the boss of the first zone in Diddy Kong Racing. The shyster didn’t stop there, though. He went on to a starring role as Prince Tricky in Star Fox Adventures and assumed the throne as the king of the EarthWalker tribe in Star Fox: Assault. Most recently, his likeness showed up in the Wii game Super Smash Bros. Brawl as a trophy, which, of course, is now worthless in our minds. We really should’ve seen “Tricky” as foreshadowing to the “the Triceratops” name.
The Sega Genesis and SNES game Virtual Bart just got 100% more virtual today because it too included a Triceratops. One of the game’s six levels was set in prehistoric times, with players assuming the role of a dinoBart. He must get past a caveman Homer (well, a more caveman version of the Homer we know) and this curious-looking Triceratops. Upon closer inspection, this long-horned dino looks a lot like the long-nosed Mr. Burns. Maybe he’s the one behind this diabolical controversy.
Turok Evolution wasn’t the best game from the dinosaur hunting series, but it was the first to add the now-fabled Triceratops. It could be seen grazing in the beginning of the first level along with the Stegosaurus, both of which took their herbivorous roles very seriously. Neither of these plant-eating dinosaurs tried to devour Turok. This was rare for the FPS franchise, as it almost exclusively featured aggressive dinos in the past.
Of course, invading the territory of the Triceratops didn’t go unpunished. It stopped grazing, lowered its head and charged in your direction while emitting a defensive cry. But, really, that’s exactly what we do whenever people bother us during our lunch break!
A lot of people mistakenly think that the ride-able dinosaur in Turok 2: Seeds of Evil is a Triceratops, but it’s not. It’s not even a Torosaurus. It’s a Styracosaurus, which is from the same family as the Triceratops/Torosaurus. Although riding on its back while shooting dual grenade launchers was one of our most memorable N64 experiences, we wouldn’t want to tell you it was a Triceratops and be wrong. I mean, then we’d look like a bunch of scientists.
Scientists should know by now that people will rally against the change in a protest the size of Pluto – in other words, a small protest, but still the size of a dwarf planet. There are too many games, movies and other forms of media that don this dinosaur donning three horns.
Don’t go extinct on us again, Triceratops. With Super Scribblenauts coming out, we don’t want to have to spell out Torosaurus, especially because it’s not even in spell check yet.