Atari’s Cancelled Primal Rage II Is Now Playable Through MAME

by Robert Workman

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Primal Rage II remains one of the game industry’s biggest mysteries. It was a game that was built to completion, and for some reason threw giant humans into the mix with the fighting dinosaurs from the original, but then it was cancelled at the last moment, with Midway probably figuring that the game would be a much bigger disaster than it originally anticipated. (Well, that and it was already ruling the arcades as it was with its Mortal Kombat games.)

For years, the game lived in legend, and, at one point, even ended up at Galloping Ghost Arcade in Illinois in playable form. But now, if you’ve got access to a MAME emulator (either on your PC or through some modded game system), you can give it a try for yourself.

With the help of a dedicated build of MAME called MAME4RAGE 2, the build became highly playable, showing off a number of stop-motion models put into play, improving the graphics of the first game significantly. These are represented by “avatars”, beings that can still fight one another for the sake of ruling the planet.

You can check out footage from the MAME emulated version of the game below, and learn more about the ROM from the official MAME4RAGE2 Reddit thread if you want to give it a try.

It’s definitely a bizarre game – especially if you pick out two humanoid-based characters instead of the usual dinosaur breed – but there’s no doubt it remains a curious part of gaming history. Now, if we could just get that Beavis & Butthead video game on MAME…

By Robert Workman

Robert Workman has spent years working in the video game industry, for sites like Shacknews, AOL GameDaily and Marooners Rock. He's also very skilled in contributing to podcasts and video broadcasts, and can pretty much out-game you under the table. Oh, and just go ahead and ask him about glorious craft beers. Go on, ask him.